Wall full of Wanganui deserves to endure

By Ross Pringle

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We all have our favourite artists and albums (do bands still make those?) and among many lists would be the works of the legendary Pink Floyd.

Of all the group's great releases, perhaps the one that stands out for me is The Wall, partly because of its social commentary but also because of the fabulous music. It is a powerful piece and lent itself well to adaptation as a musical movie.

Sadly, I never managed to see the band perform it, although I have been fortunate enough to see it done by a tribute outfit. I have listened to the album numerous times, watched the film over again and also heard and seen filmed live variations, such as the star-studded performance in Berlin in 1990 to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Whatever the reason for its ability to remain relevant, The Wall is a steady favourite that manages to appeal consistently to new generations.

It's hard not to be struck by the symbolism of walls. They keep things in, or out, can be seen as barriers, or protection, even maybe a blank canvas.

And as much as I admire Pink Floyd's version, I am developing a new favourite. I am referring of course to The Wall on Trafalgar Square, which many of you will have by now seen.

While all eyes were on the Whanganui River last weekend during the Billy Webb Challenge rowing regatta, a dedicated group were installing this magnificent attraction. To describe it as stunning doesn't do it justice at all. The best part is it's all Wanganui people's work, and will hopefully remind people why this is such a great place to live.

As much as I wish I could claim credit for this fantastic initiative, I can't. That honour goes to Nick Gibbons from Morrie Gibbons Signs. It was his idea and the Chronicle along with other businesses simply helped facilitate the project.

The real stars, though, are the people.

If it wasn't for the images submitted, there would be nothing to display.

In all, we received more than 220 photographs in a response that must rate as one of the most successful reader responses to a campaign in my three years at this newspaper.

I am proud to have been involved and hope that those who have their images displayed feel likewise. Anyone who missed the final cut shouldn't be dispirited as the calibre of submissions was very high and there were restrictions on the shape of photograph that could be accepted. We were also trying to capture the diversity of the region, which meant selecting a variety of different images. Having had a look, I think The Wall does that pretty well.

So, next time you are in town and head into Trafalgar Square, have a look for yourself. If the images remind you of all this area has to offer and makes you feel better, the project has achieved what it set out to do.

There is much for us to feel proud about living here and The Wall is a graphic reminder of that. Only time will tell if its message is as enduring as its world-famous namesake.

Feedback: editor@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

- Wanganui Chronicle

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