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Commemorating Armistice Day and the centenary of the Hastings Cenotaph

cenotaph anzac

On November 11 a remembrance service will be held at the Hastings Cenotaph to commemorate Armistice Day, and also the 100th anniversary of the cenotaph and Hawke’s Bay Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial.

The monument was dedicated on November 11, 1923, to the memory of the contribution of the Hawke’s Bay soldiers who served and died during World War 1.

The structure was intended to be an exact replica of the Cenotaph at Whitehall, London, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and completed in 1920.  Unfortunately, the funding was insufficient for a replica, and although the design remained the same, the memorial was reduced in width.

Over 2000 people gathered on the afternoon of November 11, 1923, to witness the memorial being unveiled by the Mayoress Mrs G. A. Maddison.

The community is invited to join the commemoration service this weekend.

Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the cenotaph was a poignant symbol of Hastings Heretaunga’s past and contribution to the war effort.

“Our Hawke’s Bay Fallen Soldiers Memorial serves as reminder of the sacrifices that were made in defending our country. It is a gathering place for events such as Anzac Day and Armistice Day – where we come together, remember and pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

“Over the years, Civic Square has built up around this structure – lighting, landscaping and footpaths have been added, and most recently the cenotaph itself has had some conservation work done to ensure it remains in good condition now and into the future.

“We welcome our community to come and join us on Saturday morning for this special occasion.”

As part of its ongoing maintenance, Kim Stops from Headstone World, the trading name for the company Hawke’s Bay Monumental Work, has spent just over two weeks restoring the cenotaph ahead of this weekend’s event.

His company originally built the monument, and Mr Stops has conducted two previous restoration projects on it – one 25 years ago, and another nine years ago.

The restoration has included three or four non-acidic treatments for moss and lichen, it’s been hand-washed, had all the lead lettering re-tacked, the marble has been treated – finishing up with a final clean and repair of damaged joints.

“On the whole this monument is in sensational condition – there are not many like this around the country, and the restoration has all been done in accordance with Ministry of Culture and Heritage guidelines,” Mr Stops said.

The cenotaph commemoration and Armistice Day service, which has been jointly organised by Hastings District Council and Clubs Hastings, will start at 10.30am on November 11 at Civic Square, Russell Street.

9 November 2023

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