INDEPENDENT NEWS

Historic Church Turns on the Lights on Anzac Day Eve

Published: Fri 21 Apr 2017 04:40 PM
HISTORIC CHURCH TURNS ON THE LIGHTS ON ANZAC DAY EVE AS EFFORTS TO SAVE THE BUILDING GATHER MOMENTUM
The magnificent stained glass windows in St David’s, Auckland’s “soldiers’ church” in Khyber Pass will be ablaze with light for the first time in many years on the Monday evening before ANZAC Day -- as part of the city’s continuing commemorations of the centennial of the First World War.
While access to the historic church will not be possible, for safety reasons, lighting within the building will be switched on as dusk begins to fall, revealing the sixteen dramatic leadlight windows installed after church was built in the years following the war. The windows include commemorative themes, including one dedicated to the Royal New Zealand Engineers and another with a Pacific and Maori perspective.
Paul Baragwanath of the Friends of St David’s Trust, which is working to save the heritage building for continuing community use, says the illumination of the windows is part of a public event outside the church, commencing at 6 pm, with a theme of “Peace and Remembrance” and performances by Scottish bagpipes and choirs. The Last Post will sound.
Two years ago the Trust covered the façade of the church with brass quatrefoil works of art donated by expatriate kiwi artist Max Gimblett, and went on to raise more than a million dollars by selling the quatrefoils for display in New Zealand homes and offices, believed to be a record for fundraising through the arts.
“We believe a restored St David’s building can become a dynamic, heritage destination where people can come together and be inspired, and an enduring community asset in central Auckland,” said Mr Baragwanath.
The Hon Nikki Kaye MP, Councillor Mike Lee, Chair of the Waitemata Local Board Pippa Coom, Lieutenant David Arnup 2 Engineer Regiment (RNZE) NZDF will be in attendance.
• Construction of St David’s beg an in I9 27 as a memorial to the fallen in the First World War, and over time the church has become known as the “soldiers’ church”. It was built on the site of an earlier church, where Aucklander Cyril Bassett -- the only New Zealander to win a Victoria Cross at Gallipoli – was married shortly after the war. The congregation at St David’s has long had a particular association with the New Zealand Defence Force through the Royal New Zealand Engineers and the Sappers Association. The RNZE will be represented at the memorial event on the eve of ANZAC Day.
This is a free public event 6pm – 7pm, Monday 24 April 2017 @ St Davids Memorial Church, 70 Khyber Pass Road, Auckland
ENDS

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