Trees have been planted to commemorate wars in New Zealand since the Land Wars of the 1860’s by both Maori and Pakeha. In 1946 five trees were planted by members and friends of the St Ninians Presbyterian Church ‘in Gods acre’ adjoining the church to commemorate five bible class boys who died during the second World War.
Only three of these five trees are left-
A Pohutukawa [Metrosideros excelsa] – for Sub Lieutenant Arthur Thompson planted by James Bird,
A Totara [Podocarpus totara] – for Flight-Lieutenant Walter Clark (died aged 22 years) from 23 Canal Road, Avondale, planted by Flying-Officer Cecil Rainey and
A Kowhai [Sophora microphylla]– for Sergeant-Pilot Alex Mee , planted by Warrant Officer Graham Burgess.
A Rimu [Dacrydium cupressinum] for Corporal A McKenzie Weir (Died aged 28 years from Gilfillan Street, Avondale South-) planted by Flight Lieutenant James Weir and a Flowering Cherry [Prunus sp.] – for Private Alex Pringle, planted by Colin McGregor no longer remain.
Information and text thanks to John P. Adam and the Avondale Waterview Historical Society.
St. Ninian’s Session Minutes sourced from Presbyterian Research Centre (Archives), Knox College, Dunedin
Aerial Map: Avondale Jockey Club racetrack , Avondale, Auckland. Date: 25 Apr 1979
Ref: WA-74743-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22322120