"If it's not right, we'll put it right and it's the putting right that counts!" That's the statement made famous by the late Alan Martin, one of the appliance industry's most charismatic and respected retailers in the 1960s.

I believe sometimes we all need to apologise, after all no one is perfect. We all make mistakes and we all have the capability to hurt or offend people through our behaviour and actions, whether they are intentional or not.

William Blake said, "Hindsight is a wonderful thing but foresight is better, especially when it comes to saving life, or some pain."

The pain felt in the community over the decision by council in April 2016 to move the Roll of Honour and Eternal Flame to the Clive Square Memorial area has been palpable, intense and emotional.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but foresight is better! I was unfortunately unaware of the War Memorial's meaningful and significant history and the fundraising that had occurred by the people for a Napier War Memorial Hall 60 years ago.

My forebears fought in France and the Pacific and I strongly endorse our fallen heroes deserve the utmost respect. It had been suggested that the Roll of Honour and Eternal Flame had some synergy with the Cenotaph and Memorial Square and this initially had been supported. No disrespect to our lost ones was ever intended.

Following the War Memorial Working Group's third meeting on Wednesday July 11, I believe it is now well on track to follow L V Martin's ad slogan, "It's the putting right that counts."

At the Working Group meeting, I listened to the sage words of Guy Natusch, the original architect of the 1956 War Memorial, and felt extremely heartened to hear his words, "We are bringing it home"!

He appeared satisfied with the direction being taken by the Working Group. Three proposals were presented to Guy, and all of us associated with the Working Group, but one site stood out to me and to others as the rightful place for the return of the Eternal Flame and Roll of Honour.

We were all delighted to have Guy Natusch with us at that meeting, and given his approbation. The fact the favoured proposal should meet heritage requirements and the wishes of many RSA members, it is hoped there is a smooth return of the Roll of Honour and Eternal Flame to its peaceful place close to the sea and rising sun, with good accessibility and a real sense of place.

There's been plenty of debate on this issue, it's been a case of listening to the community and that is precisely how it should be.

We are, after all, elected by the people for the people and putting it right really does count.

Lest we forget.

Faye White is the Deputy Mayor of Napier and a council member on the War Memorial Working Group.

Advertisement