RNZE CT Reports

 RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) “Annual Report” for 2012

 

This is the first full year of operation of the “Trust”, having been formed in May 2011, registered in July 2011 and having its inaugural Trust Board meeting on 4 August 2011. 
The Trust has had a very positive year, making significant progress on many projects and tasks, as reported on below.  Although we are not obliged to make an annual report, other than lodging our financial report with the Charities Section, I thought it might be of interest to Sappers Association members.

Trust Board members (Trustees) comprise George Butcher (Patron, Sappers Association), Anthony Wilson (Col Comdt, RNZE), Don Jones (Outgoing CO/Regt Col, RNZE), Ben Pitt (Incoming CO/Regt Col, RNZE), Mike Owen (Chair, Sappers Association Council), Darrin Waitere (RSM, 2nd Engr Regt), Clas Chamberlain (Corps Historian, Hon Curator and Deputy Chair) and myself (IPP, Sappers Association, Patron of the RNZE Reunion and Trust Board Chair).  I want to acknowledge two original Trustees in Mike Pettersen and Brent Wilson, who resigned during the year for work-related reasons and thank both Darrin Waitere and Mike Owen for joining us as replacement Trustees.  All of our original Trustees worked very hard to get the Trust up and running in a relatively short timeframe and we are indebted to them for their contribution and support.  Brent Wilson was our inaugural Secty/Treas, now replaced by non-Trustee appointments of WO2 Wayne Bramley as Secty and WO2 John Flintoft as Treasurer.  The Trust Board met on 23 February, 24 May, 9 August, 10 October and 13 December 2012, discharging its responsibilities in accordance with the Trust Deed and requirements of the Charities Section of the Department of Internal Affairs.

 

Although still working on completing the financial reports, the Trust had a modest surplus of some $4,200, after expenditure of over $8,000, which was spent on a range of ECMC rebuild and other project tasks.  As at the end of 2012, we had $30,500 on investment.  Currently, there are 15 fortnightly and one monthly contributors to the Trust fund, realising a total monthly income of some $173 or just over $2,000 per annum.  Our funds are slowly building up, but we could do with more regular contributors and donors, to increase our revenue.  These funds are used to support the operational undertakings of the objects of the Trust, particularly the rebuild of the ECMC library and museum, and the displays therein.

 

We were delighted to receive just under $7,000 from Pub Charity, to cover the cost of replacing two older computers, a printer, external backup and support equipment in the ECMC Office.  This project will also involve the installation of wireless Broadband into the ECMC, which we hope will be completed in early 2013.  The latter will enable the establishment of internet connections and a further stage of the “ICR&T” project to be undertaken in 2013.  This will further expand the number of computers, printers, etc, in the ECMC to support digitising and scanning activities, research and other related tasks.  Other charitable trust applications have been made to the Lion Trust (unsuccessful), Endeavour Community (unsuccessful), ECCT (Corps History project – awaiting result in Apr 13), Perlorus Trust (publicity/promotional materials and consumables), NZCT (security equipment/safes and insurance premium) and JBS Dudding Trust (mannequins and cabinet lighting).   There are 5-6 other trust applications lined up for 2013 to cover further stages of the Corps History project, exterior and internal signage, additional ICR&T stages and so on.  The main focus is to seek external funding assistance for the main projects being undertaken by the RNZE CT.  

 

We have tried to ensure that the ECMC is open every Thursday, to ensure that work continues on the library and museum, as well as encouraging visitors to have a look around the displays.  The feedback from the latter has been very positive indeed.  The rebuild and refurbishment of the ECMC library and museum is around 70% complete, with some 25 of the 32 display cabinet areas completed.  This is being undertaken by Clas and myself, with the odd visit from other supporters, including George Butcher and Bev Heffernan from Masterton, Bruce McDonald and some of the Sappers Association members from Palmerston North.  We can certainly do with much more assistance and support in this area, so that we can keep the momentum up and ensure that the displays will be completed within the next couple of years.  There is probably 3-4 more years worth of work, covering the scanning and digitising of materials, photos, slides, etc, along with cataloguing and inventory work, display and equipment refurbishment, to name but a few of the major works in progress.

 

For the Corps History project, we now have Stage 1A completed, with over 15 spot interviews (audio visual recordings and abstracts) on file and wish to advance to Stage 1B (another 24 spot interviews) and Stage 2 (5-6 detailed extended interviews) before the end of 2013.  Ministry of Culture and Heritage have been retained as our project managers for this task and as soon as we get approval for external funding applications already submitted, this work will resume in earnest.  We are also on the lookout for a suitable author for the written history, plus we want to interview serving Sappers on a range of overseas deployments undertaken over the past 10 years, from those who are still serving in the Corps/Army.  That should provide us with sufficient material from which to get the actual history writing underway. 

