The New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers (NZIPP) gifted 1,600 portraits of WWII veterans to the RSA to form a digital archive for New Zealand’s generations to come.
The gifting of the digital portraits, at the NZIPP Epson Iris Awards Dinner in Rotorua on Monday 4 August, is the result of NZIPP’s ambitious project to take photographic portraits of all of New Zealand’s remaining World War Two veterans.
WWII veteran Reginald W Wellington and his wife Marion from Rotorua with David Moger, RSA Chief Executive and Terry Hann, NZIPP Commercial Director to the far right.
NZIPP Commercial Director, Terry Hann, says that over 100 photographers across the country volunteered for the project and that it has been a privilege for NZIPP and members to use their profession to recognise the contribution of New Zealand’s veterans.
“Many World War Two veterans are now in their nineties and sadly some of those we have photographed have since passed away. We’ve been working hard to capture portraits before we lose more of our heroes,” says Mr Hann.
“Photographers have been welcomed into RSAs, rest homes and family homes. We’ve met incredible people and heard some remarkable stories of war. The end result is more moving than we could have imagined. The portraits are simple but extraordinarily powerful.”
RSA Chief Executive, David Moger, accepted the digital portraits on behalf of the RSA. Mr Moger says that the RSA will create a digital archive for veterans, families, communities and New Zealand’s generations to come.
“A picture is worth a thousand words and thanks to NZIPP and the veterans who took part, we now have 1,600 pictures telling individual stories of service, courage, character and life,” says Mr Moger.
“We’ll be working with NZIPP to bring this collection of images to the public. Not only through our digital archive, but through exhibitions and installations in communities throughout New Zealand.”
The NZIPP WWII Veteran Portrait Project started on Anzac Day this year with hundreds of portraits taken at RSAs across the country.
Each veteran who took part in the project will receive a presentation print of their portrait thanks to the generous support from sponsors, including Queensberry Albums, CR Kennedy and Croxley.