Thursday, 23 July 2009

Belgium Nation Day - Laying of Belgium Ribbon on Mooring Stone in New Zealand House of Parliament.

On Belgium National Day, 21 July, a Belgium Ribbon was placed on the “mooring stone” in a special ceremony attended by The Speaker of the House of Parliament, Dr Lockwood Smith, the Honorary Belgium Consul, Rowland Woods, the 2nd Secretary of the Belgium Embassy, Sophie Hottat, Mayor Adrienne Staples from Featherston and her husband Don and invited Belgium and other guests.
This was a moving ceremony where Dr Smith spoke of the close and long enduring relationship between New Zealand and Belgium. In recognition of this special bond, Dr Smith said he was very pleased, as head of the House of Parliament, to facilitate the ribbon laying ceremony.
The mooring stone is located in the Galleria which provides a thoroughfare through Parliament House ( ) . Its walls are lined with marble and granite in a similar style to the outside of Parliament House. On the floor, three types of stone form a geometric design that imitates the pattern of the steel trusses that hang above. A magnificent curved staircase links the lower and upper levels. The artwork in the Galleria features a large ‘mooring’ stone on the Galleria floor that links symbolically to the elements suspended above. Over 50 brightly coloured ribbons are attached to the stone which have been provided by national and ethnic groups in New Zealand.

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