History has come to life in Wairoa

It was a real honour to join Mayor Craig Little, Deputy Mayor Denise Eaglesome Karekare, HBRC Councillor Fenton Wilson, NZ Defence Force personnel, local Maori and other dignitaries on Saturday morning for the launch of the new Touch-tables that bring to life the stories of the over-900 Wairoa men and women who serviced in World War One.

Liz Greenslade, Denis Monroe, Sue Fenton and the team from Salute Wairoa have done a fantastic job of raising the required money to purchase the first Touch-Table from the States. Then Andrew from Curve Technology employed good old Kiwi can-do and built another Touch Table that is even better than the original. He then developed the software that has bought to life the personalities, experiences and stories of the ordinary everyday people who were called upon to fight for King and country in foreign lands over 100 years ago.

I have always believed that it is important to understand a community’s history in order to determine where it fits in the world in the 21st century. This project and these Touch Tables certainly tell a very important tale about where Wairoa has come from and digs deep into the people who made Wairoa great.

While I would urge anyone who hasn’t seen the Touch Table to make a trip to the museum in order to experience something special (and perhaps learn about your family), I would also encourage anyone with WWI memorabilia to either gift or loan it to your museum. From what I have seen over the years, any gift will be treasured and cared for in a way that befits the history and provenance of the item.

Once again, huge congratulations for yet another innovation that proves we can lead the way from Wairoa.

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