|James Bertram photographed in about 1930. This photo can be found at the Alexander Turnbull Library.|
|Theresa Butler (second back in the further away row, touching her face) in a photo from the Auckland War Memorial Museum.|
Although I always have handfuls of people and things influencing and motivating me, two particular people are at the forefront of my mind while I embark on my China adventure. The first is James Bertram, the son of a Presbyterian minister (fitting!), who later became a Rhodes Scholar and then a journalist in China. Bertram's is a highly unusual story - one of adventure and "firsts" (including an interview he conducted with Mao Tsetung in Yan'an). A short but fascinating bio on his life and career can be found here.
The second person on my mind is Theresa Butler (my great, great aunt) who was the first New Zealand nurse to serve in WWI and awarded the 1914 Star for her service (she was one of only four New Zealanders to receive this award). Butler - it seemed - did not want to miss out on the action when the men of New Zealand went off to war. Like Bertram, Butler's story is unusual and courageous. Both inspire me to push myself and follow (...at least to some extent) in their remarkable footsteps.