One of the things I am loving about our ANZC resources is the sheer breadth of what is collected there.  From the 1850′s almanack that I talked about last time, to the most recently published books from contemporary NZ writers, there’s something for everyone.

I’ve just spent the last 20 minutes flicking through a book that’s only a year older than me.  It’s been vastly entertaining, although possibly not in the way the publishers intended.  Page 9, for example, contains one of the most amusingly badly written articles about our region that I’ve ever read.  There are an overabundance of exclamation marks!, several sprinklings of unlikely “speech marks, and a series of rather mysterious utterances:

From the Hurunui River in the north to the Waitaki, where it marches with North Otago in the south, [Canterbury] is expendable and expandable.

Whatever that means, this wee magazine was surely meant to inspire and inform.  A joint publication between Breckell & Nicholls Ltd, and the Canterbury Manufacturers’ Association, Creative Canterbury 1965 features a series of mini-articles showcasing everything from the Extremely Bouyant (sp.!) Building Industry to Skellerup’s brand new rotocure machine, opening a new field for rubber flooring.

Those who are drawn to old machinery will love the black-and-white illustrations (see p. 98-99 for Mace Engineering and more toolroom slotters, universal grinders and horizontal borers than you can shake a stick at), while history buffs and all of us who have watched our city disappearing in front of us will feel quite surprisingly moved at the articles about brand new buildings like the BNZ on Colombo Street, and features on the Christchurch Railway Station and the Lyttelton Tunnel.

I’ll leave you with a summary of what Canterbury can offer that’s surely better than anything I could have come up with myself:

There is a habit of saying, “There’s room to move in Canterbury”. Perhaps that is the true secret of its appeal. There is room for initiative and enterprise, there is room for recreation and relaxation, there is room to build a home, not alone from bricks and mortar but from those ingredients which in fact make life.

Be you newcomer or tourist, there’s room for you in Canterbury – and a welcome on the mat!  Come on in!