Memorial to road safety promoter destroyed

Matthew Martin | 30th June 2009

VANDALISED: A memorial to Rotorua Drivewise, walking bus and cycling advocate Cedric Rogers has been destroyed. Drivewise Trust chairwoman Marilyn Ross would like to know why. BEN FRASER 250609BF12

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He was regarded as one of the city's leaders in road safety and health promotion - so much so that after he died Rotorua erected a memorial to him and his work.
Now the memorial to Cedric Rogers that used to stand on the side of Te Ngae Rd, next to the Cedric Rogers Memorial Cycleway, has been destroyed.
Drivewise Rotorua Trust chairwoman Marilyn Ross said the memorial, a metre-high koru design cut into a block of sandstone, was broken in half.
It was discovered by Rotorua District Council staff.
Mrs Ross said she was sure the memorial was vandalised rather than a car hitting it as the fence in front of it had not been damaged.
"We are all very disappointed and saddened to think someone could desecrate something like that. [Cedric Rogers] was very well known and did a lot for the people of Rotorua," she said.
Mr Rogers was just 47 when he died in his sleep in October 2005 at his Rotorua home after suffering from a heart condition.
He was employed by the Drivewise Trust, serving as Rotorua's road safety co-ordinator for nine years. He also helped to introduce walking buses to Rotorua schools.
Previously, he was a health promoter with Toi Te Ora Public Health.
"Originally we put a lot of thought into what we put there," Mrs Ross said.

"Now the only thing left is the plaque, which has been stolen before because it looks like brass. "It's totally destroyed so we will have to rethink another memorial."
Mrs Ross said the Drivewise Trust would discuss ideas and hopefully come to a decision for a new memorial at its annual meeting on August 5.
"The trust paid for the last one and will probably do the same this time but if anyone does want to help please let us know."
* Mrs Ross can be contacted on (027) 349 0047.