Step on! The Breeze Walking Festival 27 September to 5 October

Springtime is perfect walking time. The Breeze Walking Festival begins on Saturday 27 September, and brings you a range of events to get you walking, talking, and enjoying the sights of Christchurch, the Waimakariri and Selwyn.

Here are a few of our picks, go to The Breeze Walking Festival website for lots more.

Tou Olo o Saele – Let’s walk let’s bounce

Saturday 27 September 9am to 2pm.
Meet at Linwood North School, 221 Woodham Road, Linwood North.

It’s Tuvalu language week. Let’s celebrate the diversity of Pacific communities with our Pacific youth, families, nanas and poppas by going on a fun, interactive walk. Information sharing, health checks, great entertainment, celebrity guests, food and music completes this big day out.

Bookings required – phone Pacific Trust 3663900, email or register on the day.

  • Search the library catalogue for Tuvalu

Pukeko Stomp

Wednesday 1 October 10.30am-noon.
Meet at Burwood Plunket Rooms, 149 Burwood Road, Burwood.

A perfect outing for babies in buggies, young walkers and their families. Experience Travis Wetland including surprise guests, story  telling and fruit kebabs along the way. Return to the Burwood Plunket rooms for more fun and information about preschool children programmes and services.

Walking Festival 2014 Angus  Giant Pukeko reading WF booklet IMG_3010

Harbour Rockhop

Thursday 2 October, 2 walks, 1pm and 3pm
Experienced guides from Adventure Specialities Trust are taking 80 lucky walkers free rock hopping coasteering adventure around the shoreline.  Limited to 40 per walk. Must be 8 years old+ Get in quick! Bookings with CCC 941 8999.

Child of the Transitional City

Saturday 4 October, 2 walks, 10am and 2pm
Sense the cityscape with a child’s eyes on a guided walk through the transitioning central city.  Finish with fluffies.
Limited to 15 per walk. Must be under 5 years old. Get in quick! Bookings with CCC 941 8999.

The NRG+ Great Dog Walk

Saturday 4 October 9.30am-12.30pm
Meet: Roto Kohatu Lakes Carpark, Sawyers Arms Road, Harewood
Whistle up your dog and head to Roto Kohatu Lakes to take part in a dedicated walk for our canine friends. Celebrity dogs, information and
demonstrations by dog clubs and services will inform and entertain you. Dogs must be on a lead and under control at all times. All entries go into a
draw to win great prizes. Registration on the day: 9.30am-10am.

All Right? Amble

Sunday 5 October 11am to 3pm.
Meet at Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, Botanic Gardens, Central City.

Part treasure hunt, part orienteering this is a walk with a difference. Pick up your map from the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre and find five hidden
delights. Collect a stamp at each one and return for a prize! Last map available at 2.30pm.

Cover of Walk AwayMore walking stuff

“For Later” lately (3)

In an attempt to tame her ever-growing For Later list,  Robyn has decided to share with us on a regular basis the titles that she has recently added to her list. The theory being that, even if she doesn’t ever get round to reading them, she can perhaps do so vicariously through you… So please do share your opinions of her picks – are they worthy, do you think, of inclusion in that lofty list?

Some things I have put on my For Later list recently:

Cover: Virginia Woolf's GardenAltman by Kathryn Altman because Robert Altman made some of the most interesting films of the 20th century.

Nora Webster because it’s by Colm Toibin and a new book by Colm Toibin is a major event.

Virginia Woolf’s Garden because it’s fascinating how the last drop is being squeezed out of the Bloomsberries.

The First World War Galleries by Paul Cornish because it has a picture of a uniform with one sleeve missing on the cover.

History of 20th Century Fashion by Elizabeth Ewing because no fashion book can be allowed to escape my attention.

Secrets of the National Archives because archives are anything but dusty.

The Scraps Book by Lois Ehlert because I’m hoping it will have some real scraps featured.

Music within a book

Cover image of "Making music in New Zealand"I would love to be a musician. Not even a professional musician, just someone who can casually pick up an instrument and effortlessly create songs that make others want to stop and listen. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who would be offered money NOT to sing. My perfectionist tendencies paired with my lack of patience have prevented me from learning how to play the guitar (or any other musical instrument for that matter) because, well, if I’m not good at something instantly, I just give up. Forget all this “you’ll get better with practice” rubbish. I want to be a musical genius NOW.

If you want to read about other New Zealanders with the music bug, here’s some New Zealand fiction featuring musicians

Book cover of Ready to FlyOr if you prefer to draw inspiration from real life:

And for those of you who do possess both talent and dedication, the library has a bunch of “teach yourself” resources for aspiring musicians.

I can still live vicariously through other New Zealand musicians, though. I can watch them, listen to them, and read about them. Heck, if I really like them, I might even follow them…on Twitter.

