Lyndal Walker, Ambassador of New Zealand, among others visited the open-air exhibition Lutje Batavia. Photo: Jilmer Postma
Special ceremonies are part of the good contacts between Westerkwartier and New Zealand. Ambassador Lyndal Walker laid a wreath at Zevenhuizen.
During her visit to Zevenhuizen cemetery on Thursday afternoon, Ambassador Walker laid a wreath at the graves of her compatriot Gordon David Hudson (26) and her Canadian navigator Maurice George Gant (21).
They formed the crew of the English De Havilland
fighter-bomber that crashed near Zevenhuizen on March 27, 1945.
It was the first time that a New Zealand ambassador had visited the tomb. On a previous visit by Walker, the ceremony was still held at Opende, where six Australians and an English crew member of a large bomber are buried.
The wreath laying is an integral part of the Ambassador’s visit to the municipality, while Westerkwartier is often present at the annual New Zealand Australian Army Corps Day celebration on April 25 in The Hague.
This exchange has everything to do with the friendship between Lutjegast as the birthplace of Abel Tasman and the Tasman District in New Zealand. The last time, the municipality of Westerkwartier did not yet exist and the ambassador – whose mandate expired – remained within the municipal limits of Grootegast. Now she could go to the Zevenhuizen cemetery.
In addition to the official ceremony, Walker also stayed in the Leekster part of the municipality for a visit to the Church of Midwolde and a visit to the Nienoord Museum. For the farewell meeting the municipality gave her in the Torenkerk in Lutjegast, she also took a look at the Abel Tasman Museum, the Oudheidkamer and the Lutje Batavia open-air exhibition.
Between the inhabitants of Lutjegast and the Tasman district, but also between Walker and the mayor Ard van der Tuuk (he was also mayor of Grootegast) we get along well. Walker was involved, among other things, in the donation of a 9kg heavyweight
This traditional Maori gift of reconciliation, a green jade stone from the South Island, has been in the Lutjegast museum since late 2018. The Maori attacked Abel Tasman in 1642 when he dropped anchor. Four people were killed and Tasman fled. The reason for this was a cultural misunderstanding about the mutual use of ship horns.
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