Kaye Dragicevich ~ Historian ~ Author
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A first class presentation of which Kaye can really be extremely proud. Excellent work in my view - Kaye has produced what anthropologists would term an ‘ethnography’ With refinements it could well have been presented as a thesis.  

Goy Yelavich MA (Hons), Dip Tchg
Caster Bay

Goy Yelevich and Sylvia Dean looking over a proof of A history of Awanui
Great book and must comment that despite the pain of a more expensive print the quality of the photographs in particular and the overall production far out-way that extra cost! Well done.

Don Hammond
Curator Te Ahu Heritage Museum - Kaitaia
What an amazing production!!! I was so excited when I found the parcel at the front door----just dropped everything and sat down to read –and reminisce. Our dad would have been so proud that he featured in a book about the town he loved so much.” 

Margaret Matterson (nee Spalding)  Titirangi. 

This book is a high quality pictorial history of a community in the Far North of New Zealand. Awanui has had the unique distinction of being an important hub of coastal communications from the early days of Pakeha settlement until gradually transformed into a small market town on a road transport junction, where the east coast road from the south met the main road going north from Kaitaia to Cape Reinga.  
This History of Awanui is meticulously researched and judiciously written. It is generously illustrated with high definition black and white photographs provided by many local citizens, the Far North Regional Museum and many other museums, especially from the Northwood Brothers photographic works. The author’s Willow Creek Press and Warkworth Printing have done a superb job of production. All contributors are to be warmly congratulated for their collective enterprise; this book is actually the outcome of a community project and deserves to become part of the legacy of many families and libraries nationwide.
The book is a major extension of Kaye’s earlier work, Awanui, Town of the Big River, 1850-1950. It traces the patterns of early settlement, the development of public services, clubs, businesses and institutions, outlines major historical events, and records the major families of the district. 
 The project was an act of faith with a limited initial print run, until brisk sales required a supplementary printing. It is just reward for the author’s entrepreneurial determination and home-based marketing. It also marks her emergence as a major historian of the Far North. I wish her every success in her next venture, a history of the Dalmatian people in the Far North, and invite all New Zealanders interested to support her.

Professor Reynold Macpherson PhD

I cannot believe how much I didn't know and how much I have forgotten about the town that I grew up in.
Kaye Dragicevich has done an awesome job of her second book on this topic.
It is approx 300 pages (compared to 75 in the first one) of information and memories.
A must have for all past and present Awanui residents.
Don't lend your copy to anyone you'll never get it back.

Helen Dean -  Kerikeri


Such a wonderful work you are doing, brings enjoyment, lots of memories, and no doubt a few tears as well, and allows us to step into their life and what it was like back then.

Carolyn Webb

The Gumfield Collection  & A history of Awanui
Both books arrived in good condition and beautifully packaged.
A wonderful pictorial vista of the Far North a century ago - what a treasure
for the Dalmatian community.
Well I know my grandparents lived and worked with these people and my father
was born among them so I wonder which ones they knew as I turn the pages.
I'm pleased I saved a bit of gum from a sack in 1964. My grandfather was Frank Bernsee. 
Your well produced book is already a vital heirloom, and will sell out.

Charles Brasell

Thank you for the wonderful book on behalf of George, myself and our family - and to let you know it arrived safely. 
I am sure it will be a valuable source of history for generations to come. 
Your work is truly appreciated.

Warm regards
George and Olga Yuretich
The Gumfield Collection is a total winner, once word gets out amongst Dalmatians for a start they will be scrambling for a copy like I did. You are no doubt experiencing that already. Goes much further than a normal book, it has the x factor.. Photography is brilliant, as I turn each page I love the fact I'm visually transported so vividly back to a time I've heard so much about. Have a few books on early Dalmatian history in NZ and slightly later but this is the best I have come across for this era, not only for its comprehensive and interesting content but for its appeal to the wider sector. It is a valuable educational resource.

