BOOK LAUNCH - 8TH OCTOBER 2018
The Auckland War Memorial Museum - Pou Maumahara/Memorial Discovery Gallery
About 70 people attended including a large delegation of Belgians living in New Zealand, representatives of the Passchendaele Society, the Museum staff, the Hansen family and the general public. Former long-term New Zealand Prime Minister, Jim Bolger officiated and the Belgian Consul to Auckland, Lisbeth Jacobs made a few remarks thanking the author for revealing the bravery of the Belgian civilians in the Great War who at great risk to their lives had assisted escaped and marooned Allied soldiers. The author, Dr. Kenneth Baker, spoke of the research in which he identified the names of over one thousand Belgian citizens living under the German occupation who helped Allied soldiers, what they did and how they did it, and some of the surprise findings. Sir Don McKinnon, former Secretary-General of the British Commonwealth and Bob Davis, the President of the Passchendaele Society also spoke. On behalf of the Hansen Family, Eric Hansen, grandson of Bert Hansen whose memoirs provided the principal story-line for the book, also spoke to the audience.