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Lest we forget . . . Memorial Oaks committee secretary Rob Douglas holds the new mould for crosses placed next to the memorial oaks to remember Waitaki's fallen soldiers. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Memorials of the dead have been given new life.

Memorial Oaks committee members have spent the past year searching for a new mould for its World War 1 remembrance crosses, and their problems have finally been solved.

Committee secretary Rob Douglas said the search began in June last year, after Great Southern informed the committee it was “no longer interested” in making the moulds.

The committee members spent a long time looking for alternative options so they could continue creating crosses to replace those that were at the end of their lifespan or had been damaged.

Then Mr Douglas contacted Noel Henderson Fibreglassing in Washdyke.

Mr Henderson insisted on making the mould for free, as it was a “worthy cause”.

Mr Douglas said he was overjoyed at the generosity and at being able to finally replace the damaged the crosses, at the base of the memorial oak trees across the district.

“I’m exceedingly happy to have an everlasting supply of crosses,” Mr Douglas said.

“It also means that if other people see a broken cross they can get in contact with the committee … and we can go dig it out, and fix it.”

The committee looked after the 370 memorial oaks planted throughout the Waitaki district to remember the soldiers who fought during World War 1.

All trees had a cross at the base, detailing the soldier for whom the tree was planted and the place and year of their death.

Mr Douglas said about 10 crosses needed replacing at present, and work to fix them would get under way soon. Crombie Monumentalist would use the moulds and make the crosses for the committee, he said.

Other crosses would be replaced when required, if they were damaged.

“It’s important as far as we’re concerned, because it’s remembering the soldiers that went to World War 1.”