On a wild, wet night in early May the Friends of Te Papa enjoyed a sparkling cocktail evening at the Australian High Commission to celebrate the opening of Gallipoli: The scale of our war. Hosted by the Australian High Commissioner, Mr Michael Potts and his wife Mrs Lynda Potts, the gala event helped raise funds for the Friends 2015 gift to Te Papa, Pablo Picasso’s Picador, a beautiful earthenware jug.

During the evening Friends were able to view a poignant exhibition of photographs taken during the Gallipoli campaign, currently on loan from the Australian War Memorial Museum in Canberra. A second exhibition on display documented the design and construction of the Australian Memorial in the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. This was of special interest to Friends as the photographs were by Colin McLellan of Te Papa.

In keeping with the ‘friends and neighbours across the ditch’  theme, guests were served Australian-inspired canapés, such as ‘put a shrimp on the barbie’, baby ostrich burgers and mini lamingtons.

At the end of the evening, Lynda Potts drew the eight winning raffle tickets and we were delighted to be able to present many of the winners with their fabulous prizes on the night. We are very grateful to Murray Pillar of Millwood Gallery and to Te Papa Press for generously providing such a wonderful range of beautiful books for the raffle prizes.

Friends of Te Papa very much enjoyed the High Commission’s warm hospitality and we look forward to seeing Michael and Lynda at future Friends’ events, as they are making their home in Wellington.

Feature image: Friends’ President Gordon Shroff and Australian High Commissioner His Excellency Mr Michael Potts