Ted d'Auvergne Unveiling
With COVID-19 putting a halt to two previous dates, the Ted d’Auvergne Sculpture Project Fundraising Committee will be hoping it's a case of third time lucky early next month, as the Ted d’Auvergne sculpture outside the Waihao Forks Hotel is officially unveiled.
As the country transitions back to life at Level 1, a new date has been set for Saturday 7 November 2020 at 5pm.
Waimate District Mayor Craig Rowley, who along with special guests from the Defence Force, National RSA and many of Ted’s descendants, is looking forward to presenting the sculpture to the wider community.
“It’s been disappointing that COVID-19 has affected our two earlier unveiling dates, but we hope we will now finally be able to present the sculpture to the community,” Mayor Rowley said.
“Ted’s sculpture is already creating great interest among locals and visitors alike, and will do for many years to come. A big thanks to all members of the community and the wider district for their efforts both in fundraising, and to those that have supplied goods and services at little or no cost to construct the platform, signage and information plinth.”
The sculpture commemoratively depicts Ted d’Auvergne, a Waihao Forks soldier who famously left a bottle of beer at the Waihao Forks Hotel, vowing to finish the beverage on his return from World War II, as well as commemorating all rural soldiers who left small town New Zealand for war and never returned.
However, history tells us otherwise, with Ted dying in battle in Crete, Greece in 1941 – aged 35.
The life-sized sculpture was commissioned by a small group of locals, including Mayor Rowley, with former Oamaru-based artist Donald Paterson behind the work.
The project has raised more than $50,000, with approximately $7,000 remaining in the funding pool held by the Waimate District Charitable Fund to ensure the ongoing care and maintenance of all war memorials throughout the district.
Information on the plinth beside the platform tells the full story of Ted, as well as other stories during the war of local men. An assigned QR code is available on site, linking back to the Explore Waimate website, shining the spotlight on many other historic memoirs.