Newsletter – Issue 1, December 2016

Thank you to all those who have registered with the Wahine 50 website. Welcome to the first issue of our newsletter.

Wahine Day commemoration in Wellington – 10 April 2018

Preparations for our 50th Wahine Day commemoration in Wellington – in 16 months’ time – are underway.

We’re planning:

  • a dawn service at Eastbourne with the Hutt City Council,
  • a midday event on Wellington’s waterfront with the Wellington City Council,
  • an exhibition – featuring filmed interviews of people with Wahine connections,
  • a reunion lunch for Wahine survivors, rescuers, and family members. If you would like to attend, please email the Wahine 50 Trust (include ‘reunion lunch’, your name, whether you were a survivor/rescuer, and your contact details).
  • a late-afternoon visit to the Wahine memorial at Seatoun.

It’s early days yet. We’ll keep you posted as details for the 50th anniversary solidify. In the interim, please note the date and share it with others who may be interested.

Were you on the Wahine or know of someone who was?

You’ll find on our Wahine 50 website a link to the Wahine passenger and crew list. If you were on the Wahine or know of someone who was and have information you wish to share or questions to ask, please contact us. We want to make sure all of those with a Wahine disaster connection know about the 50th anniversary so they have the opportunity to be involved.

Thank you for your stories – keep them coming

The official story of the Wahine has been well documented. When we launched our website last Wahine Day – 10 April 2016 – we included a call for your stories. We want to gather the personal stories of those most deeply affected by the events that unfolded on that wild and difficult day. We’ve been delighted by the response – an impressive and moving range of stories, transcripts, letters, as well as offers of Wahine memorabilia from survivors, rescuers, witnesses, family members and friends of those involved. The stories continue to come in. Thank you!  We’re working with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to work out the best way of capturing these stories for the longer term.

Readiness, response, rescue, and resilience

In New Zealand, we live on small islands in a vast ocean, and maritime events such as the demise of the Wahine are an ongoing reality. Vigilance and preparedness are the two things that make a community resilient. The community response to the Wahine disaster saved many, many lives. That story has a place in history, and a role in the future. It’s this story that we want to highlight on 10 April 2018. Please join us.

Best wishes for a safe summer season,

Rhys Jones
Lieutenant General (Retired)
Chair, The Wahine 50 Trust