Topic: Stadium memorial plaque

Topic type:

A history of the plaque outside the War Memoiral Stadium in Masterton.

Stadium memorial plaque 


The pool and stadium complex was opened in an impressive ceremony on March 22 1958.  The Governor General had been invited, and the Prime Minister, but neither were available but acting Prime Minister Jerry Skinner was in attendance. In his speech Skinner pointed out community centres like the War Memorial complex were never finished.  The government's vision of living memorials had been realised in the stadium and he was pleased to see it was ambitious, big and grand.  It would be added to over the years.  He was especially pleased to see the pool would be used to teach children to swim, and commended the resident who had provided the money to build it interest free. "What better way is there to honour those who gave their lives?" he asked. He also pointed out there was widespread concern about juvenile delinquency, but community centres such as the War Memorial would go towards solving that problem. Mayor Marchbank thanked those who had supported the scheme in its early days and paid tribute to the committee that oversaw the project, saying he was grateful it had carried forward such an ambitious plan.  It was three-quarters finished and he looked forward to the completion of "this wonderful project". Local MP Bert Cooksley asked the audience to always remember the complex was a War Memorial and charged the adults present to see their children did not forget this by holding an annual ceremony in the stadium. Canon VC Venimore dedicated the memorial, and the memorial motif was unveiled.  Designed by Tinui artist Esther Belliss, it featured crosses and poppies.  It also carried a quote from World War One poet Seigfried Sassoon's 'Banishment' -                        

"Shoulder to aching shoulder, side by side                        

They trudged away from life's broad wealds of light."

Stadium memorial plaque