Every year around ANZAC Day the North Shore Labour Electorate Committee puts on the Jack Lyon Memorial Lecture. Jack Lyon was a Labour MP in the First Labour Governnent and the Member for Waitemata which back then covered the North Shore. He gave up his seat in Parliament and volunteered to fight in World War Two. He was killed by German fire in the evacuation of Crete. Jack Lyon was a left wing social democrat, and an internationalist who gave his life fighting fascism.
This year’s speaker is celebrated film maker Gaylene Preston. Gaylene will show excerpts from two of her recent films and talk about how we remember the war, and what exactly we are trying to remember. War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us, and Home By Christmas (trailer above) were inspired by Gaylene’s parents’ stories of their wartime experience. Home By Christmas with the wonderful Tony Barry playing Gaylene’s Dad, brings to life the Kiwi wartime experience; the young man heading off to fight and his family left behind to wait. War Stories is pure oral history, with Kiwi women telling moving and often hilarious stories of their war.
The Jack Lyon lecture series is a way to remember and celebrate what Jack Lyon stood for, and what he died for. Each year the lecture deals with a different aspect of war and peace and national identity. The inaugural speaker was Hon Bob Tizard who served in WW2 and later as a Cabinet Minister in the 3rd and 4th Labour Governments. The next year military historian Glyn Harper talked about the battles of the Western Front and how WW1 shaped modern New Zealand. Last year Moriori leader Maui Solomon talked about the ancient peace culture of the Moriori.
If you want to come along and hear Gaylene Preston tell war stories, book your ticket ($20) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 09 445 6178. The event is at 5pm this Sunday 22 April, 1st floor, 7 The Strand, Takapuna.