What attracted you to working at the Navy Museum?
What attracted me to the Navy Museum was the diverse and interesting history of naval activity in New Zealand; from when it was a Division of the Royal Navy and from 1941, when it became the Royal New Zealand Navy, up to the Navy we see operating today.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Meeting visitors and showing them around the museum. Also, working with a team of like minded and motivated people. I particularly enjoy meeting and talking to veterans and relatives of veterans who served in the past.
What do you enjoy least?
Those afternoons when there are fewer visitors.
Name the most unexpected fact you have learnt since taking up your role at the Museum
Learning about the New Zealanders that died on HMS Neptune in December, 1941 after it hit mines and sank off the Libyan coast. All but one of the 764 crew perished, including all 150 New Zealand sailors.
Name your favourite object in the Museum and explain why you chose it.
The ditty box (commodity box) belonging to Terence Hutchins. Like most crew on ships in the Navy of the 1930s, he had a lockable ditty box to keep personal items in. Things such as shaving gear, letters, toothbrush, pipe, tobacco, momentoes etc. Terence Hutchins joined the Navy in 1933 and was on HMS Achilles when it encountered the German pocket battleship, Admiral Graf Spee off the River Plate in December, 1939. Sadly, Hutchins died in Port Vila, Vanuatu, in 1942 during an appendicitis operation and was buried there.
What’s the most memorable thing you have done since being at the Museum?
Taking families of veterans around the museum and talking to them about their relative, what ship they served on and life was like for them in the Navy of the day.
Name the funniest moment since you joined the Museum?
It’s not really a funny moment, but I often smile when I see the kids dressed up in the naval uniforms and hats.
How do you enjoy spending your time outside work?
Walking the dog with my wife, gardening, reading and writing.