Baxter memorial nearing completion after delays

A digger waits on site on Tuesday morning at the long-awaited Archibald Baxter memorial at the...
A digger waits on site on Tuesday morning at the long-awaited Archibald Baxter memorial at the intersection of George and Albany Sts. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
A long-delayed Dunedin memorial dedicated to wartime conscientious objectors is close to completion.

Archibald Baxter Memorial Trust chairman Emeritus Prof Kevin Clements said an official opening for the memorial, at the junction of George and Albany Sts, was planned for September 25.

The opening would be the culmination of a week of events, including a memorial lecture by former prime minister Helen Clark and a peace concert at Knox Church.

The memorial had faced a long road to completion.

Proposed sites in Anzac Ave and the Otago Museum

reserve had proved contentious, amid ongoing public debate concerning honouring conscientious objectors.

The memorial will commemorate World War 1 conscientious objector and Brighton resident Archibald Baxter and other conscientious objectors. It will feature a sculpture by Arrowtown sculptor Shane Woolridge, based on field punishment No1. Mr Baxter and many of his fellow World War 1 objectors endured the punishment, which involved subjects being tied to a post with hands bound behind their back for hours on end.

Prof Clements said the sculpture was intended not only as a representation of the punishment, but also as an act of grace.

A previous completion date in April was missed.

Signal Management Group project manager Stuart Anderson said construction was now expected to finish by the end of August.

The site proved to be more complex than originally thought and relocation of power cables took longer than expected.

andrew.marshall@odt.co.nz

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