 

I am pleased to report that with generous assistance from the SME and 2nd Engr Regt, the garage established between the ECMC building and the Chapel has been fully fitted out with one half being devoted to storage of RNZE heritage items and the other as a workshop and materials store.  This now means that a lot of the display rebuild, item refurbishment, signage and ticketing and model making is undertaken in an appropriate environment, returning the ECMC office to its original purpose.  The “RNZE Collection”, which includes all the items contained within the ECMC, Chapel and garage/stores as assets of the Trust, now total over 3,100 separate items, with a collective value of over $270,000.  Clas continues to update the on-line inventory of all items that we have either on display, file or in storage within the ECMC, which is a huge task on its own.  We have increased our comprehensive specialist insurance policy coverage to $250,000, reviewable annually. 

 

I also need to mention the RNZE history lecture series being coordinated by Clas.  These have been very successful during the year, but not always well attended.  They are held normally in the ECMC lecture room, on the second Thursday in each month at midday and normally last for an hour or so.  They cover a wide range of topics, including those with a RNZE flavour and not, NZ history and overseas, delivered by a wide range of very professional speakers and historians.  A lecture programme is in place for 2013 and we encourage attendance of interested folk from within Linton Camp and Palmerston North, as an excellent service provided by the Trust and as an adjunct to the ECMC.     

 

As our Trust Deed enables us to work as a flexible and exemplary organisation and we seem to be the envy of other Corps in this regard, we have provided advice and assistance to RNZA, RNZAC and RNZ Sig for the establishment of their own charitable trusts, with the ability to collect, store, display their own heritage items.  This is not to compete with or replace the National Army Museum in Waiouru or the ECMC, but to enable the major units within Linton Camp to do what the RNZE has, as an adjunct to the 2nd Engr Regt and SME.  We have also had numerous visits from military and non-military individuals and groups, including RNZE, Members of Parliament, foreign military delegations, clubs, genealogy and historical interests and so on, throughout the year.  This has helped to give the Trust and ECMC more public profile outside of Linton Camp.  It is fair to say that all of these visitors have been very impressed with the level of displays and activities within the ECMC, along with making the odd donation as well. 

 

In closing, I want to sincerely thank our close supporters (2nd Engr Regt and the SME), along with our current sponsors, including Pub Charity, Advantage Computers Limited of Palmerston North and Inspire Net of Palmerston North, the latter two organisations who have provided much of the equipment and services to the Trust (and ECMC) at significantly discounted rates, as well as technical advice and support at no cost.  Without these organisations, we would not have been able to make as much progress as we did during the course of 2012.  On behalf of the members of the RNZE CT Trust Board, may I extend to you all our sincere thanks and appreciation.        

 

 

 

Joe Hollander                                                                   

Trustee/ Chair

RNZE Charitable Trust

 

 

Palmerston North

31 December 2012

~

Trust Board members (Trustees) comprise George Butcher (Patron, Sappers Association), Anthony Wilson (Col Comdt, RNZE), Don Jones (Outgoing CO/Regt Col, RNZE), Ben Pitt (Incoming CO/Regt Col, RNZE), Mike Owen (Chair, Sappers Association Council), Darrin Waitere (RSM, 2nd Engr Regt), Clas Chamberlain (Corps Historian, Hon Curator and Deputy Chair) and myself (IPP, Sappers Association, Patron of the RNZE Reunion and Trust Board Chair). I want to acknowledge two original Trustees in Mike Pettersen and Brent Wilson, who resigned during the year for work-related reasons and thank both Darrin Waitere and Mike Owen for joining us as replacement Trustees. All of our original Trustees worked very hard to get the Trust up and running in a relatively short timeframe and we are indebted to them for their contribution and support. Brent Wilson was our inaugural Secty/Treas, now replaced by non-Trustee appointments of WO2 Wayne Bramley as Secty and WO2 John Flintoft as Treasurer. The Trust Board met on 23 February, 24 May, 9 August, 10 October and 13 December 2012, discharging its responsibilities in accordance with the Trust Deed and requirements of the Charities Section of the Department of Internal Affairs.

Although still working on completing the financial reports, the Trust had a modest surplus of some $4,200, after expenditure of over $8,000, which was spent on a range of ECMC rebuild and other project tasks. As at the end of 2012, we had $30,500 on investment. Currently, there are 15 fortnightly and one monthly contributors to the Trust fund, realising a total monthly income of some $173 or just over $2,000 per annum. Our funds are slowly building up, but we could do with more regular contributors and donors, to increase our revenue. These funds are used to support the operational undertakings of the objects of the Trust, particularly the rebuild of the ECMC library and museum, and the displays therein.

We were delighted to receive just under $7,000 from Pub Charity, to cover the cost of replacing two older computers, a printer, external backup and support equipment in the ECMC Office. This project will also involve the installation of wireless Broadband into the ECMC, which we hope will be completed in early 2013. The latter will enable the establishment of internet connections and a further stage of the “ICR&T” project to be undertaken in 2013. This will further expand the number of computers, printers, etc, in the ECMC to support digitising and scanning activities, research and other related tasks. Other charitable trust applications have been made to the Lion Trust (unsuccessful), Endeavour Community (unsuccessful), ECCT (Corps History project – awaiting result in Apr 13), Perlorus Trust (publicity/promotional materials and consumables), NZCT (security equipment/safes and insurance premium) and JBS Dudding Trust (mannequins and cabinet lighting). There are 5-6 other trust applications lined up for 2013 to cover further stages of the Corps History project, exterior and internal signage, additional ICR&T stages and so on. The main focus is to seek external funding assistance for the main projects being undertaken by the RNZE CT.

