The New Zealand National Memorial to Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd was erected below the lookout on Mt Victoria, in honor of polar explorer Richard Evelyn Byrd, US Navy. It was unveiled on 11 March 1962, the fifth anniversary of Byrd’s death. Originally covered in white stucco, it was reclad in the early 1990s with ceramic tiles depicting auroras, designed by artist Doreen Blumhardt. At the center of the monument, there’s a bust of Richard Byrd designed by Thomas V. Johnston. The stones on the south-facing wall came from the Koettlitz Glacier and Ross Island areas of Antarctica.
The peace connection is in the two bras plaques at the base of the monument:
THE ANTARCTIC TREATY
Signed on 1 December 1959 by twelve nations, this was a milestone along the road to international co-operation. It provided for non-militarisation, for the prevention of nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive waste, for an international inspection system, for the pooling of scientific information. It demonstrated the subordination of national interests to the wider cause of science and increased understanding between nations.
THE GREATEST EXPLORER OF THE AIR AGE
Richard Evelyn Byrd dedicated his life to peaceful progress for mankind. Outstanding in aviation and exploration; he was a scientist, a humanitarian, a champion of freedom and a great internationalist. His concept of Antarctica as “the great white continent of peace” was a prelude to the Antarctic Treaty. May the spirit of the Treaty endure and spread throughout the world.