Remembering fallen heroes

Plans are underway to remember the fallen on ANZAC Day with the closure of the Matamata Memorial Centre meaning the 9.30am Civic Service will be held at Matamata College, following the Dawn Service at the RSA. Other services in the district will be held as normal in Morrinsville, Te Aroha and Walton.

A new district Civic and Memorial Centre, including an extended Matamata Library, is being built on the site. Work is expected to begin this month with the demolition of the old 1940 Borough Chambers, the 1950s hall and the 1970s Council offices. Temporary library and offices will be opened opposite the site on Tainui St, with the library closed from Wednesday 8 March until the following week to allow books to be moved.

The Roll of Honour and Cenotaph will be wrapped and remain in place, with the new centre being built around them. The water feature will be removed and an updated recognition of the donor Peter George Petersen BEM will be sited within the new complex. Sgt "Pete" Petersen was an Air Force wireless operator in World War II who was decorated for rescuing his crewmen after their plane crashed during a training exercise.

Council is working with the family and interested members of the public on how to continue to recognise the Petersen bequest. Suggestions or ideas on a Petersen memorial should be sent to rlamberth@mpdc.govt.nz.

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