Waimate South African War memorial

Waimate South African War memorial Waimate South African War memorial Waimate South African War memorial Waimate South African War memorial Waimate South African War memorial

The figure of Zealandia on the troopers' memorial, Waimate. The masons were the Dunedin partnership of Bergamini and Reid.

At the unveiling of Waimate’s South African War Memorial on 6 October 1904, Father Regnault told the gathered crowd the new monument 'could not fail to exercise a powerful influence in favour of the duty of patriotism upon the minds of the people of the present day and upon future generations.' This statement was underlined by the presence of a statue of Zealandia atop the memorial.

Zealandia was the daughter of Britannia, a 'contrived figure used a symbol for New Zealand up to the end of the nineteenth century.' She remains on New Zealand’s coat of arms. The memorial also features two flags and a crown, indicating the British Empire and New Zealand’s relationship to it.

The nationalistic motivation of the statue is amplified by the text:

in Commemoration of the South African War in which New Zealand represented by her 6500 volunteers for the first time took part in battles of the Empire and assisted to maintain the prestige of the British flag.

Imperial connections were further cemented by locating the monument in front of a coronation oak, opposite Queen St and at right angles to Victoria Tce.

At the bottom of the monument is an inscription for Trooper Alfred Whitney, who died during a night attack at Bothasberg.

Further information

  • Chris Maclean and Jock Phillips, The Sorrow and the Pride: New Zealand War Memorials, GP Books, Wellington, 1990

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