Honouring Woodville's Fallen Soldiers

On 2 September, 81 Rata trees will be planted at Ferry Reserve as a Returned Services Association (RSA) memorial to each soldier that gave their life during World War I.

The trees will be planted by children from Woodville Primary School, with the help of those attending.

Neil Mickleson, Horizons Regional Council Environmental Management Officer, helped source the trees and says having the children do the planting is significant.

"Many of these children have a direct link with those soldiers who lost their lives so it is appropriate they are involved in this way.

Untitled-1.png"I can say from the outset that all parties from councils, schools, associated groups, the Te Apiti project stakeholders and individuals, feel privileged to be part of this significant and historical event. In future years, these plantings will see a magnificent Rata Grove develop, unique to New Zealand, and when flowering show a blaze of red symbolising the ANZAC Poppy."

Mr Mickleson describes the event as exciting and says this is the first time, as far as he is aware, that Rata have been planted in a grove and anticipates this will look spectacular.

Woodville RSA President, Ralph Mountfort, says a total of 403 men and one woman left the town to fight in World War I.

"This event is to remember them," says Mr Mountfort. "Originally we saw this as being a small local event but it has grown to include the 2nd Workshop Company from Linton Army Camp attending and the President of the East Coast RSA."

Official proceedings will begin on the day at 1:30pm with a welcome and a brief on proceedings, public attendance is welcome. This will be followed by a karakia delivered by Manahi Paewai and an RSA address by Ralph Mountfort.

Advice will then be given on planting and where to plant by Horizons Regional Council staff before planting begins.

Each child from Woodville School will then take a Rata tree, and with the assistance of those attending, plant it. When planting is completed, a bus will take the children back to Woodville School where afternoon tea will be available for those who wish to attend.

<< Back to Latest News(Posted on: 29/08/2016)