In just about every city around New Zealand and Australia on Friday, hundreds, if not thousands will stand in front of a memorial or building in remembrance of our heroic ANZACs. These were often built some 80 to 90 odd years ago and have become part of the fabric of our communities in recent times.
To consider a landscape without them is both conceptually and emotionally quite difficult for most of us - we expect bricks and mortar to last for ever, as we do our memories. But the reality is that without a considered, long-term maintenance plan "age" may well weary them and often this is not realised until repair is considered too expensive and the only option is to condemn or to do an expensive rebuild.
This is the emotional pull of what we do as asset managers. It is the challenge of keeping our history in-tact for future generations by doing the very best job we can to preserve important community building assets so that they continue to be used and enjoyed by many every day.
I hope you do take the opportunity to join in one of the commemorative services. But as an asset manager, as you stand in front of the cenotaph, memorial or local RSA spare a thought for the condition of what is in front of you. We all need to take responsibility for maintaining what is important to our community and a timely word in the right ear, could make a difference. In this day and age there is no reason why age should 'weary' any building - at least not for decades to come - so long as a pro-active approach to maintaining it is taken.