ONE of the new pillars which features as part of the MK Rose has been branded a joke – because it denotes International Joke Day.
It is one of 11 commemorative new pillars announced for the memorial in Campbell Park following consultation from city groups.
But Gavin Anderson, spokesman for the Cenotaph Trust, was quick to hit back at critics. He said MK Rose was not just a place to remember darker times, but a place to celebrate and be happy too.
“People in Milton Keynes have got to have a thick skin and a sense of humour,” he said. “After all, we’ve all been the butt of so many concrete cow and roundabout jokes haven’t we?
“Groups have come to us and told us that they’d like to use the space for something, and that if there was a pillar there, they’d come.
“The scouts hold events in Campbell Park on St George’s Day and said they’d do something at the Rose if the re was a pillar commemorating that.
“The Irish community said the same for St Patrick’s Day, and the Holocaust memorial group in Milton Keynes did too.“These are all events relevant to the community of Milton Keynes. We’re not looking to fill the entire complement of pillars yet either, because we’re leaving plenty open for things that can and will happen in the future – things we will all want to commemorate.”
However, not everyone agrees. Isabella Fraser, vice chairman of Campbell Park Council, said the organisers can do what they want with the pillars, but should remove the Armistice Day memorial out of respect.
She said: “They can do what they want with the Rose, I just wish they’d remove the British Legion pillar. It’s not a cenotaph or a war memorial.
“For people to pay their respects to the brave men and women who have died for their country while standing in front of a pillar that says ‘International Joke Day’ is a joke in itself. It’s the concept of idiots.”
ROSE IN BLOOM - The full list of new pillars:
January 11 1973: Open University award their first degrees
January 23 1967: Milton Keynes first designated
January 27: Holocaust Memorial Day
March 7: World Maths Day
March 17: St Patrick’s Day
April 23: St George’s Day
May 1: May Day
June 21: Summer Solstice
July 1: International Joke Day
August 4 2012: Super Saturday at London 2012 Olympics
August 6: Hiroshima/Nagasaki Day