Ro­tary’s Me­mo­rial Grove planted

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By TERESA HAT­TAN

It was an am­bi­tious job, but Ro­tary Mata­mata have done it.

The ser­vice club’s key project over the last few months has been the cre­ation of the Me­mo­rial Grove on Pe­ria Rd.

Af­ter a brief early morn­ing ser­vice, 100 kahikatea trees were planted on Mon­day. The site was blessed by kau­matua Jay Gillett and Ro­tary mem­bers and the public got to work.

Speak­ing ahead of the plant­ing, Ro­tary Mata­mata’s Don Stan­ley said the sig­nif­i­cance of the kahikatea tree was sim­ple. In years gone by the New Zealand na­tive used to cover the whole of the plains. It is also the tallest na­tive tree in New Zealand, he said.

Ro­tary Mata­mata had al­ways planned to tar­get the time around An­zac Day to plant the trees, with Stan­ley say­ing this was ‘‘am­bi­tious’’.

‘‘It was a big job, but we made it. The team have done a re­ally great job.’’

Stan­ley said con­tri­bu­tions have come in the form of dol­lars, time and labour. Ro­tary Mata­mata mem­bers alone had con­trib­uted to nearly 400 hours of time.

But there was still more to do with the project, Stan­ley said. The plaques, signs and mulch still need to be erected and dis­trib­uted. Funds for the project be­gan with the suc­cess­ful Con­cert by the Lake and Stan­ley said the public had also been gen­er­ous. To­tal cost of the project was ap­prox­i­mately $35,000.

Ro­tary Mata­mata’s Don Stan­ley and pres­i­dent Owen Farmilo plant a tree.

Pho­tos: TERESA HAT­TAN

Kau­matua Jay Gillett blesses the site.

Ro­tary Mata­mata mem­bers, from left, Don Stan­ley and Leonie Tisch, with Mata­mata RSA pres­i­dent Graeme Water­son at the Me­mo­rial Grove plant­ing.

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