New Zealand Forces recognised by permanent memorial


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8 May 2007

A 2.9 metre tall soldier statue memorialising the New Zealand Navy, Army and Air Force will be officially presented to the city at Hamilton Park Cemetery's Totara Services lawn this Sunday [13 May] at 10am.

Hamilton mayor Michael Redman will officially unveil and accept the statue on behalf of the city from James R. Hill Funeral Directors who initiated the statue as a permanent memorial to service men and women from all three NZ Forces.

Council has worked co-operatively with James R. Hill Funeral Directors and RSA to enable the statue memorial project.

Last year, Council successfully applied for a $5000 Year of the Veteran community grant from Veteran Affairs New Zealand and these funds have been dedicated to the site works and landscaping around the memorial. Opus Consultants have gifted their professional services to design the foundations for the memorial.

Hamilton mayor Michael Redman says the memorial is the first of its kind for Hamilton.

"The soldier statue is the only memorial in the city that commemorates the service of all three Forces. At Memorial Park, the three Forces are recognised through separate memorials being the spitfire replica that represents the New Zealand Airforce, the Anchor of HMNZS Waikato representing the New Zealand Navy and the Medium artillery gun representing the New Zealand Artillery and Army.

"Following closely after Year of the Veteran in 2006 and Hamilton's stunning ANZAC Day celebrations last month, it's great to see James R. Hill Funeral Directors' foresight coming to fruition with the installation and unveiling of the statue memorial. Council has worked closely with James R. Hill Funeral Directors to ensure appropriate landscaping and groundwork is completed to bolster the statue's presentation and is pleased to have contributed its Year of the Veteran community grant towards the project."

James R. Hill Funeral Directors manager Graham Hallam says that Year of the Veteran, which fell in 2006, was the impetus behind the statue memorial.

"Last year was Year of the Veteran and it seemed highly appropriate that we should commission a memorial to recognise this and the memory of all the veterans who have served for their country. The newly-opened Totara Services Lawn at Hamilton Park Cemetery, which is dedicated to service men and women of all three New Zealand Forces, is an ideal location for this.

"The soldier statue memorial marks a continuation of our involvement in and support of community projects and we are most appreciative of the co-operation and input from Hamilton City Council and the RSA towards making this project happen."

NAME: Bill Featherstone
DESIGNATION: Parks and Gardens Manager
TEL (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6607
FAX (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6651
NAME: Naomi Reynolds
DESIGNATION: Communication Advisor
TEL (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6726
MOBILE: 027 413 3448
FAX (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6761
NAME: Graham Hallam
DESIGNATION: Manager of James R. Hill Funeral Services
TEL (DIRECT): 855 5541
Page reviewed: 08 May 2007 12:00am