Glenfield War Memorial

Memorial Memorial plaque Roll of honour Roll of honour Memorial

Glenfield war memorial.

'Recently “done up”, the memorial consists of three small, tapered timber columns of about 1.0-1.3 metres in height standing between two low, ceramic “columns” in which are embedded the bronze plaques taken from the original memorial, which used to be a wrought metal, overhead display between two ceramic posts situated at the approach to the east side of the hall. Each plaque holds the names of the fallen, one in each world war.

‘The approach to the monument is via a neatly planted memorial garden bed. Nearby is a small flagstaff provided by a local service club. The memorial is modest but appropriate. It has attracted extraordinary turnouts on ANZAC day commemorations for the last three years, something of a revival, reflecting not only the major upgrade which took place several ago, but also a wider revival of interest in commemorating the losses incurred during past wars.' - Tony McCracken

The Glenfield community hall was opened on 10 February 1934. It was neither built nor dedicated as a war memorial, although according to newspaper reports at the time a soldiers’ memorial garden was developed outside. After the Second World War, the Glenfield Hall Reserve was improved with the help of a subsidy from the government’s war memorial subsidy scheme: the hall was upgraded, concrete paths were laid, and a bowling pavilion and tennis courts were constructed. The reserve was renamed the Glenfield War Memorial Domain, and in 1953 the Glenfield War Memorial Domain Board was set up to administer it.

It is unlikely that the hall itself was dedicated as a war memorial at this stage, although it was later sometimes referred to as such. However, in 1963 the Domain Board did construct a formal war memorial at the entrance. This consisted of two substantial brick pillars topped by lamps and supporting a wrought-iron archway displaying the words ‘Glenfield War Memorial’. Bronze plaques on the pillars listed the names of Glenfield’s fallen from both world wars. The names were taken from the rolls of honour at Glenfield School: 14 names the First World War and nine from the Second World War.

Curiously, no Anzac Day service was held at the site until 1997. The following year the memorial was resited to the southern end of the hall and rebuilt in its present form. The original plaques and lettering from the old memorial were incorporated into the new structure. Three eucalyptus columns stand between pillars that were intended to mimic the roofline of the hall.

In April 2000, courtesy of the Glenfield Lions Club, a new flagpole was erected alongside the memorial. On 24 November 2001 a new memorial garden was dedicated nearby, acknowledging the service of people who had supported the war effort from home (‘This Garden of Remembrance is dedicated / to the people of Glenfield who in times of / strife nourished the cause of freedom.’)

When plans were first made to upgrade the reserve in 1949, it was intended to add a soldiers’ memorial supper room to the hall. This long-delayed improvement was opened by Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright on 20 March 2004. However, it was named ‘Bruce Powell Supper Room’, dedicated not to the fallen but to local resident Bruce Powell, who had instigated the redevelopment of the war memorial in 1997.

Sources: ‘New Hall Opened’, Auckland Star, 12/2/1934, p. 8; ‘Formation of Glenfield War Memorial Domain Board’, North Shore Times, 24/6/1953, p. 6; NZ Gazette, 1953, p. 1447; ‘Glenfield Memorial’, Auckland Star, 11/4/1963; NZ Gazette, 1967, p. 763; Valerie Rounthwaite, The Story of Rural Glenfield, Takapuna, 1989, pp. 62-9; Phillip D. Jackson, North Shore War Memorials, the author, 1991, T20/1-4; Bruce Petty, Glenfield Hall: A Cultural Heritage Assessment, Auckland, 1997 (also published in The Journal: Glenfield Life & Times, no. 2, 2004, pp. 37-55); ‘Memorial Must be Moved’, North Shore Times Advertiser, 22/4/1997, p. 5; ‘Memorial Pillars to be Resited’, North Shore Times Advertiser, 23/5/1997, p. 2; ‘Long Hard Battle for New Memorial’, North Shore Times Advertiser, 16/4/1998, p. 3; ‘Plaque Salutes People Who Kept Home Fires Burning’, North Shore Times Advertiser, 6/11/2001, p. 10; ‘War Memorial Complex: Long Wait for Supper’, North Shore Times, 23/3/2004, pp. 1, 2, 4; ‘The Bruce Powell Supper Room’, The Journal, no. 1, 2004, pp. 54-63; The Journal, no.4, 2005, p. 78; Old Glenfield, Auckland, 2005, p. 66.

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