The Lakeside Soldiers Memorial Hall was built in 1917 to honour the memory of the sacrifices New Zealanders made in the First World War.
The land was gifted by a neighbouring farmer and the funds, then as now, were raised by the local community. The original brick hall was demolished after Canterbury earthquakes of 2010-2011.The construction of a replacement hall is a purposeful reinstatement of this memory as well as a vibrant civic focus for the small mid Canterbury community (85 households) that farm the land next to Lake Ellesmere.
This time, the new hall is oriented northwest towards Harts Creek and the panorama of the Southern Alps across the plains (instead of to the main road). New planting will regenerate a native reserve along the creek’s edge and transition to English heritage planting along the road side.
The new Hall is expressed as two separate buildings as follows:
Many Memorial Halls have undergone something of a renaissance in recent times as they are refurbished ready for their centenaries. They are as alive today as they ever were, but today they host Pilates and Zumba, book groups and farmer’s markets. They are both a symbol of a bygone age and a thread of community continuity in our culture. They are a repository of the finest of New Zealand values.
Frey, M., Newman, S., Maillard, J., & OMalley, J. (2012). On a Saturday night: community halls of small-town New Zealand. Christchurch, N.Z.: Canterbury University Press.