Sculptor seeks help to create WWI statue

SARAH JARVIS
Last updated 05:00 17/07/2014
timaru mackenzie world war I medals
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ITEMS WANTED: Buttons, badges and shoulder flashes from World War I are needed for a statue of a New Zealand trooper to be erected in Fairlie in October.

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The Mackenzie County patriotic committee is on the hunt for World War I badges, buttons and shoulder flashes to be used on a statue of a trooper to be erected in Fairlie to commemorate the centennial of World War I.

Sculptor Don Paterson has been commissioned to produce the figure which will be unveiled in the town in October.

Committee spokesman Jeremy Sutherland said Paterson wanted to use military buttons and badges from that time.

"They will become a permanent part of the sculpture and the people who donate them will be mentioned on the interpretation."

The committee is looking for New Zealand Forces (NZF) buttons, a pair of New Zealand Mounted Rifles (NZMR) shoulder flashes, a South Canterbury Mounted Rifles hat badge and a pair of collar badges.

Paterson would also like a pair of old size 9 or 10 leather hob-nail boots which will be sacrificed in a casting process.

Sutherland said ideally they would like the items to be donated by Mackenzie families so there was "a local connection".

"If the connection is to Fairlie that would be great. I am sure plenty of locals have items stored away in their sheds and homes . . . Fairlie people don't throw anything out," he said.

Sutherland said the unveiling of the statue will take place on October 16. "The statue will be ready before that, but we picked that date because . . . it's when the troops left New Zealand."

The statue will stand in Fairlie's main street near the site of the former Fairlie Railway Station.

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- The Timaru Herald

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