The troops depart for the First World War

Papers Past, Star, 23 September 1914, Page 6
Papers Past, Star, 23 September 1914, Page 6

September 23rd marks the day that the Canterbury troopships, Athenic and Tahiti, left Lyttelton in 1914. There had been rumours of the leaving date for some time, but the actual date was not publicised, some said for security reasons, but it incensed others. Public farewells to Auckland and Wellington troops were reported in the papers, but for a writer to the Star, on September 25th:

What about the farewell to our own Canterbury boys ? There is a tremendous amount of dissatisfaction expressed on all sides at the treatment of the Canterbury Expeditionary Force. They were not even allowed to march through the streets that their mothers and fathers and those near and dear might get a farewell look. Into the train at Sockburn Camp and out again at Lvttelton (they might have been prisoners in a huge Black Maria from the treatment), their relatives not being allowed even on the wharf till the very last moment. As one mother remarked, “We were kept for hours, like cattle behind a barrier, and could not then call out a greeting to our dear ones, whom we had given to fight for our country.” Eventually as the ships were moving off, the barriers were removed, and helter skelter rushed the mothers and fathers of our boys to try and wave a last good-bye. What treatment is this? Is it befitting that those who have gone away, for God knows how long, should carry with them feelings of anger and disappointment? Surely an aching heart at leaving dear ones behind was enough without any addition. Of the feelings of those mothers and wives who so generously gave their boys I need say nothing. I know of several who came up by the express in hopes of seeing their only sons, but reached Lyttelton too late. The troopships had gone.

Men in the training camps were not told either. Cecil Malthus wrote on September 22nd,

I can hardly believe that the leave this afternoon was our last opportunity of seeing friends – surely we would have been explicitly told so if it was. Perhaps all we will get will be some short leave in Lyttelton, and in that case the difficulty will be to let you know

And later, at sea, on the 24th,

I did not get a word of farewell from any of my family: no doubt they disbelieved that we were going.

The Star (an evening paper) reported the troopships going, but the event was not mentioned in The Sun until the day following departure in a waspish editorial about the flouting of the Defence Department’s wishes by other, unnamed, local newspapers. The Press maintained silence but reported on the Prime Minister’s attendance at the Auckland farewell and the official farewell for the Wellington men, as well as New Zealand action in Samoa. After the many events and support in the local Christchurch and Canterbury district for the troops, the lack of an official farewell rankled.

Papers Past, Star, 24 September 1914, Page 5

Once on board the men sent letters home mentioning the farewell, and conditions on board. The following letter from a Peninsula mounted man is of interest:—

“We struck camp on Tuesday morning at 6.30 and rode through to Lyttelton via Sumner, the South Canterbury Mounted Regiment going with us. The infantry came down on Wednesday at 2.30. We spent half an hour on the Sumner beach, gave our horses a sand bath and a walk in the sea, then came on to Lyttelton. We embarked practically straight away without any excitement or fuss of any sort. Our horses and ourselves were on board in a very short time, and we were all well settled down by the time night came. The C.Y.C. have good quarters for their horses. There are 90 men all packed in one big room. Goodness knows what it will be like in hot weather. Anyhow, we all managed to sleep well on board the first night. On Wednesday, we were busy all day getting luggage on board and making things comfortable. No visitors were allowed on the wharf. People were waiting all day to get in to see us. There were about 700 people to see us off. They came on the wharf at 5 o’clock, and we sailed at 5.15, so they did not have much time to say good bye. It was a very stirring send off I can tell you. Mr C. Hay, and party from Pigeon Bay, came with us out to the Heads. I suppose they were going back to the Bay. “

This first sailing took the men to Wellington.

HNN Celebrates South Library

South Library Learning Centre is celebrating with HNN students (Hillmorton Network News) and Hillmorton High School at their latest TV broadcast. They have just learned how to script-write an interview, film using dual cameras, and edit with keys and cutaways for added interest!

Episode 3 celebrates student, school and community successes. These students could be destined for Weta Studios and might even follow in  Sir Peter Jackson’s footsteps!

Here is their latest work:

In our Learning Centre, students experience e-learning programmes aligned with the New Zealand Curriculum document. These programmes provide learning in a technology-rich environment and the teaching within these programmes keep abreast with the latest teaching philosophies and strategies.

If you are interested in working with us to tailor an existing programme or work alongside us  please contact us Tel: 941 5140 or

Let Us Compare Mythologies

Although today in Canada is yesterday for us, September 21 is Leonard Cohen’s birthday – a special one – his 80th.

Cohen is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. His work has explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships and his 13th studio album will be released tomorrow.