Mara Burich  
You do a wonderful job which is nice for us to see but equally it gives a bridge to our grandchildren and beyond for the future.

Mike Tolich

I am having a ball reading The Gumfield Collection and discovering relatives of mine in many of the photos. I found a great grandfather and grandfather together in one photo as well as others of interest. I have passed on your information to other relatives who might like to purchase your book. 

Your book is one of the best collated history books to come to hand. It is worthy of a movie and shows the true determination of the men who left their homeland to create a better future in a faraway land. It makes me realise how few hardships we have endured over the years since, because these hard working men paved the way for us all to have a better life – we salute them and I personally salute my father Ivan (Surkic) Batistic and ancestors Jakov (Surkic) Batistic and Nickola (Surkic) Batistic who all worked in the Gum Fields. My father Ivan is not featured in any of the photos, however Jakov and Nickola are – a real treasure. Thank you for putting together a masterpiece.

Hazel Greve nee Batistic

 The Gumfield Collection
 A History of Awanui
Pioneer Dalmatian Settlers of the Far North
What a fantastic book, I can't get my nose out of it. Having been born at Wainui,  had my school holidays up there, family up there, taught up there, and finally married and brought up our little ones up there, we know and love the Far North so much. To read the history of the people we know and love so much is really something special. Kaye has done so much research, its unbelieveable and so beautifully told as a story. Thank you for all your hard work so others can enjoy this story of the Tarara. Love being one. 
Much love and appreciation.

Pamela Foster - Auckland 

I would also like to thank Kaye Dragicevich and all of her helpers for putting together the Pioneer Dalmatian settlers of the far north book.
Its absolutely brilliant, informative and something to treasure always. 
We love it.
Gayle Burrows  - Auckland

Hi Kaye - what a surprise to come home to my book at the doorstep and what a beautiful book recording all the history - so well laid out and easy to read. And what wonderful photos - I can share all with my grandchildren.
Thank you ever so much for putting this important historical information together in such a beautiful book !
Best Wishes
Christine (Fredatovich)  -  Auckland

 I received my books today just awesome have been "hugging " them most of the day the stories I have read are truly amazing we will be forever indebted to you Kaye this book will be treasured by our familys for many years THANK YOU SO MUCH
Gaylene Brooker-Hughes  - Tauranga

Thank you and all your helpers for producing this amazing book, a history which will not be lost for our children, grandchildren and generations to come, a credit to you all, and family's who provided nostalgia of their parents and families. "Hvala Puna".💐📓
Jessie Devcich  Warkworth

Thank you for all the work you have put into this book Kaye Dragicevich - it looks amazing & I look forward to meeting you on Saturday! 😊😊
Linda Venables -  Auckland

Thank you so much for this amazing book. Am so loving just dipping and reading. So interesting for this nz/Irish girl and not even a local.
Margaret Tolladay - Far North

Thank you, Kaye, for my copy of Pioneer Dalmatian settlers of the far North... just love it so many amazing stories and photos of all these amazing people and their lives, will be treasured, you must be very proud Thank you
Kathy Yelavich - Cambridge

Enjoyed the morning so much. Lovely to see so many familiar faces. What a treasure we have in Kaye's book -many many thanks to everyone who put this all together ! Wish I could have stayed longer. Bonus to spend time with my bestie from Kaitaia College! (XOXOX)
Ima Reid  - Kaingaroa

I've just been perusing over the new book and it's fantastic! So many lovely stories and wonderful photos. Thank you Kaye, this is going to be a very important family treasure for us. You and Frank should be so proud!
Angela Zidich Ward - Kaitaia

I just had the 2 books delivered I am so excited 😆 I shall be reading all weekend. It feels and looks amazing. So proud of you. All your hard research has paid off. Thank you so much from the Urlich family. 💝
Maria Eichmann - Auckland

