By DAVID HILL
Planning is complete and work is about to start on Woodend’s war memorial.
Woodend Lions president Ian Lennie says $54,000 has been raised.
Now, the Waimakariri District Council’s greenspace team is set to project-manage the construction of the town’s new memorial.
It will be located off School Road, on the grass area next to the Woodend Community Centre carpark.
It will be “a pill box” shape, with stylised barbed wire and poppies around the base.
It will be developed by Rangiora stonemason Peter Dunn.
“Other war memorials constructed from 1928 onwards have a concrete base and are made of flint, so they’re all very similar,” Mr Lennie says.
“Because Woodend didn’t have a war memorial and it’s not 1928, it’s now 2019, we decided we would do something more timely and unique to Woodend.”
The memorial will have six panels, for Woodend and Waikuku names from local memorial hall boards from the South African War and World Wars 1 and 2.
It will leave room for the names of soldiers lost in subsequent and future conflicts, such as Vietnam, Korea and Afghanistan.
The project is still $3500 short of required funds and the Woodend Lions are happy to accept donations to help meet the shortfall.
Mr Lennie says the Rangiora RSA and the council have been very supportive of the project, while the Kaiapoi RSA has supported the Woodend Lions in running last year’s Anzac service.
It is again supporting this year’s service, being held on April 24.
The project is expected to completed later this year and will be marked by a public event at which the Woodend Lions will hand over the memorial to the community.
Mr Lennie says he plans to invite the families of the soldiers named on the memorial to be a part of the event.
“We had hoped it would be up and running this year, but it’s not to be. But I would like to think the sod will have been turned by then.”
He says there are plans to have a flag beside the memorial so Anzac services and other events can be held there, while the Woodend Garden Club has offered to help with planting and looking after a garden on the site.
There has also been support from the Woodend-Sefton Community Board, the Ravenswood subdivision developers, the Veterans Association, various funding agencies, and the wider community.
Mr Lennie says these supporters will be acknowledged when the project is completed.