War me­mo­rial fi­nally on the way for Tawa

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - KRIS DANDO

There have been years of de­lays and a much larger pric­etag than ex­pected, but Tawa will fi­nally be get­ting a war me­mo­rial.

When the $170,000 project was first mooted by the Tawa His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety more than eight years ago, the cost was be­tween $70,000 and $90,000.

But the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis, in­cor­rect ad­vice about grant ap­pli­ca­tions and de­lays which meant some money had to be re­turned to Mana Com­mu­nity Grants Foun­da­tion, meant the project was put on the back burner.

To get an $82,000 grant from Lotteries’ En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Fund was a mas­sive re­lief, his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety chair­man Bruce Mur­ray said.

‘‘I’m ec­static. You’re never sure when you ap­ply for these grants, but to be told the mem- orial fits the bill per­fectly was just great news.’’

The me­mo­rial, to be built at the north­ern end of Oxford St has al­ready had plans drawn up by ar­chi­tects McKen­zie Higham.

They show an en­clos­ing wall, seat­ing, ex­ten­sive pav­ing and land­scap­ing, and spa­ces to recog­nise the 13 Tawa men who died in ser­vice.

Mur­ray said go­ing for­ward they hoped it could recog­nise the ser­vice of oth­ers from Tawa, not just those who died in war, and there was plenty of room to add names in the fu­ture.

He hoped it would be well­looked af­ter by lo­cal res­i­dents who would pass it daily.

Mur­ray said an un­veil­ing just prior to An­zac Day would be ideal.

Chair­man of Tawa RSA’s Poppy Fund Trust, Tom King, said the project was some­thing the RSA was fully be­hind.

‘‘Ab­so­lute credit to Bruce, he’s doggedly driven this from the start, even dur­ing the re­cent re­ces­sion,’’ King said.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be a wor­thy me­mo­rial in a prom­i­nent place and we recog­nise its im­por­tance.’’

Along with the Lotteries money, grants from the RSA’s Poppy Fund, Lions and Linden Tennis Club, who re­cently merged with an­other club, made it hap­pen.

A for­mer sol­dier, who did not want to be named, also gave money, Mur­ray said.

‘‘To my mind, while the Lotteries money got us home and Wellington City Coun­cil gave us the land, this has been a com­mu­nity ini­tia­tive from the start.

‘‘While it’s taken eight years, things moved very quickly at the end.’’

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the Tawa me­mo­rial to be built at the north­ern end of Oxford Street.

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