Refurbished Marton war memorial unveiled

By Zaryd Wilson

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Monte Cassino veteran Duncan Hart, Rangitikei mayor Andy Watson and Marton RSA president Alan Buckendahl unveil the refurbished war memorial in Marton. Photo/ Stuart Munro
Monte Cassino veteran Duncan Hart, Rangitikei mayor Andy Watson and Marton RSA president Alan Buckendahl unveil the refurbished war memorial in Marton. Photo/ Stuart Munro

A refurbished war memorial in Marton has taken the original design and built on it.

The memorial was unveiled at a ceremony at the Marton War Memorial Hall yesterday afternoon.

Just over 100 people turned up to mark the occasion.

The project has been about two years in the making and was a collaborative effort between the Marton RSA, Rangitikei District Council and the artists.

Duncan Hart, a veteran the Battle of Monte Cassino and who was involved in the original memorial, spoke at the unveiling.

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"Marton citizens are truly privileged to have such a masterpiece of artistic work in our community," he said.

"It was and still is our responsibility to see that those who have gone are never forgotten."

The memorial, called From war Unto Peace, depicts war scenes and moves across into a peaceful family life in New Zealand.

Peter Cousins from Permanite Memorials said they starting working on the concept about two years ago.

He said the idea of using a machine or 3D camera to copy the original wasn't viable.

"We had to search out an artist," he said.

That person was Steve Leurink, a lecturer at Ucol in Palmerston North.

"Steve had never done any of this sort of work before but he was very keen to take on the challenge. We gave him some test panel. He engraved those and off he went."

Mr Leurink said the idea was to create an interpretation as close as he could to the original.

The memorial is engraved on two panels of 10mm acrylic sheet giving it a 3D look.

"For me I knew artistically I could do it, but I'd never done engraving," he said.

"I said to them we've got a golden opportunity now to add to this. Keeping in mind that the composition of it was exactly what was created in the 1960s but there are some things I could see that they could actually improve on."

Those were things like artillery and planes.

"I had to collect that information from guys like Duncan," Mr Leurink said.

"You've got to get the concept right and you've got to experiment. In some areas it would take more than a day just to do a (little) area."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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