Rowena Orejana explains.
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Titirangi's evocative monument to the men who fell in war finally has the home that it deserves, as Rowena Orejana explains.

Anne Caroline Hunt is walking to Titirangi Library when the WWI memorial obelisk catches her eye.

She changes direction to walk around it.

"I'm looking for the name of a relative of mine, Andrew McCarthy," she says, running her finger down the roll of honour, then finds what she's looking for.


Ms Hunt takes a few seconds more to appreciate the obelisk.

"It's much better here. When it was out there, in the car park, it was almost hidden by the trees. It took a long time to get here," she observes.

The obelisk has been shifted to a more prominent position where it stands immediately outside the War Memorial Hall entrance beside the marble WWII plaque.

Matt McMillan, Titirangi RSA's keeper of archives, is chuffed about the new site.

"I have had huge feedback, lots and lots of feedback. There are all buildings and things going on around here in the next two years and we were scared that somebody might knock it off," he says.

"Where it's at now, everybody's happy and people can see it."

Mr McMillan says it is a prominent spot, befitting the people who sacrificed their lives for their country.

He adds the contractor, officers from the defunct Waitakere City Council and volunteers put in a huge team effort to ensure each stone was in the right spot.


"The contractors went beyond the call of duty," he says.

The obelisk was donated by Henry Atkinson, the early settler who donated land around Titirangi for conservation, recreation and water use, and whose statue stands outside Lopdell House, just across the road.

It stood on top of a hill at the corner of Atkinson and Titirangi roads until it was moved to the car park in 1965, then, on the RSA's 75th anniversary, it was moved to its new site.

The entire war memorial park was donated by the Bishop family.

"We are hugely thankful for what they left us from years and years ago. They had the foresight to see what we needed," says Mr McMillan.

He says the new site makes much more sense.

"We've got the War Memorial Hall, the obelisk and the Second World War plaque. So we're all in together now, like we're joined, maybe spiritually," he says sombrely, then laughs. "There's still a few of us around."

Mr McMillan says it is a huge honour for him to be involved with this project in memory of those who gave up their lives.

"It should never have to be moved again, at least in my lifetime."

Etched in stone

The names of 151 servicemen are engraved in the obelisk. Sixty-eight served in World War I and  83 served in World War II.