Workmen didn’t take long to cotton on
Red socks were out in force at the Maritime Museum on Friday to pay tribute to one of the country’s greatest sailors.
Workers on the construction site of the Blue Water Black Magic exhibit hall, a tribute to Sir Peter Blake, donned their brightest pairs of toe-warmers to remember the sailor.
Work on the $9.5 million project began in October last year and is on schedule for completion in June, followed by the installation of exhibition pieces.
The finished building will house an exhibition of New Zealand’s boating history leading up to the America’s Cup and will be a tribute to Sir Peter Blake’s achievements.
In keeping with Sir Peter’s wish that it become part of a national collection, the seven-storey extension of the museum will also house the winning NZL32 Black Magic yacht.
Maritime Museum chairman Alistair Aitken says the exhibition will even feature a pair of Sir Peter’s own red socks, donated by Lady Pippa Blake.
He says it is amazing that something as simple as a pair of red socks galvanised the whole nation during the 1995 America’s Cup.
It started out as a basic item and turned into a global scale icon.
“I don’t know that this type of connection has been made with any other sporting event.”
He says the Blue Water Black Magic exhibition is not just about Sir Peter himself but about what he symbolised through his work for environmental awareness.
Almost 15 years after the victory of 1995, red socks have become more than just a lucky charm.
School children across the country this week will be wearing red socks to celebrate their knowledge of marine ecosystems gained through the Care for our Coast programme.
The initiative, inspired by Sir Peter, aims to develop young environmental leaders to continue his work improving the state of oceans and waterways.
Sir Peter Blake Trust general manager Vicki Watson says it’s encouraging to see a new generation of New Zealanders wearing red for a cause Sir Peter was so passionate about.
“Care for our Coast aims to encourage schools and communities to pick up Sir Peter’s mantle to protect New Zealand’s coastline which is the eighth longest in the world.”
Since the programme launch in 2004, more than 9000 people have been collecting 160,000 pieces of rubbish from 35 beaches.
Lucky day: Workers at the Blue Water Black Magic exhibit show their tribute to Sir Peter Blake.