The Jean Batten Memorial Trophy

Awarded in memory of the late Liveryman Miss Jean Batten, to recognise an outstanding individual, crew, group or organisation's contribution to New Zealand aviation

2021 Awarded to:  Sir Peter Jackson ONZ KNZM

JACKSON Sir PeterSir Peter has long had a deep interest in the history and commemoration of the seminal event of the twentieth century, The Great War. Over many years he has gathered a substantial collection of memorabilia including weapons, uniforms, flags, military decorations and other artifacts. In the late 1990s his interest extended to aircraft of the period and he acquired a reproduction Sopwith Camel, that would become part of a major collection of over 50 aircraft. Sir Peter’s company is known as The Vintage Aviator (TVA).

The TVA aircraft (and those of other collections) are now the only physical link to the first aerial conflict in history. In this way the collection has become ‘living history’, not just in the appearance and sounds of single aircraft in flight, but the multiple sights and sounds of larger formations and tactical scenarios.

Sir Peter has created a remarkable contribution to World War One knowledge through TVA which is now a Wellington and Masterton based aircraft restoration and manufacturing company. Its primary aim is ‘to build WWI aircraft, engines and propellers to the same exacting standards to which they were originally made over 100 years ago’. They make both airworthy and static aircraft for museum display and private collections. Their engineers look after, and operate, the World War One aircraft. In terms of numbers of aircraft and quality of craftsmanship, it is a reasonable assertion that TVA is the finest collection of WWI aircraft in the world.

The level of detail and reproduction of these machines is truly inspiring. Through Sir Peter’s efforts there have been numerous World War One aircraft recreated and rare aircraft that have been returned to airworthy status. The majority of aircraft manufactured since 2008 have been constructed to painstakingly accurate detail using original materials and are powered by original or recreated original engines. It is entirely appropriate to describe these aircraft as ‘late build originals’. A number of other aircraft are genuine time capsules from 1914-1918 including an Avro 504, BE2f, Bristol Fighter, Sopwith Camel and Hanriot HD-1. These latter aircraft are priceless.

Sir Peter not only collects World War One fighter planes, he has also safeguarded their future. Many of these planes had wooden frames covered in cloth, so it can be difficult to find surviving models that are still capable of flight. By using blueprints to create replicas with acute precision and historically accurate materials, Sir Peter has managed to create new aeroplanes for his collection that are still authentically vintage. Furthermore, he has also allowed, at his own cost, the skills that built these aircraft to be taught to a new generation of restorers which will ensure that this knowledge is not lost.

Sir Peter is an exceptional person, with an incredible passion for World War One aircraft. He has, almost single-handedly, pioneered the resurgence in interest in both World War One (note, his World War One colourised film ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’) and World War One aircraft. Sir Peter’s purpose for the collection is to recreate and commemorate history and to display it to the general public. In its flying weekends the collection trains individuals in the skills in flying and maintaining WWI aircraft and develops its overall ability to participate in aviation events as required by the owners. These aviation events may be small-scale for visitors, collectors and potential customers or large-scale events such as major airshows. The collection is also used for film, TV or commemoration display purposes.

It is without doubt, that were it not for Sir Peter, many of these aircraft would be lost to time and numerous museums around the world, including the RAF Museum, would not have examples on display. Aviation enthusiasts worldwide owe Sir Peter a debt of gratitude, as were it not for his passion for War World One aircraft and his desire to see these aircraft viewed by future generations, many of these historic aircraft would not exist. Sir Peter has taken his passion and created a legacy that all those with an interest in aviation should be proud of.

For his outstanding personal contribution to New Zealand and vintage aviation worldwide Sir Peter Jackson is awarded the Jean Batten Memorial Award.

Previous Winners:

1992/93  Henry (Harry) Bielby Esq

1993/94  Captain A G (Gorden) Vette

1995  not awarded

1995/96  Raymond Gilbert Mulqueen Esq

1996/97  Air Cdre Stuart Mclntyre

1998  not awarded

1998/99  Ossie James

1999/2000  Captain Stuart Julian

2000/01  John William Reid MBE

 2002  not awarded

2002/03  Captain Bryan Stephen Wyness BSc

2004  not awarded

2004/05  Ian Andrew Ritchie

2005/06  Maxwell Brooke Stevens

2007  not awarded

2007/08  William Ronald Tannock

2008/09  Sqn Ldr James Rankin

2009/10  Michael Edmund Murray

2011  not awarded

2011/12  Guyon Moncrieff Robertson

2012/13  Lewis John Jenkins

2013/14  William (Bill) Arthur Black MBE

2015  not awarded

2016  John Funnell MBE

2017 - 2018  not awarded

2019  Glyn Powell and Warren Denholm

2020  not awarded

2021  Sir Peter Jackson ONZ KNZM