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Roll of Honour criteria fundamental to future design

NCC will hold three public workshops in late January to discuss the criteria for the city's Roll of Honour. 

Roll Of Honour

“This is a not a quick nor an easy process,” says NCC's Charles Ropitini. “We have an opportunity to get this right – an opportunity we’re taking on with great reverence and respect. The enormity of this task is not lost on us..."

Napier City Council will hold a series of workshops in January in order to establish a criteria for the city’s Roll of Honour. The workshops aim to bring together veterans, families of the war dead, and the public to discuss various views on what the criteria will include.

Existing Roll of Honour plaques have been found to contain a number of inaccuracies and NCC has committed to rectifying these as part of its current War Memorial project, says NCC’s memorial project manager Charles Ropitini. “While the Roll of Honour is considered the most important, fundamental and sacred part of the overall project, it is also likely to be the most challenging and emotive,” he says. “There will be names from the previous roll that may come off, whereas others who were not noted on our Roll of Honour - and should have been - will be added.”

NCC memorial project manager, Charles Ropotini: "While the Roll of Honour is considered the most important, fundamental and sacred part of the overall project, it is also likely to be the most challenging and emotive. There will be names from the previous roll that may come off, whereas others who were not noted on our Roll of Honour - and should have been - will be added.”

A steering group set up to oversee the War Memorial project, consisting of Councillors, RSA representatives, Napier City Council staff, and with architect Guy Natusch as a heritage advisor, met in December to progress the design project. “The group prioritised these workshops in order to develop an appropriate and fitting Roll of Honour,” says Mr Ropitini, who has past experience in developing war memorials. “The challenge for the group is that there are no definitive rules about the names and inscriptions on war memorials. Communities have used all sorts of criteria to decide who is commemorated, which conflicts are commemorated and the style in which these details appear from memorial to memorial. That is why some war memorials only include those who fought and died, whilst others include those who fought and survived. It is our own community’s criteria for their memorial that will underpin the design and presentation of the Roll of Honour and perpetual flame.”

Mr Ropitini says once the criteria is agreed, Napier Library researchers and MTG archivists will work together to fully research and compile the Roll of Honour, with specialist external input where needed. “It has to be acknowledged that this is a not a quick nor an easy process,” says Mr Ropitini. “We have an opportunity to get this right – an opportunity we’re taking on with great reverence and respect. The enormity of this task is not lost on us and we’re committed to ensuring we have met the criteria set by veterans, families and the public before we jump into commissioning the plaques.”

During the research phase it is anticipated that the stories of Napier’s war dead will be compiled for an MTG education programme to be linked to the future memorial. In addition, some early design stages will be able to be completed in parallel to the Roll of Honour criteria development and research phase.

Upcoming public notices will advertise the criteria workshops, which are to be held on the following dates.

Roll of Honour Criteria Workshops

  • Wednesday 24 January 10am: Napier RSA
  • Wednesday 24 January 5.30pm: Taradale RSA
  • Thursday 25 January 5.30pm: Greenmeadows East Hall

20 December 2017

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