Rotorua Citizens War Memorial

Memorial Memorial Memorial Memorial Memorial Memorial Memorial

Rotorua’s citizens decided to develop a park beside Lake Rotorua as their Second World War memorial. Fundraising began in 1951. In 1955 contracts were let for the reclamation of the lakefront and the construction of memorial gates. On Anzac Day 1958, Raymond Boord, the Minister of Customs and local MP, opened the park and Archdeacon R. Hodgson dedicated the memorial gates at the entrance to War Memorial Drive, which ran through the park.

The roll of honour on the gates consisted of four granite tablets listing the names, ranks and serial numbers of 93 men from the area who had been killed on active service.

On 8 October 1972 an olive tree gifted by the people of Crete to the New Zealand veterans of the Battle of Crete was planted nearby. In April 1993 Rotorua District council and the RSA redeveloped the memorial area at the entrance to War Memorial Drive, adding a plaque with an RSA badge and plaques commemorating the Malayan Emergency and Korean and Vietnam Wars. On 13 August 2000 the Burma Star Association (NZ) unveiled a plaque honouring all who had served in the Burma Campaign.

Sources: ‘War Memorial Gates Dedicated and Park is Opened’, Rotorua Daily Post, 26/4/1958, p. 6; D.M. Stafford, A New Century in Rotorua, 1988, p. 282; ‘Team Effort to Rebuild Memorial’, Daily Post, 24/4/1993, p. 1.

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