New home for plaque to fallen soldiers
It was meant to be the war that ended all wars, but unfortunately it wasn’t.
But now some of the names of those who sacrificed their lives during World War I are on display at Makarewa School.
An honours board that had been on display in the St Stephens Presbyterian Church was rededicated to the school yesterday, ahead of Armistice Day tomorrow.
Church spokesman Peter Noble said the church had been privately purchased several years ago and with Southland researcher Ann Robbie’s help, they were able to bring the board across to the school.
‘‘It’s an honour that it’s going to a good home in the community,’’ Noble said. ‘‘The children will recognise some of the names on that board, it’s a connection to the past.’’
When speaking to the children, Noble said Makarewa was such a small place and the number of men missing from the community at the time of the war would have been noticeable.
‘‘It’s a reminder of the sacrifice made all those years ago. To have all those people missing would have been sad.’’
Robbie has been on a hunt for Southland honour boards for about 20 years, with an estimated 90 per cent being unearthed, but some were still missing. ‘‘I know some were lost in the  floods,’’ she said.
The hunt for these boards was a ‘‘mad passion’’, she said, but she did not want them to be lost.
NZ Army Sergeant Zane Langford also spoke at the rededication and said wars were fought to spread messages.
‘‘The New Zealand Defence Force goes around the world to say it’s not okay to be a bully.’’
Meanwhile, Christchurch woman has put together three podcasts bringing two Southland soldier’s diaries to life. Robyn Anderson, who is a writer, received a Canterbury RSA Research Scholarship earlier this year which enabled her to do research in England on World War I.
The diaries are of her husband’s grandfather, William Anderson, and of Eric Ryburn, whose dairy was found at the Imperial War Museum in London.
Radio station Plains FM, of Christchurch, made the podcasts with the narrator being Christchurch broadcasting school tutor Mark Aldridge. Christchurch students Henry Warner and Jack Milner were the voices of William and Eric.
Robyn said she wanted ‘‘young voices and not old voices’’ for the roles of William and Eric, who were 23 and 21, respectively, when they left New Zealand in 1916.
When listening to the podcasts Robyn feels she is living the lives of both men.
Pictured, from left, Fiona Forrest, president of the Lorneville RSA, Zane Langford, back, Ann Robbie, pupil Ben Spence, 7, and Bill South during the rededication of the WWI Honours Board from the sold St Stephens church, at Makarewa, to Makarewa School yesterday. PHOTOS: ROBYN EDIE/STUFF
The WWI Honours Board from the sold St Stephens church, at Makarewa, was rededicated at Makarewa School yesterday.
Bill South, left, and Zane Langford, speak to the children at Makarewa School yesterday.