Meet Graham – Guide Host
What attracted you to working at the Navy Museum?
An interest in history, particularly military history as well as the opportunity for a change in profession. I was previously a museum and exhibition designer, working front of house at the Navy Museum is a change, from previously working behind the scenes to now engaging with the visitor.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Knowing visitors leave the museum with a greater knowledge about our naval history, what the navy does as well as an increased pride in our defence forces. Also getting positive feedback from visitors.
What do you enjoy least?
Explaining to relatives of ex-navy personnel who have donated items to the museum why the items are not on display and why we are not able to display all of our collection.
Name the most unexpected fact you have learnt since taking up your role at the Museum.
That Aucklanders fell for a hoax story published in the Southern Cross newspaper in February 1873, believing a Russian ship had sailed into Auckland Harbour and threatened to ransack the city. It lead to the realisation that New Zealand was ill prepared for such an eventuality and the construction of the coastal defenses at North Head and the mining station in which the museum is now located.
Name your favourite object in the Museum and explain why you chose it.
I don’t have one particular object which is my favourite because there are many which have an individual and interesting history. I do admire the model ships made by Graham Beeson, especially the Admiral Graf Spee. All the ships models are beautifully crafted and their detail is extraordinary.
What is the most memorable thing you have done since being at the Museum?
Being taken on a personal tour of one of our frigates, HMNZS Te Mana and given a live demonstration of the automatic self loading mechanism serving the main gun. Fortunately it wasn’t loaded with shells. One of the great things about working at the museum is that we often attend some of the ceremonies at the navy base and get shown around the vessels.
Name the funniest moment since you joined the Museum?
I really can’t think of any funny moments, but there are many enjoyable moments.
How do you enjoy spending your time outside work?
I am mainly interested in visual and performing arts. Photography is my main interest and I also love travelling.