A permanent commemoration of the liberation of the French town of Le Quesnoy in 1918 is to be placed at the entrance to the town, near St Andrew’s Church on Hamilton Rd.
Standing over 5m metres tall, the stainless-steel sculpture has been designed by local artist Fred Graham. ‘The inspiration for the sculpture is the joy of liberation, the sacrifice of the New Zealand soldiers and designed to further the relationship between two sister cities. Its concept was based on a well-known Parisian Tower, with the fern leaf up reaching up two sides,” said Armistice in Cambridge group chair, Paul Watkins.
The sculpture has been organised and fully funded by the Armistice in Cambridge group, who host the ever-growing military-themed event every November at the Might River Domain, Lake Karapiro.
“This sculpture will be the centre-piece for the recognition of the Kiwis, led by Cambridge-born Second Lieutenant Averill, who scaled the walled town in northern France to liberate it from the Germans,” Paul said.
“We have big plans for 2018,” Paul added, “as it is the 100th anniversary of the assigning of the Armistice that ended World War One. Not only will the event at Karapiro be bigger and better than ever, but in town, our plans include an art exhibition, a sound and light show and other notable projects that will become known as the year progresses.”
Construction of the sculpture is currently underway, and it will be put in place and unveiled in November. Consent is still being worked through, so the exact location of the sculpture is under wraps for now, but it will stand on Hamilton Rd near St Andrew’s, the iconic white church on the corner.
While Waipa District Council and Cambridge Community Board are fully behind the sculpture, Paul said that all funds – around $100,000 for the sculpture and $40,000 for the other anniversary celebrations – have been raised by the Armistice in Cambridge group through Lotteries and other funding bodies, with no ratepayers’ money going toward it.