Supplied by the Morrinsville Heritage Centre, published in Morrinsville News, 23 April 2015.
Mr George Howie was born in Wanganui in 1855 and in December 1910 purchased 86 acres in the eastern part of Morrinsville, this included his residence at 382 Thames Street, ‘Lochgoin’ which became the Town and Country Club in January 1951.
He was involved in many organisations in Morrinsville, Businesses, Sports clubs and Societies and also held the office of Mayor from 1923-1925.
His land included a sloped section above Waverley Ave where children played. Plans for a war memorial on this land started in 1920 and a Peace Memorial Committee were given
approval from the public to erect a memorial to casualties of World War One; it was a 35ft high cenotaph on a three-stage stepped base, made of Coromandel Granite at a cost of 1100.
On the 30th of April, 1922 the cenotaph was unveiled by the Governor General Viscount Jellicoe and the park was planted by David Coghill.
Howie Park was given to the Borough of Morrinsville by G. Howie on the Howie Park Gates in the 1930’s 18th of November 1922, designated as a public park.
In the 1920’s a pine tree from “Lone Pine” in Gallipoli was planted to the east of the cenotaph. After about 70 years it was felled due to decay, a plaque is still located at that spot. November 11th 1993, a kauri tree was planted by Morrinsville RSA in the same area as the pine tree, to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of World War One.
George Howie also presented the entrance gates for the park in 1925 that read “Presented by George Howie to the citizens of Morrinsville”.
In 1924, three concrete ponds were built making it a perfect venue for wedding photos.
Mr George Howie died on the 29th May 1935 in his 80th year.
During more recent years the cenotaph surrounds have been revamped to cater for the large
attendance at ANZAC Day Civic Services and ponds and surroundings upgraded to improve maintenance.