In time for the 2015 ANZAC commemorations, a small rural town has built a monument to its people who fought for this country over the past 100 years, thanks to the Waterview Connection project.
The newly erected Soldiers Memorial on the Village Green at Te Kauwhata in north Waikato was made from five concrete segments that had been rejected for installation in the motorway tunnels at Waterview in Auckland. The segments each weigh 10 tonnes, and had been moulded at the project’s precast concrete factory at East Tamaki in Auckland where more than 24,000 segments for the tunnels have been made.
“We are extremely honoured that we have been able to support Te Kauwhata’s community and make a contribution like this – especially as ANZAC Day marked the centenary of the troop landings at Gallipoli in Turkey,” says the project’s Precast Sub-Alliance manager Andy Bould.
Two of the segments lean together and represent the spirit of ANZAC – New Zealand and Australian soldiers supporting each other. The other three have inscriptions in English and Maori, and the names of locals who served in all the services from World War 1 through to East Timor. Thirty-nine people from the community died on duty and 214 returned.
The memorial was conceived and erected by the Lions Club of Te Kauwhata and Districts. The coordinator of the memorial project, David Hosking, says it would have been too expensive for the Lions club to build it from scratch.
“We then had the ‘brainwave’ of asking the precast factory if any tunnel segments were available. The support from the factory and the wider Waterview project has been fantastic. We’ve never had a memorial in the town to recognise people from the district who served our country in many distant places around the world,” he says.