Wellington cenotaph

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The Wellington cenotaph, also known as the Wellington Citizens’ War Memorial, is a war memorial. Commemorating the New Zealand dead of World War I, and World War II. It was unveiled on Anzac Day (25 April) 1931. The two wings are decorated with relief sculptures, the large obelisk in the middle is topped with the bronze figure on horseback, Will to Peace (1932). Two bronze lions and a series of bronze friezes were later added in commemoration of World War II, both made by  Richard Oliver Gross.

Gross made a major contribution to public sculpture in New Zealand between the wars. He was born in Lancashire, England. He received training as a sculptor, first at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts under Albert Toft, an academic sculptor heavily schooled in the classics, and then in various London studios. In his 20s Gross lived in South Africa as an architectural carver; his experiences made him a lifelong opponent of that country’s racial policies.  In 1914 he moved with his wife to New Zealand and began farming near Helensville.

Sculpture was, Gross’s first love and after the war he moved to Newmarket, Auckland, and set up a studio. As communities looked for a way to commemorate the Great War, opportunities arose for public sculptures in war memorials.

Gross was responsible for most of the major war memorials around new zealand; from Auckland to Dunedin.

Wellington Railway Station

Wellington’s first station, Pipitea, was built in 1874 as part of the railway line to the Hutt Valley. This station building burnt down in 1878 and was replaced in 1884 by what became known as Lambton, built by New Zealand Government Railways to service the Wairarapa line.

The present station was built in 1937, and used 1.75 million bricks, 21,000 cubic yards of aggregate from the Hutt River with cement from Whangarei were mixed on site to create the concrete. The bricks used for the outer cladding were of a special design, with slots to accommodate vertical corrosion–resistant steel rods that reinforced the brickwork and bound it to the structural members. 1500 tons of decorative Hanmer and Whangarei granite and marble were used to clad the interior and the entranceway. 2500 gallons of paint were used. The roof was clad in Marseille tiles.

The main entrance is on the south side via a colonnade of eight 13-metre high Doric columns opening into a large booking hall decorated with delicately mottled dados extending to a high vaulted ceiling.

The glazed-roof concourse contained waiting rooms and toilets, a large dining room, a barber shop, book and fruit stalls and a first aid room. There was a nursery on the top floor to allow parents to leave their children while they shopped or waited for their train. it’s construction.  At the time it was new zealand ‘ s largest building.  It is still the country’s busiest.

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Wellington NZ

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Sir Basil Spence, a British architect, designed a concept for the Beehive during a visit to Wellington in 1964. In his concept, rooms and offices radiated from a central core. This concept was developed by the Government Architect of the Ministry of Works.

The Beehive was built in stages between 1969 and 1979, when the first parliamentary offices moved in.

The Beehive is 72 metres tall. It has 10 floors above ground and four floors below. It is connected to Bowen House, where many members of Parliament and Ministers have offices, by an underground walkway that runs underneath Bowen Street.

Contrary to the obvious assumption,  the building’s nickname is not due to it’s shape. The name derives from the original 3d concept model of the parliamentary precinct made from beehive matchboxes.

Zooland # 3: Col. George Lavender Whitmore

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Born in Malta in 1829 and educated in Scotland, George Lavender Whitmore followed his family’s long tradition of military service. Whitmore fought in conflicts all ovef the globe and became known for his organisational talent, courage and physical endurance.

In 1861 he set sail for Zooland, however, by the time he arrived a truce had been declared in the Zooland wars.

Resigning his military post and selling his commission, Whitmore turned his hand to farming. Then in 1866 Whitmore at last became substantively involved in the Zooland wars, leading the colonial forces in no fewer than seven distinct campaigns.

During these campaigns one more of Whitmore’s characteristics became pronounced – his awesome capacity to inspire dislike. In light of this characteristic, he wisely avoided elective office and sat secure in Zooland’s Legislative Council for 40 years.