War graves regular clean-up a 'first'
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(L to R) Flt Sgt Gavin Ryan, Flt Sgt Trent Vannisselroy, Cpl Chris Bartlam
17 February 2006
War graves regular clean-up a ‘first’
A team of air cadets is paying homage to the fallen of the First World War. In a first for this country, the cadets will do regular maintenance of veterans’ graves at Waikumete
“The commissioning of the work on WWI veterans’ graves at Waikumete is a real breakthrough,” says Auckland District Returned Services Association Vice-President Matt McMillan, who lives in nearby Titirangi.
“This has never happened before. We are hoping other Councils and RSAs throughout New Zealand will follow Waitakere’s lead and organise similar arrangements to honour the graves of their war heroes. We are indebted to the Council and to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage for their support of this project,” says Mr McMillan.
“Until now, the graves of returned service men and women who died from 1914 to 1921, have been under the jurisdiction of the Ministry.
“It seems fitting that the graves of these service men and women who gave their lives for their country are being cared for by these cadets,” says Mr McMillan.
Waitakere City Council and Ministry for Culture and Heritage gave No 19 (Auckland) Squadron Air Training Corps permission to maintain 72 “Commonwealth” graves.
The work will be carried out twice a year.