Bishopdale 2017: The Christchurch Documentary Project

Going beyond the iconic elephant slide and the suburban mall, five photographers from the University of Canterbury, School of Fine Arts immersed themselves in the public and private lives of Bishopdale residents to create the latest instalment of The Christchurch Documentary Project – Bishopdale 2017. You are welcome to celebrate the launch of this online image collection, and view the exhibition at Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre. The exhibition opens at 6pm on Tuesday 28 November and then runs until Friday 22 December.

Teenagers playing at the Bishopdale skate park. Photo by Janneth Gil. CCL-BI2017-38-JG-5517
Teenagers playing at the Bishopdale skate park. Photo by Janneth Gil. CCL-BI2017-38-JG-5517

Janneth Gil, Liam Lyons, Elise Williams, Lucas Perelini and Thomas Herman photographed the people and physical environment of Bishopdale between March and September this year, building a collection of over 350 images that capture both the history of the area and the often overlooked moments of community life. The gathering at the fishing and casting club meetings; new mums learning baby massage at the Plunket rooms; a father and teenage son watching the All Blacks over a pint, a Coke and a bowl of chips — for the photographers, these were some of the moments that conveyed the deep connections people had in Bishopdale, to each other, and to the place.

Father and son watching the game. Photo by Elise Williams. CCL-BI2017-EW-1683
Father and son watching the game. Photo by Elise Williams. CCL-BI2017-EW-1683

“Going to a community like that and noticing that there are so many things going on and people getting together – it opens doors and gives the feeling like you can belong to a place,” Janneth Gil reflected after completing the project. Like Janneth, all of the photographers discovered a vibrant and inclusive community in Bishopdale, and were humbled by the generosity people showed as they were invited into their homes, workplaces and clubs.

For Lucas Perelini whose only experience of Bishopdale before this project was Saturday morning rugby at Nunweek Park, he was inspired by the richness of life that exists in suburban Christchurch if you only pause to look: “Sometimes you can walk around a place and it doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot going on – but there really is. There’s so much going on that you can’t always see at first glance.”

Elephant slide, Bishopdale Park. Photo by Liam Lyons. CCL-BI2017-LL-7239
Elephant slide, Bishopdale Park. Photo by Liam Lyons. CCL-BI2017-LL-7239

The Christchurch Documentary Project is a collaboration between Christchurch City Libraries and the University of Canterbury, School of Fine Arts that began in 2015. Internship positions are offered to photography students in their 3rd or 4th year of study with the brief to create a documentary photographic record of a Christchurch community. The photographs are then included in the Christchurch City Libraries Digital Heritage Collection, acting as an important social record for generations to come.

Pamela Barrett, National Cat Show judge, with winner of the short haired cat division. Photo by Thomas Herman. CCL-BI2017-27-TH-4394
Pamela Barrett, National Cat Show judge, with winner of the short haired cat division. Photo by Thomas Herman. CCL-BI2017-27-TH-4394
Burnside Scottish Country Dance Club. Photo by Janneth Gil. CCL-BI2017-04-JG-5533
Burnside Scottish Country Dance Club. Photo by Janneth Gil. CCL-BI2017-04-JG-5533

Sam Ludemann,
Team Leader, Spreydon Library

The wahine who welcomed the visitors to Tuahiwi, North Canterbury: Picturing Canterbury

The wahine who welcomed the visitors to Tuahiwi, Christchurch Star, 4 Aug. 1922, p. 6.
The wahine who welcomed the visitors to Tuahiwi, North Canterbury. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 9, IMG0080.

Date: 3 August 1922.

“This was a week-long hui attended by Wiremu Ratana (1873-1939) and was the largest gathering of the Waipounamu Maori that had been held for many years. Its chief purpose was to discuss their claims over land taken from them in the past. Grievances were referred to as “Te hapa o nuitireni”, meaning promises made to them had not been fulfilled. Carrying bunches of broom, the three women headed a procession of women who welcomed the visitors, the waiata being led by the woman in the middle.”

