Hokianga Arch of Remembrance, Kohukohu

The original Hokianga Arch of Rememberance, dedicated in 1927 Kohukohu memorial Kohukohu memorial Kohukohu war memorial, back near its original site on the Kohukohu wharf Detail from the Kohukohu war memorial Detail from the Kohukohu war memorial Detail from the Kohukohu war memorial Detail from the Kohukohu war memorial Detail from the Kohukohu war memorial Detail from the Kohukohu war memorial Detail from the Kohukohu war memorial Detail from the Kohukohu war memorial

The original stone ‘Hokianga Arch of Remembrance’ (these words were inscribed on the arch) was dedicated at the entrance to the Kohukohu wharf on 26 January 1927. The names of 83 men from Hokianga County who had lost their lives during the First World War were engraved into white marble tablets set on the pillars.

After being damaged by trucks gaining access to the wharf in the 1950s, the arch was dismantled and moved to Kohukohu Memorial Park (a sports park to the west of the township). There it was reconstructed in the form of a monumental gate, the two stone pillars being buttressed by pieces of the former arch. Wrought iron gates were installed. The ‘Gates of Remembrance’ were rededicated on Anzac Day 1957.

In 2002 the memorial was reconstructed yet again, in a seaside reserve a few metres from its original position. The reconfigured memorial was unveiled on Armistice Day 11 November 2002. It displays a tablet with the inscription IN /HONOUR OF / ALL WHO / SERVED / & / TO THE MEMORY / OF /THOSE WHO / DID NOT RETURN. The names of 90 men from the First World War have been listed on a tablet set into the new lintel. Another 80 names from the Second World War have been added to the pillars, along with one name from Vietnam (H. Harding), as has been more recently one name from Afghanistan (P.L. Harris). The original keystone of the arch, inscribed ‘1914 – 1918’, has been placed at the entrance to the wharf.

The wrought iron gates remain behind, rusting away, at the former memorial park. Apart from the dates ‘1914 – 1918’ on the gates there is nothing to indicate the former status of the park.

See: ‘Governor-General: First Visit to North’, NZ Herald, 18/1/1927, p. 10; ‘To be unveiled by Governor-General’ [photograph], NZ Herald, 19/1/1927, p. 13; Hokianga Soldiers' War Memorial Arch : ceremony of the unveiling by His Excellency the Governor-General, General Sir Charles Fergusson at Kohukohu, 26th January, 1927, at 2.30 pm, Auckland, 1927 (4p.); ‘Memorial Unveiled’, Auckland Star, 27/1/1926, p. 9; ‘Memorial Gates at Kohukohu’, Northern Advocate, 26/4/1957, p. 2; ‘Park Development at Kohukohu’, Northern Advocate, 18/10/1957, p. 2; ‘Kohukohu’s War Memorial Roll of Honour’, Northern News, 19/3/2002, p. 6; ‘Relocated Hokianga Arch of Remembrance’, Northern News, 20/11/2002, p. 6.

Note: the top image shows the memorial in its previous (second) position.

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john halpin

Posted: 01 Dec 2010

The memorial was moved and reconfigured to include the second world war and vietnam soldiers and is now located near where it was originally sited by the wharf in Kohukohu.I have a photo if you would like it.