War memorial needs tidy-up
A call has gone out to give a war memorial for the suburb’s contribution to two war efforts the respect it deserves.
Members of the Onehunga RSA say the war memorial in Jellicoe Park is tired and in need of a makeover to properly honour those it remembers.
The names of around 160 local men who died in World Wars I and II are engraved on a stone wall by the Onehunga pools.
The wall was built in the late 1980s after the amalgamation of the city’s borough council’s into one body and the original carved wood memorial was removed from the Onehunga council chambers.
That memorial is in fantastic condition but is now housed out of the public eye upstairs in the Onehunga RSA.
RSA welfare officer Tom Kerr says the memorial at the pools is itself in good condition, but the area beneath it is scrappy and often overwhelmed with garden detritus.
Wind-blown leaves accumulate at the base of the wall, and straggly plants do little to accentuate the memorial.
Mr Kerr and others are ask- ing the Auckland Council, which looks after the memorial, to give it regular attention to ensure it is well kept.
‘‘The whole area around it is a bit of a shambles,’’ Mr Kerr says.
‘‘There have been people ringing up the RSA office complaining. We’re trying to get it cleaned up but at the moment nothing is happening.’’
People from the parks department are in Jellicoe Park every few days making it look good, but they don’t touch the memorial, Mr Kerr says..
‘‘It just needs a bit of titivation, it’s not a major thing, just a bit of a regular clean-up around the place.
‘‘We’re coming up to 100 years since World War I and there’s going to be a few things going on, and people are more aware of it now.’’
Maungakiekie Local Board chairman Simon Randall says the board was not aware of the RSA’s concerns but will be getting on to improving the situation.
‘‘I’ll definitely talk to them and get the parks department on to it right away.
‘‘It’s a really important park in the history of Onehunga and should be respected.’’
Needs respect: Onehunga RSA welfare officer Tom Kerr is upset with the state of the war memorial in Jellicoe Park.