This week in Christchurch history (27 April to 3 May)

27 April 1872
Railway north open to Kaiapoi.

28-29 April 1983
Visit of Prince and Princess of Wales.

29 April 1974
Cr. David Caygill, aged 25, becomes the city’s youngest ever acting Mayor (for 5 days).

30 April 1875
New library building completed on the corner of Cambridge Terrace and Hereford Street. Designed by W.B. Armson, the building was demolished following the 2010-2011 earthquakes.

The Library buildings pictured from the Hereford Street bridge, 1897.
The Library buildings pictured from the Hereford Street bridge, 1897. Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0080

30 April 1971
6,000 protesters march against the war in Vietnam.

1 May 1975
Canterbury University completes its move from city to Ilam campus.

2 May 1872
New St Michael’s Anglican Church opens.

St. Michael's Church, Christchurch [ca. 1885]
St. Michael’s Church, Christchurch [ca. 1885], Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0080

3 May 1851
George Gould opens shop in Christchurch. The business eventually became part of Pyne Gould Guinness and Co.

3 May 1985
6,000 Christchurch citizens rally against the All Black tour of South Africa.

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

NZ Music Month 2015

Celebrate New Zealand music throughout May with Christchurch City Libraries, CHART, RDU and live gigs. NZMM launches in Christchurch on Friday 1 May 7pm at Central Library Peterborough. The gig features the legendary Martin Phillipps from The Chills performing a short solo set, along with smooth sounds from The Bats offshoot – Minisnap – featuring Kaye Woodward’s songs plus Amiria Grenell and Amy Grace as The Swan Sisters.

Sound Garden (across the road from Central Library Peterborough) will be hosting Beat in the Street before the launch gig (6 to 7pm on 1 May). Come along, bring the kids and get creative.

Explore more NZ Music Month events including jazz, sax, violin, folk, choirs, and ukulele pirates.

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Happy birthday, Ngaio Marsh!

Ngaio Marsh would have been 120 today. This world renowned crime writer and theatre director was born Edith Ngaio Marsh in Fendalton on 23 April 1895. Her father, a clerk, built Marton Cottage at Cashmere in 1906. This was her home for the rest of her life, although she spent significant periods in England.

Ngaio Marsh photographed during the 1940s

Ngaio Marsh photographed during the 1940s : “Ngaio in the spotlight” [194-], CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0038

Today there is a lovely little Google image celebrating her.

Many people know of Ngaio Marsh as the crime writer. But she also enriched the cultural life of Christchurch with her devotion to theatre production and mentored young people with dramatic aspirations. Ngaio made a huge contribution to the community, and it seems appropriate her name lives on  –

For more on Ngaio Marsh:

The rebranding of Funding Information Services

For some time now Funding Information Services with their three databases: FundView, Breakout and Corporate Citizen have been providing individuals, groups and businesses with funding contacts and data. This has not changed, but after a rebrand their names have.

Funding Information Services is now Generosity NZ and all three databases we get from them have undergone a name change as well. KTT Funding Information Service

  • Breakout is now givME for individual funding
  • Fund View is now givUS for group funding
  • Corporate Citizen is now givER for corporate giving

You can use these eResources to seek funding using your library card number and password/PIN from home or in libraries. If you are in need of support Generosity NZ as a registered charity can help connect givers and grant seekers.

Looking at the Anzacs

As Anzac Day approaches, we have some interesting First World War displays for you to explore:

The Changing Face of Veterans (exhibition at Upper Riccarton Library until Monday 4 May). This photographic exhibition is about New Zealand’s war veterans since the First World War – our changing perceptions of veterans, and how we remember them. It’s a collaborative community project by Rannerdale Veterans’ Care, Upper Riccarton Library, and Riccarton High School.

There is also a poppy blanket display.
ANZAC display with poppy blanket

ANZAC display with poppy blanket. Flickr Upper-Riccarton-Displays-ANZAC-Display-2015.JPG

World War One at home and at the front (exhibition at Central Library Peterborough until Sunday 24 May) – A display of uniforms, equipment, photographs, publications, badges and letters, and even gas masks – all generously loaned by Barry O’Sullivan, private collector. Read Alina’s post to get a flavour, and view the O’Sullivan collection online.

