Bomber vet­er­ans

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - From P1

The San­dring­ham res­i­dent says it was sheer luck that he re­turned to New Zealand with a new wife and son af­ter the war and the memo­rial ser­vice means a lot to the vet­er­ans still alive to­day, as well as their fam­i­lies.

A small group of Bomber Com­mand vet­er­ans meet weekly at Mo­tat as ser­vice vol­un­teers, and have done so for at least 20 years.

They are part of a ded­i­cated team re­spon­si­ble for bomber mem­o­ra­bilia at Mo­tat, in­clud­ing the restora­tion of a Lan­caster.

The idea for a memo­rial was ini­ti­ated by Bomber Com­mand As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Bill Simp­son and driven by ad­min­is­tra­tor Peter Wheeler, who wrote a book about the Bomber Com­mand in 2005.

The memo­rial’s un­veil­ing fol­lows a dis­pute over the per­ma­nent home of the memo­rial.

Vet­er­ans hoped it would be housed within the mu­seum’s hall of mem­o­ries, but mu­seum bosses said it was too big to be per­ma­nently in­stalled there.

The $100,000 memo­rial de­signed by Weta Work­shop fea­tures a crew of seven sculpted out of bronze and set in mar­ble clouds.

The un­veil­ing will take place at 11am on Sun­day in the Hall of Mem­o­ries be­fore be­ing per­ma­nently in­stalled by the Spit­fire Gallery en­trance.

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