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Cenotaph Restoration

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Cenotaph Restoration

Restoration of the Cenotaph was completed in time for Anzac day commemorations on Saturday 25 April 2015.  

Cenotaph completed April 2015

The Cenotaph sustained damaged in the December 2007 earthquake.

The Cenotaph was erected in memory of our district's soldiers who lost their lives in WWI.  It's registered as Category 1 with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust

Project milestones

25 April 2015 - Cenotaph repairs completed for 100 year commemorations. 
Extended riverside footpath to William Petty Bridge. 
10 April - the soldier was blessed and returned to the top of the monument
March - soldier removed from temporary location in the rose garden.   
January - the 4 lions were reinstated back on the monument.
November 2014 - an 80-tonne crane straightened the centre plinth of the monument. All rotting concrete was removed from inside the structure. Work started to strengthen the structure and reinstate the marble steps.
July - 12 new piles installed under the Cenotaph, screwed down to 22 metres.
May - the 4 lions were removed to be restored off site. New piles constructed, old concrete from the core removed and strengthening rods were fabricated. Strengthened the river retaining wall in front of the Cenotaph.

The project received $617,000 funding from a national fund available for restoring nationally significant monuments in time for the centennial commemoration of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli. Council’s insurers covered $130,000 of the repair work.

The soldier was temporarily located to Marina Park, he was encased in a toughened glass enclosure. Lights illuminated the soldier’s details and provided security. The display case was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Clark Charitable Trust, the J N Williams Memorial Trust and the Marjorie Redstone Charitable Trust.
Read the media release Cenotaph soldier displayed next to rose garden

About the soldier

The soldier on top of the cenotaph was removed while restoration took place. The marble soldier stood vantage on the riverbank site for over 90 years. The soldier weighs around 1.2 tonne and is intricately carved with fine details such as veins in his hands.Soldier close up.

The soldier has been carved from Carrara marble. He stands in a reversed arms stance in memory of the 561 fallen men from this district. The names of the fallen are inscribed on the bronze tablets which are fixed to the base of the Cenotaph.

This is not the first time that the soldier has been taken off the top of the Cenotaph. In March 1966 an earthquake caused the statue to rotate about 40 degrees so that it faced out over a corner of the monument.

The Pohutakawa tree adjacent the cenotaph remains with Council voting to revoke a previous decision to remove the tree to open up views of the Cenotaph. The Pohutakawa tree was trimmed to allow access to the monument for the piling.  A root guard system was installed to protect the cenotaph.