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Vandals target memorial for husband

JESS LEE
Last updated 05:00 09/05/2014
Pam Pearce

LOST MEMORIAL: A bench commemorating Pam Pearce’s late husband Ivan Douglas Rae has been vandalised and its engraved plaque is missing.

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A pensioner is hoping a memorial for her late husband will be restored after it was vandalised.

A seat that Pam Pearce donated to Pt Chevalier Beach was pulled apart and a bronze plaque commemorating her late husband Ivan Douglas Rae is missing. She noticed it when walking through Coyle Park on April 17.

The 76-year-old is offering a $50 reward for the plaque's return.

"I was really upset that someone could vandalise the seat like that," Pearce says.

Rae died of lung cancer in 1985 when he was 59.

Pearce decided to donate the seat in his memory in 1994, just before she remarried.

"It was something I wanted to do before going on to the next stage of my life," she says.

"I don't have a memorial anywhere or a stone in a crematorium that I visit.

"This was the place I felt that was so much nicer for people to sit - it was just nice to think that it was here."

Planks of wood are now missing from the bench, including the one which held the plaque.

Pearce says it appears to be a deliberate act of vandalism which must have occurred in the week leading up to Good Friday.

"When we came here and found it we looked further along where somebody had obviously had a bonfire - you could see bits of the wood left," she says.

"I wonder whether people have yanked the wood off and decided to have a bonfire."

The Pt Chevalier resident has lived in the area since the late 1970s.

She is now battling cancer herself.

Auckland Council local and sports parks central manager Jane Aickin says the bench repair will be completed within the next week.

"We support Mrs Pearce's efforts to find some leads on this apparent act of vandalism," Aickin says.

Vandalism of memorial seats and benches does happen from time to time, she says.

The council is taking the opportunity to do some maintenance work on other benches in the area, she says.

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- Auckland City Harbour News

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