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US Marines salute local designer with award

Apr 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

SALUTE: Steve La Hood, left, with Major Norman Hatch. Photo: Supplied

BATTLE-HARDENED men stare down at Steve La Hood this week as he was honoured at the US Marine museum.

The Wellington exhibition designer’s mini-documentary A Friend in Need won the Genaust’s Award, bestowed by the US Marines.

Steve had a personal motivation to tell the story of the Marines in Wellington in WWII, which was the focus of his company Story Inc’s award-winning exhibition.

“One of my aunts married a Marine and raised three kids with him in California,” he says.

“For me, the highlight of the ceremony and dinner was to be seated with Major Norman Hatch.

“Norm spent 14 months in New Zealand during World Way II, filming everything. We’ve pledged to work together to celebrate the Marines in New Zealand,” says Steve.

Steve and Norman want to put their film collections together in one story.

“I’d like to put NZ and US resources into a definitive film documentary about the impact of having the Marines in NZ at that time in our history.”

The Genaust Award is named after the Marines cameraman who captured the famous footage of the raising of the US flag at Iwo Jima.

Steve’s exhibition opened in 2007 in Old St Paul’s in Wellington.

Steve says the exhibition is so popular that, four years on, it is permanently displayed at Paekakariki Museum.
Steve says it’s crazy and wonderful that the exhibition of mini-documentaries should lead him to the heart of the US Marines; their national museum and be presented the Genaust Award.

“Marines, young and old, in full formal dress came up to me to offer their congratulations, their thanks for Story Inc’s  interest in their story, and for traveling so far.

“Shaking hands with General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps is a pretty memorable moment.”

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is a Whitireia Journalism graduate working at Presstige Community Newspapers for the Northern Courier and Petone Herald.
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