The only remaining artefact commemorating the people of Kuaotunu who gave their lives during this war, it is important to restore and preserve it it in honour of their memory for generations to come.
The Kuaotunu Hall Committee, recognising the vital need for preservation of invaluable memorabilia and historic artefacts held within the hall, applied to the Lottery WWI grant for assistance with preservation of an artefact which is a symbolic testament of the First World War.
The project was the restoration work on a First World War Roll of Honour housed in the Kuaotunu Hall. The historic significance of this Roll of Honour, which is now under threat of serious degradation (see image below and attached assessment), cannot be understated. It constitutes an irreplaceable part of our local and national heritage. The Roll of Honour was designed and illuminated by E.W. Becket of Symonds Street in Onehunga who at the time was well recognised for this type of artistry. The 62 names inscribed on the roll are those of the men and women from the local community who served in the Great War of 1914-1918, many of whom lost their lives in active service. They had all attended the old Kuaotunu School so it is highly fitting that their names are held and honoured, by virtue of the roll, within the only surviving remnant of the school.
Many descendants of these brave men and women still live in the Kuaotunu community and in this context it is even more appropriate and compelling that this roll which honours their families’ sacrifices should be restored and preserved in a state worthy of their contribution to the war effort.
This Roll of Honour may well be the only tangible tribute and memorial to these brave men and women, many of whom gave their lives for us. It is therefore particularly poignant that in the centenary year of the war their memorial should receive the attention and restoration that it is now in great need of, and is so deserving of.
The roll is housed in an oak frame and is normally positioned securely on the east wall of the Kuaotunu Centennial Memorial Hall and Library. This wall has recently been upgraded, insulated and waterproofed to ensure preservation of the Roll of Honour in a dry environment.