Tawa war me­mo­rial un­veiled

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - SEAN NU­GENT

More than 100 peo­ple gath­ered near the Tawa RSA for the un­veil­ing and ded­i­ca­tion of the Tawa Me­mo­rial.

The me­mo­rial com­mem­o­rates the 13 Tawa sol­diers who gave their lives while serv­ing in the South African War and two World Wars.

It has taken the Tawa His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety more than a decade to get ap­proval for the me­mo­rial at the north­ern end of Ox­ford St ad­ja­cent to Grasslees Re­serve. It fea­tures ex­ten­sive paving, land­scap­ing and plenty of seat­ing and is es­ti­mated to have cost $170,000.

The un­veil­ing on April 23 was at­tended by lo­cal MP Peter Dunne, north­ern ward city coun­cil­lors Jill Day, Mal­colm Spar­row and Peter Gil­berd, and in­cluded speeches by Welling­ton Mayor Justin Lester and Air ViceMar­shall Kevin Short of the RNZAF.

The Air Vice-Mar­shall said the me­mo­rial was a great ad­di­tion to the com­mu­nity. ’’Tawa now has a fit­ting place to ac­knowl­edge the ser­vice and sac­ri­fice of its ser­vice per­son­nel, a place of re­flec­tion and a fo­cal point for com­mem­o­ra­tion. In small com­mu­ni­ties such as Tawa the loss of these men would have af­fected ev­ery­one.’’

The mayor praised the Tawa com­mu­nity for its ded­i­ca­tion to the project over such a long pe­riod as well as the to­geth­er­ness they showed.

His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety chair­per­son Bruce Mur­ray told the au­di­ence the sto­ries of two of the fallen men, Wil­liam Clachan and Mil­ton Mexted, who died and were buried abroad, but whose mem­ory had now been brought back to their home com­mu­nity via the me­mo­rial.

He had cho­sen the date for the un­veil­ing as it was ex­actly 112 years to the day since Mexted was born.

RSA mem­bers, vol­un­teers and com­mu­nity-based of­fend­ers worked side by side to tidy up graves and lay pop­pies at Whenua Tapu Ceme­tery last week. De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tions op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor Ge­orge Hen­der­son said Anzac Day was a good op­por­tu­nity for of­fend­ers to give back to the com­mu­nity. ‘‘For the last 8 years or so we’ve part­nered with Porirua RSA to place pop­pies with a sprig of rose­mary on the graves of the fallen ser­vice­men and women.’’ Pic­tured with pop­pies are, from left: Lind­say Skinner, wel­fare of­fi­cer, Porirua RSA; John Han­nan, wel­fare vis­i­tor, Porirua RSA, and Me­lanie Roy, ser­vice man­ager, Porirua.

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