Brighter future for damaged memorials
For decades they stood untouched by the passing of time as a tribute to those who lost their lives in World War I and II.
Both the Seddon and Ward War Memorials were damaged in the 2016 Kaiko¯ura earthquake.
But vital repair work costing around $50,000 has helped safeguard their future with work to the Ward War Memorial complete and work on the Awatere War Memorial in Seddon nearing its end.
Both should be ready in time for this year’s ANZAC Day celebrations on April 25.
Taking pride of place at the entrance to the Flaxbourne Domain on SH1, the white stone Ward memorial suffered dislodged rock-work and the concrete base was in need of strengthening.
Significant damage to the upper retaining walls and the archway at the bottom of the site left the Seddon memorial in a poor state.
Marlborough District Council staff have spent around $30,000 safeguarding the future of the important community tributes.
A spokeswoman says work started in mid-March with contractors from Downers Open Space team taking on the work.
‘‘It was important to have them ready for Anzac Day,’’ she says.
Costs have been met in part by Council and the Sutherland Self Help Trust which awarded $10,000 to each of the projects.
Projects helping communities to recover from the earthquake benefited in this year’s funding round with the trust awarding $895,000 in grants this year, including $50,000 towards strengthening Ward’s community hall.
Also known as the Flaxbourne fallen soldiers memorial, the Ward memorial was unveiled on November 21 1922 by Lady Jellicoe.
It was created by stonemason Charlie Butt who used limestone quarried from the hills behind the domain.
The spokeswoman says the original stones were able to be put back into place.
Improvements to the Seddon memorial will also include two new spotlights which will light up the memorial overnight.
‘‘On the Ward memorial some of the stones were dislodged but did not need replacing but in Seddon some will need replacing and the stone will come from a quarry where the original stone came from.
‘‘It needs quite a bit of strengthening work and part of the reason we have put in so much effort is that it beings communities back together.
‘‘These communities get huge turn outs for their Anzac services and we want people to be proud of them’’ she says.
The Awatere War Memorial in Seddon was closed after suffering damage in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.