What attracted you to working at the Navy Museum?
I have always enjoyed military history and back in my native Scotland I had worked at a few Military history establishments including Edinburgh Castle and the National Museum of Flight. So when I saw the job advertised I jumped at the opportunity to get on board.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy interacting with the public, showing people the wonderful history of the Royal New Zealand Navy and also learning from the many veterans that visit us.
What do you enjoy least?
I have been here for a year now and so far there is nothing that springs to mind that I do not enjoy. If I had to pick something it would be sparrows flying around the museum and not being able to get out.
Name the most unexpected fact you have learnt since taking up your role at the Museum
Of the many amazing facts I have learned since working here two stick out the most. Firstly that a Scotsman David Luckie tricked the population of Auckland into believing they were under attack from a Russian Man-o-War ship called ‘Kaskowiski’ in 1873. Secondly that HMNZS Kiwi resorted to ramming the Japanese Submarine I-1 during the Battle of Kamimbo Bay during World War 2.
Name your favourite object in the Museum and explain why you chose it.
I enjoy learning about all the artefacts within the museum. My favourite is probably the BREN gun we have in our weapons cabinet. During lockdown I did a project which ended up being a 50 page slideshow about the BREN gun and was just fascinated by its versatility and accuracy and how long it was in service for 1930’s till 2006 around the world, incredible.
What’s the most memorable thing you have done since being at the Museum?
Sitting next to Former Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Ledson during the 10th anniversary of the Museum evening function. Helping BCT’s (Basic Common Training) recruits understand and process the history of the Navy. And the most memorable thing for me was meeting Sir Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford. The museum is such a wonderful place and you always get to meet and interact with such amazing people.
Name the funniest moment since you joined the Museum?
We received a visit from a very special guest Beryl Harris nee Bradley who had joined the Women’s Royal New Zealand Naval Service WRNZN’s in 1943. She had me in stitches talking about her experience of Americans in New Zealand during World War 2. What a remarkable lady!
How do you enjoy spending your time outside work?
I love exploring my beautiful new home of New Zealand, hiking (what we call tramping in Scotland), visiting other historical sites around the country, love watching as much rugby as I can and generally being in the outdoors enjoying as much of the warm weather as I can.