It wasn't the biggest memorial for murder victims that Coleen Davey has ever seen.

But she was undaunted yesterday as a small number gathered in Hastings, vowing the annual tribute will continue as long as she does, including a 25th anniversary next year.

Mrs Davey first staged the Feelings for Folk of Murder Victims dedication at the foot of the Hastings town clock on February 16, 1993, coinciding with a march in Wellington and presentation of a petition to Parliament calling for harsher penalties for rape and murder.

It's been held at the foot of the clock at midday on that date each year ever since then, and while held yesterday a couple of blocks away at the pop-up Albert Square, she promised it would be back by the clock next year, even taking the opportunity to book it in with Mayor Lawrence Yule, who was in attendance with deputy Sandra Hazlehurst.


Others present included Agnes Nicholas, wife of John Edward (Jack) Nicholas, who was shot dead by a dawn sniper at the gate outside the couple's farm at remote Makahu on August 27, 2004.

His name was one of more than 100 read out by Mrs Davey from killings and suspected killings dating back as long as the disappearance of teenager Mona Blades while hitch-hiking home from Hamilton to Hawke's Bay during Queen's Birthday weekend in 1975.

Like several other family and friends of victims, Mrs Nicholas has been left with many unanswered convictions and no one being brought to account for the crime.

The police charged a man after a lengthy inquiry, but it ended with the matter still unresolved after the man charged with the murder was acquitted by a High Court jury in 2008.

She spoke yesterday to the gathering, among whom was family friend Steve Hunt, a former Puketitiri farmer who had come from Taradale to stand alongside Mrs Nicholas, after learning of the memorial barely an hour or so earlier.

While she said it is something family and friends of murder victims cannot forget - "It's something you don't get over" - Mrs Nicholas, like Mrs Davey, urged people to look to what they can do in their communities to help prevent similar crimes.

"I am quite sure your kindness will overcome all the badness," she said. "Don't let the perpetrators win."

Mrs Davey, who kindly offered umbrellas as the lightest of drizzle started and said it was going to be "very brief today," said she hopes next year she will get "all the people that were here 25 years ago."

She told the gathering that if they could see someone in their community struggling to help them. "You could be a lifesaver," she said.