Kaye Dragicevich I just cant put down my copy of your book Pioneer Dalmatian Settlers, it is absolutely fantastic, so well written, and the first 3 stories I read have made me cry, I am lost beyond words to describe how incredible this book is, well done to you and all your hard work over the last 4 years Kaye..... People, if you havent ordered a copy, do so today, you wont regret it, it is magnificent ....thank you Kaye for all your hard work.
Toni Burren -  Kaitaia

We agree the book was well written. We cant stop reading the stories. It will be a book my children will treasure always. My parents were two beautiful people and to be included in the book was such a pleasure with photos you included as well. Thank you.
Maud Juranovich - Auckland
Yesterday I was both honoured and excited to highly and urgently recommend to our Principal - Mr Jack Saxon that we must purchase a book. After my 'feedback' he told me to order two copies! - 1 x for our Social Sciences faculty and the other for our library - What a taonga for every NZ home that have Tarara connections. The photographs and additional history give us all something ..that money can't buy! So thank you and the team for your 'gift' to the nation.
May you continue to have the energy, drive, enthusiasm and eyesight to continue writing our local history. I look forward to hearing about your next 'challenge.'

Mareea Paitai - Kaitaia College Careers/Counsellor/Scholarships

”The Gumfields”is the best publication I have had the pleasure to read so far on the fascinating, though often difficult, life of our Dalmatian forefathers in the gumfields of the Far North. Meticulously researched and vividly presented with unique photos and other evidence of life in those days, this book is a rare historical gem. Thank you Kaye for your fantastic work, as well as for including a photo of my great uncle Mick Martinac. This is the first time I saw his face.”

Ivo Martinac
Kungsholmsgaton 20

My family and I have immensely enjoyed both your books on early settlers and Gumfields. Some of the stories and photos still send shivers down my spine when I re read and re look at them.

Ivan Vodanovich
Vodanovich Law Kumeu.

Your book arrived safely and what a gem you've put together! It will be a family taonga for years to come.
Nga Mihi
Donna Kuljish

So pleased this book is available again. My uncle, Nick Tordeich lent me his copy. Has photos of both my Great Grandfather on my mother's side and grandfather on my dad's side who both dug gum in the Northern Wairoa. My family roots are firmly planted on Korcula, specifically Zornovo.  

Janice Angus

For the Far North native or the new resident, Kaye Dragicevich's books are essential guides to modern local history, and especially to the Dalmatian people who did much of the hard work. All are worth reading, but if I have to choose one book, it would be her new "The Gumfields - Northern Wairoa to the Far North." Each picture of the lavishly illustrated volume tells something you may not otherwise have known about this place. The exhaustive indexing is as easy to use and valuable to the casual reader as to the working scholar.

Bill Guthrie
Consulting Archaeologist
It is truly not an exaggeration to tell you that I am thrilled to own this. So many parallels of the Far North immigrants and those here to the Pacific Northwest. I am so impressed that you put this opus together in such a relatively short span of years. I hope that someday, someone here can do as fine a tribute to this corner of the world. I hope that someday our paths will cross. Your work in preserving our heritage is so important, and so valued.
 I knew absolutely nothing about the gumfields and the gum industry before reading your book, and your interweaving of the New Zealand story with the Croatian story is very well done, a good model for other regional histories that feature their immigrant citizens. Truly loved the inclusion of details like the passport, which I know resonates with many of our PNW Croatians as so many hail from Dalmatia. Ephemera like that really makes our history come alive, as do the sad stories like the one of the young immigrant who ended his life, a letter from home found at his side. There is great stuff for a screenplay here!

Mary Sudar Acker
Member of Croatian Heritage and Genealogy
Port Orchard Washington

Pioneer Dalmatian Settlers of the Far North traces the lives of men and women from Croatia’s central Dalmatian coast and Adriatic islands who migrated to New Zealand from the end of the 19th century onwards. This book is foregrounded by a description of the social and political situation in Dalmatia at the time. At the end of the 19th century, many had to leave the region due to diseased grapevines and other crops, and others left fearing the gathering storm clouds of World War I.  

