Aramoana massacre memorial

Aramoana memorial Aramoana memorial Aramoana memorial Aramoana memorial

On 13 November 1990 gunman David Gray shot and killed 13 people in the tiny seaside town of Aramoana, before he was himself shot by police. Exactly one year later, the people of Aramoana unveiled a memorial to their friends and neighbours. This stands in a small hollow in the sand dunes beyond the settlement. Designed by local architect Bruce Bohm, it consists of a polished granite column sitting on a granite dais within a circle framed by low stone walls, the whole being surmounted by a pyramid formed from galvanised steel poles.

The column is inscribed with the words: ‘Loving memories / those who died / at Aramoana / on 13th November 1990.’ These are followed by the names and ages of the thirteen victims: Garry Holden, 38; Jasmine Holden, 11; Rewa Bryson, 11; Jim Dickson, 45; Tim Jamieson, 69; Vic Crimp, 72; Leo Wilson, 6; Dion Percy, 6; Ross Percy, 42; Vanessa Percy, 26; Aleki Tali, 41; Chris Cole, 62; Sgt. Stu Guthrie, 41.

There is also a quote from the mystic and poet Kahlil Gibran: ‘If it is comfort to pour your darkness into space it is also delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart.’

Beyond the memorial a small plaque stands below a totara tree planted in November 2005, on the 15th anniversary of the massacre.

Sources: ‘Memorial to 13 Victims’, NZ Herald, 14/11/1991, s. 1, p. 9; ‘Aramoana Memorial Defaced by Vandals’, NZ Herald, 17/12/1991, s. 1, p. 3.

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