The National Army Museum Te Mata Toa has put together a travelling exhibition: Heartlanders New Zealanders of The Great War. This free exhibition will be touring the South Island and will be in Christchurch on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st February in Market Square, The Arts Centre. The exhibition has been built in containers and tells the extraordinary stories of ordinary New Zealanders of the First World War.
Heartlanders tells the stories of those who went to war and returned home afterwards; as well as the stories of those who went to war and never came home. Original film footage sourced from New Zealand and overseas, battle sounds and music from the time will complement the artefacts that will be on display. Heartland will also feature an Auckland War Memorial Museum Artefact Digitising Unit which will enable visitors to search the Cenotaph database for information on soldiers.
After you visit this exhibition, you might like to look at some of our resources that will help you find information about your ancestor’s war record and learn more about the First World War.
Check the library’s catalogue for books, DVDs and other items.
Librarians recently had some useful training by Tom Smith, the Accessible Information Consultant at the Blind Foundation. Here’s some useful information from Tom on things that can help anyone with visual impairment, and some other resources available at Christchurch City Libraries.
If you are used to the Blind Foundation’s old daisy players and not interested in those it please spread the news that they now have an app called BookLink available through the Blind Foundation for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Newspapers will be added to the app, and an app for Windows PCs and Android devices will be developed in 2016.
For more information read more on the Blind Foundation website:
If you have low vision or dyslexia, you may now be able to access talking books through the Blind Foundation’s new app as an associate member. Contact the Blind Foundation for more information.
Accessibility on Apple devices
If you have low vision, poor hearing or problems with co-ordination, the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch all have great accessibility functions to make life easier. The Blind Foundation works with their clients to show them how to use these functions and customise the settings on their devices.
Find out more about accessibility on Apple devices:
Library scavenger hunt – quizzes, Chinese Zodiac Challenge and lantern riddles: simple quizzes to get to know your library, make a quest on the Chinese Zodiac, solve the Chinese lantern riddles to get your brain exercised.
Chinese New Year Colouring in: great for adults and kids.
A display on researching Chinese family history in New Zealand – interesting historical photos, articles from family history databases, research done by library family history expert – looking into the life of early Chinese settlers in New Zealand.
Bilingual storytelling: bilingual stories from library staff on Chinese New Year, learn simple Mandarin and get your body moving.
Upper Riccarton Library Saturday 20 February Technology taster – 3D printing, 3D pen to make your own creation;
Shadow puppet show – taste this wonderful Chinese tradition and get to know the Monkey King from the famous Chinese novel “Journey To The West”;
Quiver – bring your colouring alive;
Craft – make your own lanterns
Tomorrow it’s the annual celebration of commuter cycling known as Go By Bike Day when Kiwis are encouraged to ditch the car or bus and get to where they’re going by the power of pedal alone.
I’ve been a commuter cyclist on and off since I got my first bike (a gold Raleigh 20) at the age of twelve and it is a terrific way to get around the city. Nowdays I often have a passenger as my 2 year-old enjoys the view from his child-seat up front, and the opportunity it affords him to wave at everything from ducks, to dog-walkers, to diggers.
It’s not without its downsides – impatient or inattentive motorists, bad weather, potholes, helmet hair, and lanes that aren’t quite wide enough because of roadworks – all hazards and impediments. But hey, what in life is perfect? Nothing. And there are plenty of reasons why going by bike is a good idea, not just on Wednesday, but every day.
Exercise – If, like me you’re a bit averse to exercise for its own sake, commuting by bike can really help you get moving and active. Commuter cycling has its own motivation built in, “Sure I can stop if I get tired…but I’ll be late for work/school so I’d better keep going”.
Money – It’s hard to argue against the money-saving aspect. No bus fare, parking fees, petrol costs, rego or insurance required. Once you have a bike, helmet, lights, lock and some reflective-wear you’ll spend almost nothing (unless you want to treat yourself to a cookie because you burned so many calories on your way to work).
Freedom of movement – Often people equate the motor vehicle with freedom to come and go as they please. In reality you’re much freer with a bike. You never have to circle the block looking for a park on a bike. If you see something interesting on your way somewhere there’s always a convenient spot to “pull over”. Depending on what kind of bike you have, you can pick it up and carry it places. Take it into a park. On a ferry. Put it on the front of a bus. You can stop, get off, and walk pretty much any time it takes your fancy. You just can’t do that with cars.
Panniers, baskets and trailers, oh my! – It’s never been easier to lug your stuff (and kids) around by bike as there are more options available for customising your ride than ever before. Not sure if a bike trailer is for you? Then try a trailer out for free.
Environmentally friendly – With a bike you supply the fuel. Your legs (or arms – hand-cycles are a thing) propel you, not fossil fuels. You’ll never run out of petrol, (though it is possible to run out of puff).
Sense of achievement – I like knowing that I got from one place to another by the power of My Mighty Legs. Also, the first time I successfully repaired a puncture on my own was one of my proudest moments.
The cool factor – I have a very cool bike. Strangers often compliment me on it. I’d never be able to afford a car that makes people envious but a bike is a much easier (and affordable) proposition. People are also really impressed when you turn up somewhere on a bike, as if you’ve done something superhuman. In some corners it’s considered novel and somewhat daring to have travelled by bicycle. Take my advice and MILK THIS FOR ALL IT’S WORTH.
The Christchurch Art Gallery re-opened on Saturday 19 December 2015, and has had record visit numbers ever since. Their latest publication is 101 works of art, beautifully designed by Aaron Beehre, features texts by Lara Strongman, Ken Hall, Felicity Milburn, Nathan Pohio, Peter Vangioni and Jenny Harper.
Lara Strongman is the senior curator of the Christchurch Art Gallery, and I talked to her about the re-opening.
