This week in Christchurch history (6 to 12 July)

6 July 1887
Heavy floods. Three young men drown in the Avon River as a result of a boating mishap.

7 July 1908
Widespread flooding in city and province.

8 July 1880
Canterbury Society of Arts formed.

The Society of Artists Gallery, corner of Armagh & Durham Streets, Christchurch [ca. 1921]
The Society of Artists Gallery, corner of Armagh & Durham Streets, Christchurch [ca. 1921], CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0045
9 July 1863
Civic tree planting begins. Part of the day’s planting was a commemorative tree, generally regarded as the beginning of the Botanic Gardens.

10 July 1922
Hagley Park and Botanic Gardens included in city boundary.

11 July 1879
Post Office building in Cathedral Square completed.

Post Office Corner, 1963, from Cathedral spire
Post Office Corner, 1963, from Cathedral spire. Flickr, HW-08-FE-09

More July events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

This week in Christchurch history (29 June to 5 July)

29 June 1951
First regular South Island trans-Tasman flights begin from Melbourne to Christchurch.

30 June 1849
Canterbury’s first “industrial action” – Maori road workers in Evans Pass (constructing a road across the Port Hills) go on strike as a reaction to verbal abuse and dismissals.

30 June 1975
TV2 transmission starts.

1 July 1862
New Zealand’s first telegraph in operation between Christchurch and Lyttelton.

The Post and Telegraph Office in Norwich Quay, Lyttelton [ca. 1885]
The Post and Telegraph Office in Norwich Quay, Lyttelton [ca. 1885]. The Office was built in 1876. In the background are the offices of the New Zealand Shipping Company and the shop of R. Forbes, ship chandlers. CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0009
1 July 1865
Lyttelton Harbour breakwaters begun.

1 July 1935
Evening papers “Star” and “Sun” merge to become the “Star Sun”, ending a 6 year newspaper war, the longest and most bitter in New Zealand’s history. The “peace” agreement between the 3 companies concerned also saw the demise of the “Christchurch Times” (once the “Lyttelton Times”), the oldest daily paper in the country.

4 July 1977
Hundreds evacuated as serious flooding affects City.

More June and July events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

Matariki competition winners

Kia ora. The winners of our Matariki competition are:

Facebook

The Facebook winner is Tumohe. Matariki means:

Whanau, celebration, hakari, whanaungatanga, wairua, Aroha, and maintaining the gifts handed down to us by our tupuna:)

Blog

The winner on the blog is Gallivanta:

Matariki means it’s my mother’s birthday. I love the connection of her birth with the arrival of Matariki. Apart from that, Matariki is a time for me to reflect on how much I have yet to learn about Aotearoa.

Congratulations! We will be in contact soon – your prize is a Kobo Glo eReader each.

Thanks to you all for sharing your lovely Matariki thoughts.

If you want more Matariki fun, don’t forget to go to Rehua Marae, 79 Springfield Road,  St Albans tomorrow Saturday 27 June – 10am to 3pm. See Rehua Marae’s Facebook page.

Rehua Marae Matariki poster

Shifting points of view – WORD Christchurch 30 August and 7 September 2015

Shifting points of view gives you a bumper crop of sessions  from top writers and commentators. It’s WORD Christchurch’s part of the Christchurch Arts Festival and is guaranteed to warm the cockles of your enquiring mind.

There are five sessions on Sunday 30 August – it’s practically a mini-bookfest. Patricia Grace, Anna Smaill, Paula Morris, and Fiona Farrell are among the Kiwi writers on show, and also international writers Jesse Bering (talking about perversion, no less) and Suki Kim about North Korea. And on Monday 7 September there are two evening sessions – one on altruism, and one with novelist Sarah Waters – author of The Paying Guest and Tipping the Velvet. Blimey.

WORD authors WORD Christchurch authors WORD Christchurch authors

Our approach is to show off what’s on offer, but also to link to our catalogue so you can get reading. And book your tickets, because things do sell out! You can either pay $20 per session or buy a $115 Shifting Points of View pass, on sale NOW.

Here’s the programme in full:

Sunday 30 August

Cover of Chappy10am On Belonging: Patricia Grace and Paula Morris

…  Patricia Grace explores issues that permeate New Zealand history and society: racial intolerance, cross-cultural conflicts and the universal desire to belong. Spanning several decades and set against the backdrop of a changing New Zealand, Chappy is a story of enduring love. She discusses her work with Paula Morris, whose On Coming Home explores similar themes of nostalgia, memory and belonging …

Find works in our catalogue by:

Cover of The Villa at the edge of the empire12pm Imaginary Cities: Fiona Farrell, Anna Smaill, Hamish Clayton, Hugh Nicholson, chaired by Lara Strongman

Taking the Christchurch blueprint as a starting point, this panel will look at ways in which we imagine cities, either in fiction, in history, or in contemporary life; whether as utopias or dystopias, cities imagined or reimagined.