The New Brighton Boys (exhibition at New Brighton Library until the end of May)
Staff from Christchurch City Libraries, have put together a display of the stories of the 62 soldiers with strong links to New Brighton, who served and died in the First World War. The display includes stories of each soldier and some photographs. Find out more about the New Brighton Boys on Kete Christchurch.

First World War talks

We will also host a series of talks on First World War subjects:

Find out more:

‘Cracking’ Easter holiday programmes at our libraries and learning centres

Cracking holiday programmes saw many happy children having lots of fun this Easter.

Lego animation – children created fun characters for their stop-motion movies.

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Family Games Fun at Linwood – indoor bowls and badminton were great challenges for all.

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Family Games Fun at South – posed a lot of thought in outdoor chess.

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Minecraft – lots of banter, bargaining and laughter as students created and survived in the virtual world! This is always popular.

minecraft

3D Tinker Workshop – students learned 123D software design to create key rings and helicopters then delved further into 3D wire sculpting, paper craft and Hama beads. Students made badges and fridge magnets with fabulous designs.

3D Doodler Pen

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3D badges – Hama Beads

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3D papercraft

_Papercraft

3D Printing

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There were lots of new experiences! Cracking fun!

This week in Christchurch history (20 to 26 April)

Trigonometrical and topographical survey of the districts of Mandeville and Christchurch: shewing the trigonometrical stations, 1850 / J. Thomas, chief surveyor.
Trigonometrical and topographical survey of the districts of Mandeville and Christchurch: shewing the trigonometrical stations, 1850 / J. Thomas, chief surveyor. ATLMAPS ATL-Acc-27187

20 April 1849
Captain Thomas (in a letter to Sir George Grey) reveals that he has chosen the present site of Christchurch for the new settlement – in spite of the fact that both the Nelson and Otago colonists had rejected it in 1841 and 1844 respectively.

20 April 1938
First Inter-Dominion trotting in New Zealand held at Addington Raceway. Originally scheduled for Easter, the contest was postponed by flooding throughout the city. Further flooding after the first races delayed the finals until May 4.

21 April 1971
Court Theatre’s first production, “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”.

22 April 1869
Visit of the Duke of Edinburgh (New Zealand’s first royal visitor).

23-24 April 1966
Visit by Queen Mother.

23 April 1895
Regular Lyttelton – Wellington Cook Strait ferry service inaugurated by “Penguin”.

25 April 1864
Canterbury Horticultural and Acclimatisation Society formed. This group introduced many animals, birds and fish to Canterbury, and helped to establish the Government Gardens, which eventually became the Botanic Gardens.

Photo: The Territorials Cross The Bridge Of Remembrance On The Way To King Edward Barracks (25 Apr. 1926).
The Territorials Cross The Bridge Of Remembrance On The Way To King Edward Barracks (25 Apr. 1926), CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0052

25 April 1977
Bridge of Remembrance becomes a pedestrian precinct.

25 April 1981
New $16 million postal centre in Hereford Street in operation. A determined fight by civic groups had failed to prevent its siting next to the old Public Library.

26 April 1852
Christ’s College moves from Lyttelton to Christchurch.

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

Yours truly, Cecil

Letter to Hazel, 17 August 1914
Letter to Hazel, 17 August 1914

I have been reading a collection of letters by Cecil Malthus, who spent three years in service in the 1st Canterbury Battalion during the First World War.

The letters, which were written to his wife-to-be Hazel, are on our website. They chronicle Cecil’s time in the army from when he went into camp in April 1914. They follow his journey from the training camp to Hobart, across to the east coast of Africa, through the Suez Canal to Cairo. Cecil writes of his longing to say goodbye to his family and Hazel. He writes of the difficulties he experiences sharing a small space with a lot of working class men. He writes of the comfort gained from a letter from home. He needs more writing paper and envelopes, please.

Cecil thought he was going to the continent. He thought he was going to have some training in England. He didn’t. He arrived in Egypt in December, 1914. After undergoing more training, he shipped out to Gallipoli. He knew that Hazel and his family had read about the Gallipoli campaign in the news. His letters were, I think, intended to tell Hazel that all was going well and he was okay. While he was there, he was hospitalized with scarlet fever. Hazel wrote frequently and wanted to know about his friends. It was quite sad to read that his friends had all been killed, injured or transferred. Returning to his unit must have been very lonely.

