Statue stands for all armed services
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.
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.