Council race to light up memorial

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Friday, April 17 – Saturday, April 18

The war memorial in Thames St opposite the Waitaki District Council building will soon be lit up.

As part of the Anzac Day centenary celebrations, the Waitaki District Council have decided it would be a great idea to light up the soldier and the boy on the memorial to commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said lighting up the soldier came about a couple of years ago after Peter Mountain wrote a submission about it to the council, however nothing was done. Mr Mountain emailed the mayor again recently and he decided to do something.

“We saw it as a good idea so we’ve put some money away for it to make sure it happened,” Mr Kircher said.

The council will fund the lighting of the statue and other Anzac Day celebrations.

“We are doing work now so that it [the lighting] is ready to go come Anzac Day.”

The lighting will not be ready this weekend, but the council hopes to have it up and running early next week to allow time for testing before Anzac Day.

“The lighting is meant to work in with the street lights – so when they begin to light up, the soldier does as well,” Mr Kircher said.

Care was taken in picking the lights because the council did not want them to be too bright for people driving past the statue.

“We have had to be careful picking the lights because we don’t want them being too bright and shining through car windows when they’re driving past.”

“They did a test lighting of it to see what would work best which I wasn’t there for, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.”

The lighting and electrical work is being done by Graeme Clark, while the flowers around the war memorial will be re-planted by Whitestone Contracting, who also dug the hole for the wiring.

Meanwhile, work is well under way for Anzac services around the region to celebrate the landing at Gallipoli, Turkey, 100 years ago.

By Brayden Lindsay

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY  – The Oamaru War Memorial featuring a soldier and his son will be lit up permanently following Anzac Day.