Pirongia war memorial

Pirongia war memorial

War Memorial War Memorial War Memorial War Memorial

Pirongia war memorial, c1986 (top) and 2013 as well as the rolls of hour inside the hall.

The Pirongia War Memorial Hall was opened on 16 August 1922. Two marble tablets flanking the entrance were unveiled during the ceremony. These listed 42 men from the district who had given their lives. At the opening ceremony, it was suggested that a third panel with another six names might be added later, but this did not eventuate.

The hall was rededicated as a war memorial in 1946, when two smaller marble panels listing the names of 13 men who had died during the Second World War were added to the roll of honour. (The names on all four panels were duplicated on two wooden tablets inside the hall.)

A display board with the military records and in most cases the photographs of the 48 men from the district who died during the First World War was installed in the hall in 2016.

Sources: ‘“Lest We Forget”: War Memorial: Unveiling of Tablets: Opening of New Hall’, Waipa Post, 17/8/1922; Pirongia District Centenary, 14 November 1964, Te Awamutu, 1964, p. 15; Ngaire Mabel Phillips, Pirongia School: Centennial Celebrations, 1873-1973, Pirongia, 1973, p. 46; Alan Hall, WWI Roll of Honour: Pirongia and District, Te Awamutu, 2016.

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david papesch

Posted: 19 Mar 2013

I was brought up in the village of Pirongia in the 1950s, and I remember as a tama of about 9-11 years we kids often went to the Friday night movies at the Memorial Hall. I recall vivid memories of watching the Lone Ranger & Robin Hood. There were also family nights when old time dancing was had there in the weekends. Many of our parents dressed in their handsome suits went dancing and us kids watched them prancing around, yahooing, like they really enjoyed themselves, and we used to giggle at them as we thought they looked so silly!

The Memorial Hall was also the ending place on the annual Anzac marches, which began from the Bells residence on the corner of Belcher and Franklin streets. I remember feeling so proud of my Dad Eric marching with all his mates, strutting down the street, with his war medals all polished and shining in the sunlight, and a big "bohemian" smile across his face. Those Anzacs certainly deserved their beers after the parade, which were drunk in a makeshift 'RSA' shed, right opposite the Hall. The photo doesn't show it, but I think there used to be some sort of gun sitting out in front?