Moving trooper a monumental mission

Off his perch . . . The statue of Trooper David Mickle Jack is lowered from the top of the Boer...
Off his perch . . . The statue of Trooper David Mickle Jack is lowered from the top of the Boer War monument in central Oamaru yesterday for the first time in 104 years. Photo by Sally Rae.
It was a monumental mission.

After 104 years on top of the Boer War monument in central Oamaru, the 2.74m high statue of Trooper David Mickle Jack was carefully removed shortly after 4.30pm yesterday.

The statue was transferred by crane to a truck in a meticulously-planned exercise, which went without a hitch.

The statue, along with the 960-tonne monument, is being shifted about 40m south and turned around 180 degrees to face north.

It is the first time since the monument was completed in November, 1904, the statue has been on the ground.

Transit New Zealand regional projects manager Simon Underwood said the statue would be given a light clean and there would be an opportunity for the public to inspect it before it was returned to its perch.

Part of the trooper's rifle was removed so the steel cage constructed to hoist the statue from the monument would fit.

The weapon would be restored.

The monument shift is part of major safety road works planned through central Oamaru on State Highway 1.


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