Alwyn Seeley memorial seat stolen

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 22/05/2014
A j seely
Peter Drury/Fairfax NZ

A J SEELY GULLY: The seat overlooked the gully bearing Seeley’s name, and was stolen one year after his death.

Dr Alwyn Seeley
FAIRFAX NZ
Missing memorial: The late Dr Alwyn Seeley planted the gully with native vegetation.

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Nearly a year after Dr Alwyn Seeley died, thieves made off with a bench seat dedicated to him and the huge contribution he made to the city.

Just five days shy of the first anniversary of his death, Seeley's memorial seat, which was placed at his favorite spot at the 5.5 acre A J Seeley Gully Reserve, has gone.

He bought the bare piece of land in Claudelands in 1960 and turned it into a jewel in the heart of Hamilton filled with native trees and exotics, and gave it to the city.

Barbara Brooks, a member of the Friends of the A J Seeley Gully group, used the seat regularly on her daily walks and was shocked it was taken.

"I'm pretty disappointed at the fact that somebody [Seeley] has planted the whole gully and someone has taken it for their own use."

She wandered through the gully after it was reported stolen on Monday to see if it had been dumped down a creek but could not find it.

She said the seat was stationed about the length of a football field from both Armagh St and Whyte St and it would have been a struggle to get it out.

"It's probably gracing either somebody's flat and they don't care or it's gracing somebody's garden and looking pretty good."

Hamilton City Council parks and open spaces manager Sally Sheedy said the theft was disgusting.

"We were very shocked and quite disgusted to discover the memorial seat for Alwyn Seeley has been removed from the city park which bears his name."

She said the seat had huge sentimental value.

"We're asking for the seat to be returned to its location on a no-questions-asked basis. We just want to see it back where it belongs."

Anyone with information on the seat can contact the Hamilton City Council anonymously.

The theft has been reported to police.

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