Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's Twisted, Sister

Destined to be a memorial...
The Medway St footbridge was taken away for safekeeping last week. The bridge became a symbol of the destructive power of Christchurch's earthquakes after it was twisted beyond repair by the Sept.2010 EQ.
Last week it was lifted in three sections by a 300-tonne crane from its Avon River site, and taken to the Ferrymead Heritage Park. It'll remain there until a permanent home can be found for it to become an EQ memorial.
There was some sadness among locals to see it go, but also relief because it was a stark reminder of the EQs for many people. Some residents had wanted the bridge to stay as it was, but safety concerns meant that was not possible. It was only being held on a few bolts and, every time there was an aftershock, it was getting worse.
It's hoped the bridge may find a place as a memorial within the Avon River park.
+ ...and another EQ reminder also looks set to disappear soon. The hands on the historic Victoria Clock Tower have been jammed at 12.51pm for nearly two years, but Chch City Council staff say time should now move on.
The council is committed to repairing the EQ-damaged tower, which marks Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee, but considered leaving one face of the clock permanently fixed at the time of the quake on
Feb.22, 2011 as a memorial.
Now a report recommends the council abandon that idea and restore the clock to full working order. Council's parks heritage contract manager, Maria Adamski, says if one face of the clock remained at 12.51pm it would alter the purpose of the clock as a memorial to Queen Victoria's jubilee. She said visitors would not understand the significance of the time displayed, the clock would not fulfil its purpose as a timepiece, and complaints about the time being incorrect were likely.
On the contrary, I feel Adamski has missed the point. Few visitors to Chch nowadays would even know who Queen Victoria was, let alone the date of her jubilee. This is not about being anti-Royalist, but leaving even one face of the clock marking a moment the city will never forget has far more meaning than a tugging of the forelock to a long-dead distant dame...
How about the council doing something that the people of Chch want, if that's not too twisted a suggestion..!

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