Parks and playgrounds  |  17 May 2022

A traditional Korean roofed pavilion to be installed in the Songpa-gu Garden at Halswell Quarry Park will commemorate Canterbury veterans of the Korean War.

The pavilion (jeongja) is being shipped from Busan in Korea and on arrival at Lyttelton Port will be assembled at the quarry park and placed on the western side of the garden. The installation is planned to be completed by June.

It will join existing monuments including a memorial bridge commemorating the Korean War and traditional Korean totem poles - a symbol of friendship between Christchurch and its sister city Songpa-gu.

The Canterbury Korean War Veterans’ Pavilion will have plaques naming each veteran located under the overhang of the roof.

More than 6000 New Zealanders served in Korea between 1950-57. Forty five men lost their lives during this engagement. 

"The jeongja honours the Korean War Veterans in Canterbury and their sacrifices made during the Korean War,” says Korean Society of Christchurch President and member of the Christchurch-Songpa-gu Sister City Committee, Mary Yoon.

“We also commemorate the 60th diplomatic relations anniversary between New Zealand and South Korea and hope to further strengthen the relationship for many years to come.”

Songpa-gu Garden is maintained by members of the committee and the wider Korean community.

“It is very well kept and greatly enjoyed by visitors within the wider context of the park,” says Christchurch City Council Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge. 

“This pavilion will form the centrepiece of the garden and further enhance what is an important gathering place for the Korean community.”

Christchurch-Songpa-gu Sister City Committee and the Korean Society of Christchurch are fundraising for the pavilion which is estimated to cost $110,000.

Along with the new pavilion, an existing pyeong sang or bench will be replaced and new landscaping features added, including rocks lining the stream north of the site and a row of six cherry trees to link the Korean and Japanese gardens. Cherry trees are a feature around Seokchon Lake in Songpa-gu.

The garden is one of six sister city gardens which are integrated into Halswell Quarry Park and were opened in 2001.

Christchurch’s other sister cities are Adelaide in Australia, Gansu Province in China, Kurashiki in Japan, Seattle in the USA, Christchurch in the UK and Wuhan, also in China.

Main image shows an example of what the pavilion will look like.