23 Jul 2015

Remembrance art sale to help preserve church

7:56 am on 23 July 2015

An exhibition, which has adorned the outside Auckland's St David's Church for the last three months in honour of those New Zealanders who served at Gallipoli and in other First World War battles, comes to an end tonight.

The quatrefoil on St David's Church in Kyber Pass Road.

The quatrefoil on St David's Church in Kyber Pass Road. Photo: Supplied

The Art of Remembrance is by well known artist, Max Gimblett, ONZM.

He created thousands of solid brass quatrefoil to represent each New Zealand soldier that served.

A quatrefoil is an ancient Christian cross and Max Gimblett crafted each one to the size of a soldier's outstretched hand.

It took three months to install the pieces onto the outside of the church, which is also known as the Soldiers' Memorial Church, and it was unveiled on 24 April - the eve of the centenary of the Gallipoli landing in 1915.

With the exhibition coming to an end, each brass quatrefoil will be sold off as part of a fund-raising campaign to help preserve the historic church.

The Friends of St David's Trust hopes the sale of the quatrefoil will be bought as permanent reminders in people's homes and offices of the New Zealanders who served in all wars.

Trust member Paul Baragwanath said the building was an Auckland treasure.

"It's part of the city's history and of particular importance to our soldiers for almost 100 years."

He said the church needed to be preserved.

In tonight's ceremony formally closing the art installation there will be a link between today and the past.

This country's only living recipient of the Victoria Cross, Corporal Wllie Apiata VC will present one of the quatrefoil artworks to the descendants of the only New Zealander awarded a Victoria Cross at Gallipoli, Cyril Bassett VC.

In August 1915, the Aucklander received the VC during the briefly successful allied assault on Chunuk Bair the highest point on the Gallipoli Peninsular.

Mr Bassett's grandson, Mark Bramwell, will receive the quatrefoil on behalf of Cyril Bassett's family.

Also tonight, Opotiki school student Caitlin Papuni-McLellan, the winner of the Cyril Bassett Memorial Award will deliver her speech which won her a trip to Gallipoli for Anzac Day this year.