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New war memorial to set sail in ceremony with GG

New war memorial to set sail in ceremony with Governor-General

A new Takapuna War Memorial with a nautical inspired design, will be officially dedicated by the Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright just before the eleventh hour on November 11 to mark Armistice Day in North Shore City this year.

Armistice Day is a moment of remembrance recalling November 11 in 1918 when at the eleventh hour the guns fell silent, and an Armistice was signed by the warring nations, ending World War I, after four years of conflict. Worldwide, the day is an annual moment of remembrance for all war dead with two minutes of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

The new permanent six-metre high, eight-metre wide memorial for the seaside community records the names of all those from the Takapuna area who have died in conflict including World War I and II and Korea, Malaya and Vietnam.

Funded and built by the North Shore City Council, the modern design features two aluminium mastheads at either end to represent life and death. Suspended in space between the two mastheads are cast bronze plaques to represent abstract sails, with a cross defined in the space between the plaques. The memorial will be floodlit at night, to show the cross and sail-like design to full effect.

Engraved in a granite apron plinth at the foot of the memorial are the words '"A tribute from the people of Takapuna to all who served and those who died for their country - Lest We Forget" and the Maori equivalent of Lest We Forget "E Kore Ratou E Warewaretia".

The official dedication ceremony for the new memorial will begin at 10.10am on Monday November 11 with a parade up The Strand from Takapuna Beach led by the Royal New Zealand Navy Band, a 24 person Navy Guard of Honour and a Tri-Service Catafalque Guard comprising sailors, soldiers and air men of the RNZN, NZ Army and RNZ Air Force. RSA members will also march. The parade will come to the new memorial on the public square and forecourt in front of the council's head office.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the dedication ceremony. Anyone wishing to participate in the parade should assemble in The Strand by the sea at 9.45am. Decorations and medals should be worn.

The Mayor of North Shore City, George Wood, says this will be a special Armistice Day for the city.

"This impressive new civic monument is designed very much as a war memorial for our time - the 21st century - with its urban setting, modern detailing, sails design to reflect the coastal nature of our city and its light bronze panels engraved with the names of Takapuna's war dead," he says. "It's important we have these visible and public reminders of the great sacrifices that were made by our residents who fought for the freedom and peace we enjoy today. It's about remembering and respecting our history - and this new permanent memorial will help us do that every day. " Takapuna Community Board chairperson and local RSA member, Tony Lewis, says the memorial makes a powerful visual statement.

He says The Strand courtyard was chosen as the most suitable location for the memorial, being at the 'civic heart' of Takapuna and the site of recent Anzac ceremonies. It is close to the war memorial hall and provides nearby shelter from the elements.

The council's landlord, Trans Tasman Properties, which owns the courtyard site on which the memorial will be erected, fully supports the project. However, the memorial has been created in such a way to make it relocatable, should the need to move it ever arise.

Chairman of the RSA Memorial Committee and senior vice president of the Takapuna RSA, Michael Murphy, says the RSA is delighted with the new memorial. Around 175 names will appear on it, several more than were displayed on the previous honours board, he says, as the RSA ran a public appeal to identify servicemen and women not previously recognised.

The memorial was designed by The Architecture Office with engineering by AC Consulting Group. Previously a roll of honour was displayed at the old Takapuna War Memorial Hall which, until 1990, also accommodated the Takapuna and District RSA Club on the current site of the council head office complex. The honours board was relocated in the new war memorial hall built as part of the Takapuna Community Services Building. The RSA meanwhile, moved to a new building on the corner of Shea Terrace and Northcote Road. For a number of years a portable plywood timber cenotaph has been used for Anzac Day ceremonies in The Strand.

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