Clock tower up for grabs

BY PETER HIDE
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013
Tower
Kevin Brown and Jamie Morton.

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THE KAIAPOI War Memorial, including the historic clock tower, is to be demolished. However, the Waimakariri District Council has decided to see if there is any interest from public or private entities in rebuilding the tower with the existing clock mechanism.

The council will put the option out for consultation as a separate item in the annual plan. To this end, it plans to put the clock mechanism into storage for potential reinstatement.

It would cost considerably more than the insured value of $592,000 for the building to be rebuilt, said manager of community and recreation Craig Sargison.

So the council decided to seek expressions of interest from private or public partnerships to rebuild the clock tower.

''Why have they not told the Kaiapoi RSA about this?'' Kaiapoi RSA president Kevin Brown said.

He said plans seen by the Kaiapoi RSA executive definitely showed a clock tower, even if they did not include a war memorial building.

He was supported by Jamie Morton, archivist and executive member of the Kaiapoi RSA, who said the clock mechanism came from the former post office building on the corner of Williams and Charles streets when its own clock tower was demolished during World War II.

''We used to start the Anzac Day parades from here (at the War Memorial) and march to the cenotaph on the other side of the river,'' Mr Morton said.

He said there was a lack of consultation with the RSA over the War Memorial Clock Tower, although he admitted the council had much on its plate in the wake of the earthquakes.

Mr Morton said Kaiapoi needed progress. It would be great if, like a phoenix from the fire, the RSA could have access to the bricks to sell to supporters he said.

Mr Brown said that the new building and clock tower would no longer be a war memorial.
Therefore the Kaiapoi RSA would have to sever its affiliation with the building and tower.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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