Inaugural induction for four Honorary Life Memberships for the Holocaust Centre of NZ

September 1, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is to launch the inaugural induction of four Honorary Life Memberships.

HCNZ’s mission is to inspire and empower action against antisemitism, discrimination, and apathy by remembering, educating, and bearing witness to the Holocaust. The four people honoured represent the key pillars of the organisation: Witness, Remember, Educate and Act.

The inaugural Honorary Life Members are:

Inge Woolf

Inge Woolf, QSO: A Holocaust survivor and Founding Director of HCNZ, Inge established the Centre with a dedicated group of survivors, refugees, and descendants, over 10 years ago. Inge has been a Board member, fundraiser, and educator – sharing her story with thousands of students and members of the public.

Inge Woolf said: “I am very proud of this award of Hon. Life Membership of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand.

I accept it on behalf of the many committed volunteers who have devotedly contributed to our growth over the years.

At this time of unrest and hard economic times, mirroring the trends that led to the rise of antisemitism, Nazi dictatorship, Hitler, and the Holocaust, it is even more important than ever to teach the lessons of that terrible time.

I wish the board and team presently running our inspirational programmes every success in reaching the minds and hearts of New Zealand children wherever they may be.”

Steven Sedley

Steven Sedley, MNZM: A Holocaust survivor and Founding Chair of HCNZ, Steven is a vital part of the group that established the Centre. He is a former teacher, book store owner, a passionate contributor to the Jewish community, and valued HCNZ educator. Steven has told his personal experience to thousands of New Zealanders in the hope that the lessons of the Holocaust are never forgotten

Steven Sedley commented: “The idea of establishing a Holocaust Centre in Wellington, New Zealand, grew out of the well-attended service in 2005 commemorating the UN Holocaust Memorial day. The large number of people who were present at this service brought it home that the Holocaust is not just a Jewish story, but also a New Zealand story, and that there is a need to establish a forum to remember the victims of the Holocaust, honour the survivors, and keep their memory alive through education. This idea led to the establishment of the Holocaust Centre, which evolved into the outstandingly successful and far-reaching institution that it is today. It gives me immense satisfaction that a younger generation was prepared to step up and continue the work of those of us who laid the groundwork.

Boyd Klap

Boyd Klap, CNZM, QSO: A member of the Dutch Resistance and successful businessman in New Zealand, Boyd was responsible for bringing the first Anne Frank Exhibition to New Zealand in 2012. He was instrumental in seeing its return to New Zealand in 2018, and its touring throughout Aotearoa. It was Boyd’s vision, commitment, and efforts that saw Anne Frank’s diary translated into Te Reo Māori.

Boyd Klap told J-Wire: “The Honorary Life Membership of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is an Honour I accept with humility.

To be part of the first four so appointed is very special to me

Inge Woolf got me involved in the Holocaust Centre, she is a good friend and I admire her for what she has done. This does not take away the other two inductees, Steven Sedley and Ken Gorbey. It is a privilege to be part of such an outstanding group of people who have given so much to make people aware of the impact of the Holocaust. This must never be forgotten.”

Ken Gorbey

Ken Gorbey: A renowned Wellington-based heritage expert and one of the minds behind Te Papa and Berlin’s outstanding Jewish Museum, Ken is honoured for his pivotal role on the founding Board of the Centre. He was instrumental in helping form the philosophy and physical structure of the first exhibitions.

Ken Gorbey said: “I was so pleased to be able to assist in the establishment of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand. It seemed the natural thing to do after those years establishing the Jewish Museum Berlin. Just about every nation has its survivors and the generations following, and their stories need to be kept alive to send that message out about tolerance and the high cost of intolerance.”

HCNZ’s Board Chair Deborah Hart added: “It is hard to imagine the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand being the institution it is today without the dedication of these exceptional individuals. We are indebted to each and every one of them”.

The AGM and the induction of the honorary Life Members will take place on Sunday, September at 3.pm. at 80 Webb St, Wellington.

The event will also be available on Zoom at http://tiny.cc.zr2osz

 

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