A while ago, I was contacted by Tony, who runs a site about the Newmarket War Memorial. In our discussions, he mentioned the Dolores Project. At the beginning of this week I received another email from Tony, remarking that he was trying to get members of the local ATC to perhaps attend the graves on ANZAC day next month when the crosses were placed.
I thought I would have a look at the Dolores project and here is some information from the site;
The Dolores Cross Project is a not-for-profit memorial initiative that began in April 2008. The aim of the Project is to personally pay tribute to approximately 30,000 New Zealand military personnel buried on foreign soil with a hand-made tribute, the Dolores Cross. Unlike other similar looking projects, this is not a photographic project and we do not collect personal photos of military personnel. The success of the Dolores Cross Project is entirely reliant on volunteers and supporters.
The aim of the Project is ambitious and very personal.
There are approximately 30,000 New Zealand military personnel buried on foreign soil. The primary aim of the Project is to personally pay tribute to each of these men with a Dolores Cross. To document that a tribute has been made to a particular gravesite, photographs of the gravestones with the Dolores Cross placed will be taken where possible. However, the project is not focused on being a photographic project and does not collect personal photographs of military personnel.
The Project relies on volunteers and supporters to help it achieve its aim. Please go to Support the Project to find out about how you can help.
The Dolores Cross is a simple, hand-made, weaved Harakeke (New Zealand flax) cross.
The weave design was created through trial and error, and a little bit of creativity. Harakeke was chosen because it grows plentifully in New Zealand and it seemed appropriate that a part of New Zealand made up this unique tribute. It creates an intimate link between the homeland and those New Zealanders who went to fight in both World Wars and never returned.
The name ‘Dolores’ is Latin for ‘sorrows’, and refers to the Virgin Mary, who is referred to as ‘Maria de los Dolores’ – ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’ or ‘Mary of Sorrows’. As such, the name ‘Dolores Cross’ is a reference to its origins and its memorial purpose as it means “the cross of sorrows”.
The Dolores Cross is the personal tribute of Dolores Ho, a Malaysian-Chinese who migrated to New Zealand in 1987.
Currently the Archivist of the National Army Museum, New Zealand, Dolores has worked with military writings and archives as a librarian and archivist for the past 15 years. Through her work, Dolores has developed a deep passion for New Zealand military history and respect for the sacrifices made by ordinary New Zealanders who did extraordinary things in war time. In her spare time, Dolores devotes her energies to the Dolores Cross Project, gardening and baking, and spending time with her two daughters.
Go to the Dolores Project website here