President of the Republic of Korea recognises NZ Korea Veterans’ Memorial Trust
The Korean Ambassador to New Zealand, HE Mr Seung-bae Yeo, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Korea, presented the New Zealand Korea Veterans’ Memorial Trust with a Presidential Citation on Monday evening at a Concert for Peace held at the Wellington Cathedral. The Presidential Citation is in recognition of and appreciation for the outstanding contribution the Memorial Trust has made to commemorate the sacrifice and dedication of the Korean War veterans.
HE Mr Seung-bae Yeo said, “I am pleased to announce that the Korean Government has decided to present the Presidential Citation to the Memorial Trust on the occasion of the 66th Anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement. I hope the Trust will keep working to memorialize the services of the veterans and to strengthen the friendship between Korea and New Zealand.”
The Trust, which was established by the New Zealand Korea Veterans’ Association (NZKVA), has for the past 16 years provided scholarships to students at Gapyeong Buk Middle School in the Republic of Korea and contributed to the education of young Koreans. Gapyeong Buk Middle School is in a part of South Korea which served as a base of operations for Kayforce during the Korean War. The Trust also provides scholarships to young Koreans living on the island of Baengyeong Do Island, which was a regular port call for frigates of the Royal New Zealand Navy during the War.
Trustee Chris Griggs said, “The Trust is also a lasting memorial to the New Zealand veterans who served in the Korean War and who originally established the Trust to provide support for the education of young Koreans.”
Chris Griggs will visit the high school on Baengyeong Do Island on 20 September 2019 to present scholarships to the students there.
Trustees of the New Zealand Korea Veterans’ Memorial Trust include Colonel (Retired) Harry Cockburn, a former New Zealand Army Officer who served as New Zealand Defence Attaché in Seoul; Commander Chris Griggs, Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve who previously served in the regular Navy for 25 years; and Lieutenant Commander Michael Stephens, Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (Retired), who has close business links to the Republic of Korea.