CJ-Munro-8.jpg

Charles Monro's grandchildren John Monro, Jane Kettles, Piera McArthur, Paul Monro (sitting), David Monro, Georgina Mellows and Neil Monro at the unveiling of the revamped memorial on the Manawatu campus.

 

University's lasting legacy to rugby founder

CJ-Munro-9.jpg

Assistant Vice-Chancellor Stuart Morriss addresses the guests at the unveiling.

c1901---Wharerata-and-Craiglockhart[2][1].jpg

Photo taken circa 1901 with Craiglockhart in the tree line in the centre of the
photo and Wharerata, toward the left, being built. The woman on the trap,
standing on the road that is now Tennent Drive, is Mary, CJ Monro's eldest daughter.

The man who brought rugby to New Zealand – Charles John Monro – has been honoured with a revamped memorial at the Manawatu campus.
 
A lookout complete with steel sculpture and storyboards was unveiled on Monro Hill by his youngest grandson and Massey staff member, John, on Saturday.
 
The ceremony was watched by more than 50 relatives and led by Massey University Assistant Vice-Chancellor Stuart Morriss.
 
The area (on Bourke Road opposite the School of Mäori Studies) was first designated as a memorial in 1975. The University has made it a more functional area for staff and public to enjoy views out over the Hopkirk Institute and across the Manawatu.
 
A concrete floor has been replaced with basalt pavers and a new safety glass rail fitted so the view is unobstructed. The memorial is part of the local heritage trail for public use and benches will be installed.
 
John Wylie, of Facilities Management Manawatu, helped oversee the project and the area was designed in consultation with landscape architect Dave Chardley, of Prorata Landscape Architecture, and the sculpture crafted in corten steel by local ironworker Mike Currie.
 
The sculpture of a Victorian writing desk and chair incorporates various elements of Monro's life. Its pattern was obtained from an original piece of table furniture carved by his wife Helena and it includes a map of the region at that time, a book A Month in Java, a sheet of Italian opera music and a bowl of trademark Craiglockhart Japanese plums – which he introduced to the district and New Zealand.
 
Monro family descendants also toured Craiglockhart, now a hall of residence for students, which was the family home from 1890-1944 and holds many personal memories for the elder grandchildren.


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