Christchurch – Our underground story

Christchurch: Our underground story is a “lift-the-flaps” picture book with a difference. It has the sturdy thick board pages and colourful illustrations you’d expect to find in other books of this kind but the topic is a bit less straightforward than teaching simple colours or counting.

It’s about infrastructure, which is not a particularly thrilling word to most kids (or adults). But the ongoing maintenance and repair of quake-damaged infrastructure has a daily impact on Cantabrians, so thrilling or not, it’s probably something we should all pay a bit of attention to.

This is one of the reasons for the book as it attempts to open our eyes to exactly what all those coned-off holes in the ground, detours and diggers are in aid of.

It’s a challenging topic but SCIRT Civil Structural Engineer Phil Wilkins and Chemical Engineer/illustrator Martin Coates have brought their considerable experience to bear in producing a really unique and distinctly Cantabrian book.

Cover of Christchurch: Our underground story

Christchurch: Our underground story is sort of a “How Stuff Works” for infrastructure, filled as it is with diagrammatic drawings of how this pipe connects to that one connects to the next one, and the methods by which they’re maintained and repaired. By lifting the flaps you can see the processes and equipment underneath, and it’s all accompanied by explanations of what things are called and what their purpose is. It’s the kind of book that invites inquisitive kids to spend a lot of time absorbed on each page… and it’s pretty educational for adults too.

Christchurch: Our underground story spread
A look inside Christchurch: Our underground story by Phil Wilkins and Martin Coates

The illustrations make it clear that this book is about Christchurch with local landmarks and little touches like flowers poking out of road cones that place it very much in the Garden City.

Proceeds from the sale of the book go to Ronald McDonald House which provides accommodation for families who, because they have a sick child in hospital, have to travel from out of town.

The book can be ordered now with purchased copies able to be picked up at a book launch event at the Margaret Mahy Family Playground on Saturday 25 February. You can also place a hold on a library copy.

Further reading

Wednesday 22 February 2017 – Earthquake Commemorations

The sixth anniversary of the 22 February 2011 quake is on this Wednesday 22 February. There are events on for the community to come together to reflect, and remember.

eqnzmemorial

Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Dedication and Civic Memorial Service

will be unveiled on 22 February 2017 at a public event combining the Dedication of the Memorial and the 22 February Civic Commemoration Service.

  • Where: Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, between the Montreal Street Bridge and Durham Street, Central City, Christchurch
  • When: Wednesday 22 February 2017, 12 noon to 2pm
  • Who: All welcome.

Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial will be a place for people to reflect on the devastating earthquakes that changed Canterbury and its communities forever, honouring those who lost their lives on 22 February 2011, acknowledging those who were seriously injured and everyone who helped in the rescue and recovery operation.

Find out more:

Information from Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial website.

River of Flowers Earthquake Commemorations on 22 February

Earthquake memorial

River of Flowers will take place at sites along the waterway including:

  • Earthquake Memorial
    Avon River bank cnr Oxford Terrace and Montreal Street.
    O-Tautahi /The Bricks
    Barbadoes Street bridge and diagonal adjoining riverbanks.
  • St Albans
    St Albans Creek, ASB Park.
  • Wainoni/Avonside
    Pre-Service at Methodist Church on Avonside Drive (opposite Porritt Park).
  • Moncks Bay
    Yacht Club Car Park, Moncks Bay.
  • New Brighton
    Owles Terrace Reserve.

Find out more:

River of Flowers

River of Flowers Earthquake Commemorations provide people with a chance to be together across the city to commemorate the sixth anniversary of Canterbury’s earthquakes.  This ongoing partnership between Flourish-Inc-ChCh and Avon-Ōtākaro Network supports sites along Canterbury waterways and this year will be part of the unveiling of the National Earthquake Memorial.

Information from the River of Flowers page on Facebook.


Opening of the roof of C1 Espresso

Our community remember the 22 February 2011 earthquake in a number of ways – by visiting a particular place, or by having a moment of silence and remembrance. We share that reflection together, wherever we are.

Te Rerenga Kōrero – Koina!

Kia ora. To encourage the use of Te Reo Māori Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori – The Māori Language Commission publish weekly Māori phrases that can be used to support or cheer someone on.

Koina!
Yes, that’s it!

akina te reo rugby

Holi – The Festival of Colours – Saturday 4 March 2017

Holi Hai!

With the Holi festival approaching its fourth year of being held in Christchurch, people should no longer be surprised by the sight of respectable adults running around, throwing coloured powder and water at each other in the first week of March.

The first Holi festival held in the Garden City was organised by Hitesh Sharma and Sandeep Khanna of Revel Events, and took place at the Pallet Pavilion on 23 March 2014. The festival has grown in size and popularity since and is now one of the many Indian cultural events which are becoming commonplace on the Christchurch social calendar.

There are food stalls, games and dance performances, all the while coloured powder is continuously being thrown around. Those who are attending are encouraged to wear clothing and shoes which are old (as the colour might not wash out). Sunglasses can help keep the powder out of your eyes. The coloured powder supplied at the event is corn based and non-toxic.

This year the festival will be held on the grass space at 221 Gloucester Street. Entry to the festival is free (though bring money to purchase coloured powder and food!)

Holi

The festival is traditionally celebrated throughout the Indian subcontinent on the last full moon of the Hindu month of Phalgun.

Holi derives its name and origins from a narrative found in the Hindu scripture, Bhāgavata Purāṇa, which tells of the sinful king, Hiranyakashipu. Believing himself to be more powerful than the gods, Hiranyakashipu was angered that his son, Prince Prahlad, who was a devotee of the god Viṣṇu, refused to worship him. Holika, the demoness sister of Hiranyakashipu, who was immune to fire, tried to kill Prahlad by leading him into the flames of a pyre. In order to save his devotee, Viṣṇu manifested in the world as the lion faced avatar, Narasiṃha, and saved Prahlad. This symbolises the victory of good over evil.

Narasimha defeating Hiranyakashipu, as Prahlada watches at the left. Wikimedia Commons.

To celebrate the defeat of Holika, a holika dahan, a bonfire with an effigy of the demoness, is burned on the night before the festival. On the next day, the streets are awash with colour as people of all different ages and communities bombard their friends and strangers with coloured powder and water. People are encouraged to lose their inhibitions. Anyone, at anytime, can suddenly find themselves surrounded and doused with colour. In this way, the festival also represents the putting aside of grievances and the celebration of community.

One game, which is commonly played, involves teams forming a human pyramid to reach a pot of butter which hangs high above the street, while bystanders throw coloured water on them. The game has its origins in the story of Krishna (another avatar of Viṣṇu), who tried to steal butter from Radha and the gopis (female cowherders). The game has featured at previous Holi events in Christchurch.

To prepare yourself for the fun of Holi, watch this scene from the Bollywood film, Mangal Pandey, based on the historical events of 1857.

Also make sure to check out Christchurch City Libraries’ collection of India related material.