Source: Christchurch Star, 4 Aug. 1922, p. 6.

The Ngāi Tahu Land Claim finally concluded with the signing of the Deed of Settlement on 21 November 1997 at Takahanga Marae, Kaikōura. The Ngāi Tahu Claim Settlement Act was passed into law the following year on 29 September 1998.

Do you have any historical photographs of Christchurch and Canterbury? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Ballantynes’ Fire 70th Anniversary – 18 November 2017

About 70 years ago, on 18 November 1947, should you have been wandering down Cashel Street towards Colombo shortly before four in the afternoon, you would have seen a strange sight: Ballantynes co-owner, Kenneth Ballantyne, climbing down the parapet of his storefront. Flames all around him, he is the last to escape the Ballantynes’ fire with his life.

41 other people were not so lucky.

Rescuing Mr. Ballantyne from the Burning Building on Colombo Street, Christchurch. CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0018.
Rescuing Mr. Ballantyne from the Burning Building on Colombo Street, Christchurch. CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0018.

This Saturday will mark the 70th anniversary of the Ballantynes’ fire. If you would like to learn more about the tragic sequence of events that unfolded in 1947, Christchurch City Libraries has a digital heritage resource containing transcripts and images, among other resources, to help you paint a picture.

Firemen at Ballantynes Fire 1947. Kete Christchurch. PH14-001.jpg Creative Commons License

Photos are our glimpses of the past, and you can browse spectacular photographs taken of the Ballantynes’ fire through the following sources:

Aerial View of the Gutted Shell of the Three-Storied Department Building. CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0016.
Aerial View of the gutted shell of the three-storied department building. CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0016.
Battling the Flames: Tense Firemen in Action. CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0017.

More resources about the Ballantynes’ Fire

Gallops – and they’re off and racing!

https://christchurch.bibliocommons.com/item/show/758060037_harrySaturday 11th November marked the beginning of the NZ Cup and Show Week 2017 in Canterbury. Every year during the middle of November, Canterbury celebrates the province’s anniversary holiday.

Will you be going to the A & P Show or having a flutter on the horses? I love the gallops events at Riccarton Park Racecourse. The thrill of their speed pumps my adrenaline.

Find out more

100 years ago: Canterbury Hall fire

“One of the biggest and most destructive fires experienced in the city in recent years took place last night, when the big block of buildings known as the Canterbury Hall, comprising His Majesty’s Theatre, the Alexandra and Victoria Halls, the offices of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, the offices of the Canterbury Industrial Association, and suites of offices used for other purposes, were practically totally destroyed by fire.” (Press, 12 Nov 1917)

A little after 8.30pm on 11 November 1917, clouds of smoke were noticed by passers-by coming from the roof of His Majesty’s Theatre in Manchester Street. Hugh Crawford, caretaker of His Majesty’s, lived on site with his wife and daughter. Crawford had been at home that evening but it was his wife, returning home after being out visiting, that alerted him to the sound of cracking. On opening a door to the theatre they saw the stage was on fire.

Within minutes, the Central Fire Brigade Station had been notified, and by 8.45pm the brigade were on the scene. The fire, thought to have started in the dress circle, was intense. After a portion of the roof collapsed, the fire moved to the auditorium, and through the windows the big pipes of the city organ could be seen burning fiercely.

By 9.40pm the fire had spread to the front of the building and the meeting rooms of the Canterbury A & P Association. Mr Pemberton, Secretary to the Association, who had been alerted early to the fire, had managed to save the books from the safe but the Association would lose its library, memorabilia and portraits of past presidents in the flames.

After this the fire steadily mounted, and by 11 pm the whole of the Canterbury Hall block was gutted.

Construction of the Agricultural and Industrial Hall (later the City Municipal Chambers) in Manchester Street [1900]. CCL PhotoCD 14 IMG0068
Construction of the Agricultural and Industrial Hall (later the City Municipal Chambers) in Manchester Street [1900]. CCL PhotoCD 14 IMG0068
Canterbury Hall (also known as the Agricultural and Industrial hall) was owned by the Canterbury Hall Company, a group that included the Canterbury A & P Association and the Canterbury Industrial Association and was erected in 1900. William Albert Paxton Clarkson and Robert Anderson Ballantyne, architects, had designed the building, while Rennie and Pearce were responsible for its construction.

