New World War II Museum Website Launched in Vanuatu

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported that after months of development, the South Pacific World War II Museum in Vanuatu is proud to announce the unveiling of its official website.

“This is a very exciting time for us and is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the team in Vanuatu,” says Alma Wensi, Manager of the museum. “We’re also very thankful for the generous support and hard work by James Carter of brokenwings.com.au who built the website for the museum,” he said.

“It lets us share our vision for the museum with everyone and we’re looking forward to people from around the world visiting the site and seeing what we’ve got planned here on the island of Espiritu Santo.” The museum which is in its initial phase of planning, will be a world-class complex built right beside the Sarakata River in the middle of the town of Luganville — once home to U.S. Navy base during World War II.

Luganville

Its location, so close to Luganville’s main shopping and commercial area, will provide an economic and cultural centerpiece for the town and provide ongoing employment and training opportunities for the local ni-Vanuatu people. The museum aims to be more than just displays of war-era relics, but a fully immersive, interactive experience about the Pacific Theater during World War II. It will also feature a café and restaurant, a theater, extensive archives, conservation areas and recreations of significant military sites throughout Vanuatu, among its vast displays.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore Santo’s rich World War II history first hand. With around 400,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen stationed on the island at its peak, the diversity of former airfields, bases and other World War II sites all over Santo is nothing short of astounding. As the museum’s Founding Chairman Bradley Wood puts it, “the museum will stand in the middle of the biggest museum in the world.”

And it’s these sites that visitors will have the chance to visit. Some of the tours will be walking distance from the museum, while others will involve guides from local villages taking visitors on all day hikes through the jungle to reach them. This aspect of the museum is what will make the South Pacific World War II Museum so unique and quite unlike anything anywhere else in the world.

The museum has been designed by leading Australian architect John Pierce who has been influenced by the traditional World War II Quonset Hut design and has turned it into something quite spectacular. The huts, still a historic feature of Luganville, were built by the Americans during World War II for a range of uses. It is their unique, hangar-like roof design that forms the basis of John’s vision for the Museum.

Having been granted title from the Vanuatu government for the land upon which the museum will be sited, the team are now swinging into fundraising mode to take the project to the next stage.

To view the South Pacific World War II Website simply click here.

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About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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