The fundraising campaign for Greytown RSA’s “All Conflicts Cenotaph” to remember all those from the past who secured our present and future freedoms – was launched at Cobblestones Museum on Saturday.
The event attracted around 100 local and regional dignitaries, and featured speeches from cenotaph patron [and former governor general] Dame Patsy Reddy and Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association national president [and ex-All Blacks caption] Sir Wayne [Buck] Shelford.
Dame Patsy commenced proceedings with reflections from her recent visit to Le Quesnoy, the French town that New Zealand soldiers liberated on 4 Nov 1918 without the loss of any of the locals’ lives, while Sir Wayne commended the project and those who are supporting it, and talked about the ongoing relevance and importance of such memorials.
“Over the past 30 years New Zealand has created over 60,000 new veterans serving in many conflicts around the globe,” he said.
“Not only are memorials there so we can remember the fallen, but they are also there to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of those veterans currently living and those serving in our defence force.”
The new 2.5m high and 11m long cenotaph is to be erected at Soldiers Memorial Park adjacent to the Memorial Baths in Greytown, where it will complement the current memorials and record those who have been lost in all conflicts.
Greytown RSA president Bryce Gurney, was thrilled with the launch turnout, thanking those who attended and got the fundraising off to a great start with their generous contributions, while fundraising committee chair Heather Fairbrother noted that “we could not have delivered the launch without the support of our local business community”.
The Greytown RSA needs to raise $850,000 over 30 months before construction commences on April 26, 2026.
Fundraising over the next two and a half years will include a variety of interactive activities, although individuals can donate at any time directly to the Cenotaph Kiwibank account [39-9015-0151216-03].