Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, MAY 13, 1919. WAR MEMORIAL.
Whilst the Germans are considering the peace terms offered to them, interest may be less keen on peace celebrations, although prudence suggests; that the prej parations for local peace commemorations should be pushed. Meanwhile, public attention can be switched on the question of what shape the Ashburton County War Memorial is to take. We have written on the - subject several times previously, intimating a preference for a largeV; modernlyequipped hall, and we now frankly urge County residents to take the necessary steps to secure funds to erect this must-wanted ' edifice. Dogma concerning war memorials would be misplaced, and if good -\ and sufficient, reasons can be advanced against the Ashburton war memorial taking the form proposed, they should be announced immediately by honest doubters. We will gladly place our columns I at their disposal to state their opinions. The one thing to be condemned is apathy,;V for this means that nothing worth while will be attempted, and such b€icksliding would be a disgrace. We do not propose, at this I'stage, to go into details, of the cost, or style of the memorial /hall. Few' will deny that Ashburton is handicapped by the absence of a, large public hall; such handicap extending to commerce as well as to music, drama politics and other affairs. Ashburton will attract more distinguished visitors if such, a hall were available, and the advantages to be gained would anipy repay the monetary outlay. Such a memorial should not be a financial incubus, indeed, the final result, under good management, might be that the hall would eventually pay for itself. We do not make a point of this, because no patriot* will insist that the memorial to record self-sacrifice must return dividends. Subsidies should be forthcoming from every local body in the County, because all the County would benefit. The hall would be at the disposal of farmers as well as of townsmen, and .'should be : managed by a TrusJ representative of all people between the Eakaia and Rangitata rivers. Discussion would discover the best site in the borough, but first thoughts suggest as best and most convenient the area next to the present Council Chambers. What an architectural triumph could be obtained by a building comprising a public hall, seating, say, a thousand people, the Carnegie Library, art-room, and early settlers' museum, and Borough Council Chambers. The plans could provide for suitable memorials 'or", rolls of honour, and altogether the prospect is very alluring. The grass road between the bandstand reserve and the proposed site could either be closed and made part of the ornamental grounds facing- the public hall, or it could be made the main drive to the building. All such details, however, can be left to the public, or their representatives. The first duty is to decide if a public hall is to be the form of Ashburton's war memorial. We appeal to the Mayor and the chairman of the County Council to call conjointly, a public meeting, and have the question launched in proper manner. No more tinie should be i lost, for with such lost time is dwindling enthusiasm. Those citizens and County residents who approve of the proposal to erect a modern public hall should support our appeal, and personally urge Mr. Galbraith and Mr. Cairns to take the action suggested.