We have tried to ensure that the ECMC is open every Thursday, to ensure that work continues on the library and museum, as well as encouraging visitors to have a look around the displays. The feedback from the latter has been very positive indeed. The rebuild and refurbishment of the ECMC library and museum is around 70% complete, with some 25 of the 32 display cabinet areas completed. This is being undertaken by Clas and myself, with the odd visit from other supporters, including George Butcher and Bev Heffernan from Masterton, Bruce McDonald and some of the Sappers Association members from Palmerston North. We can certainly do with much more assistance and support in this area, so that we can keep the momentum up and ensure that the displays will be completed within the next couple of years. There is probably 3-4 more years worth of work, covering the scanning and digitising of materials, photos, slides, etc, along with cataloguing and inventory work, display and equipment refurbishment, to name but a few of the major works in progress.

For the Corps History project, we now have Stage 1A completed, with over 15 spot interviews (audio visual recordings and abstracts) on file and wish to advance to Stage 1B (another 24 spot interviews) and Stage 2 (5-6 detailed extended interviews) before the end of 2013. Ministry of Culture and Heritage have been retained as our project managers for this task and as soon as we get approval for external funding applications already submitted, this work will resume in earnest. We are also on the lookout for a suitable author for the written history, plus we want to interview serving Sappers on a range of overseas deployments undertaken over the past 10 years, from those who are still serving in the Corps/Army. That should provide us with sufficient material from which to get the actual history writing underway.

I am pleased to report that with generous assistance from the SME and 2nd Engr Regt, the garage established between the ECMC building and the Chapel has been fully fitted out with one half being devoted to storage of RNZE heritage items and the other as a workshop and materials store. This now means that a lot of the display rebuild, item refurbishment, signage and ticketing and model making is undertaken in an appropriate environment, returning the ECMC office to its original purpose. The “RNZE Collection”, which includes all the items contained within the ECMC, Chapel and garage/stores as assets of the Trust, now total over 3,100 separate items, with a collective value of over $270,000. Clas continues to update the on-line inventory of all items that we have either on display, file or in storage within the ECMC, which is a huge task on its own. We have increased our comprehensive specialist insurance policy coverage to $250,000, reviewable annually.

I also need to mention the RNZE history lecture series being coordinated by Clas. These have been very successful during the year, but not always well attended. They are held normally in the ECMC lecture room, on the second Thursday in each month at midday and normally last for an hour or so. They cover a wide range of topics, including those with a RNZE flavour and not, NZ history and overseas, delivered by a wide range of very professional speakers and historians. A lecture programme is in place for 2013 and we encourage attendance of interested folk from within Linton Camp and Palmerston North, as an excellent service provided by the Trust and as an adjunct to the ECMC.

As our Trust Deed enables us to work as a flexible and exemplary organisation and we seem to be the envy of other Corps in this regard, we have provided advice and assistance to RNZA, RNZAC and RNZ Sig for the establishment of their own charitable trusts, with the ability to collect, store, display their own heritage items. This is not to compete with or replace the National Army Museum in Waiouru or the ECMC, but to enable the major units within Linton Camp to do what the RNZE has, as an adjunct to the 2nd Engr Regt and SME. We have also had numerous visits from military and non-military individuals and groups, including RNZE, Members of Parliament, foreign military delegations, clubs, genealogy and historical interests and so on, throughout the year. This has helped to give the Trust and ECMC more public profile outside of Linton Camp. It is fair to say that all of these visitors have been very impressed with the level of displays and activities within the ECMC, along with making the odd donation as well.

In closing, I want to sincerely thank our close supporters (2nd Engr Regt and the SME), along with our current sponsors, including Pub Charity, Advantage Computers Limited of Palmerston North and Inspire Net of Palmerston North, the latter two organisations who have provided much of the equipment and services to the Trust (and ECMC) at significantly discounted rates, as well as technical advice and support at no cost. Without these organisations, we would not have been able to make as much progress as we did during the course of 2012. On behalf of the members of the RNZE CT Trust Board, may I extend to you all our sincere thanks and appreciation.

Joe Hollander

Trustee/ Chair

RNZE Charitable Trust

Palmerston North

31 December 2012

 


 

 

 RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) Annual Report for 2013

 

We are pleased to provide this report based on the activity of the Trust during the 2013 calendar year.  The Trust has had a very challenging, but satisfying year in the progress it has made in a number of areas covering the objects of the Trust and these are explained further below.  Although we are not obliged to provide an annual report for compliance purposes, we do this to recognise our sponsors and supporters, as well as ensuring that the activities of the Trust are published for members of our parent bodies, namely the RNZE Corps Committee and the Sappers Association (NZ) Inc.