The book gives information about life in Dalmatia one hundred years ago and tells of the ‘final farewells’ that occurred before the departure of the pioneers to the other side of the world.  There are detailed stories of over two hundred families, with information about their circumstances back home, how they made the journey, who they travelled with, and how they made a home and found work in the Far North. Early on, many of the men worked in the gumfields extracting kauri gum – a back-breaking job, but one of the few open to young, and otherwise unskilled young men. Their homes were rustic stantys made from sacking stretched over a ti-tree frames, vastly different to the stone and shingled roofed houses they had lived in on the Adriatic coast or islands. The Dalmatian settlers continued well-known traditions from home: fishing, grape- and fruit-growing, wine-making, playing soccer, singing klapa songs and making music with tambura. And they added some new ones to their repertoire like rugby, beauty pageant competitions and sheep grazing. Between the lines, one can sense the uncertainty and trepidation that any newly-arrived person must have felt arriving in a foreign country. 

What is evident is the determination and the desire of the settlers and their children and grandchildren to make the most of the opportunities that life in New Zealand presented them. 

Kaye Dragicevich has succeeded in not only providing a rich and vivid account of the early pioneer Dalmatian settlers. She has written an engaging description of everyday life in the Far North, and more generally of New Zealand society over the last century. It's a tremendous book and evidence of a lot of hard work.

Dr Jim Hlavac 
School of School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, Monash University

Kaye Dragicevich's comment that her book Pioneer Dalmatian Settlers of the Far North contains the "stories of some 200 Dalmatian families" (p. 19b) is a far too modest claim for this fine result of her enormous work.

Her stories contain not only data and chronolgy but put families into context with other families, they also contain notable loners such as Peter Yelavich or George Urlich. Those, where only few data are available also receive at least a short paragraph (pp. 352-361) and not forgotten either are those who served in WWI and WW II (pp. 16-19). Successes, failures as well as tragedies and sorrow are related, and anecdotes and humour, rounded off by excellently produced pictures complete the individual stories. Indexes make it easy to find individual names of settlers and their connections within the community. Clearly outlined tables with names and dates of the pioneers' children enable researchers to locate the second generation for further study. 

I had the privilege to interview several of the oldest people mentioned in the book during my recordings of their spoken Croatian dialects in contact with English and Maori during the 1970s and early 1980s. Upon reading Kaye Dragicevich's stories these men and women re-emerged in my memory as if they were there in front of me. Kaye Dragicevich, who had to rely on secondary sources, has gained a fine insight into these people, their aspirations and also their fears, and into the process of integration in the new country (the "nova domovina" - "the new homeland", as they called it). 

But this book is far more than stories and genealogies for the Croatian/Dalmatian community. Within the individual stories it contains a contribution to the history of the integration of the Croatians, Maori and the various peoples from Britain, the story of gumdigging and the development of the Mangonui County in general. Few smaller communities of New Zealand have been so well documented as the Croatians from Dalmatia. Kaye Dragicevich has made a great contribution to the history of New Zealand's North, and its range of interest will reach beyond New Zealand. 

Hans-Peter Stoffel
ret. Assoc Professor University of Auckland NZ
Muhlebundtestr 4  Switzerland

 Kaye's new book They Shall Grow Not Old - WWI Soldiers of the Far North is available from Kaye direct, email dragicevich@xtra.co.nz $45 includes courier delivery
Also available  from: 
    Marston Moor                                74 Commerce Street,  Kaitaia
    Village Books                                 6/12 Klinac Lane, Waipapa  
    Far North Regional Museum  Corner of Matthews Ave and South Road
    Gifts on Rathbone                        16 Rathbone Street, Whangarei   
The Gumfields Northern Wairoa to the Far North
They Shall Grow Not Old - World War 1 Soldiers of the Far North by Kaye Dragicevich & Graeme Wilson

Reviewer: Sonia Edwards   NZ Booklovers.co.nz 

This outstanding volume is a hardcover and contains over 600 pages of stories from the Far North, accompanied by spectacular images of historical interest. The images are particularly remarkable.

