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ANZAC Exhibition Considers Memorials and Graves for the Fallen

14 April 2008

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission exhibition They are Not Missing – They are Here at Our City O-Tautahi, opens 21 April – 7 June, Monday – Saturday 10am – 4pm, cnr Worcester Boulevard and Oxford Terrace. Admission is free. Open ANZAC day.

From the chaos of death and despair of two world wars the enduring work and legacy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission emerged. For the past 90 years, the Commission has continued its work of commemorating the fallen with respect and reverence at different sites around the world.

An exhibition partnership between the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Our City O-Tautahi, Christchurch City Council commemorates the Commission’s work through a foundation of beautiful and poignant photographs from internationally renowned photographer Brian Harris accompanied by local stories and perspectives in, They are Not Missing – They are Here

Business Manager Sarah Kelly said Harris’ images, which were published  for the Commission’s anniversary publication Remembered had already struck a cord with many who had contributed or simply heard about the exhibition.

“As our knowledge about the Commission has grown over the last few months, we’ve become aware that many people in Christchurch and New Zealand share a connection to the Commission’s work. Even if they are not clearly aware of how that work takes place, their emotions and actions today are often influenced by the Commission’s legacy. “

Our City O-Tautahi Exhibitions Coordinator Fiona Clayton said team research into community perspectives for the exhibition, which will be open for ANZAC day, had been particularly moving.

 “These are very personal stories reflecting on how death on the battlefield is memorialised, ways in which the work of the commission is echoed in our local cemeteries, providing some relief for grieving relatives, making sure that we do not forget.”

“The local perspectives in this exhibition ask us to reflect on why it is that so many of us make personal pilgrimages to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission sites around the world, why we keep letters, postcards, memorabilia and why we take such care of war and veterans’ graves here in Christchurch,” said Ms Clayton.

Included amongst the local contributions are displays from Year 13 students at St. Margaret’s.

Student Emma Gardiner said she felt it was important for her peers to remember those who had fallen.

“The war graves, and what they stand for, has as much relevance for youth today as it ever has. Now more than ever, we want to find out about the World Wars and the people involved.”

For further information, please contact Fiona Clayton, Our City O-Tautahi Exhibition Coordinator: Phone - 941-7461, email –


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