Memories and memorabilia wanted

01:40, Nov 21 2012
HMS New Zealand
HMS New Zealand, the battle cruiser gifted to Britain by NZ in 1909.

An honorary naval officer for Southland is combing the community for information on the 1913 visit from the HMS New Zealand to Bluff for an anniversary exhibition next year.

Lieutenant Commander Nigel Finnerty said he was working with the Navy to find photographs, paintings, diary entries and even word-of-mouth descriptions of the visit to both Bluff and Milford Sound, which may have been viewed by up to 12,000 people that year.

June marks the 100th anniversary of the visit of the HMS, which was gifted to Great Britain and the Royal Navy in 1909, as New Zealand's contribution to the ''defence of the Empire.''

Nigel Finnerty
Lieutenant Commander Nigel Finnerty, Honorary Naval Officer for Southland.

The Navy Museum wanted to arrange a display for the anniversary of the HMS visit at the Invercargill Library and at other locations around Southland, Lieutenant Commander Finnerty said.

''Really anything we can attribute (to the visit), particularly to Bluff or Milford. It could be diary notes or photos, or even verbal information that has been passed down.''

The plan was to celebrate the anniversary by putting together an exhibit of Southland relics that could go up at the library, as well as a virtual log providing a day to day account of the visit.

While the Navy had several articles and photos they were mainly of the HMS visit to Auckland and Wellington.

Southland information can be sent to finnerty@woosh.co.nz

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The Southland Times