Christchurch and Canterbury


29 July 1953
Aviation pioneer Richard W. Pearse dies in Christchurch. Pearse made one of the world’s first powered flights on or about 31 March 1902 in South Canterbury. He moved to Christchurch in 1921 and worked on his astonishing “convertiplane” over many years.
30 July 1976
7 Canterbury men in gold medal winning hockey team at the Montreal Olympics. See our page on Canterbury Olympians.

31 July 1856
By Royal Charter, Christchurch becomes New Zealand’s first city. Christchurch became New Zealand’s first city in 1856 under the terms of a royal charter. This was because it was the ‘seat’, or base, for a bishop. The Reverend Henry John Chitty Harper was consecrated, or made a bishop, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and arrived with his family in Lyttelton on 23 December 1856.

More July and August events in our Christchurch chronology.

Victorian Coffee Gallery, on the corner of Oxford Terrace and Montreal Street, 1968. Christchurch City Libraries, PhotoCD04-IMG0060

Margaret Mahy displays

Two years ago, we lost “word witch” Margaret Mahy – a famous Canterbury local and a much loved children’s author.

Cover of The ChangeoverWhat better way to remember her legacy than with words. There is a session The Changeover: 30 Years On at the WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival on Saturday 30 August 2014. Join Stuart McKenzie, co-writer and producer of the forthcoming Changeover movie, and young adult writers Elizabeth Knox and Karen Healey, as they discuss with children’s literature specialist Bill Nagelkerke the importance of this great teen novel and its ongoing relevance.

Words are also for consumption. Search our catalogue for books by Margaret Mahy.

Margaret used to be a children’s librarian at Christchurch City Libraries and our Margaret Mahy pages are full of ideas about writing as well as info on Margaret and her stories:

If the ideas don’t come I go for a walk, listen to music, do a bit of gardening, but I have so much work, it is always easy to go onto something else for a while. If it is urgent I make something happen, even if I am not particularly satisfied with the level of invention, because I think as long as the story is moving something is going to happen, and so far I have been lucky.

We are also lucky to have online the poem Down the back of the chair, and The word-eater written by Margaret Mahy, and illustrated by Bob Kerr. You might recognise the setting of the Central Library in Gloucester Street.

The Word-eater - written by Margaret Mahy; Illustrated by Bob Kerr

More Margaret

23 July 1851
Pioneer William Deans among 28 lost in the wreck of the Maria in Cook Strait. Godley had tried to deprive the Deans and Hay families of their farms because he wanted only Anglicans to own land in the new settlement. The Deans brothers had sold sheep to pay the legal costs of fighting Godley’s high handed action, and William Deans was travelling to Sydney to buy replacement stock.

23 July 1857
First dramatic presentation in Canterbury, which featured Mrs Foley in “The Loan of a Lover” and “Betsy Baker” at the Lyttelton Town Hall. (see an advertisement in the 25 July 1857 Lyttelton Times).

Papers Past clipping from Page 5 Advertisements Column 2 Lyttelton Times, 25 July 1857

Papers Past clipping from Page 5 Advertisements Column 2 Lyttelton Times, 25 July 1857

26 July 1879
Canterbury Rugby Football Association (New Zealand’s first) formed. See our page on early rugby in Christchurch.

More July events in our Christchurch chronology.

Photograph of property known as Gee’s, Hereford St. Christchurch City Libraries, CCC-AFStacey-034

On 17 July 1964 the Government Life Building opened in Cathedral Square. One of my favourite photos in our entire collection is this one of its construction. workers on top of Government Life. It is the Ōtautahi version of the famous Lunch atop a Skyscraper (New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam).

The Post Office tower is dwarfed in this view, taken from the top of the Government Life Insurance building in the Square.  [Mar. 1963] CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0059

The Post Office tower is dwarfed in this view, taken from the top of the Government Life Insurance building in the Square. [Mar. 1963] CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0059

That iconic clock has been a landmark of the central city – when it was turned off lots of us missed looking up to see the time (and the temperature).

Government Life Building showing clock 12:45 4 July 1963 CCCPlans Government-Life-11-2

Government Life Building showing clock 12:45 4 July 1963 CCCPlans Government-Life-11-2

In the 1965 photo above, you can see it is 1:52pm.

