Princess Diana, the late mother of Invictus Games patron Prince Harry, championed the cause of land mine removal as a patron of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Halo Trust.
Land mines have had a significant impact on the lives of many Invictus Games competitors, their families and friends. One Invictus Games spectator from New Zealand, Marty Donoghue, has made it his mission to continue Diana’s work.
Marty is in Toronto this week to cheer on his fellow Kiwis, taking a break from a lengthy stint in Colombia where he is training mine removal teams to use his company’s technology to remove land mines.
During his 27 years of military service, mostly in the New Zealand Defence Force and with some consulting for the United Nations, Marty provided bomb disposal expertise. After being discharged three years ago, he created Burn Safe Limited to work with NGOs in countries where mines remain in the ground. His company invented a non-explosive device to get rid of land mines and unexploded ordinance.
“I’m with the Auckland Returned and Services Association,” said Marty. “We sponsor the New Zealand Defence Force team here. Our patron is the captain of the New Zealand Team, Jason Pore, who lost his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan.”
Jason, a retired corporal from Kawerau, New Zealand, is proud to lead his country’s 2017 Invictus Games team in Toronto. He says of the team, “The mana — prestige — I feel being chosen to be part of the Invictus Games is immense. We are all brave warriors forged by the principles of the military. We have all come together to celebrate our strength and resilience, to remind ourselves and the world that we will not be forgotten.”