Centenary brings out crosses
Soldiers who did not return home from World War I have been given a special place in the South Waikato.
The known 26 fallen soldiers from the district each had a white cross made for the WW100 initiative rolled out across the country.
The 18,400 crosses will be displayed each year in the districts where the soldiers originate from.
In 2018 they will be sent to Wellington and displayed together.
Waikato-King Country-Bay of Plenty RSA president Clive Collingwood attended the Tirau ceremony on Monday.
A small gathering of five RSA members also stood side by side as the 14 crosses were placed on Tirau’s main street.
Collingwood believed the soldiers would have appreciated the gesture.
‘‘I think they would be very honoured,’’ he said.
The ceremony featured a short spiel from Collingwood and The Last Ode.
Tirau citizen and 61-year RSA member Bill Armstrong also spoke as a part of his ‘‘duty’’.
‘‘We remember those who lost their lives in the World War 1 conflict, who are close to our hearts as soldiers,’’ he said.
RSA members weren’t the only ones to pay their respects. Collingwood said community businesses were ‘‘ responsive’’ with their donations of materials.
The Tirau crosses representing soldiers from Tirau, Tupapa and Okoroire will be on display for one week. Another 11 crosses from Putaruru and one from Tokoroa were made and will be put up in each town.
Special remembrance: Waikato-King Country-Bay of Plenty RSA president Clive Collingwood held a ceremony on Tirau’s main street for fallen World War I soldiers.