The Kapiti US Marines Trust - Trustees
Jenny Rowan JP QSO (Chair)
Jenny Rowan is a former two-term Mayor of the Kapiti Coast District Council who helped found the Trust in 2010. She is currently a Business Director for Fairway - New Zealand’s largest mediation company.
Jenny has given over 30 years’ service to local government and is a former Mayor of Inglewood (1986-1989), a former Deputy Chair of the Taranaki Regional Council (1989-1991) and a former Deputy Chair of the Paekakariki Community Board (2004-2006).
Prior to becoming Mayor of Kapiti Jenny was a Commissioner in the Environment Court for 16 years.
Richard Benge (Deputy Chair)
Richard is currently the CE of Arts Access Aotearoa. He was previously the Cultural Affairs Specialist for the Embassy of the United States of America and has also worked for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as Manager of Old St Paul's in Wellington, and as a self-employed Events, Marketing and Public Relations Manager.
Allison (Allie) Webber (Executive Secretary)
Allie has worked in the New Zealand media for the past 40 years as a journalist, radio and television producer, public relations professional, teacher and trainer. She worked as Media Advisor to Jenny Rowan while she was Mayor of Kapiti and also served for six years on the Paekakariki Community Board. She currently works from home running her own media consultancy and training business.
Major Larry Keim
Major Larry Keim, USMC (Ret) enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1969. Larry's Marines' career has taken him to a dozen countries from Viet Nam to Western Sahara and back to California. During the course of his career, he trained and was recognised as military parachutist and Recon Diver, and received a number of awards and medals.
After received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours from California State University, Sacramento, Larry became a Commissioned Officer in the Marine Corps. He has since served as a Company Commander, Inspector and Instructor, United Nations Military Observer, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) and Executive Officer during a number of official assignments. Larry retired from the Marine Corps in 1996. He now lives with his family in Kapiti New Zealand.
Anthony Dreaver (Historian)
A former high school teacher Anthony is a local historian with a special interest in the Kapiti/Horowhenua region. He has written three books about the area and edited the Otaki Historical Society's annual Journal until 2010. As Chair of the Trust that runs Paekakariki Station Museum he curated the museum's exhibition about three local Marines camps, A friend in Need: the Paekakariki story. He also promotes local history through adult education courses, bus tours, talks and contributing to a heritage trail. Anthony is Chair of the Paekakariki Station Precinct Trust and created the Marines exhibition at the Station Museum.
John Porter (Historian)
John came to live in Paekakariki as an 8 year old. He was present in 1942 when the Marines rolled into town and has had a long-time interest in keeping Marines history alive in the village. John has given 60 years’ service to the Paekakariki Surf Lifesaving Club, including six years as President. He has had a lengthy association with Queen Elizabeth Park and is currently Deputy Chair of the Friends of the Park. He is also a member of the Guardians of Whareroa Farm and was part of the group who fought to keep the farm in public ownership. He is a former Deputy Chair of the Paekakariki Community Board.
A former secondary teacher specialising in the Social Sciences, he has lived in the Kapiti area for over forty years. He has written a number of history and geography textbooks and assignments, and is currently the Associate Editor of the Kapiti Independent News. He has a strong interest in the on-going development of conservation and pathways in the district, notably in the areas where the three American camps were located during the early 1940s. As keen members of the Kapiti Joggers and Walkers, he and his wife Pam, are coordinators of the annual In the Footsteps of the Marines event.
Jennifer has worked in the Primary and Tertiary Education sectors as a teacher, trainer, radio broadcaster, resource writer, editor, manager of distance education programmes and project manager – over the past 48 years. She now works part time for Victoria University in Wellington.
She has lived in Raumati on the Kapiti Coast for 18 years with husband Anthony Dreaver. She is a long-distance grandma to grandchildren in London and Canberra and supports a number of local oganisations as a volunteer – in particular the Paekakariki Station Precinct Trust and the Friends of Kapiti Library.
Sue Harris (Treasurer)
Sue Harris is a staunch community person with a strong background in business, tourism and community development. She moved to Kapiti five years ago from Methven where she lived for 20 years running her own business: Methven Motels and Holiday Homes.
Sue was on the Governing Board for the $4 million Methven Alpine and Agricultural Centre. And also developed 21 Residential Sections and built an 11 unit motel.
She set up Methven Mall Craft Shop using local crafts people and held a number of positions on the Methven Mt Hutt District Promotions Association. She was also involved with the Methven Summer School, on the committee of the Methven Community Focus Education group and served on the Methven Community Board for two terms.
Sue set up the Methven La Leche League and was Group leader for five years as well as being Canterbury Westland treasurer and Coordinator for the South Island Conference of La Leche NZ. She is a former treasurer of the Methven Hockey Club and fulfilled a number of roles on the Methven Playcentre Committee.
Sue started as a volunteer with the Kapiti U.S.Marines Trust through Volunteer Kapiti and is now Treasurer of the Trust. She also undertakes a range of other volunteer work in the District.
She is a member of the Kapiti Club – her leisure activities are: grandchildren, travelling, golf, gym, walking, reading and genealogy.
Joan Ellis (Life Member)
Joan Ellis (Te Atiawa,Ngati Kahungnunu) is an historian and author. She was a foundation member of the Trust and was awarded Life Membership of the organisation in recognition of her service and commitment.
Educated at Sacred Heart College Lower Hutt Joan has worked as an office administrator and restaurateur. She studied weaving in UK, designing and creating a collection of colourful wall hangings and rugs in the 70's and 80's.
In 1993, Joan began researching the history of U.S.Marines stationed in Wellington from 1942-1943. This culminated in the production of two books A String of Pearls and Follow Me Back in Time - documenting stories from veteran Marines and New Zealanders. Visit Joan's website Joan.