New pavilion at Halswell Quarry Park to remember Korean War veterans

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This is what the new pavilion will look like. Photo: Press Line

A Korean-roofed pavilion will be built at Halswell Quarry Park to honor Canterbury’s Korean War veterans.

The pavilion – or jeongja – will be located in the Songpa-gu garden. said Christchurch City Council Chief Parks Officer Andrew Rutledge.

He said materials for the pavilion were shipped from Busan, Korea. They will arrive at Lyttelton Harbor and then be assembled at Quarry Park and placed on the west side of the garden.

The Canterbury Korean War Veterans Pavilion is expected to be completed by June. It will join existing monuments, such as the Korean War Memorial Bridge and the traditional totem poles that are a symbol of the friendship between Christchurch and its sister city Songpa-gu.

The new pavilion will have plaques under the roof overhang that will name each veteran.

More than 6,000 New Zealanders served in Korea between 1950 and 1957, 45 of whom lost their lives.

“The jeongja honors Korean War veterans in Canterbury and their sacrifices during the Korean War,” said Mary Yoon, president of the Korean Society of Christchurch and member of the Christchurch-Songpa-gu sister city committee.

“We are also commemorating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and South Korea and look forward to further strengthening the relationship for many years to come.”

The Songpa-gu garden is maintained by committee members and the Korean community.

Says Rutledge: “It is very well maintained and very popular with visitors in the larger context of the park.

“This pavilion will form the centerpiece of the garden and further enhance what is an important gathering place for the Korean community.”

The Christchurch-Songpa-gu Sister City Committee and Christchurch Korea Society are raising funds for the pavilion, which is estimated to cost $110,000.

In addition to the new pavilion, an existing sang pyeong or bench will be replaced and new landscaping features will be added, including boulders along the creek to the north of the site and a row of six cherry trees to connect the Korean and Japanese gardens.

Cherry trees are a feature around Seokchon Lake in Songpa-gu.

The garden is one of six sister city gardens to Halswell Quarry Park and was opened in 2001.

Christchurch’s other sister cities are: Adelaide; Gansu Province in China; Kurashiki in Japan; Seattle in the United States; Christchurch in the UK; and Wuhan, China.

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