On this page you will find out about events and exhibitions that are happening at the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum.
Our latest exhibition goes ‘Behind the Scenes’ with the the care and conservation of our collection. Get an insight into the factors including:Light, pests, environmental pollutants, chemical pollutants and handling that can affect the condition of an object.
From Signals to Romance Novels
Editing the book, 75 Years of Memories – about Women in the Royal New Zealand Navy wasn’t Anne Hine’s first foray into the world of publishing. With nine romance novels to her name, Anne definitely knows her away around a book. Dreams of writing weren’t on her mind when she joined the Wrens in 1970 as a young 17 year old from Colac Bay, near Riverton in Southland.
What attracted you to working at the Navy Museum?
My role is a combination of some of my favourite things – working with people, working with history, and constantly learning myself. Previously I worked at the Imperial War Museum in London, including on board HMS Belfast, a Second World War light cruiser, so my interest in all things naval goes back a little way too. I feel very fortunate to have a job which combines all of these things, especially in such beautiful surroundings.
What attracted you to work at the Navy Museum?
When I applied in 2007 I had just completed a Masters in Military History so I thought that my skills were complementary to the Museum. I remember going for the interview, and being called back an hour later and asked how soon I could start. I spent the first three months working at the Museum and finishing off my role as Student President at Massey Albany.
A visit to the home of Graham and Fay Beeson is a visual feast for the eyes. Graham is a model ship builder of some repute, having built around 25 models over the last 60 years.
Five of Graham’s model Navy ships are on display at the Navy Museum, with the remainder on show at his home on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, North of Auckland. Graham’s wife Fay is extremely supportive of her husband’s passion but leaves it up to him to do the ‘dusting’ of his collection of models.
This exhibition told of the only time in World War One where the battle fleets of the two largest navies in the world met.
Proof of premeditated murder or merely publicity hoopla? This medallion may seem innocuous at first glance but in fact it was a propaganda tool used by both the Germans and the Allies during the First World War.
The sinking of RMS Lusitania was a significant event in WWI. The German torpedoing of the passenger liner in the Irish Sea on 7 May 1915, with the loss of 1198 lives, caused outrage amongst the allied nations and was a factor in prompting America to enter the war. Germans argued that the ship was fair-game as it was carrying war munitions and was travelling in a declared “war zone”; they had even issued warnings to passengers beforehand not to travel on the Lusitania.
In August 1915, a few months after the sinking of the Lusitania, a medal was designed by the German artist, Karl Goetz, as a satirical attack on the Cunard Line for trying to continue business as usual during wartime. One side shows a skeleton selling tickets with the words “Business above all”; the other side depicts the ship sinking with the deck laden with guns with the words “No Contraband!”. The date was incorrectly added as 5 May 1915 which Goetz later put down to an error in a newspaper story.
This small mistake led to further controversy. News of the medal was picked up by the British Foreign Office who, believing it in their interests to keep US citizens aware of German actions and attitudes, sent photographs to the Americans. In the US, the story was widely promulgated, including the false report that the medal was awarded to the U-boat crew, and, due to the incorrect date on this medal, conspiracy theories were put forward that the sinking was premeditated.
The British Propaganda Office saw that the situation could be used for their own purposes and generated a reproduction medal in 1916 which was sold with a propaganda leaflet to develop anti-German feeling. It was estimated 250,000 were sold. This medallion is one of the British reproductions.
“On the morning after the battle”, my father said, “sailors they left their battle posts to breathe, and found items they would keep as souvenirs of that day of fire and steel. Steel is what they collected, pieces of shrapnel with strange appearance, that had left traces of the impacts of the artillery.”