Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 15, June 1971

By Graeme Young

NOTE: The guest Speaker at Paeroa on Anzac Day this year was a member of our Historical Society - Mr. C.W. Malcolm, now of Auckland. He prefaced his stirring address by recalling that the first Anzac Day 56 years ago, with its incredible Gallipoli Landing was also on a Sunday. While deprecating war he made a plea for remembering those who served, with special reference to two Paeroa residents who made the supreme sacrifice. These were George Roland Bradford who was the first British soldier to lose his life in the Boer War and the Rev. Wilfred Parker, Chaplain of H.M.S. "Prince of Wales", sunk 10/12/41. (See Journal 7) [see Journal 7: W.G. Parker - E]. In remembering them we do not forget the many others who gave their lives and the following story of a salvaged memorial is not only an expression of appreciation but it restores our faith in that truly fine side of human nature, which is constructive rather than destructive. Ed.)

Members of the Historical Society will have read in a previous issue of the journal [see Journal 12: George Roland Bradford - E], an account of the history of The Bradford Memorial Fountain, and will no doubt be interested to know that parts of the fountain have been restored, and I should like to put on record how it came to be restored and erected in our garden at Hikutaia. My late husband William Samuel Vivian Young had a great appreciation of the past achievements and possessions of a former generation and was concerned that the Memorial Fountain on Primrose Hill was being misused by some thoughtless citizens. Some years ago he expressed a wish for the fountain to be moved to a position in the town where it could be appreciated by more passersby and thus be less exposed to vandalism. Fate intervened however and the movable parts of the fountain met an untimely end at the foot of Primrose Hill.

On enquiring the extent of the damage, my husband was told that it was considered that repairs to the damaged parts would be too costly, and at a later date we were given permission by the Borough Council to salvage the broken parts. These we brought home and my husband pieced the parts together after fashioning some missing portions from a mixture of cement and polyfilla. (The dark piece at the top in the photograph is a repair). It was my task to remove layers of white paint which revealed a beautiful sparkly granite. We have the two bowls and connecting columns - the third and largest bowl is still on Primrose Hill, where it can never he damaged as it is set in a solid concrete foundation.

The fountain though not perfect as it once was, is still a piece of beautiful masonry, and set in the centre of a rose garden, is a delight to the eye and ear as the water spills gently from bowl to bowl. It gave us both pleasure to preserve it and will always be treasured.

NOTE : Mrs. Young kindly invited us to see the 70 year old fountain in its delightful new setting where it is not only a memorial to Roland Bradford but also to the Young Family whose story will be told in a future issue of our Journal. Ed.)