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Veterans of the Arctic Convoys 1941 - 1945

Wellington Waterfront Memorial May 2017

Memorial Plaque dedicated to the Arctic Convoys,
Wellington, New Zealand : 9 May 2017

Wellington Waterfront
Memorial May 2015

Saturday 9 May 2015

The annual ceremony on the Wellington waterfront to commemorate those who lost their lives on the convoys to the Northern Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel took place on Saturday 9 May 2015.

After an introduction by Chris King, President of the Russian Convoy Club of New Zealand, the Russian Ambassador Valery Tereshchenko spoke of the sacrifices made by the Allies during the war years. A very smart Honour Guard of young members of WW2 Soviet naval infantry re-enactors dressed in period Soviet Navy uniforms was in attendance.

Wreathes were laid by the Ambassador, Rear Admiral (Rtd) Ian Hunter on behalf of the NZ Returned and Services Association, Ian Dymock and John Forsyth on behalf of the Merchant Navy, Stan Welch and Bill Megennis on behalf of the Russian Convoy Club of NZ. After the official wreathes other attendees were invited to lay their floral tributes.To end the proceedings the "Ode" was recited in Maori by Rear Admiral (Rtd) David Ledson and in English by Chris King.

Presentation : 70th Anniversary Medal

Friday 10 April 2015

Members of the Russian Convoy Club of New Zealand assembled at the Russian Embassy in Wellington to be awarded the 70th Anniversary Medal presented by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to New Zealand.

Merchant Navy Day, Nelson

30 August 2014

RCCNZ President Chris King attending Merchant Navy Day at the Nelson War Memorial on 30 August 2014 where he had been invited to address the gathering

Wellington Waterfront
Memorial Day May 2014

9 May 2014

Images show members and guests of the Russian Convoy Club of New Zealand attending the annual commemoration on Friday 9 May 2014 alongside the memorial plaque on the Wellington Waterfront. Attendees included Ambassador Valery Tereshchenko and Chris King, President of the RCCNZ (bottom right).

Wellington Waterfront
Memorial Day May 2013

Image (above left) shows Nikolay Barabanov, Deputy Head of Mission at the Russian Embassy with Lt Cmdr Phil Rowe, Captain of HMNZS Wellington at present visiting her home port, and several of his crew. The Skipper laid a wreath (above right) alongside those from the Russian Embassy, laid by the Ambassador Valery Tereshchenko, the Russian Convoy Club of New Zealand laid by Syd Wells and Derek Whitwam, the Merchant Navy Association laid by Ian Dymock and John Forsyth and the Royal New Zealand Navy laid by Commodore Dean McDougall. In addition, as a welcome guest attending the ceremony was Lt Daniel Fletcher of the Royal Canadian Navy

Presentation : Medal of Ushakov : Russian Embassy

Awarded for Bravery and Courage in Naval Theatres.

The Medal of Ushakov is awarded to sailors of the Navy and the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation for bravery and courage displayed in defence of and the public interests of the Russian Federation in naval theatres of military operations, while protecting the state borders of the Russian Federation, in carrying out naval combat missions with vessels of the Navy and/or Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, during exercises and manoeuvres in the performance of military duties under conditions involving a risk to life, as well as for excellent performance in naval combat training.

The Medal of Ushakov was a Soviet military award created on March 3, 1944 by decision of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. It was named in honour of Russian admiral Fyodor Ushakov who never lost a battle and was proclaimed patron saint of the Russian Navy. The Medal of Ushakov was awarded to sailors and soldiers, petty officers and sergeants, ensigns and warrant officers of the Soviet Navy, Naval Infantry and naval units of KGB Border Troops for courage and bravery displayed both in wartime and in peacetime during the defence of the Soviet Union in naval theatres, while protecting the maritime borders of the USSR, during military duties with a risk to life.

An estimated 14,000 to 16,000 medals of Ushakov were awarded from its creation in 1944 to the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union. By Presidential Decree 442 of March 2, 1994 the Soviet Medal of Ushakov was retained in the same basic design by the Russian Federation after the dissolution of the USSR. Its statute was amended by Presidential Decrees, 19 of January 6, 1999 and 1099 of September 7, 2010.

In recognition of service during the Arctic Convoys of WW2, qualifying veterans of the Arctic Convoys resident in New Zealand were awarded this decoration at a ceremony at the Russian Embassy Wellington on Friday 14 September 2012.

Dedication of the British Memorial at Pukeahu, Wellington

The British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has unveiled a striking war memorial in Wellington as a gift from Britain. Mr Johnson, who was on a two day visit to New Zealand, presented the statue at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on 24 July 2017.

The statue -  designed by Weta Workshop -  features an intertwined oak and pōhutukawa tree, with a stained glass canopy. The silhouette of a soldier can be seen between the branches. Mr Johnson told reporters it was a symbol of the two countries' enduring friendship -  as important today as ever.

"The world is still full of threats and I'm afraid that New Zealand and Britain are going to have to continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, and we will” he said.

Members of the Russian Convoy Club of New Zealand, being veterans of the Arctic Convoys of World War 2, met with Boris Johnson at the conclusion of the dedication.

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