This book is a gift beyond value. It is a true memorial to ordinary men who did extraordinary things. They were men who came from local communities who gave their lives to preserve peace in the world as they knew it. The Foreword is by Peter Jackson Editor of the Northland Age Newspaper. 

The book was commissioned by the Kaitaia War Memorial Restoration Group, a charitable organisation specifically formed to restore the War Memorial Monument in Kaitaia. There is comprehensive coverage of the development of the group itself and their work in the community, but chiefly the book tells the history of places in the Far North at the time of the First World War and the men they lost.

Photos illustrating the area are from the authors' own comprehensive collection of historical images, covering Kaitaia, Mangonui, Awanui, Fairburns, Herekino, Houhora, Kaingaroa, Peria, Ahipara, Te Kao, and many other small settlements.
The historians have engaged the lives of soldiers who fell, with their families, within each settlement.

The book exceeds all intended outcomes as it becomes a memorial to the Fallen. The heart-wrenching profiles of over 115 individuals are supported by a chapter showing where they lie today. The cemeteries are illustrated with images and plot plans as well. The pictorial displays of the final resting places of each soldier are spectacular: from Kaitaia churchyard to Mudros island in Greece: from Brookwood Cemetery in England to Le Quesnoy in Belgium. 

Yet another chapter outlines the New Zealand army development over the years 1900-1914, very clearly illustrated. Medals are shown, with explanations for each.

The presentation of this book is really spectacular. It is large and heavy but will be of great value. The historical coverage of the northern settlement by early pioneers is well covered. The losses to each community outlined. The author Kaye Dragicevich is well known locally for her publications: For example: The Gumfields of Northern Wairoa. The History of Awanui and many other stories of local history.
I will treasure my own copy.

Reviewed by Judith Martin Editor of New Zealand Army News 

There’s nothing like picking up a book where every page holds you spellbound, whether it be by old photos, new photos, maps, descriptions or well-put words.
“They shall grow not old, WW1 soldiers of the Far North” by Kaye Dragicevich and Graeme Wilson is one such book.
The cover is the first thing that grabs you – a sepia toned photo of horses and soldiers trotting through mud behind stark white crosses standing askew in churned ground.
They Shall Grow Not Old is about the men of the Far North who volunteered for WW1, and also about the women – mothers, sisters, sweethearts – who supported them. The stories of more than 100 individuals are told, and they somehow manage to almost bring the dead alive as they details their family connections, where they farmed or worked, photographs from their era, and sometimes the letters they wrote home.
The soldiers hail from all over: Mangatete, Mangonui, Waiharara, Te Puna, Te Kao, Takahue, Rawene and the likes. Tiny settlements that willingly offered their sons to the cause.
 They Shall Grow Not Old, as well as providing extensive information about the battles themselves, reproduces the letters sent home by soldiers, as well as those sent to the battlefields by their anxious parents
“Dearest Mother
Again I convey fond respects to you all at home. I am keeping splendid, and so are all the other boys. What a quiet place old Pukenui must be nowadays that all the old boys are gone…”
Hohepa Waaka, also known as Job Walker was born in Te Kao in March 1896. His father was a farmer, and the family, as did many at the time, worked gum digging. The land was very poor and desert-like, although there were gardens of kumara, potato, taro and maize. Cattle and sheep grazed free, and wild pigs caused havoc. Hohepa and his cousin Hapi entered Narrow Neck Camp together and were posted to the Maori Contingent to train. Three months later Hohepa left New Zealand on the troopship HMNZT 67 Tofua with the 9th Maori Reinforcements and the 18th NZEF Reinforcements. He served with the Maori (Pioneer) Battalion in the disaster that was Passchendaele. He survived that, only to be shot in the thigh and face in the German Spring Offensive. He was admitted to the Canadian Stationary Hospital in Doullens where he died the following day.
They Shall Grow Not Old details horror and heartache, but also happiness and honour. It describes the mores of the day, the fun that could be had with almost nothing, and the esteem in which those who fought for their country and never returned were held.