 

The rebuild of the ECMC collection continues with 27 of the 35 displays in the museum area now completed.  The remaining eight display cabinets are awaiting further contributions of artefacts and memorabilia, to cover areas and deployments including Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor-Leste, for example.  Another major challenge is identifying many of the current contributions and photos for a wide range of RNZE deployments and operations, where the location, date, task and names of individuals are not provided.  Any further assistance both serving and retired members of the Corps can provide in these areas would really be appreciated.  Some of the display cabinets have internal lighting installed to improve their utility and it is hoped to continue with the remainder of the cabinets as funding permits.  We are experimenting with LED lighting to increase the light levels and reduce heat generated by these appliances, during the next year or so.

 

We are very grateful for the generous sponsorship from Pub Charity, which has enabled us to complete the first two stages of our “ICR&T” project and we now have a range of new computing, copying, digitizing, scanning and electronic display equipment operating within the ECMC.  This includes both hardware and software all provided at discounted costs by Advantage Computers Ltd of Palmerston North and Techsoup NZ.  Also, a Broadband connection has been provided by Inspire Net, which enables internet access and a new email address <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >.  We hope to have a website dedicated to the ECMC and the RNZE CT established during 2014. 

 

Thanks to 2nd Engr Regt, the SME and DSS Property Group, the adjacent double-garage is now operating as a workshop and store for the ECMC, covered by both fire and security detection systems.  This has enabled our collection of maps, plans, framed photos and pictures, old Sapper equipment, trophies and other important records and memorabilia to be properly housed, but yet to be fully inventoried.  Signage designed and manufactured by Eyeright Signs of Levin, has been funded from our own resources and installed about the ECMC buildings, bringing a little more attention to the complex and what is housed there.  In addition, similarly designed street and ‘wayfinding’ signage has been produced and will be installed about Linton Camp in 2014.   

 

Our ongoing building of relationships has expanded with meetings and visits from representatives of Te Manawa Science Centre and Museum of Palmerston North, Massey University, the Wanganui Regional Museum, the “World War 100” office, Wanganui District Library, Museums Aotearoa, the HQ NZDF Heritage Advisor and many others during the year.  We are now a full member of Museums Aotearoa and registered on their website, which will increase awareness of the ECMC and RNZE CT nationally.  This might also bring more visitors to the complex, which creates another demand which will need to be considered and resourced in the future.  During 2013 and with the ECMC only being open one day a week, the ECMC was visited by over 550 members of the public.  We also received a visit from CDF, Lt Gen Rhys Jones, CNZM and his entourage in early December 2013, they were all most impressed with the ECMC and its amenity, collection and displays, etc.  

 

One of our major challenges is the cataloguing and inventory of the “Corps collection” contained within the ECMC.  At present, we have recorded over 2,600 individual items or in excess of 4,900 entries, with a total value of some $288,000.  We believe that this is only about 10% of the items stored or on display within the ECMC complex and efforts are being made to continue this important work.  Our specialised comprehensive insurance policy to cover the “collection” (as assets of the Trust), is currently valued at $250,000 and is reviewed regularly to ensure that we have appropriate protection for the “collection”. 

 

Clas Chamberlain continues to arrange the RNZE History Lecture series, which has been operating successfully for three and a half years now.  These events are held at the ECMC at midday, on the second Thursday of each month (February through November) and cover a wide range of military, engineering and historical topics, as well as overseas deployments both past and present.  We have had many excellent and expert presenters from all around NZ deliver these lectures. It is unfortunate that the attendance at many of these presentations has not been the best and we hope that the 2014 lecture series will attract a better following and turnout.

 

The RNZE Corps History project continues to progress, albeit slowly as funding permits.  During 2013, we managed to resume activity and have completed 8 (from Palmerston North and Wellington) more oral history interview recordings and transcriptions.  There are a further 3 to follow early in 2014, as well as up to an additional 5-6 from the Auckland area.  This means that we have now completed Stage 1A (18 selected interviews in 2012), partial completion of Stage 1B (8 further interviews, with some 8 to follow in 2014) and propose to jump to Stage 3 (interviews with 16-20 serving Sappers of all ranks) later in 2014.  This will complete the oral history interview phase as we advance towards Stage 4 in the selection and engagement of a suitable author and commence the writing of an authorative Corps history proper.  The writer continues to project manage this activity, which can be very challenging in the selection and securing of suitable interview candidates and then coordinating this with our external contractor.  We continue to appreciate the advice and assistance of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage history group (Claire Hall), as well as the efforts of our new oral history contractor, David Young of Wellington.  David has been working with us on the Stage 1B interviews in 2013, as well as all the post-production and sound engineering works undertaken by Anaru Dalziel of Valley Audio in Wellington.  Thanks to ECCT for supporting us with sponsorship towards this important project, which does require more positive funding in the future, if we are to realise the completion of the history book for a release in 2016-17 !

