A living me­mo­rial to fallen Ki­wis

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By TERESA HAT­TAN

Mata­mata- Pi­ako Mayor Jan Barnes has un­veiled Mata­mata’s Me­mo­rial Gar­den – a fit­ting trib­ute to those who never re­turned from war.

The ded­i­ca­tion of the com­mem­o­ra­tive gar­den on the cor­ner of Arawa St and Broad­way took place on April 24.

Barnes said coun­cil staff had put a lot of ef­fort into hav­ing three ded­i­cated me­mo­rial gar­dens in the dis­trict.

Ear­lier on Fri­day, she un­veiled the gar­dens in Te Aroha and Mor­rinsville, be­fore host­ing the small cer­e­mony out­side Os­te­ria Da Gino to of­fi­cially open the Mata­mata gar­den.

Barnes said the coun­cil was asked to pre­pare and plant the gar­dens, and while there wasn’t a lot hap­pen­ing at the mo­ment, ‘‘the rose­mary is just start­ing to flower, and the Gal­lipoli rose is the other plant in there, and that will be a lovely flat rose that will flower in the spring’’.

‘‘They are the two of­fi­cial plants that were grow­ing on the Gal­lipoli Penin­sula, so we felt that it was very fit­ting and very sym­bolic to be grow­ing here in such a prom­i­nent place.’’

She said it was also a spe­cial mo­ment to un­veil the gar­den, as it was 100 years since the Gal­lipoli land­ings. ‘‘We have a lot to be thank­ful for in our com­mu­nity, and I think this is the way the com­mu­nity can speak.’’

At the un­veil­ing, Mata­mata RSA pres­i­dent Graeme Water­son said the com­mu­nity was in­debted to the coun­cil for tak­ing to heart the idea of com­mem­o­rat­ing the 100th an­niver­sary of the Gal­lipoli land­ings.

Water­son also spoke of the white crosses that have been erected out­side the Mata­mata Me­mo­rial Cen­tre this year. The crosses, cre­ated last year, rep­re­sent those from the area who went to war and never re­turned.

He said the project wasn’t about glo­ri­fy­ing war. ‘‘It’s a mat­ter of hon­our­ing those peo­ple that gave their lives and were not able to come back and fur­ther the com­mu­nity.

‘‘They left it to their rel­a­tives, their friends to give us the coun­try we have to­day. It re­ally was a great loss out of the pop­u­la­tion.’’

Barnes said the quite poignant.

‘‘They each tell a story, and be­hind those crosses are loved fam­i­lies of the per­son. It is a time of re­flec­tion, as 100 years ago was not that long ago.’’

crosses were

Mata­mata-Pi­ako Mayor Jan Barnes un­veils the Me­mo­rial Gar­den on the cor­ner of Arawa St and Broad­way on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

Pho­tos: TERESA HAT­TAN

Mata­mata’s Me­mo­rial Gar­den fea­tures Gal­lipoli rose and rose­mary.

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