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Information panels complete firefighters sculpture

Information panels complete Christchurch firefighters sculpture

A ceremony will be held on Monday, 20 September to mark completion of the Firefighters Reserve, on the banks of the Avon River in Christchurch where Madras and Kilmore streets meet.

Please note, that because space is limited on the reserve and surrounding footpaths, the City Council is not issuing a general invitation to the public and so asks the news media not to publicise the event until it has happened.

The Reserve and sculpture (A Tribute to Firefighters) were created as acknowledgement of the work of firefighters worldwide and to mark the World Firefighters Games held in Christchurch in October 2002. City sculptor Graham Bennett created the work using twisted steel I-beams from New York’s destroyed World Trade Center buildings.

Project spokesperson Marlene Le Cren, the Christchurch City Council’s arts adviser, says the reserve will be completed with the installation of information panels on the bridge railings above the sculpture.

“The reserve was designed as a peaceful place of reflection where people can remember,” she says. “The goodwill and support of many people, both in New York and here in Christchurch, was needed to bring all the elements together to create the reserve and the sculpture. The storyboard panels will give the public an explanation of how this unique and superbly successful project was achieved.”

Spiritual considerations will be completed during the unveiling of the story board by the burying of filings of steel left over from the construction of the sculpture, the blessing of a New Zealand steel koru and the placement of a piece of pounamu which has been gifted by the Otautahi Runaka.

The Firefighters Reserve and the sculpture have come about through a partnership between Christchurch City Council and sponsors -- Lion Foundation, John Rhind Funeral Directors, Scenic Circle Hotels and City Care.

The story of how the sculpture and Reserve came to be in Christchurch is also told in a book by local journalist Rosa Shiels called Journey: The Story of the Steel. Copies are available from the City Council’s Tuam Street office for $9.95.

- The Firefighters Reserve information panels will be officially unveiled by Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore. Reporters, photographers are welcome to attend and asked to gather at 4.45pm on Monday, 20 September on the reserve (on Oxford Terrace in front of the Central Fire Station).

- Anyone wanting a copy of the storyboard wording should email bryn.Somerville@ccc.govt.nz

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