The gold leaves that have adorned an Auckland church's façade for the last three months are coming down tonight.

The four-leafed golden cut-outs have hung on the exterior of St David's Church, on Khyber Pass in Central Auckland, since the eve of Anzac Day.

In a symbolic gesture from the present to the past, New Zealand's only living recipient of a Victoria Cross handed one of the golden quatrefoils to a descendent of a deceased Victoria Cross recipient at a ceremony formally closing the installation this evening.

Willie Apiata presented the gold leaf to Mark Brawell, the grandson of Cyril Basset, the only New Zealander to receive the Victoria Cross at Gallipoli.


Mr Basset, who died in 1981, was married on the site where the church now stands, in 1926.

St David's was built in 1927.

The quatrefoil, which is also the same shape as the Anzac poppy, symbolises an ancient Christian cross, a flower of the Pacific and a lotus symbol of peace and new life.

The three-month-long public art installation, by artist Max Gimblett, is the centre-piece of The Art of Remembrance project which remembers all those who died in WW1.

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Maggie Barry was unable to be at the event this evening, but shared her words in a letter, which was read out to those gathered.

In it she commended the work of all those involved.

"Projects like the Art of Remembrance help us to understand more about the experiences of those who fought during the War," she said. "Creative acts of remembrance lay a vital role in engaging people across generations."

The gold quatrefoils will be available for sale to the public.

Funds raised from their sale will go towards efforts to preserve the iconic church, with its large stained-glass windows, known as the "Soldiers' Church".

To get your hands on a piece of the art go to