New Zealand High Commission Honiara, Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands stars in NZ WWII documentary
Solomon Islands features prominently in a half-hour documentary about New Zealand soldiers in World War II, screened on One Television over the weekend of 6-8 August 2010.
The screening was timed to coincide with Guadalcanal Veterans’ Day, commemorated in Solomon Islands each year on 7 August.
The programme was made earlier this year by New Zealand’s indigenous broadcaster, Maori Television. A film crew travelled to Mono Island and visited sites on Guadalcanal where New Zealanders saw action during the Solomon Islands campaign.
The crew also filmed in New Caledonia, where the soldiers trained and acclimatised before moving up to Solomon Islands.
The screening was arranged by the New Zealand High Commission in Honiara in collaboration with Maori Television, which provided the broadcasting rights free of charge.
As well as still photos and some film from the 1940s, the documentary includes recent interviews with villagers who were small children at the time the New Zealanders arrived.
“Many New Zealanders have a connection to Solomon Islands because a family member served up here in World War II,“ said High Commissioner Mark Ramsden.
“The documentary tells the story of the Kiwi soldiers and the Solomon Islanders who welcomed them and helped them in their task.”
Also appearing is 92-year old retired New Zealand Army officer Major David Williams, who is the father of the New Zealand High Commission’s Development Counsellor Barbara Williams.
“My father has vivid memories of his time in Solomon Islands during the war and often refers to the generosity of the people of Mono to the New Zealand soldiers,” said Ms Williams.