MEM­ORY BOXES

Her­itage con­sul­tant Ann Mce­wan peeks be­hind the fa­cades of some of the re­gion’s old­est build­ings.

Waikato Times - - OUT & ABOUT - The Swar­brick Me­mo­rial Arch marks the achieve­ments of Arthur Swar­brick.

A key theme at a re­cent Univer­sity of Waikato talk about pub­lic art was the com­mem­o­ra­tive func­tion of sculp­ture in pub­lic places.

An ivy-clad me­mo­rial arch­way at the en­trance to the Lake Do­main is not quite a work of art, but it does memo­ri­alise a no­table Hamil­to­nian.

English-born Arthur Swar­brick [c.1851-1927] mar­ried Adriana Pi­eters in 1881 and the cou­ple ar­rived in Kirikiriroa in the fol­low­ing year.

At first a farmer in Chartwell and then a so­lic­i­tor in Hamil­ton, Swar­brick was ac­tive in the Angli­can Church and a keen am­a­teur ac­tor.

Adriana was an ac­com­plished singer and the cou­ple had five chil­dren, two of whom con­tin­ued in the le­gal pro­fes­sion.

Swar­brick served as chair­man of the Hamil­ton Do­main Board from 1913-21 and again from 1925-27. He cham­pi­oned the plant­ing of na­tive trees in the do­main and it was re­ported in 1918 that his in­struc­tions to the work­men were to never re­move any­thing na­tive.

One of the plaques set into the arch­way bears the phrase ‘‘If you seek a fur­ther mon­u­ment look within’’. This is a sub­tle rewrit­ing of the in­scrip­tion mark­ing Sir Christo­pher Wren’s burial place in St Paul’s Cathe­dral, Lon­don.

Swar­brick Park in Frankton, Swar­bricks Land­ing Re­serve on River Rd and Swar­brick Drive in Te Awa­mutu also carry the fam­ily name. Such place names and me­mo­rial struc­tures cre­ate an im­por­tant con­nec­tion to the peo­ple who have gone be­fore us and who, in their own way, tried to make Hamil­ton a bet­ter place in which to live.

Mon­u­ment in stone:

Ann Mce­wan

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