Call to help fund memorial to conscientious objectors

The trust behind a planned Dunedin memorial honouring conscientious objectors is seeking public support.

The Archibald Baxter Memorial Trust needs to raise about $420,000 to build the memorial on the community reserve at the intersection of George and Albany Sts.

It has raised about $120,000.

The memorial will honour World War 1 conscientious objector, lifelong pacifist and Brighton resident Archibald Baxter as well other conscientious objectors.

The trust launched an online crowdfunding campaign last week, aimed at raising $20,000, of which about $6000 has already been donated.

Trust chairman Kevin Clements said if the trust was able to raise the $20,000, it could then apply for a grant from the Lottery Environment and Heritage Committee for the remaining money.

Also, the Dunedin City Council has agreed to contribute about $30,000 from its public art budget.

The trust hoped to have secured all the money it needed by September, Prof Clements said.

"Then we're on our way to building the garden, monument and sculpture. We'd originally planned to have it ready for the 100-year anniversary of Baxter's dispatch to France, which was 2018, so we're a little far behind but not too far.''

The proposal to commemorate Mr Baxter and other objectors has faced hurdles since being mooted in 2014.

Originally, the memorial was planned for a site in Anzac Ave, but the Returned and Services Association opposed the memorial being placed on a road named to commemorate World War 1 and Dunedin soldiers who died.

Another proposed site in the Otago Museum Reserve was also abandoned in 2015.


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