The scene at Springston Cemetery for the rededication of the replacement plaques

Memorial plaques rededicated

by Mike Isle

Family members, veterans, RSA representatives and politicians gathered at Springston Cemetery in Selwyn for the rededication of 46 bronze plaques replacing those stolen earlier this year.

The new plaques were unveiled by family members, many of whom had travelled from outside to attend the rededication.

Minister for Veterans the Honourable Ron Mark, Member of Parliament for Selwyn Amy Adams, Selwyn Deputy Mayor Malcolm Lyall, Head of Veterans’ Affairs Bernadine Mackenzie, RNZRSA National President BJ Clark, Canterbury District RSA President Stan Hansen and Springs RSA President Ivan Norton also attended.

The plaques were stolen from the cemetery between April and May. A woman responsible for the theft was sentenced in August to 26 months in prison. There is now an agreement with all scrap metal dealers in Christchurch to not accept memorial plaques. The plaques were replaced by Veterans’ Affairs, with a contribution of more than $21,000 from its memorial fund, and their installation was overseen by Selwyn District Council. Ms Mackenzie said Veterans’ Affairs was saddened by the theft of the plaques and glad that the rededication offered closure to the families and veteran community.

“We are grateful to Selwyn District Council, for identifying the theft and overseeing the installation of the new plaques,” she said.

“We are also grateful to the Canterbury District RSA for what it has done to support the families.”