The Le Quesnoy Memorial Sculpture has been put on the backburner until next year, while final details of its placement are ironed out.
Due to delays in sign-off by the relevant parties and then an unavailability of contractors, Armistice in Cambridge group chair Paul Watkins said it was now likely to be February at the earliest before work begins on the commemorative sculpture.
The availability of dignitaries, many of whom are unavailable until next year anyway, had meant the official opening of the sculpture was expected in March 2019, when Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy would be able to attend.
This has not put a dampener on the Armistice celebrations, however, with the commemorations starting on November 4 with a WWI art exhibition at the Town Hall a photographic display of the liberation of the French town in the plaza outside. At 9pm on the same day, a short light and sound show will premiere, projected onto the outside of the Town Hall.
Telling the story of the walled town of Le Quesnoy which was liberated by Kiwi troops on November 4, 1918, the show will be voiced by a young French girl, representing a resident of the town at the time.
The light and sound show is short and will be looped to run from 9 – 10pm, continuing each night at the same time through to Armistice Day (Sunday, November 11). The grand finale of the week will be the annual Armistice in Cambridge event, which will be held at the Mighty River Domain in Karapiro over the weekend of November 10 – 11.
There will also be an Armistice memorial service at the Town Hall on November 11, with a small parade of military vehicles making its way through town before that. The vehicles will fuel up at Challenge on Duke St, which is sponsoring fuel for the occasion, then will meet at the clock tower at 9.30am. The parade will start at 9.45am, with the assorted military vehicles following a pipe band as it marches through town.