  

I am pleased to report that we have seen an increase in our regular donors and contributors in recent months.  Thanks to a concerted effort by the SME, we now have some 27 contributors, up from 16 at the end of 2012 and now providing some $7,000 annually in donations.  The SME also held a fund raising event and passed on over $800 in cash in late 2013 as a donation towards the Trust.  We must also record the generous contribution of Andrew Fisher (a retired Sapper officer) of “Ecostock”, Auckland, who has made a significant automatic weekly payment towards the Trust.  These funds all go towards the maintenance and operation of the ECMC library and museum, as well as funding the RNZE Corps history project.  Of the $105,406 (excl GST) applied for from other charitable trusts for funding supplementation, we only received a total of $18,535 (excl GST).  The latter grants were directed towards the two stages of the ICR&T project, specialised restoration consumables, new promotional brochures for the ECMC library and museum, as well as St Martin’s RNZE and Garrison Chapel and the RNZE Corps History project.  We will continue to work with a number of other charitable trusts to raise funds for the key projects in support of the objects of the Trust.  We would appreciate the contributions of more serving and retired Sappers, to ensure that we continue to progress these projects and ensure that the ECMC and RNZE CT survive in the future.

 

The Trust Board continued to meet on a quarterly basis throughout 2013, overseeing its responsibilities in accordance with the Trust Deed.  Trustees include George Butcher, Anthony Wilson, Ben Pitt, Don Jones, Darrin Waitere, Clas Chamberlain, Mike Owen and myself.  We were extremely well served by WO2 John Flintoft as our Treasurer (who is now overseas and replaced by Lt Andy Blackburn of 25ESS) and appreciated his contribution and dedication, as well as Lt Ingrid Gillingham of 25ESS as our Secretary.  We are still working on the financial reports for 2013, but can report at this early stage that there was a small surplus achieved.  More will be reported later, as we file our audited financial report with the Charities Section of the Department of Internal Affairs.  We really appreciate the time and effort that many of the Trustees devote towards the workings of the ECMC and Trust, in addition to our Secretary and Treasurer and HQ staff of both the 2nd Engr Regt and the SME.

 

Finally, we wish to sincerely thank and recognise the contribution made by our sponsors and supporters within the community.  To Pub Charity (ICR&T Stages 1 and 2), ECCT (RNZE Corps History project), Infinity Foundation Ltd (specialised restoration consumables), The Page (Public) Trust (promotional brochures), Advantage Computers Ltd (specialist IC&T advice and equipment supply and installation), Inspire Net (specialist advice and discounted Broadband connection and internet services), Techsoup NZ (computer software), Eyeright Signs (signage design, manufacture and installation), our most sincere appreciation.  To our donors and contributors, as well as 2nd Engr Regt, the SME and DSS Property Group, we also appreciated your contribution and support.  Without all this, both the ECMC and Trust could not operate or provide and maintain a valued service to the public of NZ.

~

The rebuild of the ECMC collection continues with 27 of the 35 displays in the museum area now completed. The remaining eight display cabinets are awaiting further contributions of artefacts and memorabilia, to cover areas and deployments including Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor-Leste, for example. Another major challenge is identifying many of the current contributions and photos for a wide range of RNZE deployments and operations, where the location, date, task and names of individuals are not provided. Any further assistance both serving and retired members of the Corps can provide in these areas would really be appreciated. Some of the display cabinets have internal lighting installed to improve their utility and it is hoped to continue with the remainder of the cabinets as funding permits. We are experimenting with LED lighting to increase the light levels and reduce heat generated by these appliances, during the next year or so.

We are very grateful for the generous sponsorship from Pub Charity, which has enabled us to complete the first two stages of our “ICR&T” project and we now have a range of new computing, copying, digitizing, scanning and electronic display equipment operating within the ECMC. This includes both hardware and software all provided at discounted costs by Advantage Computers Ltd of Palmerston North and Techsoup NZ. Also, a Broadband connection has been provided by Inspire Net, which enables internet access and a new email address <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >. We hope to have a website dedicated to the ECMC and the RNZE CT established during 2014.

Thanks to 2nd Engr Regt, the SME and DSS Property Group, the adjacent double-garage is now operating as a workshop and store for the ECMC, covered by both fire and security detection systems. This has enabled our collection of maps, plans, framed photos and pictures, old Sapper equipment, trophies and other important records and memorabilia to be properly housed, but yet to be fully inventoried. Signage designed and manufactured by Eyeright Signs of Levin, has been funded from our own resources and installed about the ECMC buildings, bringing a little more attention to the complex and what is housed there. In addition, similarly designed street and ‘wayfinding’ signage has been produced and will be installed about Linton Camp in 2014.

Our ongoing building of relationships has expanded with meetings and visits from representatives of Te Manawa Science Centre and Museum of Palmerston North, Massey University, the Wanganui Regional Museum, the “World War 100” office, Wanganui District Library, Museums Aotearoa, the HQ NZDF Heritage Advisor and many others during the year. We are now a full member of Museums Aotearoa and registered on their website, which will increase awareness of the ECMC and RNZE CT nationally. This might also bring more visitors to the complex, which creates another demand which will need to be considered and resourced in the future. During 2013 and with the ECMC only being open one day a week, the ECMC was visited by over 550 members of the public. We also received a visit from CDF, Lt Gen Rhys Jones, CNZM and his entourage in early December 2013, they were all most impressed with the ECMC and its amenity, collection and displays, etc.

