Captain Cook Memorial
Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 4:02PM
Bill Barclay

A highly significant proposed move of the Captain Cook Memorial from an accident prone site near the corner of Hauraki and SH2 has been travelling beneath the radar.

Gary Blake (Waikato Farm Forestry), assisted by Environment Waikato's Rien van de Weteringh, came up with idea while fencing a Kahikatea stand at the Troughton's Hauraki road farm.

It is proposed to move the much visited memorial to a more appropriate site on the corner of Captain Cook Road and Hauraki Roads closer to the Waihou, and to the actual point reached by Captain Cook's pinnace in 1769. The memorial, and an oft stolen associated anchor was first placed in 1969.

A second stage proposes a one kilometer walkway to the exact position of Cook's landing where it is proposed to place the original memorial anchor (hopefully better anchored!), together with information board, flag pole and jetty.

This hugely significant historical event which incidentally constituted Cook's only overnight venture away from HMS Endeavour while on its Transit of Mercury voyage, and while it was anchored opposite Te Puru, has been inadequately commemorated in the past.

The design by Opus for the new memorial at Hauraki road includes car and bus park, planted area (incorporating Kahikatea in particular), and picnic area complementing an anchor memorial on a raised platform with views out across the river.

The new much heavier anchor proposed for placement at this site has been acquired through the good offices of John Hillery of Te Puru, and Rear Admiral Tony Parr, amongst other navy people. Murray Boys of the Naval Dock Yard reconditioned the three tonne anchor from a Wold War II US warship.

It lies awaiting placement at Environment Waikato's Paeroa depot. Hauraki Council has been closely involved in the whole design process. Top marks to Mayor John Tregidga for his enthusiasm during the entire process. This will inevitably become a long overdue tourist drawcard for the Hauraki District.




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