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10-May-2019

Special Accordion Commemorates ANZAC Day – New Zealand

Mosaic accordion
Mosaic accordionMosaic accordionThe Dargaville Museum Te Whare Taonga o Tunatahi in New Zealand recently unveiled a new exhibit, a unique, but stunning ANZAC Accordion by Dargaville based mosaic artist Kim Harrison (picture below with Kevin Friedrich). Commissioned by Kevin Friedrich, the accordion is a tribute to all New Zealand servicemen and women.

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day. The New Zealand Government's Ministry of Culture and Heritage states: New Zealand soldiers distinguished themselves with their courage and skill, establishing an enduring bond with the Australians they fought alongside.

Great suffering was caused to a small country by the loss of so many of its young men. However, the 1915 Gallipoli campaign showcased attitudes and attributes - bravery, tenacity, practicality, ingenuity, loyalty to King and comrades - that helped New Zealand define itself as a nation, even as it fought unquestioningly on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire.

After Gallipoli, New Zealand had a greater confidence in its distinct identity, and a greater pride in the International contribution it could make. The mutual respect earned during the fighting formed the basis of the close ties with Australia that continue today.

A national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand held annually on 25th April ANZAC Day service, broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served".

Incorporating mirrors to reflect people’s spirit, the ANZAC Accordion also includes: Red Poppy (after being inspired by the sight of Poppies growing in battle-scarred fields after the First World War, the Red Poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance); Purple Poppy (representing animals in war); White Poppy (representing all people and Peace); Black Poppy (representing anyone affected by war, including civilians); Red Cross (representing Medical personnel); Hammerhead (representing courage and strength); Wings (representing the Air Force); Rope (representing the Navy); Soldiers (representing the Army) and New Zealand Music (representing the spirit of the Maori Battalion for which the accordion was the official instrument).

The instrument is complimented by custom designed bellows from Galassi Bellows in Castelfidardo, Italy. The bellows feature three red ANZAC Poppies on one side and a collage of New Zealand published and composed sheet music pertaining to WWI and WWII on the other.

The instrument is displayed in the Dargaville Museum’s Military Exhibit and compliments the current Accordion Gems, A Master Collection of Accordions Through Time housed in the Museum’s Music Wing.
Kim and Kevin
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