Loyal readers of The Devonport Speculator may remember an article published on this site shortly before the fall of the Roman Empire regarding plans to rejuvenate Fort Takapuna. The Speculator even established a category in its Issues and Opinions sections, expecting the issue to explode into the consciousness of all decent Devonportians. But then; silence.
Well, there has finally been some movement. And it involves Belgians, battlefields and battered barracks.
While the future of the site as a whole is still undecided, the powers that be are dipping their toes in the water with some proposed plans to upgrade some of the old barracks buildings.
Unfortunately Ian Maxwell, the council official, has not provided his slides from the presentation he gave as requested, so The Speculator is going to have to rely on its faltering memory and patchy descriptive talents to tell this particular tale.
The good news is that the barracks – which The Speculator believes to be those in the picture below, are planned to be prepared for Auckland’s centennial commemoration of the battle of Passchendaele. It is hoped the barracks will become a permanent museum built to remember the tragic battle in which the Allies captured a mere 5 miles (8 km) of new territory at a cost of 140,000 combat deaths, a ratio of roughly 2 inches (5 cm) gained per dead soldier.
The Belgian government has apparently committed to gifting some exhibits for the museum, which as mentioned, it is hoped will become the focal point for Auckland’s centenary celebration of the famous battle.
In the period prior to the centenary in 2017, it is hope that the buildings can have water, power and drainage restored, which will then allow them to be used as communal spaces for community groups.
There is currently no budget allocated for the project; however, it is expected that this will be included in the DTLB’s long term plan.
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