In 1957 Folkways Records released the “Six Montreal Poets” album with A.J.M. Smith, Irving Layton, Louis Dudek, F.R. Scott, A.M. Klein, and Leonard Cohen – all reading their own poetry on the record.  Leonard Cohen reads the following poems (recorded in 1957):

  • For Wilf and his house (1955)
  • Beside the shepherd (1956)
  • Poem (1955)
  • Lovers (1955)
  • The sparrows (1955)
  • Warning (1956)
  • Les Vieus (1954)
  • Elegy (1955)

All poems are from “Let Us Compare Mythologies

Listen to Six Montreal Poets.

Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori we are publishing kupu (words).

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

He aha hoki

Kupu (word)


He maha ngā tuna i te awa rā?
Are there a lot of eels in this river?

Browse our Te Reo Māori resources.

This week in Christchurch history (22 September – 28 September)

23 September 1914
First Canterbury contingent sails on Tahiti and Athenic from Lyttelton for the war in Europe.

24 September 1881
Telephone exchange (the first in New Zealand) begins operation.

24 September 1960
Jellie Park Pool opens.

26 September 1897
Reading of the Riot Act to an angry crowd of about 6000 in Lichfield Street as a result of religious imposter A.B. Worthington’s “Temple of Truth” fraud. Beginning in 1890, Worthington’s sect had built a ”grecian temple“ in Latimer Square. See Disturbance in the city, The Star, 27 September 1897 via Papers Past.

Charles Upham medallion on the Bridge of Remembrance [2011] Christchurch City Libraries, CCL-2011-11-16-November2011 103-BridgeofRemembrance
Charles Upham medallion on the Bridge of Remembrance
See this image on Flickr.
26 September 1945
Charles Hazlett Upham (born Christchurch 1908) awarded second V.C. for gallantry in the Western Desert, 1942. He won his previous award in Crete during May 1941.

26 September 1976
Orana Park Wildlife Reserve opens.

27 September 1853
The first meeting of the Canterbury Provincial Council.

27 September 1974

Visit by the Shah and Empress of Iran.

More September events in the Chronology.

School holidays – September / October 2014

IMG_6888School (and kindy) holidays start after Friday 26 September, and kids are back on Monday 13 October.


Check out our Learning Centre school holiday programmes (Minecraft! Antarctic animation!)

Linwood Library at Eastgate has a range of cool events for kids – this week it is poetry, stained glass butterflies, and making picture frames (the sessions run from 10am to 11am). Next week – from 6 October – the sessions run from 2pm to 3pm and include tangrams, spiderweb making and more.

Shirley Library has a jewellery workshop on Thursday 2 October.

Here are some more kid-tastic events to enjoy.


Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu is introducing kids to Foil art.

The Art Gallery is also popping Out of the box on Saturday, 27 September 2014. 10.00am, at the ArtBox area on the corner of St Asaph and Madras streets. It’s a party to say goodbye to the fab exhibition Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker. Out of the box is a free fun day with kids’ art activities, face painting, live music and popcorn. Test  building skills at the Imagination Playground.


This school holidays, the kids can explore Cultural constellations and Robotics.


Cover of FrozenNew Zealand IceFest has a slew of events for kids and families including:


The Breeze Walking Festival is on, including the Pukeko Stomp on 1 October – A perfect outing for babies in buggies, young walkers and their families. Experience Travis Wetland including surprise guests, story telling and fruit kebabs along the way.

Gut Busta is a kids adventure multisport race for primary and intermediate students, year 1 through to year 8.
Check out our Walking Festival picks.


Goldilocks and the three bears at the Court Theatre.

The Body Festival features some stuff for all ages including Double Derelicts “top notch physical theatre and dance”
Fri 3 and Sat 4 October at 7.30pm, Sun 5 October at 2.00pm

Monster Wards 5 October. NO Productions Theatre present a joyful and adventurous theatrical fantasy tale with a touch of circus. The show is aimed at audience of all ages: it will delight young and old alike.


At the Airforce Museum the theme is Survivor at Wigram. This Oscar-endorsed holiday programme involves some secret missions, team games, Museum hunts, obstacle courses, sports and crafts.

Super senses discovery trail is one of the activities at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Collect a free trail booklet from the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre and use your senses to explore the Gardens on this self-guided family discovery trail.

Find out more about other Christchurch activities and holiday programmes for the September/October holidays.

Heathcote contingent at Peace Procession : Picturing Canterbury

Heathcote contingent at Peace Procession. Photograph was taken in Cathedral Square, looking along Colombo Street North. To the right is the Colonial Mutual Life building, at was what was then known as Broadway’s Corner. The event was the children’s procession on the morning of Monday, 21st of July, 1919 (the peace celebrations did not take place in 1918 because of the flu epidemic). Christchurch City Libraries,  CCL-Gimblett-041