SPEECH to the Rededication of the Bridge of Remembrance
ANZAC Day 2016:
This is a perfect day to rededicate the Bridge of Remembrance.
It's a beautiful memorial that has a special place in the hearts of Christchurch people and all Cantabrians.
It was erected by the people of Christchurch to remember those who took part in World War One.
The design was chosen by competition, there were 24 entries. This design was chosen as a reminder “of the noble sacrifices made that justice might triumph over tyranny.”
Since then the Bridge of Remembrance has served as a memorial for those who took part in World War Two and all Cantabrians who served in the defence forces overseas.
The repair work has been challenging but you can be assured that the Bridge of Remembrance is here for many years to come. Originally, it had 4 metre piles, now they are 27 metres deep. And it has been strengthened to withstand a one in 2500 year earthquake. So it's certainly going to be here longer than any of us are.
It's very special to see our present day service men and women marching across this bridge, they are repeating the journey of our past defence forces who three times since the bridge opened, marched over this bridge and down to the Moorhouse Ave Railway station and onto Lyttelton and across the sea to war.
Thankfully today they're not going past the city.
As a city rebuilds and regenerates the Avon Otakaro River has become increasingly important and relevant. In the future we will have a green leafy, people friendly, public space that stretches all the way from Hagley Park, through the city, and right down to the sea. The Bridge of Remembrance will be very familiar and admired special feature of the city walk.
I look forward to November 11th when once again the Bridge of Remembrance will be centre stage in our Armistice Day commemorations.