War memorial approved

A new war memorial for the former West Otago township of Kelso has received support from the area's community board, and could be in place by next Anzac Day.

At the West Otago Community Board meeting on Wednesday, member John Herbert said the project was moving ahead, and a draft had been presented to the West Otago branch of the Gore RSA, which was pleased with the design.

Community board members were also happy with the design, with chairwoman Barbara Hanna saying it was a worthwhile project.

The board moved that $7000 should be earmarked for the memorial from the projects fund.

The proposed concrete war memorial would be almost 2m high and would reproduce the names of those on the Kelso honours board - both the fallen and those who served. There are nearly 100 names from Kelso. It is planned to place the war memorial near the Kelso flood memorial.

The RSA was looking into running a working bee to help reduce costs, as the project had an estimated pricetag of nearly $7800, Mr Herbert said.

He hoped the memorial could be unveiled by Anzac Day next year.

The idea was brought to the board's attention in March and members agreed to speak to the West Otago community to gauge if there was public support for it. The idea has received support from the RSA and Kelso residents.

Relatives of those who left Kelso to serve in World War 1 or World War 2 have also expressed their support, with some people from the North Island contacting Mr Herbert.

After a "100-year flood" swept through Kelso in 1978, the town was rebuilt, only to be abandoned after another flood struck in 1980.


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