Signs for the Central Energy Trust Arena and the Awapuni Racecourse will be launched at the Palmerston North Conference and Function Centre, by Mayor Grant Smith, following Armistice Day commemorations in the Square. As well as signs marking the sites, wayfinding signs will be put up to help direct people to them. The new installations will bring the total number of Palmerston North sites with Poppy Places recognition to 30.
Palmerston North City Library Heritage Team Leader Lesley Courtney says Linton Military Camp’s first 11 Poppy Places signs are being launched alongside the final Palmerston North signs. “Eleven streets, on the eleventh of the eleventh month.” More Linton Camp signs will go up yearly.
Poppy Places is a national street recognition project that commemorates those who have served overseas in the armed services. Over the past four years, Palmerston North street and place signs with military connections have been embellished with a poppy symbol.
The Palmerston North Defence History Advisory Group has been the motivating body behind Poppy Places, with local businessman Stephen Parsons also playing an instrumental role. “This is quite an accomplishment because of the sustained effort to research our streets,” Courtney says.
Research work has been largely carried out by Evan Greensides, formerly of the library heritage team, now Senior Archivist at Archives Central.
“Each person’s story is an intimate window into conflicts that destroyed individual identity through overwhelming scale. It has been an honour and a privilege to memorialise these New Zealanders' sacrifice for our future with the Poppy Places project.”