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Refurbished Tarrant Memorial to be re-dedicated

June 13th, 2017

The refurbished memorial was returned to its home last month. [Photo: Beth Bryant]

The refurbished Trooper Leonard Tarrant Memorial at Motueka Quay will be re-dedicated at a service to be held at 2.30pm on Saturday July 8th.

The memorial, which dates from the aftermath of the Boer War, had slipped into a state of disrepair in recent decades.

Three years ago a group of concerned locals decided to get it restored and made a feature of the Quay area. (See our earlier story.)

They received support and financial help from various sources, including the Motueka RSA and recently the Motueka Community Board.

Leonard Tarrant was born in 1871 and raised in the Motueka area, worked as a miner, then was a member of the 1st Contingent that New Zealand sent to the South African war in 1899.

He saw action at what later became known as New Zealand Hill, went on to be part of the force that relieved the siege of Kimberly and released Cecil Rhodes.

He was captured at Sannahs Post, along with 16 other New Zealanders, by one of the finest Boer commanders, General de Wet. Imprisoned in Pretoria, Len died of enteric fever on 15 April 1900, becoming the first New Zealander to die in a prisoner of war camp.

A Memorial to commemorate Len Tarrant was funded by Motueka residents and unveiled by the then Mayor, Mr JS Wratt on 8 July 1903. Fundraising was led by Harbourmaster, Harry Moffat, who raised the 40 pounds required.

The memorial is pictured (right) in its early days. The photo was taken from the sea side looking westward towared the mountains. (Note the tram lines to the old wharf from the old processing and loading sheds.)

Over the ensuing years, the Memorial suffered from neglect and collision damage by everything from horsedrawn drays to campervans.

Now refurbished, the Memorial will be re-dedicated in the presence of descendants of the Tarrant, Moffat and Wratt families.

Major General Peter Kelly, Chief of Army will be guest speaker. Other attendees will include Mr BJ Clark, National President of the RNZRSA, children from Lower Moutere School (Lens school) and Motueka interest groups.

For further information please contact Rex Edwards, ceremony organiser, phone 0278 145 284 or email rexedwards@xtra.co.nz



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