One of our major challenges is the cataloguing and inventory of the “Corps collection” contained within the ECMC. At present, we have recorded over 2,600 individual items or in excess of 4,900 entries, with a total value of some $288,000. We believe that this is only about 10% of the items stored or on display within the ECMC complex and efforts are being made to continue this important work. Our specialised comprehensive insurance policy to cover the “collection” (as assets of the Trust), is currently valued at $250,000 and is reviewed regularly to ensure that we have appropriate protection for the “collection”.

Clas Chamberlain continues to arrange the RNZE History Lecture series, which has been operating successfully for three and a half years now. These events are held at the ECMC at midday, on the second Thursday of each month (February through November) and cover a wide range of military, engineering and historical topics, as well as overseas deployments both past and present. We have had many excellent and expert presenters from all around NZ deliver these lectures. It is unfortunate that the attendance at many of these presentations has not been the best and we hope that the 2014 lecture series will attract a better following and turnout.

The RNZE Corps History project continues to progress, albeit slowly as funding permits. During 2013, we managed to resume activity and have completed 8 (from Palmerston North and Wellington) more oral history interview recordings and transcriptions. There are a further 3 to follow early in 2014, as well as up to an additional 5-6 from the Auckland area. This means that we have now completed Stage 1A (18 selected interviews in 2012), partial completion of Stage 1B (8 further interviews, with some 8 to follow in 2014) and propose to jump to Stage 3 (interviews with 16-20 serving Sappers of all ranks) later in 2014. This will complete the oral history interview phase as we advance towards Stage 4 in the selection and engagement of a suitable author and commence the writing of an authorative Corps history proper. The writer continues to project manage this activity, which can be very challenging in the selection and securing of suitable interview candidates and then coordinating this with our external contractor. We continue to appreciate the advice and assistance of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage history group (Claire Hall), as well as the efforts of our new oral history contractor, David Young of Wellington. David has been working with us on the Stage 1B interviews in 2013, as well as all the post-production and sound engineering works undertaken by Anaru Dalziel of Valley Audio in Wellington. Thanks to ECCT for supporting us with sponsorship towards this important project, which does require more positive funding in the future, if we are to realise the completion of the history book for a release in 2016-17 !

I am pleased to report that we have seen an increase in our regular donors and contributors in recent months. Thanks to a concerted effort by the SME, we now have some 27 contributors, up from 16 at the end of 2012 and now providing some $7,000 annually in donations. The SME also held a fund raising event and passed on over $800 in cash in late 2013 as a donation towards the Trust. We must also record the generous contribution of Andrew Fisher (a retired Sapper officer) of “Ecostock”, Auckland, who has made a significant automatic weekly payment towards the Trust. These funds all go towards the maintenance and operation of the ECMC library and museum, as well as funding the RNZE Corps history project. Of the $105,406 (excl GST) applied for from other charitable trusts for funding supplementation, we only received a total of $18,535 (excl GST). The latter grants were directed towards the two stages of the ICR&T project, specialised restoration consumables, new promotional brochures for the ECMC library and museum, as well as St Martin’s RNZE and Garrison Chapel and the RNZE Corps History project. We will continue to work with a number of other charitable trusts to raise funds for the key projects in support of the objects of the Trust. We would appreciate the contributions of more serving and retired Sappers, to ensure that we continue to progress these projects and ensure that the ECMC and RNZE CT survive in the future.

The Trust Board continued to meet on a quarterly basis throughout 2013, overseeing its responsibilities in accordance with the Trust Deed. Trustees include George Butcher, Anthony Wilson, Ben Pitt, Don Jones, Darrin Waitere, Clas Chamberlain, Mike Owen and myself. We were extremely well served by WO2 John Flintoft as our Treasurer (who is now overseas and replaced by Lt Andy Blackburn of 25ESS) and appreciated his contribution and dedication, as well as Lt Ingrid Gillingham of 25ESS as our Secretary. We are still working on the financial reports for 2013, but can report at this early stage that there was a small surplus achieved. More will be reported later, as we file our audited financial report with the Charities Section of the Department of Internal Affairs. We really appreciate the time and effort that many of the Trustees devote towards the workings of the ECMC and Trust, in addition to our Secretary and Treasurer and HQ staff of both the 2nd Engr Regt and the SME.

Finally, we wish to sincerely thank and recognise the contribution made by our sponsors and supporters within the community. To Pub Charity (ICR&T Stages 1 and 2), ECCT (RNZE Corps History project), Infinity Foundation Ltd (specialised restoration consumables), The Page (Public) Trust (promotional brochures), Advantage Computers Ltd (specialist IC&T advice and equipment supply and installation), Inspire Net (specialist advice and discounted Broadband connection and internet services), Techsoup NZ (computer software), Eyeright Signs (signage design, manufacture and installation), our most sincere appreciation. To our donors and contributors, as well as 2nd Engr Regt, the SME and DSS Property Group, we also appreciated your contribution and support. Without all this, both the ECMC and Trust could not operate or provide and maintain a valued service to the public of NZ.

