Call to action: Monuments, Memorials & Blue Plaques

01 September 2011

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Cantebury PlaqueCantebury Plaque

It’s September – another month so another theme ….

Our theme this month is The WORLD in the UK and as Ian introduced earlier today we are gathering up links to the 205 Olympic and Paralympic nations in readiness for our Walk the World Project which will launch in October.  Now I started off my life in another island nation of New Zealand so I feel I’ve had a bit of a head start in all of our call to actions this month as I am always finding links to NZ all over the UK.

This week we have given ourselves the call to action of finding as many Monuments, Memorials and Blue Plaques that link to another country.  I’ve found this plaque (picture above) which links UK and New Zealand together.   I love the fact that a group of men sat around a table and plotted out the Canterbury Province, New Zealand in the 1848.  In 2011 some 163 years later the Canterbury Province is going

through another phase of planning and building as it begins to rebuild Christchurch which was hit by a series of large earthquakes over the last 18 months.   I wonder if John Robert Godley had any idea of what an amazing community would one day reside there.  Of course the world is heading to New Zealand this month for the Rugby world cup and no doubt there will be many English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish wandering around NZ finding links back to their home land.

I’ll leave you with an image of New Zealand House on Haymarket – as seen from my office window – built by a Scottish Architect in 1959 and I think a great monument to the 60’s and, if you have ever been to the top of the embassy – t0 the penthouse function room you’ll agree that even the interior is still very 60’s chic!

New Zealand House

I’m looking forward to a month of discovery and let’s see if we can go around the world this week in monuments, memorials and blue plaques – I’ve conveniently started at the bottom of the world so I guess the only way is up.

By Claire Horan, Project Manager, Discovering Places

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