The Pāpāmoa War Memorial that began 18 months ago with one man and an idea has been a labour of love for the local community.
"I first moved to Pāpāmoa three years ago when I retired from the navy," Mick O'Carroll said. "I was looking for somewhere to go on Anzac Day. The nearest one was either at Mount Maunganui or over in Tauranga. I thought there could be a possible need for a memorial here at Pāpāmoa."
O'Carroll turned to local Facebook groups to drum up support and after an overwhelming response he took the idea to council.
"I wrote to council requesting approval for a memorial in Pāpāmoa and council came back and said 'approved but it will have to be self-funded'. They arranged for the RSA and also Steve Morris, who's our local councillor.
"Between the three of us we got together and formed a working group and then we started the fund-raising side of things."
With council support, but no funding, it was left to locals and businesses to find the money... and they did.
With the memorial and flagpole now installed, all that's left is the landscaping.
"We've got two working drawings of how we're going to do the landscaping up there. They've been put forward to the RSA committee, their executive is going to decide which one they're going to use and then we'll start work on landscaping the area which will be the final part of the project," O'Carroll said.
$62,000 was raised in just 12 months, thanks to people like Bruce Crosby, who is an owner of the Pāpāmoa Beach Resort. He and his family have donated $10,000 to the cause.
"We really think that a mature town should have these sorts of things so we can remember the past," Crosby said.
"We helped a little bit with the memorial and then at the RSA service. I love Mick, he's a great guy and enthusiastic and he says 'oh yeah we're just a few bob short to make what they want to around it, paths and that'.
"Driving home I said to my wife, and we looked at each other, 'boom, let's do it'. They were about $8000 short so we thought we'd top that up and let them get on with it."
Crosby is well known for helping local causes. He recently donated $25,000 to the new Papamoa Surf Club.
"Our family's been around here for four generations now, since 1965. My father was on all sorts of committees and we just see it as a way of helping out the community over all those years. It's going to be really good for Pāpāmoa as was evidenced at the Anzac parade by the large crowd there."
And with all the money now in hand, the end is finally in sight.
"Once we get the feedback from the RSA on what landscaping design they wish to have, we hope to commence work next month and have it finished by Armistice Day which is November 11," O'Carroll said.
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