Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will form the backdrop of a moving tribute to New Zealand’s Anzac heroes in Auckland this Friday (February 27) as the ship visits the city before sailing to Gallipoli as part of her world voyage.
The cruise line is inviting travel agents and the travel community to join Aucklanders in paying their respects by leaving a red poppy in a two-metre high Queen Elizabeth Poppy Wall in remembrance of the Anzacs, which will be at the Queens Wharf Entrance from 6am on Friday.
The wall will be formed in the shape of “100” to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, and will be filled with 11,500 poppies during the ship’s calls to Auckland and Sydney (March 3), representing the number of Australians and New Zealanders who lost their lives in the campaign.
Visitors will give a gold coin for each poppy and be invited to leave a personalised message in a special commemorative book, with all donations to go to the Returned Services Association.
Reflecting Cunard’s strong connection with Australian and New Zealand troops, the poppy wall and the book will be moved onto Queen Elizabeth at 5.30pm before she departs Auckland for Australia late Friday and will be the centrepiece of a memorial service onboard the ship as she sails the waters off the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 24, the eve of Anzac Day, during her current world voyage.
A guest of honour at the Anzac Cove service will be Herb Christophers whose grandfather and three great uncles were killed in World War One campaigns in Gallipoli and the Western Front. Mr Christophers and his wife Marguerite will travel as the custodians of the New Zealand poppies to Turkey, where Mr Christophers will honour the memory of his ancestors.
Creation of Queen Elizabeth Poppy Wall of remembrance at Queens Wharf to pay tribute to the Anzac heroes of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign.
Queens Wharf Entrance:
From 6am Friday February 27. The Poppy Wall filled with New Zealanders’ poppies will be taken onboard Queen Elizabeth at 5.30pm.