Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Sarah Morrison's legacy lives on with widower's tribute

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A Tauranga man who had his late wife's jewellery stolen by burglars has made the most of the situation by setting up a public memorial for her.

Brett Morrison used the insurance money he received after his late wife Sarah's wedding jewellery and his camera were stolen from his Papamoa home about six weeks ago, to buy and donated a picnic table for Mount Maunganui locals to enjoy.

Sarah Morrison suffered a horrific battle with bowel cancer and passed away in May, 2015.

Sarah Morrison and her husband Brett, pictured in 2015 during her battle with bowel cancer. Photo/file
Sarah Morrison and her husband Brett, pictured in 2015 during her battle with bowel cancer. Photo/file

The table, which was installed on Friday afternoon, sits just north of the Clyde St and Marine Parade intersection - a special place for Mr Morrison and his wife.

The couple were married just down the road at Hart St and, when checking out the three spots offered to him by Tauranga City Council, Ben Harper's Forever, started playing on the radio.

Mrs Morrison walked down the isle to marry Mr Morrison, in 2011, to the same song.

"You can't ignore something like that. I feel like she made the decision," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.

"In the long run it has worked out better to have the table, instead of some jewellery sitting a draw.

"It wasn't great losing it but it's gone and I can't focus on that."

Mr Morrison said he came up with the idea of getting a picnic table somewhere along the coast just after his wife passed away.

But the spot he had picked out was snapped up by another local who placed a similar picnic table in memory of his father.

You can't ignore something like that. I feel like she made the decision.
Brett Morrison

"When we lost the jewellery, I thought 'oh man what do I want replacement jewels for'. I thought, 'what could I do with the money which Sarah would enjoy' and this idea popped up again.

"The positive is this, I can come and enjoy the spot as well as anybody else from the area."

The picnic table would also feature a plaque which would read: "In loving memory of Sarah Morrison (Devitt), a gentle heart and a beautiful soul."

Mr Morrison said he was hosting a picnic table warming this Saturday about 7pm at the site.

Brett Morison with Sarah's picnic table along Marine Parade. Photo/George Novak
Brett Morison with Sarah's picnic table along Marine Parade. Photo/George Novak

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