April 25 was about more than Anzac Day in Kawakawa. It was also the day that the volunteers at the Kawakawa Museum opened an impromptu exhibition to mark the building's centennial, not only to the day but to the hour, and according to Roger Crowden, the second.
"The building was optimistically erected as a public memorial library, by public subscription, to promote peace," Roger said.
"It appears to have been built of hand-made concrete blocks made of river shingle from the Tirohanga Stream. We dug out the remains of a block-making machine, originally from Fallowfield, the Saturday before. A tree had grown around it, but is it is now in the museum.
"It is possible that people might remember seeing blocks being made there as late as 1950s."
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Meanwhile the exhibition was the work of a few "driven, surviving" volunteers, who had been anxious to mark the centennial of the building's opening in 1921. Special exhibits included Tor Crowden's Austin Champ jeep and original uniforms and models made by the late Dave Clements, who was vice-chairman for 15 years.
"He won a national model-making competition, both junior and senior categories, age 12," Roger said.
"We also have a Handley Page Hampden model made by Tor, also at the age of 12, for local ex-rear gunner Jack Atkin, who was the only surviving member of his crew and had a horrible time in the notorious Lamsdorf VIIIb prison camp, and was on the death march in Poland, and a Long Range Desert Group model made by Dave to honour four exceptional LRDG members from Kawakawa.
"Tor also brought the ex-Australian Army Champ back from Australia. It goes underwater - hence the snorkel - has a Rolls Royce engine and five reverse gears."
The museum's volunteers, who would no doubt welcome reinforcements, were Shelly Sharma, pre-Covid restaurateur and popular 4 Square checkout operator; Tor Crowden, signwriter and collector of military vehicles and tractors; Lyn Corr, vicar, historian and maker of Anzac biscuits; and Roger Crowden, historian and bookbinder.