Hastings and District War Memorial Library

Memorial plaque Memorial plaque Memorial plaque Memorial plaque Memorial plaque Memorial plaque Bust Memorial plaque

After considerable controversy, the people of Hastings decided upon a library as their Second World War memorial. On 11 November 1956, Sir Andrew Russell laid the foundation stone of the Hastings and District War Memorial Library. On 18 October 1959 RSA Dominion President Hamilton Mitchell formally opened the building. Designed by Davies, Phillips and Chapman, it incorporated an impressive and dignified Hall of Memories at the entrance.

The Hall of Memories houses a large granite tablet inscribed with the following words: “Our freedom is bought with a price that others paid. As you pass through here, remember”. On the inside wall is large mural of a wartime scene by war artist Peter McIntyre (who also designed the sand-blasted windows).

Below the mural are two large bronze tablets which list the names of the district’s fallen from both world wars. Plaques have also been put in place to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities in the Second World War and to acknowledge service in Korea, Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam.

A bust of Sir Andrew Russell is also on display (there is a recently unveiled statue of him near the First World War cenotaph not far away).

See: M.B. Boyd, City of the Plains: A History of Hastings, Wellington, 1984, pp. 323-7; Andrew Maclean and Jock Phillips, The Sorrow and the Pride, Wellington, 1990, p.149-51; Hastings District Libraries website.

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