The Whangarei Community is embracing the new War Memorial for Laurie Hall Park, engaging through a search for names of war dead and at a practical, financial level, according the Whangarei RSA Trust Chairman Archie Dixon.
8/09/2014 3:26 p.m.
"We have been working with our own members, the broader community, schools and Council for several years now in the lead up to development of the new memorial.
“For people to gain a real sense of connection with something, to be proud of it and ‘own’ it, they need to be involved with it some how – through decision making, physical work, providing information, or even through funding it,” Mr Dixon said.
“Whangarei District Council has allocated $500,000 to the project, which will cover building a new memorial at Laurie Hall Park. The design has been signed off, contracts have been let and work is going to begin on the ground quite soon.
Next month the Rose Street Cenotaph will be deconsecrated during a special ceremony and then removed. Over the following months it will be restored and relocated to the new memorial before it is unveiled.
All these parts of the job, including the granite for the memorial, is covered by the Council’s contribution, and now we are seeking support from businesses and individuals around town, for a few extra things that are not included in the design but can be added to enhance the memorial.”
Mr Dixon said there would be four stainless steel flagpoles at the memorial sponsored by Culham Engineering. The New Zealand flag, the Royal New Zealand Naval white ensign, the Royal New Zealand Air Force ensign, and the Merchant Service red ensign. On Anzac day these will be replaced with two New Zealand and two Australian flags.
“Raising money from the public will enable us to install permanent spotlights on the flags. As well as creating a spectacle, this will enable the flags to be flown 24 hours a day, rather than raised at dawn and lowered at sunset.
“Another project we would like the community to contribute to will be a platform for the flag bearers who are an important part of the Dawn Ceremony on ANZAC day.
“We also plan to produce a commemorative booklet about the unveiling of the new memorial, listing more than 650 names of Whangarei’s war dead,” he said.
“These endeavours ensure that we do not break faith with those who served and perished.”