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In Northland, New Zealand, in the Port Albert Public Cemetery, among the graves of three generations of this pioneering forbears, is a plaque commemorating the death of a New Zealand soldier in the deserts of Libya in 1941. His name is also on the Remembrance Gate at the nearby Port Albert Reserve, one of the seven local men who lost their lives in the Second World War. This unknown story, one of many such stories, is symbolised in a poignant photograph - Memorial Arch, North Kaipara/Dargaville area by Robin Morrison that appears in his 1994 photographic essay A Journey.
This music charts a physical and emotional journey across the generations. It tells of a journey to New Zealand by sea in 1862 on the sailing ship Matilda Wattenbach. It tells of the land to which they came - Oruawharo and its bounty that gave then succour. It tells of a place that became home and of love of country. And then of another journey by sea from which there was no return.
This is the third of Northland Panels, a series of four works for string orchestra based on photographs from A Journey. The others in the series are Angel at Ahipara, Night Journey to Pawarenga and Christ at Whangape.
Christopher Blake May 2006