French soldiers’ museum seeks funding

Don McKinnon
Don McKinnon
A French museum dedicated to New Zealand soldiers who fought in World War 1 is seeking funds from local bodies around New Zealand.

Last week, it was the Dunedin City Council’s turn, as Sir Don McKinnon appeared via Zoom to argue the museum’s case.

The proposed museum is to be built in the town of Le Quesnoy, which was liberated from German troops by the New Zealand Division in November 1918.

Cr Steve Walker asked what benefits Dunedin ratepayers would see from the project.

Sir Don said it was important for New Zealand visitors to have a place to go to remember the fallen soldiers.

"We cannot compete against your pipes and roads and the demands of your ratepayers; maybe I’m saying we’re looking for the small change that falls behind your couch."

Funding from the central government for World War 1 commemorations had been used up in the centenary of the battle of Passchendaele, Sir Don said.

"We didn’t do much for the first 100 years, but we’re going to make up for it with the second 100 years."

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