His Majesty's Theatre, Christchurch. Webb, Steffano, 1880-1967 : Collection of negatives. Ref: 1/1-003987-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22770930
His Majesty’s Theatre, Christchurch. Webb, Steffano, 1880-1967 : Collection of negatives. Ref: 1/1-003987-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22770930

The hall hosted a number of events and receptions during its lifetime but its main event was the Jubilee Exhibition which opened in the hall in November 1900. By 1906 it was divided into three halls – the main hall was His Majesty’s Theatre, while the hall on the ground floor became Alexandra Hall, and the top floor hall was Victoria Hall. The building also housed the City’s Organ, purchased for the International Exhibition held in Hagley Park in 1906.

The municipal offices in Manchester Street, Christchurch. 1925. CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0083
The municipal offices in Manchester Street, Christchurch. 1925. CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0083

Over the years, the Canterbury Hall Company tried to sell the building to the City Council, but each time the proposal to purchase was defeated in a public vote of ratepayers.

Hayward’s Pictures used the hall for several years as a theatre, but in early 1917 after the last failure to secure the Council as a purchaser, a 10 year lease was taken out by Fuller Vaudeville Proprietary to run it as a vaudeville theatre.

When the hall, valued at £21,000, was lost to fire in November 1917, only the Manchester Street façade was left standing.

In 1918, plans were made between Fullers and the Canterbury Hall Company to rebuild a new theatre on the site – but these plans must have fallen through, as the empty shell of the old building stood on the Manchester Street site for another two years before Christchurch City Council bought it for the site of their new municipal offices.

Find out more about the history of the building and the fire:

Follow our tweets from @100chch to discover life and events 100 years ago in Christchurch and Canterbury.

Armistice Day – Will you remember them?

Now more than ever it is important that we remember. As we approach the 99th anniversary of Armistice Day, on Saturday 11 November, it is good to reflect on the enormous sacrifice of our forebears, lest we ever find ourselves at war again.

Armistice Day – Wreath Laying Ceremony
Bridge of Remembrance, Christchurch. Saturday 11 November

  • 10.45am Gather with the veterans if you wish to walk in the procession up to the bridge for the ceremony.
  • 10.50am Viewing public gather for ceremony at the bridge.
  • 11.00am 2 minutes silence will be held.
Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day. Head, Samuel Heath, d 1948 :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-007108-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22898377
Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day. Head, Samuel Heath, d 1948 :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-007108-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22898377

I grew up in Australia and I can still remember being told at school to sit in silence for a minute – and not fully understanding why. This followed by many silent but awkward looks around the classroom as one and all struggled to either remain silent; or willfully goaded their classmates into doing something that they would be reprimanded for. It wasn’t lost on me that it was out of respect for people that had fought in the war but what that means to me now is vastly different to what it meant to me then.

Fortunately, most of our children today have very little concept of war and the suffering it brings; as it is something far beyond their living memory. Even their grandparents are now the baby boomers rather than coming from a generation that lived through either of the world wars. Maybe because of this, you get the sense that recent years have seen a decline of recognition of such solemn occasions as Armistice Day. I honestly can’t recall a time in the last few years that I paused at work to mark the moment. With all of us attending to busy lives, 11am has simply passed without comment from everybody in the vicinity. And this is rather sad.

Armistice telegram. Kete Christchurch. Armistace_telegram.jpg
Armistice telegram. Kete Christchurch. Armistace_telegram.jpg Creative Commons License

I think we need to bring Armistice Day back into the spotlight. I think it would stand us all in good stead if we do have timely reminders of the loss, misery and horror that war represents. So let us not forget, let us always remember, let us instill these values into our children so they can lead the way for theirs.

