Western Bay Museum Remembers Those Who Served

Western Bay Museum exhibit Paula Gaelic
Western Bay Museum Manager Paula Gaelic with the Armistice Commemoration exhibition `Those Who Served’.

The true heart of war service is reflected in the current Western Bay Museum exhibition in Katikati to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day 1918.

Those Who Served is a collection of 25 original pastel charcoal sketches by New Zealand artist Geoffrey Fuller. This is the first time Fuller’s works have been publicly displayed and it is a privilege to have the honour of showcasing them, says Western Bay Museum Manager Paula Gaelic.

The sketches of New Zealanders in both World War One and World War Two portray the human story of war as well as the genius of warfare as it was fought in the air and at sea.

The works follow the soldiers through Gallipoli, Flanders, the Northern Frontier, the Greek Campaign and Battle of Crete, to the Desert Campaigns in North Africa, the War in the Pacific, the Campaign in Italy and many battles at sea and in the air.

The drawings have been donated to Katikati Open-Air Art by the Fuller and Clarke families and are a tribute to the time, dedication and talent of Geoffrey Fuller.

Enormous care has been taken by Western Bay Museum staff to ensure each work is framed and mounted to the highest specifications to protect against atmospheric damage.

Paula is immensely proud of the standards set by the Museum – and says such meticulous care ensures the Museum establishes itself on the national stage for exhibitions such as Those Who Served.

“Western Bay people should be really proud of this museum because we do things properly. I can’t make people love museums but I can encourage people to come here and see what we do.

“For $3.74 per ratepayer a year across our district it is a small price to pay for such a great facility.”

Those Who Served opened this month in commemoration of the centennial of Armistice Day 1918-2018. The exhibition will be open until February 2019.

Geoffrey Fuller (1925-2011) was an artist across many mediums and his works included postage stamp designs for New Zealand, Niue, Tokelau Islands and the Ross Dependency in Antarctica. His many artworks are held in private and public art collections around the world.

Fuller already has a connection with Katikati. He was commissioned in 1992 by Katikati Open-Air Art to create the mural in the Main Street depicting Ossie Openshaw’s 1930s garage. The 18-square metre mural is on the same site of the original garage.

Those Who Served has been made possible through the raising of $22,000. Paula Gaelic and Steve Graveson from Katikati Open Air Art worked together to source the funding and produce the exhibition. Funding came from Katikati Open-Air Art; Bay Trust; Katikati RSA Homewood Trust; Katikati Rotary and the Western Bay Museum.