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Restarting the Canterbury Heritage wards with a gala presentation in St Andrew’s Church at Rangi-Ruru Girls’ High School last evening was a positive step for re-emerging Christchurch.  The previous event was in 2010.  Despite so much Canterbury heritage lost to earthquakes, this year’s event attracted double the entries.  Welcome Aboard’s Punting on the Avon got a Highly Commended in the Heritage Tourism category.  We were eclipsed by the Okains Bay Maori and Cultural Museum.  The Antigua Boat Sheds was also Highly Commended – in the Heritage Restoration category.  That category was topped by Whites Accommodation House/Hotel on the Old West Coast Road.  It was pleasing to see the late Peter Beaven recognised with the Heritage Champion Award for his long time contribution to heritage architecture and architecture in general.  His loss is especially tragic for the rebuild of Christchurch as we see sad-looking concrete slabs being propped up everywhere.  I recall spotting Peter frequently when working on the city trams.

The Champion of Heritage Champions went to Trinity Congregational Church, more recently known as an up-market central Christchurch restaurant.  The building promises to be an on-going reminder of Christchurch’s rich Gothic-style architecture.

For more about the awards check out www.heritageawards.co.nz

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