Cel­e­brat­ing our cy­cle­ways

Northern Outlook - - FRONT PAGE - EMMA DANGER­FIELD

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween Waimakariri and its Bel­gian twin district Zon­nebeke was fur­ther en­hanced this week when rep­re­sen­ta­tives from both joined on Mon­day to cel­e­brate the opening stages of the con­struc­tion of two cy­cle­ways which will even­tu­ally link Ran­giora and Christchurch.

It was far from an ideal day for an open air cel­e­bra­tion but that did not de­ter a crowd, al­beit armed with rain­coats and um­brel­las, for the oc­ca­sion which be­gan with a turn­ing of the sod at the Ka­iapoi site. Although Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey was re­luc­tant to be pho­tographed dig­ging a hole one week out from the elec­tion, the rain overnight cer­tainly helped soften the mud and pro­vided an easy task for the spade-wield­ing VIPs. Doocey was joined by Mayor David Ayers and former Bel­gian Navy lieu­tenant com­man­der Freddy De­clerck.

De­clerck is the chair of the Memo­rial Mu­seum at Pass­chen­daele and was re­spon­si­ble for the twin­ning be­tween the two dis­tricts in 2007. He said it was ex­cit­ing to see the mak­ings of the track which would pro­vide a last­ing memo­rial for the lives lost at the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele in 1917. The bat­tle­field is in the Zon­nebeke re­gion.

A sec­ond cer­e­mony was held in Wood­end to mark the start of the Ran­giora to Wood­end cy­cle­way. Both projects are part of the govern­ment’s Ur­ban Cy­cle­ways Pro­gramme.

Turn­ing the fist sod of the Pass­chen­daele Memo­rial Cy­cle­way are MP Matt Doocey, Freddy De­clerck of Zon­nebeke and Waimakariri Mayor David Ayers.

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