Come down and see us at the library and we will be more than happy to share our numerous Armistice Day resources with you. Then gather up your loved ones and head over to the Bridge of Remembrance on Saturday 11th November. Arrive in plenty of time to get a good spot where you can share in this solemn occasion and quietly reflect at 11am for a minutes silence.

Lest we forget…

CoverCoverCover

Armistice Day

Read all about it!

We have added two new online newspaper archives to our collection, The International Herald Tribune and The 17th and 18th Nichols Newspaper Collection. You can search them individually or alongside our other collections of newspaper archives using Gale Primary Sources. Use these resources at a library or enter your library card & password/PIN.

International Herald Tribune Historical Archive 1887-2013


The International Herald Tribune Historical Archive, 1887-2013 features the complete archive of the International Herald Tribune from its origins as the European edition of The New York Herald and later the European edition of the New York Herald Tribune. The archive ends with the last issue of the International Herald Tribune before its relaunch as the International New York Times. The International Herald Tribune Historical Archive, 1887-2013 charts the history of the 20th century from luxury travel and opulent entertainment, to international conflicts, the spread of American culture abroad and globalisation.

The 17th and 18th Century Nichols Newspaper Collection


The 17th and 18th Century Nichols Newspapers Collection features the newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets and broadsheets that form the Nichols newspaper collection held at the Bodleian library in Oxford, UK. All 296 volumes of bound material, covering the period 1672-1737 are presented in digitised format here.
This collection charts the history of the development of the press in England and provides invaluable insight into 17th-18th century England.

More newspapers information

The Late Maka Makomako, A Ngāi Tahu Chief Of Tuahiwi, Kaiapoi: Picturing Canterbury

The Late Maka Makomako, A Ngāi Tahu Chief Of Tuahiwi, Kaiapoi. File Reference PhotoCD 9, IMG0077.

The late Maka Makomako, a Ngāi Tahu chief of Tuahiwi, Kaiapoi.

“Maka Makomako, who was over ninety years when he died, is believed to be the last of the twenty-six principal chiefs who sold the first block of the 400,000 acres in the South, in Otakou, now Otago. The deed executed between the natives dated 31st July 1844, in which they conveyed to Mr William Wakefield, agent for the New Zealand Company, the land in the districts known as Otakau, Taieri, and Mataura, estimated to comprise 150,000 acres for £1400, bears on it, among the signatures, the name of ‘Makomako’. In conjunction therewith are the names of Taiaroa, father of the late Hon H K Taiaroa, Tuhawiki [sic], Horomona, Pohio, and others. The sign manuals of the Maori owners of the soil were witnessed by John Jormyn Symonds, P M Frederick Tuckett, George Clark jun, Protector of Aborigines, and David Scott”

Source: The Weekly Press, 3 June 1908, p. 51.

Do you have any historical photographs of Christchurch and Canterbury? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

‘Let the spirit of our ancestors remain with us forever’

We are following the footsteps of our ancestors….we remember

We, the film audience, packed into Christchurch Art Gallery’s Philip Carter Auditorium like sardines. With all 178 seats in the auditorium taken, a few stragglers were quietly seeking spare seats. I was silently congratulating myself for arriving fifteen minutes early. I’m not usually scrupulous regarding time, often throwing caution to the wind, but I had no intention of missing out on a seat. It was obvious the choice of this final film of the year by the Canterbury Film Society (CFS), in conjunction with the Parihaka Papakāinga Trust, was proving to be a crowd pleaser and I’d been waiting a long time to see it.

Before the movie screened we were warmly introduced to Parihaka kuia Maata Wharehoka who presented the film and informed us of the Q&A session she would conduct after the screening.

Tātarakihi – Children of Parihaka – is named after the tamariki of Parihaka. Known for the sound of their chattering, the tamariki have been given the name ‘tātarakihi’ (cicadas). They have a special place in the history of the village. In 1881 the children of Parihaka greeted the invading Armed Constabulary with white feathers of peace, in accord with the philosophy of passive resistance taught by their two leaders, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi. Although the film is not a complete full story, it gives us some idea of what took place.

