Rakaia war memorials

Rakaia war memorial Rakaia war memorial Rakaia war memorial Rakaia war memorial Rakaia war memorial Rakaia war memorial

The Rakaia First World War cenotaph on the corner of Mackie Street and Elizabeth Avenue was unveiled by Minister of Defence Sir Robert Heaton Rhodes on Anzac Day 1922. It listed the names of 53 men from the district who had given their lives. A further 24 names were added after the Second World War.

After the Rakaia town hall burnt down in September 1946, the community resolved to replace it with a more substantial memorial community centre. This was opened near the cenotaph by R.G. Gerard MP on 8 April 1956. The dedication stone preserved in the entrance lobby reads: ‘TO THE MEMORY OF / THOSE WHO FELL IN WAR / THIS BUILDING WAS ERECTED / BY THE PEOPLE OF / RAKAIA DISTRICT / 1956.’

The lobby also contains the Rakaia and Districts Second World War roll of honour. Compiled in 1996, this lists the names of 209 men and four women from Rakaia, Chertsey, Dorie, Mead and Rokeby who served during the war, as well as four men who served in Korea and three men who served in Vietnam.

A framed certificate listing the names of seven local men who served in the South African War is also of recent origin.

See: Janine Irvine & Rakaia History Group, Rakaia Our History, Rakaia, 2015, pp. 135-9, 636-47.

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