The NZ National War Memorial Carillon Mar 27, 2015 15:27:29 GMT 12
Post by kiwithrottlejockey on Mar 27, 2015 15:27:29 GMT 12
from The Dominion Post....
Great peal of sorrow rang out across Wellington
By ANDREA O'NEIL | 5:00AM - Friday, 27 March 2014
MELODIC MONUMENT: A huge crowd came to see and hear Wellington’s war memorial carillon at its 1932 dedication.
— Photo: Sydney Charles Smith/Alexander Turnbull Library/Ref: 1/1-020314-G.
A GREAT PEAL of sorrow and remembrance rang out over Wellington as 50,000 people gathered to dedicate Mount Cook's carillon on Anzac Day 1932.
A “great sea of humanity” thronged the new National War Memorial, the largest crowd the city had ever seen, and hundreds more watched from Mount Victoria and other elevated spots.
“It seemed that all Wellington took part in or watched the ceremony,” The Dominion reported the next day.
“The occasion seemed to have gripped the imagination of all. In consequence, the attendance exceeded all expectations and must rank among the greatest public assemblies Wellington has seen.”
Commissioned in 1919 and coming in at the huge cost of £31,000, the “stripped beaux-arts style” tower was dedicated just eight days after Wellington's other war memorial, the cenotaph in Bowen Street. It was “one of the noblest and most arduous enterprises ever undertaken by the city of Wellington,” The Evening Post said.
On Anzac afternoon, 2,000 veterans of World War I and the Boer War formed the largest ever parade of New Zealand ex-soldiers, arriving at the carillon from the Basin Reserve.
Most in the crowd were waiting to hear the monument's music. The word carillon referred to the bells, whereas the tower was known as a campanile.
At the dedication, the 49 bells, most paid for by families of fallen soldiers, played our national anthem God Save the King. The bellringer or carillonneur, Clifford Ball, was provided free of charge by the chocolate-making Cadbury brothers of Bournville, England.
Carillon music was new to many in Wellington and some people whose ears were “untuned to the sweet jangle of the lighter bells” thought it was out of tune, The Dominion said.
The very word carillon was unfamiliar, and the Post instructed readers to pronounce it “car-rill-yon” to rhyme with pavilion.
As evening fell, people stayed to listen and watch a golden perpetual lamp shining on top of the tower, a scene that deeply moved a Dominion reporter.
“The great white campanile, lighted by two 1,500-watt floodlamps, towered majestically into the velvet dome of night as the soft, sweet music stole out of the latticed tower.”
Within months, however, the tower was in darkness at night and by 1933, the bells had stopped ringing in what was now a “tower of silence”. The pink-brown Putaruru stone originally used to cover the tower at great expense aged badly, and was replaced by Takaka marble in 1982. The carillon today boasts 74 bells, the heaviest 12.5 tonnes.
• The National War Memorial Carillon