Tower to com­mem­o­rate WWI sol­diers

Central Leader - - MILESTONES - CATRIN OWEN

A new in­stal­la­tion to com­mem­o­rate those who served in World War One has been un­veiled in the Auck­land Do­main.

Te Pourewa Whakama­haratanga, The Tower of Re­mem­brance was un­veiled on Septem­ber 20 out­side the Auck­land War Me­mo­rial Mu­seum.

The tower is cov­ered in hun­dreds of solid brass qua­tre­foils, sim­i­lar to those used in The Art of Re­mem­brance fundraiser for St David’s Church on Khy­ber Pass Rd.

Auck­land Mu­seum’s direc­tor of col­lec­tion and re­search David Reeves says the project is a fit­ting col­lab­o­ra­tion.

‘‘As a war me­mo­rial, it is fit­ting that the mu­seum col­lects not only his­tor­i­cal ex­am­ples of com­mem­o­ra­tion but con­tem­po­rary ex­am­ples too.

‘‘The art in­stal­la­tion cap­tured pub­lic imag­i­na­tion so strongly, and it is an hon­our to be able to dis­play these art­works in a new set­ting, ac­knowl­edg­ing a lo­cal com­mem­o­ra­tive project and con­tin­u­ing to re­mem­ber those who lost their lives in World War I,’’ Reeves says.

It was un­veiled ex­actly 100 years ago to the day Sergeant James Rankin was killed in ac­tion on the Somme in North­ern France

Rankin was from Grafton and his fam­ily were mem­bers of St David’s Church, he died fight­ing in the Bat­tle of the Somme on Septem­ber 20, 1916 and was hon­oured at the un­veil­ing cer­e­mony. His name is also on the roll of hon­our.

Paul Barag­wanath, cu­ra­tor of the St David’s Art of Re­mem- brance project, says mem­bers of Rankin’s fam­ily at­tended.

‘‘Sergeant Rankin rep­re­sents not only the St David’s men whose lives were taken, but the loss of all New Zealan­ders who died or were af­fected by the First World War.

‘‘St David’s Church was built, much like Auck­land War Me­mo­rial Mu­seum, as a sol­dier’s me­mo­rial so that we would never for­get,’’ Barag­wanath says.

The qua­tre­foils were de­signed by New Zealand artist Max Gim­blett for St David’s Church and were then auc­tioned to fundraise for the church’s restora­tion.

The church was built in 1927 as a place of re­mem­brance of the First World War and be­came known as the ‘‘sol­diers’ church’’.

Barag­wanath says there is still $6 mil­lion in fund­ing needed to re­store the church.

The Tower of Re­mem­brance was un­veiled in the Auck­land Do­main on Septem­ber 20.

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