 


 

 RNZE Charitable Trust (RNZE CT or “Trust”) “Annual Report” for 2014

 

 

This is our third annual report, which is provided to recognise our sponsors and supporters and also to inform our parent bodies (namely the RNZE Corps Committee and Sappers Association (NZ) Inc) and wider Corps membership of the activities of the Trust during the calendar year 2014.  Once again, we have had a busy but very successful year, now that we are well established since formation in mid-2011.  We have also adopted the “strap/tagline” of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”, to more accurately describe the principle role of the Trust.  This is now shown on our website and on all of our correspondence and promotional/publicity material.

The RNZE Corps History project progressed well throughout the year, as we have completed some 50 oral history interviews (OHIs) of selected retired and serving members of the Corps.  A further 6-7 OHIs will be completed in early 2015 and this will conclude the oral history phase of the project. Funds raised (just over $65,000) from various sources, has enabled us to complete this important work and to enable our OHI contractor, David Young of Wellington, to add a further number of OHIs to those previously completed by Claire Hall in 2012-13.  Just before the end of 2014, the Lottery Grants Board made a very significant contribution towards the research and writing phase of the project, to take place over the period 2015-16.  This has enabled us to select and appoint our historian author, Peter Cooke of Wellington, to undertake this work.  Peter has been associated with us for many years and is very familiar with the Corps, ECMC and our heritage aspirations and has already started to complete the final OHIs and commence his research and commission with us.  Hopefully, he will complete his manuscript by early 2017 and assist us to engage a suitable publisher, so that we can release and launch the publication in late 2017/early 2018.

Work on rebuilding the museum displays has also progressed, as 31 of our 35 display cabinets (including Cambodia/Laos, Pakistan, the new “Earle collection” and a start to the Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor L’este displays) have been worked on/almost completed.  Displays still to be completed include Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and the remainder of Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor L’este. Several of these are still awaiting further artefacts, memorabilia and photos to fill up the displays. We would also like to build a new display showing RNZE involvement in the Middle East, in particular MFO Sinai.  Up to 15 existing display cabinets now require refurbishment and refreshing, which will be undertaken over the next year or so.  We would like to establish a WW1 trench emplacement in the grounds adjacent to the main building.  We are also looking at placing older RNZE equipment on the concrete plinths at the entrance to the ECMC, plus more Bailey panels at the entrance pathway periphery.  The LED lighting trial was a great success and we hope to convert all display cabinets to LED strip lighting during 2015.

We have had over 1,400 visitors through the ECMC since commencing records in mid-2013, 900 in 2014.  These have included the CDF, DSM and entourage in early 2014, Prof Hew Strachan (world renowned military historian and author), Dr Andrew Cleland (ex-CEO, IPENZ and now CEO, RSNZ), Prof Glyn Harper, along with groups, individuals, ex-RNZE personnel, PNCC History Week tours, Basic Combat Engineer course participants and from other courses run by the SME, overseas (RE and USACE and Marine) engineers and general public visitors and so on.  The ECMC is becoming better known amongst the Manawatu and wider community and that in turn enables us to publicise the Corps and meet the object of our new “strap/tagline” of “Preserving RNZE Heritage”.

Our information, communications, research and technology (ICR&T) development in Stages 1 and 2 have proven successful, involving bringing Broadband, the internet and a wireless environment into the ECMC, along with electronic display and multi-function printers with digitising and scanning capability equipment and a secure back-up system.  We hope to embark upon ICR&T Stage 3 in early 2015, as we expand the electronic display equipment range within the ECMC museum area, introduce bar coding to support our inventory and library cataloguing processes, plus portable multi-media presentation equipment for the military history lecture presentations and other Corps, RNZE CT and ECMC presentations external to the ECMC and for the community at large.

We are continuing with the laborious task of cataloguing all of our “assets of the Trust”, with some 5,800 items (3,200 screens) inventoried (out of an estimated 60,000 items, including some 6-7,000 photos, negatives, slides, plates, etc), with an estimated recorded value of $305,000.  Out comprehensive insurance cover will be increased to $300,000, when policy renewal is due in April 2015.

Our financial situation is in a reasonably healthy state, as most major projects and procurements in 2014 were covered by external funding sponsors.  We sincerely acknowledge and appreciate the support from our sponsors and regular contributors, as well as other donors and individuals.  Our regular contributors reduced from 27 to 21 over the year (we used to have over 130 regular contributors a decade or so ago), although the total raised for the year was in the order of $6,000.  Our six-monthly GST rebates also assisted in keeping the funds for operational purposes in balance.  Some 16 applications were submitted for funding supplementation to a total value of $235,335 (excl GST) and we received a total of $136,088 (excl GST) from grants as a result of approved and successful applications.  Our generous sponsors and supporters for 2014 included Pub Charity, Infinity Foundation, Eastern and Central Community Trust, Mainland Foundation, Ideal Electrical (PN), Eyerite Signs (Levin), Ecostock (Akl), Advantage Computers Ltd (PN), Inspire Net (PN), Joel Moocarme (Graphic Designer, PN), Trophy Specialists (PN) and the Lottery Grants Board, some of whom provided multiple and significant contributions.  All of the latter will be shown listed in our audited annual financial report and statements of accounts for 2014.