Letter to Hazel, 11 September [1916]
Letter to Hazel, 11 September [1916]
Cecil finally arrived in France in the spring of 1915 and he wrote that it was better in France. His letters became infrequent as it became harder to get anything sent off. He still replied to Hazel’s comments and questions, but said nothing about the war. On 11 September 1916, Cecil wrote what reads like a letter of goodbye. I’m sure that if I checked the official war records, I would learn that he was about to engage in a big push.

His letter dated 29th September was quite hard to read. I had become used to his handwriting, but this was an unfamiliar, spidery scrawl. He had been badly wounded and for him, the war was over. Cecil Malthus was discharged from the army on 5th April 1917.

Before he went to war, Cecil Malthus was a teacher at Nelson Boys’ College. His family lived in Timaru. Hazel Watters was a student at Teacher’s College. She wrote to Cecil every week. They got married after he was discharged from the Army.

Talking about Christchurch

Cover of Once in a lifetimeThe team at Freerange Press brought you one of the best books of 2014 – Once in a Lifetime: City-building after Disaster in Christchurch. Now they come bearing Talking Heads – a series of talks that explore the current state of play in Christchurch and expand upon themes and issues explored in the book.

The first discussion – Talking Heads #1 – is on the topic of asset sales. Councillor Raf Manji will be talking with one of the book’s editors James Dann.

Raf will be talking about how the council reached its decision to include selling assets as part of its response to Christchurch’s current financial situation (submissions for which close on April 28).

The talk is on Thursday 23 April 5.30pm at EPIC (96 Manchester Street, opposite Alices). James will also take questions from the floor, so you will get the chance to have your say.

Copies of the book Once in a Lifetime: City-building after Disaster in Christchurch will be available for $40.

Anzac Day in Christchurch and Canterbury 2015

Saturday 25 April 2015 is Anzac Day.

Commemorative services often begin before dawn with a march by returned and service personnel to the local war memorial, where they are joined by other members of the community for the Dawn Service.

25 April 2015 also marks a hundred years since Gallipoli. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops first landed on the beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula, in Turkey on 25 April 1915.
New Christchurch RSA Building, Armagh Street

Library hours

Check our library hours over Anzac weekend. All libraries are closed on Saturday 25 April, but open as normal on Sunday 26 April. On Monday 27 April, Linwood, Papanui and South Libraries and our telephone service 941 7923 will be open from 10am to 4pm. All other libraries will remain closed.

Christchurch services and events

The following information is from the Christchurch City Council community events page.

Dawn service

The dawn service will be held in Cranmer Square.

  • 6am–6.15am: the people gather
  • 6.15am: the parade begins
  • 6.30am: the service begins centred around the memorial cenotaph
  • 7.15am: the service concludes with wreath-laying

Organised by the Canterbury Branch of the Malayan Veterans Association in conjunction with the Christchurch Branch of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA) and Christchurch City Council.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel will lay a wreath on behalf of the citizens of Christchurch.

Citizens’ Service: 10am – ChristChurch Transitional Cathedral, Latimer Square

Organised by Christchurch City Council in conjunction with ChristChurch Cathedral and the RSA. It will be attended by representatives of the Defence Force, Consular Corps and various Christchurch youth groups.

Find more Anzac Day services

Other Anzac events

Fields of Remembrance

The Canterbury Province Field in Cranmer Square will contain 632 crosses commemorating the men and women of Christchurch who died in 1915. The Fields of Remembrance Trust has researched the names of men and women from each region who died on active service in 1915 and subsequent years. Download the list of names for Canterbury 1915 [103KB PDF]

Concerts

MainPower Season of ANZAC Rangiora Town Hall

Gallipoli 100 – ANZAC Remembered 2015 Woolston Brass’ special ANZAC concert marks the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign. Featuring The Christchurch City Choir, the concert will be held at the Charles Luney Auditorium (St. Margaret’s College) Saturday 25 April 2pm.

See our photos of the new Christchurch RSA building on Armagh Street, officially opened on 27 March 2015.

Find out more: