In the current movie bearing his name, Winston Churchill is shown agonising over the impending D-Day landings. Churchill has grave reservations about the strategy, recalling the ill-fated landings at Turkey in World War I. He suffers for the 250,000 troops who lost their lives there, and asks how can he possibly sanction the D-Day invasion when 20,000 young men may be lost in no time at all.
A low wall across Caroline Bay carries the names of many of the infamous battlegrounds from the World Wars. A more recent polished array of pillars commemorates the gruesome history of those battles, as well as the heroic deeds of that special band of men endowed with exceptional courage.
However when Margriet Windhausen was approached by the Hervey Arts Trust to add an appropriate piece in this area, the sculptor responded in a different vein.
At the unveiling in 2008 Gabrielle Hervey explained that Margriet Windhausen had no desire to sanction the cruel realities of war; rather she wished to celebrate the glory of peace between nations.
Sited on one of the diagonal pathways crossing the Bay, and as a counterpoint to the grim history of international conflict, the Face of Peace glows in the afternoon sun.
When James McKeown travelled to Timaru in recent times, he had a particular purpose in mind. James was tracking the life story of the talented architect Thomas Mullions.
Our guest wondered whether there were any significant buildings by Mullions still standing in the town centre. He was soon impressed. Standing on the Old Bank corner, to the right is that majestic ship sailing above the 2 Stags café, while straight ahead is the beautiful curved building that forms the heart of the CBD.
James McKeown was living in the Shortland St flats, an apartment building in upper Shortland Street off Queen St in downtown Auckland. That building is one of Mullions' later works and is now well protected by heritage legislation.
Mullions worked in various towns before settling in Timaru, where his career blossomed. He later moved to the North Island - finally to Auckland where his legacy is found principally in well tailored houses in the eastern suburbs. These are much admired and several in fact, protected.
A previous column mentioned Mullions' skill in tailoring corner buildings in Timaru. The exaggerated bulk of the building illustrated imposes itself on the corner, and the details are designed to stand close scrutiny. Every architectural element has received exaggerated treatment. The pediments (the triangles at the top) are quite heavily worked with pronounced dentils (the small blocks around the edges) and a central bucranium (a stylised ox head motif).
The façade is taken away from the flat and boring by picturesque features including projecting oriel windows (bay windows that don't occur on the lower floor). Altogether a striking composition.
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