Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Plaque for a pointsman


View of The Exchange, Dunedin, with city traffic. Shows cars, trams, and a motorcyclist. The Cargill monument is on the left. Photograph taken circa 10 October 1949. Photographer unidentified. Reference Number: PAColl-8163-60, Alexander Turnbull Library

The Exchange at the intersection of Princes and High Streets in Dunedin was a busy place in the 1940s. Anyone serving there day in, day out earned their quid. Today, set into the pavement of what is now Exchange Plaza, with the Cargill monument and the penguins (see previous post), is this plaque, in memory of one such man.


Constable Joseph Strachan Oswald (1884-1965) served from 1929-1945 at the intersection. "Guide, Mentor and Friend to all who passed through the Exchange," the plaque tells us. The plaque was installed by his descendants and friends in 1998. A lovely touch, and wonderful remembrance of those who help make our cities tick but are often taken for granted.

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