Sunday 19 September is Women’s Suffrage Day – a celebration of New Zealand women getting the vote in 1893. The Kate Sheppard Memorial in Oxford Terrace celebrates some of our pioneering sisterhood.
Another group of leaders are Christchurch’s own Women in the Council Chamber and we have brief political audio biographies on Ada Wells, Elizabeth McCombs, the famed Mabel Howard as well as more recent councillors.
Our collection of Unsung heroines highlights local identities. These women were characters in all senses of the word. Bella Button – famed for her horseriding prowess – trained cats to jump like horses. Lizzie Coker, of Coker’s Hotel fame, was remembered as a ‘fantastic creature in elaborate wigs and huge fur coats’.
Other things to explore:
- A brief diary written on board the Tintern Abbey en route from Gravesend to Christchurch, December 1874 – May 1875 by Mary Anne McCrystal, 1849-1929.
- Ngaio Marsh – one of Canterbury’s most famous authors.
- Elsie Locke – one of our Canterbury Heroes, her plaque reads ‘Political, social and local community activist, well-loved historian and writer, determined and doughty fighter for the rights of the under-dog, active to the end’.