In our travels around the south island of New Zealand, we’ve come across small local memorials to men who lost their lives in World War I, specifically at Gallipoli and at the Battle of Passchendaele. The number of casualties the country suffered, 16,300 dead and 40,400 wounded, far exceeds any stake that the country had in the outcome of that war by exactly this: 16,300 dead and 40,400 wounded.
It is said that New Zealand and Australia came of age, seized their identities as unique countries at that time. They apparently took hold of the fact that Old Europe was none of their concern.
I have looked through memorials to Winston Churchill now, and find there are none in New Zealand – no streets or squares or ball parks or schools named after the bloody bastard. But there are an oddball number of such things in Canada, I have found.
From this I conclude that New Zealanders are better at naming things than Canadians. I happen to like the name “Christchurch” for a city, for instance, and am none too fond of “Edmonton.” That is just one example. I have others.