New titles and stories of mirrors in our November fantasy newsletter.
- Elliott Carter, 1908-2012
American composer who was hailed as a modern great despite his famously inaccessbile music
- Bryce Courtenay, 1933-2012
South African-born Australian novelist and one of Australia’s most commercially successful authors
- Patrick Creagh, 1930-2012
Poet and masterly Italian translator who had Ginsberg arrested and bought a farm with Lady Chatterley
- Clive Dunn, 1920-2012
Actor whose catchphrase ‘Don’t panic!’ was part of Dad’s Army appeal
- Valerie Eliot, 1926-2012
Wife of T.S. Eliot who brought happiness to his final years and was a fierce custodian of his legacy
- Jean Garner, 1948-2012
Christchurch historian and author
- Larry Hagman, 1931-2012
Actor whose J R Ewing in Dallas became the most celebrated portrayal of villainy on television
- Han, Suyin, 1917-2012
Prolific Eurasian author who generated controversy with her hagiographic view of China’s cultural revolution
- Derek Hutchinson, 1933-3012
Author of The sea kayaker’s bible who, in 1976, became the first person to cross the North Sea in a canoe
- Philip Ledger, 1937-2012
Church musician who produced magical settings of carols and worked with Benjamin Britten
- Vincent Orange, 1935-2012
British-born NZ academic, historian, best known for military biographies, and actor
- Richard Robbins, 1940-2012
Film composer who wrote more than two dozen scores for Merchant Ivory
- R.W.H. (Bob) Scott, 1921-2012
Former All Black
- Dinah Sheridan, 1920-2012
Graceful actress who charmed audiences for over 50 years, notably in Genevieve and The railway children
- Bill Tarmey, 1941-2012
Actor who gave life to the work-shy, henpecked husband Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street
- Zig Ziglar, 1926-2012
Motivational self-help guru who urged Americans to quit their ‘stinkin’ thinkin’
I read today that Susan Jeffers died. If you are under the age of 40, you may have no idea who she is, however perhaps you have heard the term “Feel the fear and do it anyway“? You can be grateful for Susan Jeffers for this. Her book with the same title created quite a stir at the time of publication. For women it was a catchphrase that would haunt us for many years – no longer could we be afraid/uncertain, we were out there conquering our fears and doing it anyway! For some of us it was liberating, for others of us (myself included) it led to endless hours of introspection, wondering why I wasn’t out there doing it, but instead probably inside reading about it!
I read Jeffers alongside Gail Sheehy, Harriett Lerner and Nancy Friday. These authors were all at the forefront of the self-help book explosion, and it is hard to believe that they are now well into, or are hitting their 70s. In their heyday these books were passed from woman to woman in the same way that 50 shades of grey is now. “Have you read this” we would say, “it has changed my life!”, and they did in a way, we learnt that we didn’t have to be like our mothers, that we were allowed to be angry and that women could do anything. Reading of Susan Jeffers’ death had made me feel a bit nostalgic for the time when we were more excited about change and growth than reading about a man
tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control. Aka 5o Shades of Grey.
11 December 1929 (correction: it opened on 11 November)
Edmonds band rotunda opens.
12 December 1849
New Zealand Company agrees to reserve two and a half million acres as a site for the Canterbury settlement.
13 December 1942
Premiere in Christchurch of Landfall in Unknown Seas by Douglas Lilburn and Allen Curnow.
15 December 1848
Captain Joseph Thomas, William Fox, and surveyors Cass and Torlesse arrive at the site of Lyttelton in the “Fly”. Thomas names the harbour “Port Victoria”. He and his party had been sent by the Canterbury Association to choose a site for the new colony and make the necessary preparations for the arrival of settlers in 1850.
16 December 1864
Foundation stone laid for ChristChurch Cathedral. The weather was atrocious.
More December events in our Christchurch chronology.