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Memorial Hall farewell ceremony in the planning

The Central App

Aimee Wilson

29 March 2024, 4:45 PM

Memorial Hall farewell ceremony in the planningThe Cromwell Memorial Hall will be farewelled before it is replaced. PHOTO: File

A special farewell ceremony has been planned to celebrate the Cromwell Memorial Hall before it is demolished to make way for the new facility.

A report on the ceremony from Central Otago District Council property and facilities manager Garreth Robinson, will be discussed at next week’s Cromwell Community Board meeting. 

The ceremony is likely to take place on either Friday, April 26 or Monday, April 29, and Garreth said it was appropriate for the farewell to take place after Anzac Day, so the RSA can observe its final remembrance before the gardens and cenotaph are relocated to a new site.

The demolition of the hall and salvaging was approved by council at its meeting on April 19, 2023, and the report said that allowed planning of that work with the contractor.

“It is now appropriate to celebrate the role the hall has played in the lives of the community. This is about celebrating the past and acknowledging we are now making way for the future.”

The hall was built in the 1960s and has been part of the lives of the Cromwell and wider communities since then.

It has seen many family events such as 21st celebrations, weddings and funerals and a wide range of community events. 

The RSA occupy a small portion in the building, and the memorial gardens and cenotaph are the site of the Anzac service each year. 

The history and the significance of the facility also warrants a blessing by iwi and Aukaha has been contacted about this.

The proposed programme for the day would be a dawn blessing followed by speeches from the chair of the community board and the mayor. 

Other past mayors and chairs and those with strong connections to the hall would also be invited, along with the public.