Hall of memories to open on Anzac Day

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A Waitaki Boys’ High School old boy is delighted that the school’s Hall of Memories will be open on Anzac Day.

Allan Portis, who now resides in Canada, said at a recent old boys’ meeting he floated the idea of the hall being open to the public on Anzac Day to mark the centenary of the landings at Gallipoli, Turkey.

“We have been saying we built the Hall of Memories and we’ve always lamented the fact that on April 25, it’s closed and there’s no one there,” he said.

As a result of the meeting, Mr Portis, with Old Boys’ Association president Russell Gawn and school rector Paul Jackson, have organised an Anzac Day concert.

Eventually, Mr Portis would like the concert to become an annual fixture.

Richard Bowering would take a “poignant but sometimes humorous look” at World War I through readings, poetry and songs from the era, Mr Portis said.

He will be accompanied by June Cameron on piano and school music head and organist Stephen Hinds.

School pupils will sing the nation anthem and school song.

While the 2.30pm concert will be free to attend, Mr Portis said any donations would be gratefully received.

An afternoon tea would be held after the concert, he said.

Opened in March 1927, the Hall of Memories was constructed to honour the 700 old boys’ who fought in World War I, of whom 119 were killed.

By Daniel Birchfield