Boar War Memorial Restoration - Marton Memorial park
This project was taken up by Marton RSA members Barry Rankin and Alan Buckendahl as a result of their attendance at a series of forums held by RDC in 2016 to update the then current Marton Park Management plan. Although conceived and constructed some 10 years BEFORE the formation of RSA’s in New Zealand, both of them, as long-term Marton residents, were concerned that without some serious restoration being undertaken the memorial would be deemed as “beyond help”, and they determined not to let this happen. Marton RSA also feels linked to Marton Memorial Park through the presence of the significant WW1 Cenotaph, and in recent years funded the installation of two flag poles in front of the Cenotaph.
Marton RSA Committee decided in 2016 to start off funding of the project with a grant of $4000 raised for that purpose through a well-supported raffle. Project Marton helped initially by approaching RDC for further funding, and by 2018 we had received quotations for the work involved, which totaled over $40,000.
RDC initially rejected the RSA opinion that restoration of the stonework could be handled by a local business, and insisted that through Heritage NZ a monumentalist from the Wellington region be asked to quote, and subsequently accepted a quotation of $24,380 including a contingency amount of $3450. Unfortunately, once this firm was ready to proceed and asked for 50% “upfront”, the business went into voluntary liquidation within days of receiving the deposit.
Marton RSA at this stage decided to “go it alone” and was extremely lucky in that Peter and Darryl Cousins, owners of Permanite Monuments in Marton, reiterated that they were confident of removing all of the many layers of council-applied paint, replacing the commemorative plaques, and protecting the resultant memorial with a clear coating. In the meantime, fund-raising had continued, with a significant grant from Dudding Trust. This was added to by a number of very generous donations from RSA members, community organisations and locals. Permanite ultimately charged one-fifth of what the out of town “expert” had quoted, Robert Gunn and Ashley Williams of The Downs Group offered a HUGE amount of support and contributed a significant part of the cost of new LED lights and installation of same, and Shane Gribbon Contracting donated the time and expertise involved in trenching for the wiring.
Covid-19 struck the day before the lighting had been expected to be turned on-able and on Friday 17th July 2020 we were able to announce that after many many years, yes – there is light atop Marton’s once-again impressive Boer War/Trooper Hyde/King Edward V11 Coronation/Peace in South Africa memorial.
Marton RSA has no ownership or responsibility for this historic monument - it was originally funded by Marton Borough Council in the early 1900’s – but is proud to have driven the restoration project through to completion.