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.

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

The circumstances of this crime are unusual…

These were the words of the Crown Prosecutor, Mr A W Brown, during the opening of what might be the most notorious murder trial in Christchurch history.

Two teenage girls jointly accused of the murder of one girl’s mother. A brutal and tragic death. A sinister friendship. Family secrets revealed. A rejected insanity plea. Is it any wonder Peter Jackson thought the story of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme would make a good movie?

Newspaper image of Pauline Parker and Juliet HulmeIt was 61 years ago today that Pauline Parker’s mother was murdered during an outing to Victoria Park. In a newspaper article in The Press the following day she is described, rather barely, as “Honora Mary Parker, aged 45, of 31 Gloucester Street”.

Two months later Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme were standing trial for her murder.

Much has been written about the teenagers, the crime, and the trial but there’s something very immediate about reading the newspaper reporting of the day, when the revelations that came out during the trial were new information.

You can read contemporary reportage of the trial on our Parker – Hulme page.

More information

 

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.

It’s the Children’s Choice in the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are trying something new this year with an expanded Children’s Choice Awards. Children in schools from around the country have been given the opportunity to select their own list of finalists for the 2015 Children’s Choice Award.  More than 6,500 children and young adults from 106 schools from throughout the country have selected their own finalists from the 149 books submitted for the Awards  It’s an awesome opportunity and something that I wish I had had the chance to do when I was at school. I think it’s a great list and it’s good to see the difference between the children’s finalists and those of the judges.

Voting for the Children’s Choice is open now and closes on Friday, 31 July. This year there will be a winner in each category. We’ll be reviewing some of finalist books and interviewing some of the finalist authors here on the blog. Go and vote for your favourite book now.

Check out the finalist list for the 2015 Children’s Choice Award:

Picture Books

Junior Fiction

Non-fiction

Young Adult Fiction

2015 LIANZA Children and Young Adult Book Awards Winners

Cover of Conrad Cooper's Last StandThe award ceremony for the 2015 LIANZA Children and Young Adult Book Awards was held at the National Library in Wellington on Monday 15 June. The LIANZA Children and Young Adult Book Awards are awarded annually by LIANZA, the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, for outstanding books for children and young people.

Congratulations to all the finalists and the winners!  Here are the winners:

Grab a copy of these award-winning books at your library. To find out more about the LIANZA Children’s and Young Adult’s Book Awards check out our page on the awards.

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.