Old school trophy found and restored

Last updated 09:36 11/12/2012
Kris Dando
RESTORED: Plimmerton historian Allan Dodson with the rejuvenated Webb Memorial Trophy.

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Battered and bruised, laying in a dusty box, the Webb Memorial Cup was a forgotten piece of Plimmerton School's past.

Now the silver and pewter trophy has renewed lustre, thanks to historian Allan Dodson and The Village Goldsmith.

Mr Dodson, a prolific researcher of Plimmerton's people and history, had come across mention of the Webb Memorial Cup in the school's magazine. Between 1921 and 1972 it had been awarded to students, at first for such attributes as punctuality, good manners and cleanliness, and later for the dux runner-up.

As he was compiling histories of men who served in World War I, Mr Dodson's interest was piqued.

"Private Arthur Llewellyn Webb was a student teacher who served at Gallipoli, was injured, went to France and was killed in the Battle of the Somme.

"The trophy was presented to the school by a Mr Garnham years later who said it was to honour a Plimmerton old boy killed in the war, but I can't find any connection between Webb and Plimmerton."

When Mr Dodson came across the cup in a storage room, it had seen better days.

"The base was folded in, the shields didn't shine and it had been polished so often over the years that it just looked old. It was very battered."

Mr Dodson took it to The Village Goldsmith with a copy of the history he had written and was delighted the shop decided to spruce it up at no cost.

Rather than completely clean it, The Village Goldsmith concentrated on preserving it and "getting it back into service". The shields were polished up and the cup itself straightened.

Plimmerton School deputy principal Rosemary Oxnam says no one on the staff knew about the Webb Memorial Cup before Mr Dodson's interest. Though trophies are no longer handed out at the school's prizegiving, they will display the cup with pride.

Mr Dodson hopes Plimmerton children will show interest in its origins.

Go to www.plimmerton.org.nz for more history stories Mr Dodson has unearthed.

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