Yesterday, the Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine Mateparae commenced an official visit to Turkey which will culminate in the commemorations to mark the centenary of the Battle of Chunuk Bair on Saturday.
Last night the Governor-General and the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Gen The Hon Sir Peter Cosgrove attended the premier of the Gallipoli Symphony in Istanbul. The Symphony was commissioned by the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs and has been a unique collaboration, over a ten-year period, between eleven composers from New Zealand, Australia and Turkey. The New Zealand composers were Gareth Farr, Richard Nunns and Ross Harris and the performance also featured Taonga pūoro musician Horomona Horo.
On Thursday, the Governor-General and Lady Janine will attend the Australian national ceremony at Lone Pine to commemorate the centenary of the battle there which claimed over 2000 Australian lives.
The service at Chunuk Bair on Saturday 8 August marks the centenary of the Battle, which is regarded as the most significant action for the NZEF in the Gallipoli Campaign. It was part of the August offensive (6-10 August 1915) where more than 870 New Zealanders were killed.
While he is in Turkey, the Governor-General is also meeting the President of Turkey, Recep Erdoğan, and the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Ismet Yilmaz.