If you ♥ this story, please share it. Thank you.
Section: Pukekohe News
Craig Mulholland gave a presentation at the Franklin Local Board’s final meeting for 2014, requesting financial assistance to restore the War Memorial Arch at Bombay.
The arch, which commemorates local servicemen and women who have fought for New Zealand since the First World War, has become unstable and could be a safety hazard.
Arch on a perilous lean
With the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day and the 150th anniversary of the Bombay District occurring next year, the Bombay community have decided it is timely to rebuild the memorial arch.
“Over the many years the arch has stood in Bombay, it has developed a perilous lean,” Craig told board members.
“We believe the arch may have become destabilised by the implementation of a storm water drain by the local council next to the arch which has softened the ground it stands on.
“This is the opinion of an engineer engaged some years back to investigate the lean.”
Craig said that, given the arch stands next to a busy tennis court, the rugby club and the primary school across the road, there is a concern it has become a significant safety hazard.
He showed diagrams showing a manhole and a cesspit sunken into the ground close to the arch and when questioned by board members about council’s involvement, Craig said the community was still investigating when the drain was established.
Council could be responsible for destabilisation
“We do think council could be responsible for it but at this point we don’t want to go down that track,” he added.
“The Bombay Lions and the rest of the Bombay community are currently undertaking a project to restore and rebuild the arch to make it safe, stable and a fitting tribute to our fallen soldiers.
“However, despite the generous donation of time, labour and materials by the community, we do not have the resources required to complete the rebuild,” he concluded.
The board reserved its decision to provide financial assistance and chairman, Andy Baker thanked Craig for his impressive presentation.
History of the arch
The Bombay War Memorial Arch was first unveiled by the then mayor of Auckland, JH Gunson, on November 22, 1923, in remembrance of World War 1.
The arch and gates were set into a stone wall running along the front of the recreation grounds. The wall has since been replaced but the arch is original.
A tablet in the centre of the arch bears the words: “A tribute to those who served so that we might live.”
The arch stands as a tribute to all New Zealanders who have served in wars but the tablet is also inscribed with the years “1914” and “1918”, referring to the duration of the First World War.
The arch plays an important role in the annual ANZAC parades in Bombay, being the site of wreathe-laying and the raising of the flag.
Pukekohe Editor’s invitation: What’s your opinion? To make a comment or share your view about this story, scroll down to leave a message..