Central city  |  16 Mar 2021

The keys to the former police kiosk building in Cathedral Square may no longer serve any useful purpose but for Trish Ludemann they’re a precious link to her late father, Max Sword.

Mr Sword spent most of his retirement years working in the police kiosk in Cathedral Square, co-ordinating the volunteers, and was always telling Trish stories about things that went on there.

When Trish recently learned the kiosk building was being demolished, she contacted Christchurch City Council and asked if she could have a piece of wood from the building as a memento of her father, who died six years ago at the age of 82.

Max Sword loved his job coordinating the volunteers at the Police Kiosk in the Square.

The team managing the building’s demolition decided that Trish deserved a better memento than a piece of wood and gifted her the keys to the building.

“I was so happy,’’ says Trish. “I bought the keys home and said ‘right Dad, you have your own set of keys now’.

“I’ve put them in the safe with his medals and his community service awards and the other mementoes I have of him. There’s so many memories in that safe.

“Dad loved working in the kiosk and co-ordinated the volunteers for more than 25-years. When they re-opened the building after the earthquakes, they asked Dad to cut the ribbon. He was in hospital at the time but there was nothing that was going to stop him from cutting the ribbon.

“We got him a wheelchair and we sneaked him out to the opening and then we took him back to the hospital – there was no way he was going to miss it.’’

Trish suspects that her Dad secretly would have liked to have been a policeman, which is why he enjoyed his time working in the kiosk so much.

“When he died the volunteers and the police formed a guard of honour at the crematorium. He would have been so thrilled by that.’’

The demolition of the former police kiosk is expected to be completed by the end of this week.

The kiosk is being demolished to make way for the eventual relocation of the Citizens’ War Memorial into the Square.