The Rotary Club of Levin, under District 9940 in celebrating Rotary International’s 100 years of service, presented a bronze market gardener statue as an icon depicting the horticultural history of the town. The statue is situated outside the Levin Mall entrance in Oxford Street and was funded by donations, raffles and sponsorship.
It was that year 2004, president Noel Gore who was inspired with the idea of marking both the centenary of Rotary and the centenary of the Levin Borough with some kind of icon. Mr. Gore noted on his travels how towns in New Zealand had a trout or a carrot or a bottle of fizz at their gateways. His suggestion was a market gardener as being something that represented the character of the town and district. Mr. Gore provided much of the initial impetus. A research was done but the cost seems daunting. Meetings with Weta workshop, meetings with different suppliers like Denis Hall was held during the initial months of planning from July through October. Weta workshop quoted for $120,000 for the statue which is quite steep for the club considering they have to fundraise towards the project. But finally they found the best quote through Denis Hall which is reasonable.
Mr. Gore gained valuable support from the members of the club and people from the community like the Horowhenua growers, not least George Sue who was the incoming president for 2005. The project was given a go-ahead and endorsed by the club, so it was on.
The larger than life size statue was unveiled by her Excellency the Governor-General Dame Sylvia Cartwright, on Saturday, 29th April 2005. The statue, made by Wellington sculptor Dennis Hall, is a tribute to the contribution made by Chinese people in the development of the Horowhenua Region, especially the horticultural field. The statue weighs 400 kgs. and 2.4 meters high.
- Photo on magazine cover li>
- A community honours its "grower" li>
- Grower Statue li>
- Initial sketch of the Market gardener li>
- Statue li>
- Icon unveiled li>
- Dame Silvia Cartwright unveiling the Icon li>
- 2004 Rotary Club Changeover li>
- The crowd li>
- Icon delivery to Levin li>
- Blessing of the Icon with the Kaumatua-Jim Broughton li>
- Icon installed on the night of 28/04/06 li>
- Head of Icon-unfinished stage li>
- Icon-unfinished stage @ Dennis Hall's workshop li>
Market gardener with planting.