The monthly military history presentation series organised by Clas Chamberlain, was provided from February to November and included a wide range of excellent and informative presentations delivered by current and past RNZE unit commanders and personnel, as well as Professor Glyn Harper, Comd 1 (NZ) Bde (Col Nick Gillard), the RSM 2ER, to name a few.  Topics included RNZE and other deployments to Iraq, Namibia, Sudan, as well as engineer amphibious operations in the Philippines, WW1 actions in the Somme and Ypres, a significant weapons collection and others.  Another excellent series is prepared for 2015, including more on WW1, RNZE in the Middle East and Antarctica, 100 years of Army Nursing and so on. These presentations are held at the ECMC for only an hour during the midday period each month and serve as a useful means of keeping these important topics alive and at the forefront of our attention.  Attendees come from all around, including the PNCC Library history team, Manawatu History Teachers Network, Manawatu Officers Club, plus serving military and civilian staff from Linton Camp and other NZDF elements in Palmerston North.  It would be good to see more uniform personnel attend these presentations to broaden their military history knowledge and awareness.

The Trust Board continued to meet on a quarterly basis throughout the year, performing all of the requirements of our objects in accordance with the Trust Deed.  As a number of trustees will be leaving us at the beginning of 2015, including Tony Wilson, Ben Pitt and Darrin Waitere, I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the Trust in particularly thanking them for their contribution and support throughout the year.  Replacement trustees will be appointed at the first Trust Board meeting in 2015.  My sincere thanks also to our ongoing trustees including George Butcher, Clas Chamberlain, Don Jones and Mike Owen, your assistance has been much appreciated.  We have had a number of changes of Secretary and Treasurer throughout the year and our grateful thanks go to Lt Ingrid Gillingham, Lt Andy Blackburn, Lt Cam Allan and Lt James Brosnan for their contributions in these positions.  Also to our new Secretary Lt Mike Lawry and Treasurer 2Lt Leroy Judge, we hope this will be an interesting experience for you, but do appreciate your support. 

Over 50 personnel from RNZE units have provided valuable assistance to the ECMC for a few hours each Thursday, as part of the RNZE monthly duty unit assistance system.  This was instituted by the RSM 2ER in mid-2014 and managed by the SSMs of each of the units of 2nd Engr Regt according to a monthly schedule and task list.  This enabled a wide range of tasks to be undertaken to assist us in the ongoing maintenance of the ECMC and other RNZE CT administrative requirements.  Volunteers including George Butcher and Graham Sims from Masterton, have come across every few months to lend a hand. 

A number of minor projects were carried out by the SME, to improve the shelving in the uniform store, ancillaries in the adjacent garage workshop, additional electrical outlets, map cataloguing and storage, LED lighting trial and so on.  This assistance is vital for the ongoing operation of the ECMC and we are very grateful to the CI, SSM and STI SME for their excellent support in 2014.  Likewise, we have had excellent support and assistance from the 2ER, in particular from the CO, XO, Adjt and RSM, as well as Administrator Tania Jones and a number of other RHQ staff.  Thank you all for this much needed and appreciated contribution and support.  We have also appreciated support from OC LRSC (Maj Mike Pettersen) and DSS Property Group (WO2 Tom Donald) in the operation and maintenance of the ECMC.  Given that there is only the two of us trying to keep the ECMC running on a weekly basis, as well as managing the RNZE CT and various key projects, we do need assistance from all of you and wish that more retired members of the Corps in the Manawatu would take a more active interest in the ECMC.

Finally and to foreshadow our planned activities, objectives and focal points for 2015, these include :
1.     Continue to progress the RNZE Corps History project;
2.     Keep the ECMC open every Thursday and operating satisfactorily;
3.     Continue the rebuild, refurbishment and refreshment of ECMC museum displays;
4.     Explore other means and modes to display RNZE activities and functions about the ECMC;
5.     Convert all display cabinets to LED strip lighting;
6.     Procure appropriate multi-media presentation equipment;
7.     Introduce a bar coding system to support inventory and library collection work;
8.     Expand electronic displays and equipment in the ECMC museum area;
9.     Continue developing the website and relevant sub-pages on www.sappers.org.nz.; and
10.  Manage the RNZE CT in accordance with the Trust Deed and to meet all related compliance requirements.

 

Joe Hollander

Trustee/Trust Board Chair

RNZE Charitable Trust

 

Palmerston North
31 December 2014      

 


DOWNLOAD THE INDEPENDENT AUDIT REPORT HERE

DOWNLOAD THE RNZE CHARITABLE TRUST BALANCE SHEET HERE

 DOWNLOAD THE RNZE CT ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT 2013 HERE

DOWNLOAD THE RNZE CT ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT 2014 HERE 

 DOWNLOAD THE LASTEST CHARITIES SERVICES SUMMARY HERE