Post earthquakes, Mike Hewson’s artwork Government Life Suspension reflected the building back for us.

Government life art by Mike Hewson. Tuesday 22 January 2013. Flickr: CCL-2013-01-22-IMG_2308

Government life art by Mike Hewson. Tuesday 22 January 2013. Flickr: CCL-2013-01-22-IMG_2308

Government Life building. Wednesday 18 June 2014. Flickr: 2014-06-17-IMG_0287

Government Life building. Wednesday 18 June 2014. Flickr: 2014-06-17-IMG_0287

The Government Life building is currently being demolished.
See more:

17 July 1964
Opening of the Government Life Building in Cathedral Square. It was the city’s first “high rise glass box”. The building’s rooftop clock and temperature readings became a familiar part of the Square.

Plans:

19 July 1988
Jock Orr, nicknamed “The Birdman” after befriending birds in Cathedral Square, dies in Christchurch.

20 July 1851
First church in Christchurch opened – later dedicated as St Michael and All Angels in 1859.

More July events in our Christchurch chronology.

Cashel Street, 1946. Christchurch City Libraries, CCC-AFStacey-010

Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck

Deputy Mayor, Vicki Buck, breaking ground at the site of the new Halswell Library and Community Facility

Construction of the Halswell Library and Community Facility – a new community hub incorporating a library, outdoor pool, meeting spaces and a customer service desk – begins on Monday 14 July 2014.

On Friday 11 July, Deputy Mayor and Riccarton–Wigram Councillor Vicki Buck broke ground on the project, at a Whakawatea (blessing) and sod-turning event with the help of some local children. It was good to see the event so well attended and shows the value the local community places on the new facility.

We now look forward to the opening of the Halswell Library and Community  Facility.

 

 

Literary director Rachael King

Literary director Rachael King at the launch of the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival. Thursday 10 July 2014. Flickr: 2014-07-10-IMG_0653

The WORD programme is out, and it is GOOD. Mighty good. It is also BIG – over 100 writers. It is also INTERNATIONAL as well as very LOCAL.

Here’s a tiny taster of what’s on show:

Some of the world’s best storytellers will be there – Eleanor Catton, Noviolet Bulawayo, Diane Setterfield, Elizabeth Knox …

Thinkers to make you go Hmmm – Maire Leadbeater on People Power; Luke Harding on Ukraine and Edward Snowden …

Family friendly – Jackie French (Australian Children’s Laureate), picture book readings, exciting tales …

Music and poetry-  Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses, Aldous Harding, slam poet Anis Mojgani …

Satire with Ben Uffindel from The Civilian and Steve Braunias, superheroes and comics …

And tributes to our finest – Janet Frame and Margaret Mahy.

We’ve done a Storify of the programme “reveal” and what people are saying.

Have a look at our WORD page with links to most of the authors on show – a glorious grab-bag of great writing and interesting ideas.

Cover of Shigeru Ban Cover of We need new names Cover of I am JulietCover of Snowden Files Cover of Paradoxical undressingCover of Delicious Cover of Bellman and Black Cover of The silence of the sea Cover of Dreams of gods and monsters Cover of The Interestings Cover of ANZAC Cover of Purgatory Cover of Passing Through Cover of Bloodclot Cover of Koiwi Koiwi Cover of Wild blackberries Cover of The Commons Cover of Fish like a drink Cover of Bruiser Cover of Civilisation Cover of Ben Brown Cover of How to hear classical music Cover of The Luminaries Cover of The Wandering Mind Cover of The 10pm question Cover of Breton Dukes Cover of The Lives and Loves of Lena Gaunt Cover of The Broken book Cover of The hut builder Cover of Simon Gault Cover of Nicky Hager Cover of While we run Cover of Incomplete works Cover of A history of silence Cover of Wake Cover of The fall of light Cover of Peace, power and Politics Cover of Tragedy at Pike River Cover of Liam Cover of Tina Makereti Cover of Owen Marshall Cover of The virgin and the whale Cover of Nicky Pellegrino Cover of John Pule Cover of Charlotte Randall Cover of Inequality Cover of How we remember Cover of The shaky isles Cover of Birthright Cover of Ad Lib Cover of Dot Smith Cover of A Winter's Day in 1939 Cover of Canterbury Quake

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 760 other followers