Cenotaph proposed for town

Tapanui RSA president Colin McDonald views one of the West Otago Community Centre's war honours...
Tapanui RSA president Colin McDonald views one of the West Otago Community Centre's war honours rolls, whose names could be included on a proposed new cenotaph for the town. Photo: Richard Davison
West Otago's fallen soldiers could soon be honoured with a new cenotaph in Tapanui.

The West Otago Community Board and Tapanui RSA are exploring building a formal war memorial for the town, having been inspired by the recent refurbishment of the Waikoikoi Cenotaph, after it fell into disrepair.

At present, Tapanui does not have a cenotaph and instead uses honour rolls in the town's community centre as a focus for Anzac Day commemorations.

Wreaths were also hung on the town's Centennial Park "memorial gates", but neither provided a fitting centrepiece for ceremonies, Tapanui RSA president Colin McDonald said.

"We have to keep the Anzac tradition alive, and having more of a ceremony, perhaps with a parade to the new cenotaph, would be wonderful for everyone."

Although it was "early days", Mr McDonald said an "unelaborate" cenotaph bearing the names of local fallen and costing "a few thousand dollars" was likely to be placed alongside the RSA clubrooms' artillery piece, in Northumberland St.

A "more central" location was possible, but would require negotiation with landowners, he said.

Core funding could be sought from the NZ Memorial Trust, and supported by community donations.

Mr McDonald said the association welcomed input from the wider Tapanui community.

The committee will meet at the clubrooms on Friday.

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