Christchurch and Canterbury

Labour Day is a New Zealand public holiday that celebrates the eight-hour working day. It is observed on the fourth Monday in October. The eight-hour working day and the 48-hour working week became law in New Zealand in 1899. Later, the working week was further reduced to 40 hours. All our libraries are closed on Monday 27 October.

Working on the Isaac Theatre Royal Technicians at work in the service department of the television section at Philips Electrical Industries Ltd.

Photo of A small goods factory in Cashel Street, Christchurch : employees of the Christchurch Meat Co. Ltd. dicing meat and making sausages. [1905] Wongi's art work - Smile for Christchurch

For more images of people at work, see our page Christchurch at work.

FESTA – The Festival of Transitional Architecture – takes place over Labour Weekend. Remember LuxCity in 2012, and Canterbury Tales in 2013? If you went, you’ll be dead set keen to experience FESTA again.
Luxcity Canterbury Tales - FESTA Luxcity
This year’s big event is CityUps:

Over 250 students from CPIT, Unitec and The University of Auckland transform two blocks of Christchurch’s central city with towering, physical installations to create their vision of a future Christchurch. Beneath these outrageous designs are buzzing urban spaces where pop-up cafes, performance spaces, an all-ages-youth venue, a night market, dance hall, community bike workshop and bike light disco, bars, street games and much more operate.

There is a plethora of other events on too – including this library one:

Book Out and Read In, Sun 26 Oct 11am-1pm

Come along to Julia Morison’s wonderful Tree Houses for Swamp Dwellers, on the corner of Colombo St and Gloucester St.  Get a book out from the mobile library or from the nearby Central Library Peterborough – or bring your own. Read amongst the trees of this sculptural installation. Bring your lunch and enjoy a quiet inner-city experience. Read in, chill out.

Here’s me giving the Tree Houses a test read (I’m reading Once in A Lifetime: City-building After Disaster in Christchurch).

Reading at Tree houses for swamp dwellers, Gloucester Street

Other picks:

  • Jelloucity Come and create a colourful, glowing city that is supposed to shake and wobble.
  • Poetica project #5, ‘Emerge’ is a calligraphic, three-dimensional line of poetry by Irish poet William Yeats floating in the Avon. Readings and artist-led liquid poetry workshops accompany the installation. You can write your own liquid poetic message – brushes and water are provided.
  • Picture Palace Parade Charlie Gates, cinephile and senior Press reporter, leads a group on an immersive tour of the old cinema sites of Cathedral Square – a walk through history. This is followed by an outdoor screening of a classic movie.
  • Super WOW disco

See the full programme on the FESTA site.

Photo of The Canterbury Club on the corner of Worcester Street and Cambridge Terrace : in background is Canterbury Museum [ca. 1882]

The Canterbury Club on the corner of Worcester Street and Cambridge Terrace: in background is Canterbury Museum [ca. 1882], Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 13, IMG0060

20 October 1948
“Pleasure Garden” art controversy begins when a Frances Hodgkins painting (done in about 1933) is exhibited at “the Group” show. This fierce debate on art style was joined by people throughout New Zealand. It raged for 3 years until the City Council accepted the painting as a gift on September 3, 1951.

22 October 1863
First Agricultural and Pastoral Association show in showgrounds (which is now Sydenham Park). An “unofficial” show had been held in October, 1862.

22 October 1985
“Elizabeth” the one tonne sea elephant dies of a viral infection on Sumner Beach. She had lived for 5 years on the City’s beaches, estuary and rivers and was often found crawling up suburban streets. She has recently been immortalised in Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox.

23 October 1874
Canterbury Club building (designed by Frederick Strouts) inaugurated.

Canterbury Public Library exterior, Flickr, Arch-52-PH-07-23

Canterbury Public Library : Taken from across Cambridge Terrace, showing Postal Centre behind the Library and Police building on the left Between 1973 and 1981 Flickr, Arch-52-PH-07-23

24 October 1870
Disastrous fire (New Zealand’s most extensive to that date) destroys the centre of Lyttelton.

25 October 1986
“Qin Shihuang” (Chinese Buried Army) exhibition opens at the McDougall Art Gallery. 71,145 people visited the exhibition over a seven week period.

26 October 1980
Christchurch City Council gives land at Cuthberts Green to the trustees of new Ngā Hau E Whā National Marae.

26 October 1982
Old library re-opens as Library Chambers (architect Don Donnithorne).

More October events in the Chronology.

IMG_2032BECA Heritage Week starts today – check out the rather splendid range of events on offer.

The big event on Sunday 19 October is Discover Central City. It is a day of family fun. There will be Tales for the kids on the Caterpillar in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens (book now on 9417923), and historic re-enactments in the newly-opened conservatories (yay Garrick House – with the crazy cactii and succulents- just re-opened today!)

You can enjoy free rides on the trams and events along the way. A retro zone at New Regent Street will feature bands, food, retro stalls, street tours and vintage motorbikes.

Library events

The library has a range of activities to celebrate our local heritage and the theme of: Making Connections — Experience our past – present – future:

  • Tales on the Caterpillar – Kids get to ride on the neat Botanic Gardens caterpillar and have stories as they ride. Sunday 19 October (book now on 9417923)
  • Adult storytram with Joe Bennett regaling you as you ride. Sunday 19 October (book now on 9417923)
  • Cemetery tours with Richard Greenaway.

