Story: Memorials and monuments

Memorial to John Grigg, Ashburton

Memorial to John Grigg, Ashburton

This statue of pioneer settler John Grigg was unveiled in the centre of Ashburton on Canterbury anniversary day, 16 December 1905, four years after Grigg's death. The memorial was seen as a tribute to a pioneer who had transformed the swampy land around his property at Longbeach into a prosperous farm and had played a leading role in the export of frozen meat from Canterbury. Memorials to pioneers began to appear in small towns around New Zealand in the first decade of the 20th century. Grigg's statue was designed by the Christchurch architect S. Hurst Seager, and was executed by Christchurch sculptor Charles Kidson. At the corners of the base were four figures, symbolising justice, industry, patience and fortitude. Bas reliefs on three sides depicted agricultural activities – ploughing, stooking (bunching wheat sheaves in order to dry them) and shearing.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Jock Phillips

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Memorials and monuments - Civilian memorials, 1900–1945', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 May 2022)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 26 Mar 2015