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New Botanic Garden memorial to be unveiled

27 August 2004

New Botanic Garden memorial to be unveiled

A new Botanic Garden memorial and look-out marking an important historic feature of the Garden – the highest of the three original survey points – will be officially unveiled at a special ceremony next week.

The memorial has been developed by the Friends of the Botanic Garden in co-operation with the City Council and named in honour of Sir James Hector who managed the Botanic Garden from 1868 to 1891. Hector was also a doctor, scientist, adventurer, entrepreneur and the first manager of the Colonial Museum and Geological Survey.

In recognition of his early contribution to New Zealand’s national museum, the plaque on the cairn-like memorial will be unveiled by Te Papa chief executive Dr Seddon Bennington at 11am on Wednesday 1 September. Seven descendants of James Hector including three grandsons are also expected to attend.

Friend of the Botanic Garden Winsome Shepherd says James Hector played a key role in the early development of the Garden. The look-out and memorial is an acknowledgement of his contribution and a part of the Garden’s history.

The memorial is constructed of river boulders and the focal point of a look-out that has great views through the trees to Tinakori Hill and the harbour.

Botanic Gardens Manager David Sole says the look-out is next to the James Hector pinetum – a specialist collection of pines near the garden’s Mariri Road entrance. The pinetum is adjacent to some large old pines planted more than a century ago and includes new ones that have been planted in recent years by three successive Governor-Generals.

“It’s a peaceful, contemplative place a little off the beaten track but easily accessible from Mariri Road.”

The memorial was designed by City Council Landscape Architect Charles Gordon and constructed by McGuire Contractors. It has been funded by the Friends of the Botanic Garden and a $5000 City Council grant.

ENDS

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