The lights dimmed down, a cloak of anticipation wrapped us. What followed was a 63 minute, deeply moving, cinematic experience. The film highlights an emotional, modern day pilgrimage taken by tamariki of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tamarongo. They, along with some of their elders, go on a road trip by bus from Parihaka to prisons around the South Island where hundreds of their ancestors were exiled and held captive. Parihaka men who were kept captive in often appalling conditions for nineteen years and forced to labour, constructing roads and buildings around Te Waka a Maui, the South Island. The tātarakihi also visit marae that took prisoners under their wing and urupā where tūpuna tāne are buried.

On their journey South prisoners were taken across Te-Moana-o-Raukawa/Cook Strait held captive in the hold of a ship. When the sea became rough, the ship was too heavy. Men were thrown overboard and warned they would be shot if they attempted to escape. Several drowned.

Back in Parihaka the Crown’s abuse continued. Within weeks crops were destroyed, stock killed, homes blazed to the ground. The colossal land grabbing ogre was alive and ravenous.

As much as this brilliant movie is a tribute to the tūpuna whose lives were sacrificed and the Parihaka Survivors of Peace, it is also very much the children’s stories. Narrated by the tātarakihi, footage of their hikoi is interwoven with their poetry, song, art and narration.This film is an inspiring and successful undertaking which educates the viewer and informs the unknowing about a deeply meaningful aspect of New Zealand’s cruel history – the Parihaka story and Taranaki land Confiscations of the 1860s.

When the movie ended, the crowd sat speechless for a moment or two. Before the resounding din of clapping filled the theatre. The next hour was spent asking questions and having them answered by Maata. In the end Māori were called to the front. She shared that many of us would have had our own tūpuna incarcerated from Parihaka. A hīmene was suggested. The whole audience stood and joined in.

Everyone joins in with the hīmene after the screening of the film

I left the theatre with red eyes. I suspect many others did also.

Since viewing ‘Tātarakihi – Children of Parihaka’ I’ve spoken to many people about the film. It’s astonishing how many folks know nothing about the Parihaka story. In fact, not a single one I’ve spoken with.

Christchurch City Libraries offers several fascinating books, for both young and old, that relate to this piece of our history. One can even listen to some music.

Repeat screening: Tātarakihi – The Children of Parihaka

Tātarakihi – The children of Parihaka is not available on DVD so can only be viewed at special cinema screenings. The next screening is at 2pm, Sunday, 5 November 2017 at Christchurch Art Gallery. No bookings, koha at the door.

Find out more about Parihaka

On our website

In our catalogue

Cover of Ask that Mountain Cover of Te Whiti o Rongomai and the resistance of Parihaka Cover of Remember that November / Maumahara ki tērā Nōema

Edward Aubrey and the Battle of Beersheba

The First World War Battle of Beersheba was fought in Palestine 100 years ago.

Our digital collection includes the diary of Edward Aubrey. He served from 10 February 1916 to 19 February 1919. He served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 19th Reinforcements, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade. Edward took part in the Battle of Beersheba, and was wounded on 5 November 1917. Part of his left leg was amputated.

Edward Herbert Aubrey : Soldier's diary CCL-Aubrey-1917-109
Edward Herbert Aubrey : Soldier’s diary CCL-Aubrey-1917-109

From his diary entries 4 and 5 November, and 12 and 13 November:

1917 November 4 Sun
Releived [sic] 6th MR.
heavy casualties here today
1917 November 5 Mon
Wounded 12-30 mid day

1917 November 12 Mon
Operated on again to have tubes put in my leg & knee fixed up a little
1917 November 13 Tues
Another operation on Nov 19th to have my leg off

Edward Aubrey spent the rest of the war in medical care in Egypt and Britain. He came back to New Zealand after the war and went farming in the Omarama area, on land won in a ballot as part of a Returned Soldiers’ initiative.

Read Edward Aubrey’s diary online

More about the Battle of Beersheba

WW100

Visit our page on WW100 – New Zealand’s First World War centenary commemorations