Find works in our catalogue by:

Cover of The Struggle for sovereignty2pm The Struggle for Sovereignty: Margaret Wilson

Margaret Wilson argues that the shift to a neo-liberal public policy framework has profoundly affected the country’s sovereignty and that New Zealanders must continue to engage in the struggle to retain it for the sake of individual and community wellbeing.

Find works in our catalogue by Margaret Wilson

Cover of Without you, there is no us4pm On North Korea: Inventing the Truth: Suki Kim, chaired by Paula Morris

A glimpse inside the mysterious closed-off world of North Korea, a country where a military dictatorship exploits the myth of a Great Leader to its own citizens, who are “imprisoned in a gulag posing as a nation”.

Find works in our catalogue by Suki Kim.

Cover of Why is the penis shaped like that?6pm On Perversion: Jesse Bering

Jesse Bering argues that we are all sexual deviants on one level or another. He challenges us to move beyond our attitudes towards ‘deviant’ sex and consider the alternative: what would happen if we rise above our fears and revulsions and accept our true natures? (Adult themes)

Find works in our catalogue by Jess Bering

Monday 7 September

Cover of The most good you can do6pm On Effective Altruism: Peter Singer, chaired by Eric Crampton

Effective altruism requires a rigorously unsentimental view of charitable giving, urging that a substantial proportion of our money or time should be donated to the organisations that will do the most good with those resources …

Find works in our catalogue by Peter Singer

8pm Crimes of Passion: Sarah Waters, chaired by Carole Beu

Sarah Waters’ hugely inventive novels usually have lesbian relationships at their heart, and are always set in the past, when remaining true to oneself came at great personal risk.

Find works in our catalogue by Sarah Waters

Cover of The Paying Guest Cover of Fingersmith Cover of The Little Stranger Cover of Tipping the velvet

This week in Christchurch history (22 to 28 June)

22 June 1954
Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme murder Parker’s mother in Victoria Park. Their subsequent trial was one of the most sensational in the city’s history. Explore our digitised resources on the murder.

Cover of Pioneers of the Plains
Pioneers of the Plains: The Deans of Canterbury

23 June 1854
Pioneer John Deans dies at Riccarton. The preservation of Deans Bush was one of his dying wishes.

23 June 1863
First cab stand in City, on the corner of Colombo and High Streets.

24 June 1981
First Metro Refuse transfer station (Sockburn) in operation.

25 June 1934
Death of Harry Ell. The uncompleted Summit Road and Sign of the Takahe projects were taken over by his son.

27 June 1846
Canterbury’s first armed robbery – 3 men hold up and ransack the Greenwood brothers’ farm at Purau.

27 June 1904
Yaldhurst School elects New Zealand’s first all-woman school committee.

27 June 1964
Large crowds for visit of Beatles pop group. View a DigitalNZ set of images of the Beatles in New Zealand.

28 June  1869
Velocipede (“boneshaker”) bicycle (probably New Zealand’s first) tried out on City streets by its maker, coachbuilder Henry Wagstaff.

28 June 1983
Author Margaret Mahy awarded Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal for her children’s book The Haunting.

Margaret Mahy display. Central Library Tuam - 24 July 2012.
Margaret Mahy display. Central Library Tuam – 24 July 2012. Flickr: CCL-2012-07-24

More June events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

Spec’ Fic’ in Chch

Spec Fic… what‘s that? Spec Fic is short for Speculative Fiction and was first used by R.A Heinlein in 1953 in a Library Journal as an umbrella genre for fiction about “things that have not happened”: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all the bits in between. Spec fic is alive and well and happening in Christchurch as last weekend’s Spec Fic meeting to celebrate local Sir Julius Vogel awardees testifies.

Cover of The Heir of Night by Helen LoweAbout fifty people gathered in the Fendalton Library boardroom to congratulate four Vogel award finalists, two of whom won in their category. Beaulah Pragg, herself a published author, introduced the session and multi-award winning Helen Lowe who spoke about the importance of the genres and the place of awards. Fantasy, she told us, is probably the oldest literary device for talking about reality, as the myths and folk tales of hundreds of human cultures attest. While writers write for the delight of storytelling and because the stories demand to be told awards can still be tremendously affirming to those who frequently work in some isolation. Moreover, events like this demonstrate the importance of the literary community supporting and celebrating one another.
Read Helen’s keynote on her blog.

The best of Twisty Christmas talesThe first finalist speaker was Shelley Chappell, who was short-listed for both best novella and for best new talent. Shelley has a PhD in Children’s and Young Adults’ Literature from Macquarie University in Sydney but writes for all age groups. Many of her YA titles are re-tellings of fairy stories, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstilkskin. Re-telling fairy tales, often with a twist, writing new ones, and exploring their development has become a fairly popular genre with several notable proponents such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Catherynne M. Valente and Jack Zipes.

Tim Stead has written a trilogy of book and seems well into the next trilogy. The ‘The Seventh Friend‘ was a finalist for Best Novel and have been warmly reviewed on Amazon. He was also a finalist for Best New Talent.

