Manukau Courier : November 25th 2010
www.manukaucourier.co.nz Thursday, November 25, 2010 Panels salute bravery Never forgotten: A New Zealand soldier ponders one of the four large granite panels that form a section of the three-part RSA Memorial at Manukau Memorial Gardens. By DAVID TAURANGA IT S BEEN a long time coming but a spectacular new war memorial will ensure the sacrifices of New Zealanders who served in wartime will never be forgotten. The much-anticipated Re- turned Services Memorial at Manukau Memorial Gardens in Papatoetoe has been officially unveiled. Auckland mayor Len Brown and South Auckland RSA Cemeteries Trust spokesman Colin Topp did the honours in front of a large crowd that included army, navy and air force represen- tatives as well as current and former local body politicians. The $700,000 memorial is an extension of the cemetery s returned services section and was completed earlier this year. But it was a long slog for those behind the project. The idea for the memorial was first conceived in the early 1980s by returned servicemen from throughout Counties Manukau. Some went on to form the dedicated cemetery trust that worked hard to turn the idea into reality. Mr Topp served in the New Zealand Navy during World War Two and says all good things come to those who wait. Nothing could be more accurate in relation to this memorial. This is a dream come true. The memorial will provide a permanent reminder of those who sacrificed and endured so much hardship to preserve our freedom and way of life. It will be here for everyone and will serve its purpose of educating people. The memorial was designed by landscape architects Chow:Hill which won a bronze award at this year s New Zealand Institute of Landscaping Architecture Pride of Place Awards for its work. The design provides three areas within the memorial for commemoration, remem- brance and education. Gatherings will take place in the commemoration space, an open paved area edged by columnar trees and focused on a flagpole. Four sculpted granite panels with statues depicting the three military branches and the nursing corps enclose the remembrance space. And in the education area four large granite panels fea- ture text and imagery that tell real stories of Kiwi servicemen and women. Mr Topp says the end result is beyond the wildest expectations of those involved. A lot of thought has gone into this memorial and I want to thank everyone involved. Funding came from the Manukau City Council, Manurewa and Papatoetoe community boards, Manu- rewa and Papatoetoe RSAs, RSA women s sections, Vet- eran Affairs New Zealand and the ASB Trust. Mayor's plea for your help Mayor Len Brown Operation Heal is a great example of people working together to make a real difference to the lives of New Zea- landers. The Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust launched this project to raise money to buy a vital piece of equipment for the National Burn Centre at Middlemore Hospital. The high-tech micro- scope will be used for life-changing plastic and reconstructive surgery. It s great to see the Manukau Courier work- ing with its sister publications to get people around the region to pitch in and donate money for this crucial microscope. My dream for Auck- land is to see organis- ations, businesses and communities working together to make this the world s most liveable city. I m happy to sup- port projects like Oper- ation Heal which embody a real com- munity spirit. I encourage people to support this cause. -- Len Brown A firefighter's story P5 See Len Brown at www.manukau courier.co.nz.
November 23rd 2010
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