Guest speaker Cathie McGregor, New Zealand Embassy, Rome,
Deputy Chief of Mission (on right) with Legato curator and artist Kay de Lautour Scott.
Guest Robert Triozzi delights the visitors with an energetic discussion (in both English and Italian) of the merits of the game of rugby as a means to peace.
Americans and Canadians listen to the presentation of the Cassino artists to the visitors.
Proloco Cassino, Michele Di Lonardo, presents artists Prof. Alessandro Nardone, Rafaelle D'Aquanno and Francesco Nardi to the viewers.
Sunday 20th May was the official presentation of Legato to the public and invited dignitaries. Visiting Canadians and Americans out-numbered the Italians present this busy weekend.
Guest speaker Cathie McGregor, Deputy Chief of Mission, New Zealand Embassy, Rome,spoke of the links forged between Italy and New Zealand many years ao, that survived and were strengthened by shared wartime experience, and which flourish today. She outlined briefly the numbers of New Zealand casualties in Italy and in Cassino in particular, then reminded visitors "how precious and hard won peace is", and why we must all strive to protect it. She concluded with the following adaptation of the Walter De La Mare poem, "Peace".
Night is o'er (this place), and the winds are still;
Jasmine and honeysuckle steep the air;
Softly the stars that are all Europe's fill
Her heaven-wide dark with radiancy fair;
That shadowed moon now waxing in the west
Stirs not a rumour in her tranquil seas;
Mysterious sleep has lulled her heart to rest,
Deep even as theirs beneath her churchyard trees.
Secure, serene; dumb now the night-hawk's threat;
The guns' low thunder drumming o'er the tide;
The anguish pulsing in her stricken side....
All is at peace....But, never, heart, forget:
For this her youngest, best, and bravest died,
These bright dews once were mixed with bloody sweat.
"Peace" from Memory and Other Poems (1938)
(Link to this poem above in original form is here. Thank you also to a visiting New Zealander for supplying the top photograph).