Rau rangatira mā, e kui mā, e koro mā, e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou. Kia ora tātou katoa.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, warm greetings to you all.
I specifically acknowledge: Hon Jo Goodhew, Minister of the Crown; Rachel Selby, Chair of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and the trustees present today - tēnā korua.
I’m Greg Baughen, Official Secretary of Government House. As you may know, the Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae is unable to be here this afternoon as he’s travelling to Turkey to represent New Zealand at the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Chunuk Bair. His Excellency has asked me to welcome you all here on his behalf and also to deputise for him as speaker.
New Zealand’s Governors-General have always had a close association with the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Sir Bernard Fergusson was the Chairman of the interim Board of Trustees which awarded the first Churchill fellowships in this country and every Governor-General since has been patron. That continued patronage is a sign of the high esteem in which the work of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is held.
In the 50 years since the Trust was formed, it has enabled more than 800 New Zealanders to travel overseas to undertake valuable research. Hundreds of thousands more New Zealanders have benefitted from what those Fellows discovered during their time away. The research that has been undertaken covers an incredible range of subjects and Fellowships have gone to people as various as actors, engineers, business people and nuns. That’s a fairly random cross-section of people and underlines the work the Trust does to uphold the mantra of “extraordinary experiences for ordinary people”.
Looking at the 24 fellows gathered here this afternoon, I think the phrase “ordinary people” might be underselling them somewhat. I would like to pass on to you congratulations from the Governor-General. It is very special that your formal acknowledgement as a Churchill Fellow should come during the Trust’s 50th anniversary year. Your research trip and reports may be all done but the things you have learned during your Fellowship will continue to inform your work and enrich the various communities you work in for a long time to come. As Winston Churchill himself once said “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”