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Sat 14 Nov 2015, 7:30pm–9:00pm

Where: Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Buckle St, Mt Cook, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages


In the year that we look back as a nation to our contribution to the Gallipoli campaign, Mothers, Daughters, Wives is a concert that focuses on those who are often left behind at times of war. The concert will be performed on the week of Armistice Day, a day where we remember not only those who have died, but also the many wives, children and family affected by conflict, both here in New Zealand, and around the world.

It is appropriate that the concert is being performed in the Hall of Memories at the National War Memorial, as this space houses not only the nation's roll of honour (the names of the nearly 30,000 New Zealand war dead), but also sculptor Lyndon Smith's statue Mother and Children, which depicts a wartime family giving one another comfort and hope in the absence of loved ones overseas.

The concert will feature pieces that reflect the states of grief, mourning and hope that women experience as they come to terms with the effects of war on their husbands, sons, fathers, uncles and brothers. These include early works such as Stabat Mater (Mary at the foot of the cross) and Mulieries Sedentes (the three Marys at the tomb of Christ), to more romantic works such as Greater Love Hath No Man, through to contemporary laments.

We will also be featuring words from New Zealand women as part of the concert, including the poems Ellen’s Vigil and Armistice Day by Lorna Staveley Anker, a Canterbury writer.

The poem Ellen's Vigil is interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior which sits on the grounds of the National War Memorial. We have been assured by her publisher that Lorna would have been honoured to be part of the commemoration of Armistice Day as all her life she worked in peace movements and for social justice.

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