The book, at more than 600 pages, is a marathon effort, and obviously the result of years of painstaking research and devotion to the subject.

It is a perfect tribute to those men and their families from New Zealand’s beautiful Far North.

William Guthrie, Phd.  Retired professor
Archivist for Heritage New Zealand's Northland WWII Military Camp Survey

“George (Eric) Mein born in Newport, Shropshire appeared on the electoral roll, listed as a settler of Oruru. He served with the Samoan Expeditionary Force, served throughout the hot summer on Gallipoli. As the regiment ascended Rhododendron Spur, under heavy enemy artillery and machine-gun fire, Eric Mein was killed. His body fell along with scores of mates.  

“Robert Wikitera was born at Whangape. He worked as a bushman for Hua Whirinaki, felling trees. Mãoris were employed as Pioneers and given tasks such as clearing spoil from mine workings and dragging water tanks. Robert was wounded, hospitalised on Malta then re-joined his unit in Egypt. In October the Maori Pioneer Battalion was at Passchendaele, in the mud and swamps of Gravenstafel. A lost cause, he was critically wounded, and died the same day. Private Robert Wikitera is buried in Menin Road South Cemetery, Ieper, West Flanders, Belgium.” 

Every page tells some story you would not have known, had you not read They Shall Grow Not Old: WWI Soldiers of the Far North”. Most of these are stories in which we would have trouble placing ourselves. At 623 pages of such surprises, such sacrifice, such sadness and a simply incredible amount of research, all beautifully bound and clearly printed, with abundant photos, it is hard to tell you where to start. Perhaps the 26 pages of indexes and bibliography might be the right place. The Table of Contents and 35 pages of modest introductory matter do not prepare the reader for immersion in the first Great War, the first event to initiate Aotearoa to how great and terrible the rest of the world could be. The Kiwis charged into the fray, perhaps without good reason, but that is the national character, is it not?

Exhaustive indexes and detailed bibliography are apparatus for professionally made books, not for the work of a handful of local historians. (Do not become distracted by the bibliography or you might make yourself mad searching for almost lost volumes such as the “New Zealand Cyclist Corps in the Great War” or “With the Cameliers in Palestine.”) 

“They Shall Grow Not Old” is produced to a high standard: the explanation for that is found in the one humble page of Acknowledgements at the back of the book, which is probably the wrong place for it. Be sure to read it, anyway. Kaitaia’s War Memorial Restoration Group must receive much of the credit, for which I think they do not make adequate claim. The book would have been impossible without their conception and support. Still, there has to be an author, and Kaye Dragicevich has evidently done most of the work, and done it to standard exceeding her earlier researches on the Dalmatians of the Far North, on the Awanui District, on the Gumfields, and on other background to the remote corner of the world where we live. More people have contributed good work and resources to be mentioned here. Col. Graeme Wilson earns his full credit as co-author. Wilson researched and wrote the 110 pages covering 70 cemeteries where the war veterans are buried. 

Read this book and you will spend holidays looking for graves and graveyards. 
If you want to read this book, buy it now. “They Shall Grow Not Old” is privately produced, privately printed, not available online, and so except for your copy, and the copies in the National Library and in universities, it is going to disappear. For collectors that is one of the advantages of such works, that they are instant collectibles.

