Gisborne war memorial theatre

Gisborne war memorial theatre

Major General Sir Harold Barrowclough formally opened the Gisborne and District War Memorial in Bright Street on 22 September 1957. The 15,000 square feet complex, designed by Gisborne architect Monty Glengarry, included an auditorium, offices and a supper room, along with the local RSA clubrooms next door. A roll of honour that listed the names of 474 men from the district who had been killed during the Second World War was unveiled in the foyer.

In 1975 the main building was refurbished and reopened as the Gisborne War Memorial Theatre. This has recently been upgraded again, and was formally reopened by mayor Meng Liu Foon on Anzac Day 2015.

The roll of honour is now displayed in the lobby of the RSA clubrooms. A smaller tablet listing names from Malaya, Korea and Vietnam has been attached. Outside the clubrooms there are also three marble tablets listing the names of volunteers from Poverty Bay who served in the South African War (these were transferred here from the Trafalgar band rotunda), a memorial corner containing the flagpole and a variety of commemorative plaques, and a fine specimen of a Gallipoli pine.

Sources: ‘Theatre for War Memorial’, NZ Herald, 17/1/1953; ‘War Memorial Project Ready for Dedication and Opening’, Gisborne Herald, 21/9/1957, p. 8; ‘Gisborne and District War Memorial Building is Dedicated and Opened’, Gisborne Herald, 22/9/1957, p. 5; ‘New £70,000 War Memorial Opened at Gisborne’, NZ Herald, 23/9/1957; ‘War Memorial Buildings Dedicated and Opened’, Gisborne Photo News, no. 40, October 1957; ‘Theatre’s Opening Marked by Full House’, Gisborne Herald, 26/11/1975; Sheridan Gundry, A Splendid Isolation: Gisborne: East Coast 1950-2012, Gisborne, 2012, pp. 385-8; ‘Welcome to New Theatre’, Gisborne Herald, 28/4/2015, pp. 17-18; ‘Theatre Opening’, Gisborne Herald, 29/4/2015, pp. 17-18; ‘War Memorial Theatre’ [special feature], Gisborne Herald, 11/5/2015 (12p.)

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