NEW ZEALAND ROLLS OF HONOUR AND WAR MEMORIALS
PURUA, NORTH AUCKLAND
NORTHERN ADVOCATE, 26 APRIL 1921
UNVEILING CEREMONY. AN IMPRESSIVE OCCASION. The Purua Hall was completely filled yesterday afternoon with the settlers of Purua and visitors on the occasion of the unveiling of the war memorial inscribed and presented to the district by Mr J. Andre, a former resident of Purua, but now of Tikipunga.
The memorial, which was veiled with the Union Jack, is unique inasmuch as it not only bears the names of those who took part in the great war, but also the principal engagements of the four war zones, those of Gallipoli being at the top, of France in the left margin, of Belgium in the right and of Palestine at the bottom. The flags of the Allied nations taking part in these engagements are prominently The inscription is as follows:— 1914 — World War — l9l9 Purua District. Roll of Honour. Then follow the names in two columns, those having paid the supreme sacrifice being designated by an asterisk.
The work was executed by Mr. J. Andre and it is a very great credit to his artistic ability in the general design and thoughtful preparation of the various features which set off in border form the names on the two central panels. - Mr R. D. Finlayson occupied the chair and associated with him on the platform, were the Rev. G. H. Lochore and Messrs J. A. Finlayson and J. Andre. Proceedings were opened by the singing of the National Anthem, after which the Minister offered up a prayer. The chairman then explained the object of the gathering, which was to unveil the roll of honour presented to the district by their old friend Mr Andre.
The congregation then sang the hymn "O God Our Help in Ages Past" and the Rev. Lochore gave the address, in which he pointed out how the British Empire entered into the great war because of the Moral Law and how that by the same law she conquered, though neither she nor France were prepared for hostilities and by every military tale should have been conquered by the enemy within the first three months. The speaker pointed out that from the moment that God's Laws were desecrated by Germany when she trampled on the scrap of paper, the victory for the Allies had begun. The Rev. Lochore made feeling reference to the Gallipoli campaign, especially pointing out the tremendous sacrifice paid by our men on rugged slopes. There was scarcely a home in New Zealand, he said, which had not been touched with sorrow by the loss of some dear one who had taken part in one or other of the campaigns.
He specially asked the congregation to remember that the bodies of 15,000 of the flower of New Zealand's manhood were laid, some in Gallipoli, some on the ancient fields of Palestine, some in the land of the pyramids and some in the fair fields of France and Belgium. Nothing that we could say could add lustre to the imperishable deeds they enacted for us. The speaker went on to say that though we had paid a terrible price in Gallipoli, Turkey suffered more and the latter had been dealt such a staggering blow that she never fully recovered and by this means the foundation for the victory by the Allied nations in Mesopotamia was laid.
The statement of the Greek historian, "They be possessed of praise that grows not old," was specially attributable to our New Zealanders and to those upon the roll of honour they were that day unveiling. The principles, for which those men fought — freedom, justice, faith, love and liberty — were dear to the heart of God. Our gallant soldiers and sailors had won a peerless name. We in our turn should be faithful to the sacred charge they left us to safeguard, namely the moral laws of God.
"The Vesper Hymn" was then sung by Mrs H. W. Crawford. Mr J. A. Finlayson, called upon to say a few words, said he felt it the greatest honour in his life to be asked to speak on such an occasion. This was the greatest historic event that the district had ever known and he was glad to see so many present to take part in it. The roll of honour they were unveiling was first, a record of the names of all the soldiers who at some time of their lives were resident of Purua; secondly, it was a memorial to the fallen, and thirdly it was a small token of the esteem felt for those men by the settlers of the district. He was proud to say that the roll contained the name of the first man who left from the North Auckland peninsula. Three of the first eleven who volunteered for active service in the main body were amongst the names on that roll. He did not think any other single district could claim such an honour. Of the seven who went into camp in the very early stages of the war four got away with the main body, two in one of the early contingents and one had the misfortune not to get away.
That day, the sixth anniversary, was a very appropriate occasion for such a ceremony. It brought back to their minds in a vivid and striking manner the splendid heroism of those whom they were honouring. The thanks of the people of the district was due to Mr Andre for the beautiful donation he had given by which the names of the gallant men from Purua would remain imperishable for ever. To the children he would like to say that those men had set them an example and made tradition for them which they could all follow. He hoped there would not be the occasion for them to go to war, but if it arose they had before them an example of what those who went before them did when the call was made.
Mrs Claude Stewart, being the eldest child of the first settler in the district, Mr Carrington was then called upon to unveil the roll, after which Miss Scanlon sang; ' He Wipes the Tear from Every Eye.'
Mr Andre, being called upon, said that he wanted to show his own appreciation of the boys who went to fight for him and all of them by having a record of their names in some public place in the district, so that in the years to come the younger generations would be able to see it. It had been a great pleasure for him to write the names and a great favour had been bestowed upon him when his offer was accepted. The roll was not only a record of the names of the men who represented the district, but it was an object lesson to the young people, so that in later years, when fathers and mothers were asked by their children what it meant they would be able to explain. That was why he wanted to have every name on this roll. They did not, he said in conclusion, want to glorify war, but to do honour to those who fought.
The singing of the hymn "Abide "With Me" by the congregation concluded the ceremony, and the chairman thanked all who had assisted in any way to make it the great success it had been, specially mentioning the Rev. Lochore, Mrs Crawford, Miss Scanlon and the ladies of the district who had provided refreshments. Afternoon tea was then dispensed and Mr R. R. Hodge returned thank's on behalf of the visitors for the general invitation, that had been extended to them to be present. Mr Lilley also said a few words, making a special appeal on behalf of the returned men that old and experienced farmers, should give them all the advice and assistance that lay in their power.
Return To HOME
FAMILIES I AM RESEARCHING | MISCELLANEOUS GENEALOGICAL STUFF | NEW ZEALAND — ON LINE GENEALOGICAL AND FAMILY HISTORY RESOURCES | NEW ZEALAND — YOUNG BOY IMMIGRANT SCHEME 1911 — 1914 | NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES | NEW ZEALAND MISCELLANEOUS GENEALOGICAL INDEXES | NEW ZEALAND LAND WARS — MISCELLANEOUS GENEALOGICAL INDEXES | NEW ZEALAND AND WORLD WAR ONE | NEW ZEALAND AND WORLD WAR TWO | NEW ZEALAND ROLLS OF HONOUR AND WAR MEMORIALS — BY LOCATION | NEW ZEALAND ROLLS OF HONOUR AND WAR MEMORIALS — BY CONFLICT | NEW ZEALAND ROLLS OF HONOUR — MILITARY NURSES | PAKEHA/MAORI TRANSLITERATIONS | PASSENGER LISTS TO NEW ZEALAND | SHAND — FAMILY HISTORY | SOUTH TARANAKI, NEW ZEALAND — GENEALOGICAL RESOURCES | SPONDON, DERBYSHIRE, ENGLAND — GENEALOGICAL RESOURCES | WANGANUI COLLEGIATE SCHOOL 1865 — 1947 | WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY, NEW ZEALAND — GENEALOGICAL RESOURCES