Dr Cliff Simons, Lieutenant Colonel (retd) 
Military Historian

It was a pleasure to discover that this book was so much more than I was expecting, and I have found myself having to be careful not to overdo the superlatives. This remarkable book is a splendid tribute to the men of the Far North who lost their lives fighting in World War One. What makes it even more poignant is that it is the result of a community effort with several groups providing input. 
The project started as the worthy goal of a group of civic minded folk (mostly ex-military) to restore and rededicate the Kaitaia war memorial, which was one of the nation's first when it was unveiled in 1916. Similar projects sprang up around New Zealand as communities devised their own ways to observe the World War One centennial and remember those who they had lost in war. Students from Kaitaia College researched some of the soldiers named on the memorial as part of their studies, and various individuals and families contributed research material and stories. 
A book that preserved this history was essential and the organisers had the wisdom to approach Kaye Dragicevich, an experienced historian and author. Along with co-author Graeme Wilson and a supportive team, she undertook considerable further research to produce a book that is, one suspects, far superior to that which might have been originally envisioned. Although this is a regional history it has national significance because if tells a story that was mirrored in virtually every part of the nation. It's a story of young men of Māori and European Pākehā stock from remote, practically still pioneering communities in the Far North, and how they served and died in The Great War. 
The book is ambitious in both its scope and depth. It is well organised into chapters that deal with the subject in a logical, mostly chronological sequence and this makes the voluminous material very accessible. The chapters include an account of the war memorial from 1916 through to its restoration and re-dedication in 2016; descriptions of the various small, isolated communities that the men came from in the Far North; and New Zealand's military structure up to, and including, the mobilisation for war. The heart of the book is the chapter that covers the 115 individual stories about the men who are commemorated on the memorial. Each of these is told in surprising detail and with great empathy and respect. The reader learns quite a lot about each man; where he grew up, how and where he served and how he met his death. Each is an essay in itself, and in combination they provide a good coverage of the activities of the New Zealand forces throughout the war, and sobering insights into the dreadful suffering of the men. 
An unexpected bonus for me is the comprehensive chapter that details the final resting places of the men, both overseas and within New Zealand. It is typical of the thoroughness of this book that there are photographs and a map of each of the 68 burial grounds, and a symbol showing the exact location of the plot where each man lies. Such fastidious research and attention to detail illustrate a commitment to telling a full story, and are the hallmark of this book.  
At over 600 pages this large format, hardback publication is heavy and substantial. It is beautifully designed and copiously illustrated with well-chosen photographs and some useful maps. It is the result of an extraordinary amount of research and scholarship where no corners have been cut. It is a unique and valuable addition to the literature about our nation's World War One experience and should appeal to a broad readership. I hope that it becomes a family heirloom in many homes throughout the Far North and further afield. 

From Peter Johnston retired Major in NZ Army and senior History Teacher and International Director of students at Mahurangi College 

Sretna Nova godina, Hari tau hou, Happy New Year Kaye and friends,

Today, my sister Dale dropped off a copy of your and Graeme's wonderful book. I have been waiting to 'get started' on it for some time but the lock downs and closed borders meant that I had to be patient.

What an amazing, stunning story you have told! I can see now why Cliff was so enthused by the whole project and its masterly presentation. It is most certainly a 'labour of love,' and you can be very proud of this very important addition to our national history story. I only wish this was available to me in my school years in the 1960s!

I have only had 'peeks' at it so far and am like a child with a selection of lollies, wanting to do (read) everything at once! You and Graeme have done the Far North proud and the students at Kaitaia College are also to be commended. You will note I have cc'ed others in this email and I do hope as Dale suggested that Maori TV can get to do something in their programing. The more tangata you can reach, the better!

As the instructors in the military would say during my time there, "good effort!" even if you had knackered yourself reaching Army standards! Go well, keep in touch, and make sure you enjoy your time with your whanau and mokopuna, as I do. Lastly, what a wonderful way to acknowledge and respect our tupuna.

Nga mihi, Peter