French memorial unveiled by Minister Darrieussecq [fr]
Mrs. Geneviève Darrieussecq, Minister of State attached to the Minister for the Armed Forces, unveiled the French Memorial, Le Caligramme, with Hon. Andrew Little, Minister of Justice and Courts and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations on May 4 at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of World War I, Mrs. Geneviève Darrieussecq, Minister of State attached to the Minister for the Armed Forces, was in Wellington from May 3rd to May 5th for an official visit focused on commemorating France and New Zealand’s shared history.
On Friday, May 4th 2018 she unveiled with Hon. Andrew Little, “Le Calligramme”, the French memorial at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.
The ceremony started at 10.00am with a karanga and was followed by official speeches and the reading by students from Wellington College of the poem entitled “Chant de l’honneur” by Guillaume Apollinaire in French, English and Maori.
Designed by Patterson Associates, the memorial is engraved with verses of this tribute to WW1 young soldiers who fought in the trenches and its Maori answer Haere whakamua, titiro whakamuri that broadly translates as “walking into the future, with our eyes wide open to the past”.
In her speech, Minister Darrieussecq emphasized the heavy price paid by New Zealand during the war and she described this inauguration as a significant rapprochement between France and New Zealand.
These four years of commemoration will culminate on 11 November 2018 when, as announced by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, 80 countries will meet in France on the occasion of the Paris Peace Forum.
The First World War was a major traumatic experience for France, New Zealand and the entire world . But the war was also an occasion for people of different nationalities to meet and exchange, and for countries to forge bonds that would last beyond the atrocities.
New Zealand and France have an enduring friendship forged as allies during two World wars; Today, our two countries continue to work together to promote shared democratic values and principles, multilateralism, a rule-based international order and the sustainability of the planet and its people. We look at the future with our eyes wide open to the past.
As close neighbours in the Pacific, shared strategic, defence and security, environmental and development interests underpin our cooperation in this region. Our strong people to people links reflect a passion for our respective cultures.
On April 16, Prime Minister Ardern met with President Macron in Paris. After a fruitful discussion, they released a joint declaration that underlines the value and ambition of our bilateral relationship into the future.
A calligram is a word or piece of text where the design and layout of the letters create a visual image related to the meaning of the words themselves. The Memorial is a gift from France to New Zealand. This monument is a testimony to the fraternity forged between our two countries since the First World War. (Download a printable version of the map Pukeahu National War Memorial Park)