Holding onto home – Friday 17 October 6pm at Canterbury Museum

The First World War seeped and stormed into every aspect of New Zealander’s lives. The things that survived – a crumpled theatre ticket, a knitting pattern, a crucifix made from rifle cartridges – bring this distant event back into our hands today. Join Te Papa history curator, Kirstie Ross, as she talks about the importance of things in maintaining individual, family and local identities during a conflict that was global and globalising. Her talk will focus on some of the stories featured in her new book, Holding on to Home, co-authored with social historian Kate Hunter.

The Berry Boys Project – Saturday 18 October 2pm at Sydenham Room, South Library

Since 2011, Te Papa’s history curator, along with university interns, volunteers, genealogists and members of the public, have been on the trail of the identities are 120 First World War soldiers who were photographed at the Wellington studios of Berry & Co, prior to their departure for war. Join Te Papa history curator, Kirstie Ross, as she shares about the detective work undertaken to reveal the identities of more than 90 of Te Papa’s ‘Berry Boys’. Bookings essential. To RSVP please phone 941 5140. You are invited to provide a gold coin donation.

Finding my First World War soldier – Saturday 18 October 3pm at South Learning Centre Lab

Searching for New Zealand biographical and service details during the First World War

Join a workshop with Christchurch City Libraries staff, who will introduce a range of New Zealand digital resources that will help you unravel the mysteries of your First World War photographs and official records. This is an introductory session for those just beginning to research their family war history. Follow-up workshops or support may also be offered to interested participants.Bookings essential. To RSVP please phone 941 5140.

Christchurch Photo Hunt 2014

The photo hunt takes place in October. As well as helping to boost important historical records, entrants are in line for some great prizes – one of two iPad minis or a Kobo ereader.

Previous years’ photo hunt entries can be found on Kete Christchurch.

 Saturday 4th October

I jumped out of bed, come on Mummy let’s go!

We were going to the NRG + Great Dog Walk at Roto Kohatu Lakes (part of The Breeze Walking Festival). I couldn’t wait to get there and meet all the other dogs and people taking part.

The NRG + Great Dog Walk

So I dragged Mummy to the car, in my car seat and off we go. I have never been to Roto Kohatu Lakes before, it was really beautiful, and there were heaps of other dogs and people to say hello to.

But Mummy said we had to put in our registration form first! Then I could meet the other dogs and people. I was so excited I didn’t know who to meet first. I met a Great Dane; he was so tall I couldn’t even reach his nose! There were Chihuahuas, they were even smaller than me. Tall greyhounds who thought I looked funny; they even got a little bit scared of tiny me! There were so many dogs! Old dogs, puppies, big dogs, little dogs, fluffy dogs, shiny dogs, tall dogs, short dogs, noisy dogs, hairy dogs! I have never met so many different dogs, it was great!

Mummy had a look around the information stalls, some had toys and food, I liked those ones best.

It was time to start the walk, we all lined up eagerly, Mummy said we would probably do the 3km walk, as I only have little legs. But I was enjoying myself so much, I kept pulling her, please, please let’s keep going. So we did the whole 5km walk.

It was the best walk ever, I got to walk in long grass, on tracks, by fields and streams, and drink out of a creek. I even saw horses for the first time; they are really big and fast. Lots of dogs walked past us with their long legs, but it was great saying hi to them all. When we finished we were given a bag FULL of goodies, including dog rolls and treats I couldn’t wait to try them. I can’t wait for Mummy to bring me back for another walk.

When I got back to the car I went straight to sleep, I was so tired.

But I can’t wait to go back next year; I hope more doggies will join me.

Tania Cook
Off-Site Delivery Team

The NRG + Great Dog Walk

13 October 1986
Sir Hamish Hay begins his fifth and final term as Mayor of Christchurch.

14 October 1989
Vicki Buck, first woman and youngest to be elected, wins Christchurch Mayoralty.

15 October 1881
Lancaster Park opens. This privately owned development was built so that sports clubs could charge admission fees to games.

Photo of spectators leaving Lancaster Park after the second test match between New South Wales and New Zealand, 1 Sept. 1923

Some of the 13,000 spectators leaving Lancaster Park after the second test match between New South Wales and New Zealand, 1 Sept. 1923
Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 8, IMG0076

16 October 1988
Victoria Square Amphitheatre opens.

17 October 1861
Christchurch Club building opens. Designed by B. W. Mountfort and Isaac Luck, it was probably New Zealand’s first club.

More October events in the Chronology.

9 October 1962
Christchurch Town Hall site chosen in Kilmore Street. Assisted by advice from visiting Professor Gordon Stephenson, the unanimously accepted proposal ended years of dispute over this choice. Other sites considered were the old public library site in Hereford Street and an area near Latimer Square. Another often debated site was Victoria Square.

10 October 1885
Life insurance fraud (The Case of the Severed Hand) at Taylor’s Mistake. The perpetrator, Arthur Howard, was sentenced to 2 years’ prison on April 11 the following year.

11 October 1988
“The Wizard” wages war against the “Tasteless tyrants of Telecom” by repainting the new blue telephone boxes traditional red.

11 October 1989
Waitangi Tribunal Hearing of land claim by Ngai Tahu closes at Tuahiwi Marae.

Photo of The Ngai Tahu land claims : a South Island hui : Maori gathering at Tuahiwi, North Canterbury. [1925]

The Ngai Tahu land claims : a South Island hui : Maori gathering at Tuahiwi, North Canterbury. [1925]
Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 7, IMG0001

12 October 1939
Battery point guns in Lyttelton Harbour accidentally sink fishing boat “Dolphin”. 1 man killed.

More October events in the Chronology.

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