Facelift for Christchurch war memorial

Christchurch’s Citizens’ War Memorial has received a blessing ahead of its removal for repair, strengthening and eventual relocation in Cathedral Square.

The Memorial was blessed at a ceremony this morning by the Right Reverend Dr Peter Carrell, Bishop of Christchurch, and the Very Reverend Lawrence Kimberley, Dean of Christchurch.

Attendees included members of the Anglican Diocese, the Returned and Services’ Association, Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited (CCRL), and Christchurch City Council.

CCRL – the company set up to oversee the reinstatement of the Cathedral – will soon carefully disassemble the Memorial and transport the parts to storage.

The Council will then be responsible for strengthening, repairing, and storing the Memorial, until it can be installed in its new location in the Square.

“As the Council receives the Citizens’ War Memorial, we will be able to maintain and care for it on behalf of all the citizens of Christchurch,” said Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

“It is one of the city’s principal memorials to those Canterbury men and women who lost their lives in the war and it deserves to occupy a prominent position on public land in Cathedral Square, in accordance with the wishes of George Gould who led the campaign to fundraise and build what is truly a citizens’ memorial,” she said.

“We want to get the necessary work done as soon as possible so that we can reinstate the Memorial and restore public access to it.”

 Earthquake damage and significant rusting to the Memorial’s internal structure means it needs to be carefully taken apart and stored offsite for repair and strengthening work. Its relocation will also allow for the reinstatement work happening to Christ Church Cathedral and plans for redeveloping the surrounding land.

The Council has agreed to receive ownership of the Memorial through a deed of gift from Church Property Trustees (CPT), which owns and administers property on behalf of the Anglican Diocese. 

“It’s wonderful to reach agreement with the Council and key stakeholders on the future of the Citizen’s War Memorial, and to have the generous support of funders (including Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust and Land Information NZ) to be able to make this a reality,” says CPT General Manager Gavin Holley.