June 23, 2024

K (for Kiwi) Troop

 wdrg army charity
Captain Bernard Shapiro

2IC and OC NZ Contingent

Driver and Expedition Writer


Professional Classical French Horn player – currently works as Associate Principal Horn in Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, CHCH NZ.
Lead scout for 7th WgnHB B Coy 4 Ptn 2nd sec [Territorials] 1989-1991. Career changed for music study.

Current collection of books [5000 and growing] has led him to go out and experience the physical side of the subject matter after reading about it. He is also distraught at the ignorance of NZ History inherant in NZ Children and wishes to reverse the lack of pride being displayed.

He has been a gold prospector, living in the mountains for 3 months without supply. He has trapped possums in the Kahurangi Wilderness [rainforest] for six months, again without human contact. Many experiences have been written down by him in prose and short story form.

In 2005 he walked Westward from the South Pacific Ocean across the South Island of NZ to the Tasman Sea in 1860’s attire, equipment and food after reading about NZ Surveyors of the period, keeping a journal of the entire event. Nearly drowned in the Taramakau River when he had to cross it in flood or starve, he returned from Greymouth at the end of his expedition by train and proposed to his Lady whilst driving the [promo] 1957 Landrover pictured here elsewhere. She said yes.

In 2006 he walked from Oamaru to Arrowtown in 1920-30s kit interviewing the locals and visitors of Otago as he went, scribbling it into another journal. Picked up and thrown into a bull-paddock fence by a small tornado, some of the events of that trip only made him realise there was far more to do than he was aware.

In 2007 on honeymoon with his Wife Amy in Taiwan, they went into the rainforests with the native Hakka people and climbed 3000m+ mountains. Amy is now pregnant with their first child.

In 2008 he wrote his first movie, impressed the idea to a film production [Peter Houston in fact] and begins filming at the end of January for a period of eight weeks. It should be noted that in 2007 he stood in as Principal Horn without rehearsal time when his leader was ill for Mahler’s 9th Symphony and performed to Nationwide critical acclaim receiving a spontaneous standing ovation during the curtain call.

After this expedition he is setting his sights on surviving in Fiordland for a month, perhaps in winter, and is considering a trip to Antarctica for his fortieth in 2011.

More K Troop Biographies will be added after the next recruitment drive