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Trumpet call...Riversdale Waikaia RSA sub branch member Lindsay Wright plays the last post at an Anzac Day ceremony to unveil and dedicate a monument to remember the men who died from the Wendon district in the Boer War and two world wars. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

A new monument to recognise the Wendon district’s war heroes was unveiled on Anzac Day.

The monument replaces the memorial church which was demolished earlier this year after a decommissioning service was held in 2018.

The church was built in 1923 as a remembrance to the district’s soldiers who died in World War 1.

Wendon Hall Committee chairman Neil Baird welcomed 160 people to a short ceremony to unveil and dedicate the memorial and plant 12 trees for those men who died in the Boer War and two world wars.

“Today we are here to honour the Wendon men who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Mr Baird said.

The demolition of the church, resowing the land in grass and the putting up of a fence had been a team effort.

“One month ago, with a great committee and community support we’ve got to where we are today.”

The new monument comprised a shaped concrete plinth with a Celtic cross mounted on top of it.

It was positioned at the front of the section where the church had been, beside the Wendon Hall.

Carpentry South’s Andrew Smith, of Wendon, had cast the plinth, which weighed over a tonne, and Brian Mahon made the cross in his Riversdale engineering workshop.

Wendon farmer Alan Fowler unveiled the new monument.

His grandmother, Margaret, had unveiled the original plaque to the soldiers when the church was opened in 1923.

Riversdale Waikaia RSA sub branch chairman Peter O’Connor said it was heartening in this present age, when much of local history was being lost, to see the memorial being built.

“Here you have put a peg in the soil, as it were, and demonstrated that you will remember them, and this memorial will always be a talking point in this area to remember not only the 12 who never returned but a time when so many families and individuals’ lives were affected by war,” Mr O’Connor said.

Riversdale School pupils Esther Gardyne and Heidi Clarkson (both 12) read poems before the Rev Murray Shallard dedicated the memorial.