The Emblem at Tapawera
Tapawera Emblem Resurrected
Our legendary stag has returned to its former territory on a hill above our village.
When the former Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast Regiment gathered in the area for training in 1914, the regimental emblem was placed on a private hillside just to the north of Tapawera village. The stag-shaped emblem was well maintained during the war years, but gradually disappeared after the end of World War II.
This year the Tapawera Historical Society painstakingly recreated it, using photographs provided by the Nelson Provincial Museum. Society member Maurice Taylor cut an eight-metre template from fibreboard at the Tapawera Area School workshops over the school holidays. The wood was donated by Nelson Pine Industries and ITM, while the white paint that makes the emblem stand out was supplied by an unnamed man Mr Taylor met at the Richmond rodeo. Other costs were met by the society.
"It's a piece of Tapawera's history," said Mr Taylor. "It's paying tribute to all the men who trained here over the years."
The template sat on the hillside for several months, to kill the underlying grass, before it was replaced with stones to create a permanent memorial. The society held an opening ceremony in December 2013 with the Returned and Services Association and the 2nd Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast Battalion Group of the Territorials. This was completed with an evening celebration at Druids Hall in the village, where those attending joined in a period-type "old time music hall", performing song and dance to celebrate the resurrection of the Emblem at Tapawera.