Search on for soldier’s family

A memorial oak for Private George Addison, near McEwan Rd, near Oamaru, has to be cut down and...
A memorial oak for Private George Addison, near McEwan Rd, near Oamaru, has to be cut down and Waitaki District Council officers are searching for family members to give permission. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE
The Waitaki District Council is searching for the family of a fallen soldier as his memorial oak is in dire need of replacement.

Network Waitaki advised the council a tree in remembrance of World War 1 soldier Private George Addison, in Weston-Ngapara Rd, near Oamaru, was tangled in power lines, and required clearance.

It was "deformed" and unable to grow the way an oak should.

Council parks officer Jane Matchett said the council and the Memorial Oaks Committee wanted to remove the tree and plant a new one at a nearby location.

Two sites had been identified for a new tree — an unformed "paper road" near the original site, or in Tussocky Rd.

However, no work would go ahead until there was permission from Pte Addison’s family members.

The trees had a category-A listing under the district plan, and required family approval to go through the removal consent process.

Despite trying to contact some family members, nobody had come forward yet, Mrs Matchett said.

"Our understanding is that there were about 11 children initially, and it’s been pretty hard to track any down.

"We understand there were quite a few, but we’re just not sure of the relationships and the surnames," Mrs Matchett said.

The Memorial Oaks Committee wanted to garner more support and interest for the trees.

"I think they’re a pretty amazing collection, and it feels pretty sad that these guys sacrificed their lives, and we can’t even grow a decent tree for them."

The committee was keen to hear from any of Pte Addison’s family members or anybody else who could help.


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