Ti­maru stone in Pass­chen­daele gar­den


A Ti­maru busi­ness is con­tribut­ing to a gar­den which will be built in Bel­gium to com­mem­o­rate 100 years since the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele.

Blue­stone In­dus­tries owner Rene Kempf was asked by De­sign Source to con­struct 34 pavers, which will be sent to Bel­gium in March, out of blue­stone. He said it took the busi­ness a cou­ple of days to put the pavers to­gether. ‘‘Not a big job for us.’’ The pavers had a slight curve to them, and were 50 cen­time­tres in length, about 10cm wide, and 4cm deep. They will form a curve flat on the ground, and will have bronze let­ters set in them in Christchurch, spell­ing out lines from the hymn Pop­pies and Po­hutukawa.

Kempf said Boffa Miskell, one of the big­gest land­scape ar­chi­tec­tural firms in New Zealand, had de­signed the gar­den.

In the past, Blue­stone In­dus­tries has been called upon to pro­vide stone for projects in Ja­pan and Hong Kong, but gen­er­ally it only ser­vices the New Zealand mar­ket, Kempf said.

‘‘It’s just nice to be in­volved with that sort of stature.’’

De­sign Source di­rec­tor Sue Holmes said the gar­den would be poppy-shaped.

‘‘It’s quite an im­pres­sive and beau­ti­ful project.’’

She be­lieved the stone was se­lected be­cause Boffa Miskell wanted to use New Zealand prod­ucts.

‘‘It’s a hardy, dense ma­te­rial which will last a long time.’’

Boffa Miskell se­nior prin­ci­pal land­scape ar­chi­tect Cathy Challi­nor said the Pass­chen­daele Me­mo­rial Mu­seum 1917 was de­vel­op­ing seven poppy-shaped gar­dens to com­mem­o­rate the 100th an­niver­sary of the bat­tle. One of these gar­dens is the New Zealand Me­mo­rial and Gar­den.

‘‘The Ti­maru basalt is a cen­tral part of the de­sign, a cel­e­bra­tion of this beau­ti­ful ma­te­rial that is com­ing from the heart of New Zealand to the heart of Bel­gium. There will be other New Zealand­based ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing a stone chip from the North Is­land.’’

Most of the gar­den is be­ing pre­fab­ri­cated in New Zealand, and will be trans­ported via sea to Bel­gium in time for the open­ing and an­niver­sary on Oc­to­ber 12 this year.

‘‘The de­sign for the gar­den re­sponds to the brief’s three themes of re­mem­brance: re­mem­brance through plant sym­bol­ism, re­mem­brance through vis­ual art and re­mem­brance through lit­er­a­ture,’’ Challi­nor said.


An artist’s im­pres­sion of what the me­mo­rial gar­den will look like.

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