Chief of Australian Defence Force presents flag to Museum

The South Pacific World War II Museum has been greatly honoured with the presentation of a flag by Australia’s Chief of Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC.

General Campbell made the presentation to Elwood J Euart Association chairman Bradley Wood and Museum Project Manager Alma Wensi during a function hosted by the Australian High Commission in Port Vila on Monday night.

The Chief of Defence Force is the senior ranked officer in Australia’s armed forces, representing the army, navy and air force. General Campbell’s visit to Vanuatu was to mark Australia’s commitment to the security of the nation and the fostering of stronger relationships in the future.

Group photo from flag presentation

Australia’s High Commissioner, H.E. Jenny Da Rin, kindly invited the Museum to attend the function, which also included the Minister of Foreign  Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu, and the Internal Affairs Minister, Andrew Napuat.

General Campbell spoke positively of the Museum.  He had been surprised to learn from Bradley Wood about the string of famous people who had been linked by wartime to the island of Espiritu Santo – names such as John F Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh, and Gene Roddenberry.

Group photo from flag presentation

Alma with flag and commemorative coin

Besides presenting an Australian flag that will fly outside the Museum project office in Luganville, General Campbell also gifted the museum several commemorative coins symbolizing the three armed services that he oversees.

The Museum had its own special gift for General Campbell – a reproduction of a sketch by famous US wartime artist Howard Brodie. It shows an Australian sergeant major during training of members of the New Hebrides Defence Force in 1943.

The print, the original of which is held by the US Library of Congress, was handsomely mounted in a rosewood frame hand-made by Bradley Wood.

The museum team was able to chat with General Campbell and members of his staff, and tell them more about our project.

The South Pacific World War II Museum would like very much to thank General Campbell and his team, the High Commissioner Jenny Da Rin, and her staff for making us part of a memorable night.