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Whelan’s light to shine again

3 February 2005

Whelan’s light to shine again

The memory of young airman shot down in Germany in 1944 is likely to shine ever more brightly at a Te Atatu Peninsula historic reserve.

Flying Officer Whelan Hazard has been chosen to represent the fallen at the Anti-Aircraft Battery, now slated for preservation-restoration at Harbourview-Orangihina Park. The 20-year-old is understood to be the only Te Atatu serviceman who did not come home from World War II.

The touching story of Whelan’s short life – in 1944, being a fighter pilot was a very short-lived occupation - will be told on a memorial plaque alongside the gun emplacements.

The memorial idea was submitted by Whelan Hazard’s niece Lynn Ashton and is supported by the RNZAF, Te Atatu Residents and Ratepayers’ and the Te Atatu RSA.

“The tribute to Whelan will represent members of the armed forces who gave their lives for their country,” says Councillor Ross Dallow, chair of the Council’s Projects Special Committee.

“It is an unusual step to have a memorial at a park, however, given the character of this park and the forthcoming preservation process, I think it is entirely fitting,” says Councillor Dallow.

The battery site, constructed in 1943 to protect Hobsonville airfield from aerial attack is recognised as being of cultural significance under the Waitakere City District Plan.

The Te Atatu Anti-Aircraft Battery Conservation Plan was adopted by the Council’s Special Projects Committee today.

ENDS


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