A.J. Fitzwater was the winner of the Best New Talent award, although she said that she’s been at it for five years so being called “new” was an odd thing to wrap her head around. She read us an excerpt from her latest story about to be published in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Issue 61 – “Long’s Confandabulous Clockwork Circus and Carnival, and Cats of Many Persuasions” which seems to have a ‘carni-punk’ setting so look out for that one. A. J. also spoke about her experiences at the prestigious Clarion Writers workshop last year where she underwent an intensive six weeks of tutoring and writing with top writers such as Ann and Jeff Vandermeer, Nora Jemisin, and Catherynne Valente.

Spec Fic displayOur final winner was Rebecca Fisher who won the prize for Best Fan Writing. Fan writing isn’t the same as fan fiction, but rather is awarded for blogging, interviewing, reviewing and other forms of writing about speculative fiction. She has a popular blog They’re All Fictional, guest blogs at various sites and is a top reviewer on Amazon so if you’re into the genres she’s one to follow.

Connecting with New Zealand genre authors and their work isn’t always easy, so events like this are really important. If you want to find out more about these great authors follow the links above and keep an eye on the Sir Julius Vogel Awards and the SFFANZ (for science fiction and fantasy) or other NZ book sites.

Knitting on the bus

World Knit In Public Day was last Saturday (13 June), and to celebrate, Sally Blake (Riccarton High School Library Manager), Catherine Boyd and Heather Chambers (Upper Riccarton Library) joined 23 other crafters on the Orbiter Bus. Sally yarn-bombed a bike from the Eco Shed, which was put on the rack at the front of the bus, to advertise the event.

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Photos by Sandy Brinsdon

We knitted, crocheted and had a hilarious time together. We comprised a core group from the Upper Riccarton Knit ‘n’ Stitch Group, complemented by friends, neighbours and new friends that found out about the event through Facebook. People stayed on the bus for one or two complete rounds, and it was such a resounding success, that it will be repeated next year.

WWKIP Day

WWKIP Day

See the Facebook event and more photos on Facebook.

The Halswell Project

Halswell Photo callBe part of a photographic documentary record of Halswell.

Willing volunteers needed to be photographed for an exhibition and inclusion in our digital heritage collection.

This year, Christchurch City Libraries have teamed up with the University of Canterbury, School of Fine Arts to create a photographic documentary record of the wider Halswell area. This work will be exhibited as a digital exhibition at the opening of Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre, in late 2015, and will feature on the Christchurch City Libraries website through the digital heritage collection.

If you’d like to be photographed for this project please leave your name and contact details with the staff at Halswell Library.

For more information, please email library@ccc.govt.nz or call 9417923.

Celebrate Matariki – and win an eReader!

Ko tēnei te wā o Matariki tāpuapua. It is the time of Matariki. Rāpare (Thursday) 18 Pipiri (June) 2015 is the start of the Māori New Year. Join the Christchurch celebrations at the Botanic Gardens on Sunday 21 June, and at Rehua Marae on Saturday 27 June.

Tell us in the comments what Matariki means to you, and then you are in the draw to win a Kobo Glo eReader! You can use your prize to enjoy our collection of eBooks and eMagazines.

Matariki

Terms and conditions

  • You must be a member of Christchurch City Libraries to be eligible to win an eReader.
  • The competition is not open to staff of Christchurch City Libraries or their immediate families.
  • The competition closes Sunday 5pm 21 June 2015.
  • The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into and prizes are not transferable.
  • Winners will be contacted by Sunday 28 June 2015.
  • If you are a winner, you consent to your name, photograph, entry and/or interview being used for reasonable publicity purposes by Christchurch City Libraries.

This week in Christchurch history (15 to 21 June)

15 June 1874
Canterbury College (University) opens. A subsequent public protest prevented its proposed buildings from being sited in what are now the Botanic Gardens.

The Robert McDougall Art Gallery : a profile [7.2MB]
View The Robert McDougall Art Gallery : a profile [7.2MB PDF]
16 June 1932
Robert McDougall Art Gallery opens. The gallery was a gift of R. E. McDougall, Managing Director of Aulsebrooks and Company.

17 June 1843
John Deans lands sheep, cattle and horses at Lyttelton.

19 June 1857
Complaints reported that the Avon and Heathcote Rivers are becoming clogged with watercress. Provincial Council approves £1500 for clearance. Watercress appears to have been introduced by the ship “Compte de Paris” to Akaroa in 1841, and from there to the Avon by William Deans in 1850.

20 June 1928
Canterbury Aero Club formed. The first pilot trained by the club was a woman, Aroha Clifford. She may have been New Zealand’s first woman pilot.

Aroha Clifford
Aroha Clifford. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP-0628-1/2-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22823723

21 June 1851
Christchurch Cricket Club formed.

21 June 1851
Road from Christchurch to Riccarton completed.

21 June 1897
Huge celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee include the official opening of Victoria Park on the Port Hills and the transformation of Market (Victoria) Square by the City Council and the newly formed Christchurch Beautifying Association. The square, once the commercial centre of Christchurch, had contained many early public buildings and services including a prison, immigration barracks, an animal pound and the first post office.

More June events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.