The Onehunga War Memorial Swimming Pool was opened on 27 October 1956. The original complex included four outdoor pools. A polished black granite memorial slab was installed on a wall at the main entrance.
This was headed: “Onehunga War Memorial, 1914 – 1918, 1939 -1945. ’We will remember them.’” It bore the dedication: “They whom the inscriptions upon these panels commemorate are those from the Borough of Onehunga who at the call of King and Country, left all that was dear to them. Endured hardship, faced danger and finally passed out of sight of men by the path of duty and self sacrifice. Giving their lives that others may live in freedom. Let those who come after see to it that their names not be forgotten.”
This was followed by a list of 170 names (several extra names were later added).
A Book of Honour hand-lettered by Miss Hilda Wiseman was also put on display in the pool lobby, one page being turned each day. This gave the names of the fallen along with their serial number, rank, unit, cause, place and date of death, and name and address of next of kin. It included 90 names from the First World War and 81 from the Second.
The pool complex has been significantly extended and redeveloped over the years since, and its frontage now bears little resemblance to the original. However, in 2006 the memorial wall was enhanced by the addition of a sculpted border and a small garden.
The Book of Honour is now on display in the Onehunga library, along with a key presented to the Mayor of Onehunga, Archer Garside, on the opening day of the memorial swimming pool.
Sources: ‘Onehunga Pool Is a Proud Triumph’, Auckland Star, 26/10/1956; ‘Onehunga’s Memorial Opened’, Manukau Progress, 2/11/1956, p. 1; Janice M. Mogford, The Onehunga Heritage, rev. ed. Onehunga, 1989, pp. 144-6; ‘Funding Approved’, Central Leader, 24/2/2006, p. 1; further information from Auckland Council archives.