St Luke's memorial trees, Manurewa

St Luke's memorial trees, Manurewa

St Lukes Manurewa memorial trees St Lukes Manurewa Memorial Windows St Lukes Memorial Windows St Lukes Roll of Honour

As early in the war as 23 March 1916 a roll of honour was unveiled in St Luke’s Anglican Church, Russell Road, Manurewa. The decorated and hand-lettered certificate listed the names of all the young men from the district who had so far enlisted for active service: at that time a total of 30 men, five of whom had died. By the end of the war 83 names were listed, ten marked with a cross. Some years later―probably after the Second World War―this roll of honour was transferred to the Manurewa RSA, and is now on display in its Maich Road clubrooms.

On 24 August 1919 two memorial trees were planted in the grounds of St Luke’s Anglican Church, Russell Road, Manurewa. One was a totara tree dedicated to the memory of local men who had lost their lives in the war; the other was a pohutukawa tree, planted as a Peace Memorial Tree. A silky oak tree was later planted as a memorial to nurses who had served in the war.

The pohutukawa died and the silky oak has been removed, but the totara survives to the present day. The old church has or has had two other mementoes of the wars. In 1916 Lieutenant A.G. Mabee and Mr T.J. Corin presented an altar table to the church in honour of Lord Kitchener. This was transferred to All Saints Church, Weymouth, in 1965.

In 1953 Lady Orford, a local resident and a member of the congregation, had a stained glass window made for the memorial sanctuary. This incorporated fragments of glass from a window in the chapel of Lambeth Palace, London, which had been damaged during the Blitz. The fragments had been given to St Luke’s in appreciation of the congregation’s fund-raising efforts to help repair wartime damage to Portsmouth churches.

The church also preserves a lectern dedicated to the memory of Doris Whittingham, the wife of First World War returned serviceman Alexander Whittingham. Doris died in December 1918 from influenza contracted while nursing patients at the Papakura hospital.

Sources: ‘Manurewa: Roll of Honour Unveiled’, Pukekohe & Waiuku Times, 28/3/1916, p. 3; Alice Phillips, ‘Anzac Day Memorial Trees’, Manurewa Gazette, 21/4/1965; Gwen Wichman, Soaring Bird: A History of Manurewa to 1965, Manurewa, 1965, pp. 29, 122; Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd, St Luke’s Church, Russell Road, Manurewa: Conservation Plan, Auckland, 2007, pp. 11, 15-17, 41.

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