Statue stands for all armed ser­vices

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

A life- sized gran­ite statue to be un­veiled in Whenua Tapu ceme­tery in Novem­ber will be a fit­ting trib­ute to those who serve in our armed forces, its spon­sor says.

The statue was com­mis­sioned by Stu­art Wheeler of Wheeler’s Guardian Funeral Home and will cost more than $20,000.

Mr Wheeler said it was time to give some­thing back to the many fam­i­lies who have sup­ported his busi­ness, which has been oper­at­ing in Porirua for 25 years.

‘‘We pon­dered over this for some time, it was about do­ing some­thing tan­gi­ble that peo­ple can iden­tify with. There are many fam­i­lies in this community with mil­i­tary con­nec­tions, and other ser­vices like the po­lice, so we wanted to do some­thing fit­ting.’’

Mr Wheeler was in­spired by the statue at New­stead Ceme­tery, near Hamil­ton. Af­ter rais­ing the idea with Porirua City Coun­cil and lo­cal RSAs, Mr Wheeler re­ceived wide­spread sup­port and ap­proval.

Each side of the statue will de­tail New Zealand’s three armed ser­vices.

‘‘There are two or three of these stat­ues around the coun­try and we thought we would fol­low suit. They can be­come a real fo­cal point of Anzac and Ar­mistice Day com­mem­o­ra­tions. While the past is ac­knowl­edged with the tra­di­tional uni­form and le­mon squeezer hat, the gun the statue is hold­ing is mod­ern, so it rep­re­sents all those serv­ing over­seas to­day.’’

The statue will be erected in front of the flag­pole at Whenua Tapu af­ter it ar­rives from In­dia next month. It will be un­veiled on Novem­ber 11 – Ar­mistice Day – at a cer­e­mony at­tended by vet­er­ans, RSA of­fi­cials, Crown min­is­ters and the pub­lic.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Mon­u­men­tal: This statue at New­stead Ceme­tery is an ex­act replica of what has been do­nated to the community by Wheeler’s Guardian Funeral Home for Whenua Tapu.

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