Wednesday November 29, 2017
Lest we forget the other By Julia Czerwonatis
The Indian and Chinese communities of New Zealand celebrated a milestone at last week’s opening of the Lest We Forget the Other exhibition at the foot of Wellington’s Carillon. It’s not only the first time in their Kiwi-based history that both ethnic communities have collaborated on a project like this but also New Zealand’s very first exhibition incorporated in a museum that tells the story of Chinese and Indian Anzacs. Dignitaries and honoured guests from the NZ Indian Central Association, the NZ Chinese Association, Ekta NZ Inc and the Sikh Foundation NZ gathered last Friday at The Great War Exhibition to celebrate this Shrandhanjli (homage) to Chinese and Indians who fought in WWI or supported the New Zealand economy with their labour. Sean Andrews is a living descendent of Chinese soldier Eang King How Chow and could supply information as well as photos of Eang. Eang, born in 1895, was the youngest child of a Gisborne business-man. With a wife and two children at home, Eang joined the war aged 21 as a rifleman in France and Belgium. He returned two years later and moved to Pukekohe with his family to become a farmer. “The exhibition looks great, and I love seeing Eang King getting the recognition,” he says at the opening carrying his ancestor’s service
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Sean Andrews, a relative of WWI soldier Eang King How Chow. Sean is wearing Eang’s service medals. PHOTO: Supplied
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medals. Independent researcher Nigel Murphy had spent hours rummaging through old archives that list names of Anzac soldiers trying to spot Chinese and Indian names. “There’s not all that much material out there,” Nigel says. “People other than Pakeha and Maori have been forgotten about for a long time. “It’s only been in the last 20 years or so that awareness for other Anzacs has been growing,” he explains. Ian Wards, curator at The Great War Exhibition, says the new temporary exhibition was a great team effort and they hoped to tour
New Zealand to tell the Anzacs’ stories to Kiwis. “The roles played by the Indian and Chinese New Zealanders in WWI are not only stories of individuals and their military service, but stories of marginalised communities contributing to the war effort despite sometimes intense and open racism,” Ian says. “Lest We Forget the Other tells these stories, which are as diverse as the soldiers themselves.” You can visit Lest We Forget the Other at the The Great War Exhibition until March 25, 2018. Entry free.
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Independent Herald 29-11-17