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WWI Memorial Forests awarded Lottery funding

23 December 2015

Our World War One Memorial Forest project has been given a big boost with funding of $122,205 from the New Zealand Lotteries Commission WW1 Commemoration Fund.

Maggie Barry at launch of WWI Memorial Forest at Cathedral Cove 5 June 2015

 

The grant means that work can continue on the Memorial Forest project, which in 2015 has seen more than 3,000 trees planted at seven sites across the Coromandel.

For a $25 donation, you can dedicate a tree to one of the 18,166 New Zealand soldiers who was killed in the Great War.

"This new funding is recognition of the hard work that has gone into the Memorial Forest project," says Mayor Glenn Leach.

"We now have Memorial Forests in each Community Board area of the Coromandel. We've had school children working through last winter with our Council staff and elected members, Waikato Regional Council, local RSAs, Wintec and community groups to plant thousands of trees," says Mr Leach.

"Our Memorial Forests project will continue to grow, thanks to this help from Lotteries, and provide a lasting legacy for future generations with magnificent forests to honour those who sacrificed their lives for New Zealand," he says.

The Memorial Forest sites

Each of the Memorial Forest sites represents a battle of the Great War or pays tribute to the men who died from a particular area of the Coromandel:

  • Cathedral Cove (Gallipoli): We have planted about half of the 2,779 trees to commemorate each soldier who died at Gallipoli.
  • Whangamata (Battle of Le Quesnoy): We have planted 122 trees at a Council reserve at the north end of town for the 122 men killed liberating the French town of Le Quesnoy in the final week of the war.
  • Coromandel Town ("Supreme Sacrifice"): We have planted more than 1,000 trees at the Hauraki Road site to represent the ultimate price paid by those who never returned from the war, and to pay tribute to the 39 Coromandel Town men who were killed.
  • Pauanui (Sinai-Palestine Campaign): The Tangitarori Lane site represents the 640 men killed in this campaign.
  • Thames (Thames war dead): The 247 trees planted at Rhodes Park at the south entrance to town pay tribute to the 247 Thames men who fell in the war.
  • Tairua (Tairua war dead): The site at the new Tairua Cemetery honours the 48 local men who gave their lives.
  • Whitianga (Passchendaele): Located at the new cemetery south of Whitianga on SH25.

The $122,205 from the Lotteries Commission means we have the potential to plant the remaining 1,300 trees at the Gallipoli Memorial Forest; a new 2,000-tree forest commemorating the Battle of the Somme, which will be planted along the Coromandel Great Walks route at the Stella Evered Reserve at Purangi; and an additional 1,500 trees to commemorate the Battle of Passchendaele at the new Whitianga Cemetery.

Planting of these new forests will not begin until the full Council has had a chance to consider the expansion of the Memorial Forest project at its meeting in late February.

The Lotteries grant, plus a grant of $40,000 already provided by Waikato Regional Council, $57,000 of financial and in-kind support from our Council, and the assistance of the Department of Conservation, Wintec (which has provided trainee horticulturalists), and Perpetual Guardians (who manage the Stella Evered Reserve), means the Memorial Forests project now has considerable momentum.

How to honour the fallen

1) Your $25 donation dedicates a tree in the WWI Memorial Forest to a specific New Zealand soldier who died in the Great War. You will receive a memorial certificate with the soldier's name and the GPS co-ordinates of the tree.

2) Or, you can gift a tree to a fallen soldier on behalf of your family. You will receive a memorial certificate but no GPS location.

To donate, please go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/donatetree or call our Customer Services team on 07 868 0200.

For full details of the Memorial Forest project, see www.tcdc.govt.nz/ww1memorialforest