Haumoana War Memorial Park

Memorial plaque Community Centre

In 1947 the residents of Haumoana began raising funds for a war memorial park and community centre. In 1951 seven acres were purchased for the purpose on the edge of the village. In 1954 the road leading to the proposed park was named Memorial Park Avenue.

The park was formally dedicated on 25 April 1956. Initially it had been planned to erect a conventional set of stone and wrought iron war memorial gates at the entrance. By the time the park was opened this had somehow metamorphosed into a dramatic 20-foot-high concrete arch.

A Haumoana Roll of Honour had previously been unveiled in the Haumoana public hall, listing the names of 90 local men who had served in the Second World War, including eleven who had given their lives. The memorial plaque attached to the arch listed the names of three men who had died in the First World War (C. Jenson, T. Mullins, A.R. Reeves), and a total of 15 men who had died in the Second World War (A. J. V. Secker, R. W. Caskey, W. Krebs, B. Shaw, D. A. Tibbles, D. E. Stanley, J. H. Reeves, B. F. Scott, C. L. Bishop, J. D. Taylor, R. Bradshaw, G. A. Struthers, I. M. Thorburn, M. W. McCormick and R.M. McCarthy).

At the time of opening, the park incorporated a playing field, a children’s paddling pool, and swings. There were also plans to provide a pavilion to a design by the well-known Māori architect and Haumoana resident, John Scott. It is unclear whether Scott himself designed the memorial arch (update: see community contribution below confirming this), but he reportedly also commissioned a sculpture by local artist Martin Pharazyn for the park. This was never cast because of lack of funds.

Sources: ‘War Memorial Dedicated at Haumoana’, Daily Telegraph, 26/4/1956, p. 6; Andrew Maclean and Jock Phillips, The Sorrow and the Pride, Wellington, 1990, p. 151; ‘Joan Scott: Obituary’, Hawkes Bay Today, 25/10/2004; further information courtesy of Cherie Flintoff of Hawkes Bay District Council and Craig Martin, pers. comms, 2016.

Community contributions

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Cherie

Posted: 27 Sep 2016

a couple of quick updates:
The sentence about the Haumoana Roll of Honour only notes 11 who gave their lives in WWII, instead of the 15 shown on the board and plaque.
Further research into Council archives confirms that John Scott designed both the pavilion and the arch. He donated the cost of his services as an in-kind local contribution to the memorial project, along with donations of services, goods and money from many of the local clubs and residents to make this community memorial a reality. The pavilion and park are well used by the community, and the arch stands as a proud memorial.