Now that the Gallery is open again, what’s your feeling as to how people are using and enjoying it?
I’m a little surprised—but very moved—by the deeply emotional response people are having to the re-opening. There have been many people in tears. It’s not just that they are seeing the works they’ve missed over the past five years, it’s what it means to them to be seeing the gallery open again.
There have been many unsolicited hugs for Jenny (the Art Gallery director).
I’ve noticed lots of teenagers coming through, as well as families and international visitors. Wayne Youle’s postcard project has people sending messages all round the world to tell people to come and visit, as well as Christchurch people sending them to other family members.
Parents are showing young children works they haven’t seen, but which were very familiar to their parents. (There’s a half generation of kids who’ve never visited the gallery, or who were too young at the time of the earthquakes to remember.) There are loads of old favourites on show, but also works that are new to everyone – Unseen and The Newest new world are examples. People are also discovering unexpected connections between works:
I liked the Hotere room where the sounds of the seal breathing in the next room added something unexpected. pic.twitter.com/Nvp5Ai96v5
When the Gallery was closed, you all branched out – blogging, social media, exhibitions in different places and out on the streets, will these things still play a role? How has being closed changed the Gallery?
Now we’re open again, we’ve brought the Outer Spaces projects back into the proximity of the gallery. While we were shut, we went out into the city, and in the process learned a great deal about putting different kinds of art into public spaces. Now we’re commissioning new works for unexpected spaces around the gallery building and concourse. We’re calling them Other Spaces.
What’s coming up?
Local artist Tony de Lautour is painting a new work on the Bunker building out the front of the gallery that will be open for Waitangi weekend. We’re also opening our final summer exhibition, Op and Pop. There’s a massive interactive work called Tangle on the forecourt, especially for kids and families over the weekend. And I understand there’s going to be free gelato again, courtesy of our friends at NZI.
Over this year, our collection shows will be constantly changing. And I’m really looking forward to A Beautiful Hesitation, the survey exhibition by Ngai Tahu artist Fiona Pardington coming up mid year.
What do you think about libraries?
I love libraries! They’re my second favourite places, after art galleries. Curators spend a lot of time in libraries, doing research. And I really admire Christchurch City Libraries: the way they’re continuously innovative and put people first.
The Gallery’s librarian Tim Jones deals with a lot of research enquiries, including some extremely obscure ones. There is sharing of archival information around the world, which helps fill in gaps in understanding. By putting works online, unknown works start to be identified and our knowledge of the collection is made richer and more complex.
This summer I’m going to do a rewatch of Deadwood (my favourite show). I hear there’s a telemovie coming out that will tie up the loose ends.
Season 2 of Catastrophe: it’s quite rude but very funny.
And I’ve been watching Luther from the beginning — I like watching an episode each evening and becoming immersed in the story, as if you’re reading a chapter each night. It’s a very bookish way of watching telly.
Thanks to Lara, and to the Christchurch Art Gallery.
Every year Ngāi Tahu commemorates Waitangi Day at one of three locations where the iwi signed the Treaty – Awarua, Ōtākou and Ōnuku. In 2016, the Ngāi Tahu Treaty Festival will be held at the Ōnuku Marae in Akaroa on Saturday 6 February. Pōwhiri at 9am.
Join the 41st commemoration at the Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum. Highlights include a powhiri (traditional welcome), hangi lunch, children’s races, spot prizes and the paddling of waka on the Opara Stream at 4pm. View the Museum’s collections and enjoy continuous demonstrations all day include blacksmithing, bread baking in a traditional clay oven, black powder shooting, early printing works, sheep shearing, crafts, stalls and more! Adults $10, Children $2. Please bring cash. No ATM available. Gates open at 10am. Powhiri (traditional welcome) commences at 10:30am.
Waka launch, Waitangi Day, Okain’s Bay, 6 February 1977 Flickr: HWC08-SO10
I Love New Brighton is an annual event held at Thomson Park for the local greater Brighton area offering music, games, sports, and a market.
Waitangi Day coverage
Online Live Video Stream of Waitangi commemorations
Te Hiku Media of Kaitaia provides online live video stream of proceedings from Waitangi. The stream is available on most mobile devices and computers worldwide at waitangi.tv or by visiting tehiku.nz. Video announcing is in both Māori and English.
Do you remember what your first kite was like? Mine was made out of brown wrapping paper. It had a picture of John, Paul, George and Ringo that had been carefully cut out of a magazine stuck on it. It didn’t fly very well at all.
I was not deterred, and over the years I owned many kites that flew. I don’t own a kite at the moment, but I wouldn’t mind having a go at making one and taking it down to New Brighton beach and flying it. Kite Day is going to be on January 30th, and if I don’t get my kite to fly, I will get to enjoy those that do. I love the way that the small kites seem to duck and weave their way between the huge colourful kites.
So if you are like me and love kites, head on down to the New Brighton Beach, south of the Pier, on Saturday, 30th January between 1.30pm – 4.30pm with your kite and join in the fun.
Librarians interface with tourists every day, helping them with their photocopying, printing, visa applications, holiday bookings and directing them to places and facilities.
If you are the overseas parent or friend of one of these young people, and worry that they may be forgetting you – Fear Not – for they seem driven by the need to connect to the internet in our libraries, and conduct long Skype calls to you. These calls make them happy.
As sure as night follows day, most of them will go back home. There they will extol the beauties of New Zealand, the kindness of the people and the lovely librarians. Some of the people they talk to will be older, and they too will think of coming to visit this beautiful place. They will board planes and visit New Brighton Library and Central Library Peterborough because that’s where their kids went. Then they will book into hotels and take bus tours and spend foreign currencies.
So I’ve come to think of freedom camping as a bit like paying it forward – a bit of an investment in our tourism future. Am I being disingenuous here?