Cenotaph set for relocation

By Mike Barrington

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Whangarei RSA president Archie Dixon (left) and World War II naval veteran Bruce McMillan size up the Rose St cenotaph, which will be included in a new war memorial planned for Laurie Hall Park. Photo/John Stone
Whangarei RSA president Archie Dixon (left) and World War II naval veteran Bruce McMillan size up the Rose St cenotaph, which will be included in a new war memorial planned for Laurie Hall Park. Photo/John Stone

A move is planned for the young woman carved in marble who has pointed to Heaven and held a wreath for Whangarei's World War I dead for 90 years.

She and the cenotaph plinth on which she stands are shifting from Rose St to a new war memorial planned for Laurie Hall Park, where her soulful gaze will watch over far more war dead.

The Rose St memorial cost 2000 to erect in 1922 with the sculpture likely to have been imported from Italy.

The new memorial could cost $500,000. Draft designs for it will be viewed by the Whangarei District Council on March 12 and construction is to be completed before the 100th anniversary of Anzac troops landing at Gallipoli is commemorated on Anzac Day next year.

The design proposal consists of a large central area set into the slope to the east of the park waterfall, semi-enclosed by three granite memorial walls.

The central wall would carry the names of all soldiers who died on active service during wars in which New Zealand has participated.

Other walls could include information on the participation of Whangarei residents in these wars.

The Rose St memorial contains the names of 166 Whangarei borough soldiers who died in World War I. Ian Reid, from the Whangarei RSA, has found the names of 118 others from the Whangarei district who will join the World War I roll of honour on the central wall in Laurie Hall Park.

The 321 district service people who died in World War II, the sole Whangarei soldier killed in the Boer War, one from the Korea conflict and two from Vietnam will join them, along with any from Malaysia and Afghanistan.

The RSA will hold an open day from 11am-3pm on March 15 for service records to be examined by extended family and others. RSA president Archie Dixon said the field of remembrance for Anzac Day commemorations on April 25 would be installed in Laurie Hall Park on March 29.

- Northern Advocate

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