Nostalgic farewell to QE II park

FRANCESCA LEE
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2012

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Former employees, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Christchurch residents have farewelled QE II park.

Dick Tayler, gold medallist at the 1974 Commonwealth Games held at the park, was joined by Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, Sir Ron Scott and Bruce Ullrich yesterday as residents reminisced about the park's history through to the February 22, 2011 earthquake.

Scott and Ullrich were involved in bringing the Commonwealth Games to Christchurch in 1974.

"I have seen [the park] grow over the years to become a place where people and families came to use it. Some days it was a struggle to get a carpark," Tayler said.

"My dream is to have a new QE II in Christchurch." Chisnallwood Intermediate's jazz big band entertained the crowd of up to 100.

"I can certainly remember watching those games in 1974, and that race [which Dick Tayler won]," Chisnallwood principal Richard Paton said.

"Those events were special."

He also remembered the park used for school athletics and inter-school competitions.

"When you look back at the pile of rubble that was once such an outstanding flagship of our city, it's a sad sight."

Pam Winter, of North Beach, used to take her children to the park for swimming club and sports.

"I can't believe it's gone," she said.

"I was bringing my grandchildren here up until the week before the earthquake. It's really sad."

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- The Press

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