Cen­te­nary brings out crosses

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PURONGORONGO - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

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.

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