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Helping the Timeball Station to rise again

Helping the Timeball Station to rise again

Holcim New Zealand has got behind the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) plan to rebuild the Timeball Station in some form at Lyttelton.

The company has donated $100,000 to the project from the Earthquake Fund they set up soon after the February 2011 earthquake. This fund included a generous donation from their parent company Holcim Ltd.

Jeremy Smith, Managing Director for Holcim New Zealand says Holcim was delighted to support a project that would see an important and iconic part of Canterbury’s heritage restored.

“Holcim has a long-standing connection to Lyttelton through our cement depot. Our ships are also regular visitors to the port supplying cement for the Canterbury region. We look forward to being part of the restoration of this unique local landmark.”

Mr Smith says he hopes that other organisations will also get in behind and support the project.

Built in 1876 to provide timekeeping services to ships in Lyttelton Harbour, the Lyttelton Timeball Station was one of New Zealand’s most significant historic buildings, and a dominant visual feature of Lyttelton’s landscape for over 130 years. The earthquake on 22 February 2011 damaged the building beyond repair, but careful dismantling and salvage work has allowed as much material as possible to be stored for future use.

Earlier this year Landmark Incorporated became the founder donor for the rebuild of the Timeball Station, presenting a cheque for $1 million to the NZHPT, which has cared for the site since the 1970s.

NZHPT Chief Executive Bruce Chapman says rebuilding the Timeball will help return an important historic place to the people of Canterbury.

“It will restore heritage to a place that has lost much of its past and be a symbol of hope for the future. When we sought the views of the Lyttelton community at the end of last year they gave us a very clear message that some form of rebuild is important to them. Holcim’s generosity gives this project an excellent boost.”

The NZHPT is currently finalising studies to determine what would be the most appropriate structure both for the site and to meet the needs and hopes of the community. No decisions are expected until early next year. As fundraising has only just started, interested businesses and sponsors are invited to contact NZHPT to discuss how they may become associated with this worthy community project.


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