War memorial finally on the way for Tawa
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.