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The final piece of the Waimate White Horse jigsaw puzzle is finally in place.
Waimate leaders, residents, Department of Internal Affairs staff, and 600 schoolchildren turned out yesterday for the unveiling ceremony of the Waimate2gether project’s monument.
The $600,000 project had taken 18 months of hard work, including constructing viewing platforms, new toilets, car parking area, landscaping, new signs and information panels on the history of the South Canterbury town. The White Horse itself has also been restored, with glow-in-the-dark white paint.
The area’s three kindergartens, six primary schools and Waimate High School had created their own decorative pou (columns).
A formal blessing was performed at the ceremony, before representatives from the schools and kindergartens spoke about the significance of their pou designs.
"It’s really cool to see it all come together," Mrs Sutherland said.
The project was special as it had been driven by the community, and helped by Department of Internal Affairs, Waimate District Council, and other community groups providing funding.
"It’s like bringing a jigsaw puzzle together. There’s lots of pieces ... and it all comes together — it’s actually quite a beautiful feeling."
Waimate singer Louise Stringer composed a song, to the tune of Take Me Home, Country Roads, about the monument and Waimate township to mark the occasion. It was sung by all the schools, with a great deal of pride standing in front of their pou, Mrs Sutherland said.
Waimate Mayor Craig Rowley said community projects, like the White Horse, made him incredibly proud to lead the district.