Women of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAFs) on parade at Harewood Air Force Station, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

Women of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAFs) on parade at Harewood Air Force Station, Christchurch [1941]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 15, IMG0095.
On 31 May 1941, forty-one women started in their positions as members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) at Harewood Air Force Station. At the commencement of their duties, it was expected that they would soon be joined by further recruits, bringing the total number of WAAF members serving at Harewood to one hundred and fifty, with another two hundred expected for the station at Wigram.

Do you have any photographs of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in Christchurch or of the Harewood Air Force Station? 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.

The Hanmer bath-house buildings for the hot pools at Hanmer Springs built in 1904: Picturing Canterbury

The Hanmer bath-house buildings for the hot pools at Hanmer Springs built in 1904 [ca. 1910]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 14 IMG0033.
Although known to Māori, and later used by local European settlers, a bathing facility at the hot springs in Hanmer Springs was not constructed until 1883 by the Government Lands Department. Ever since, the bathing facilities have featured in tourist promotions and guidebooks for Canterbury.

Do you have any photographs of Hanmer Springs? 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.

The timeless tradition of nearly forgetting Mother’s Day

The second Sunday of May. Or, this year, Sunday 13th May. A day which – much like birthdays and anniversaries – I usually forget until the last dire minute. Cue me rushing through the mall right before it shuts trying to find a gift both thoughtful and needed. A thing which, by the way, doesn’t exist when you’re looking for it.

The history of mother’s day can be traced back to its ancient roots. Spring celebrations in ancient Greece honoured Rhea, the mother of the gods, with offerings of honey-cakes, drinks and flowers. The ancient Romans celebrated their mother of the gods too – Cybele, or Magna Mater, ‘Great Mother.’ They built her a temple in Rome and over several days during the March equinox, the festival of Hilaria was held in her honour. Even the ancient Egyptians held their own annual festival in celebration of the goddess Isis – she being revered as the mother of Pharos and a divine symbol of motherhood.

In a more modern age, mothering Sunday in the UK (the fourth Sunday of Lent) became a day where workers could take time off to visit their mothers; and in the United States a woman named Anna Jarvis is credited with beginning Mother’s Day there from 1908, following the death of her own mother. (Find out more about the history of Mother’s Day at The Legacy Project)

These days, we don’t so much bother with honey cakes and the lighting of the ceremonial fires, but Christchurch City Libraries do have a wealth of material, images and resources to help us celebrate mother’s day the way it should be (with a good book).

We could start with this handy Staff Pickles list, along with some of my top picks:

Cover of Five forget Mother's DayCover of MiracleCover of MothersCover of Mother's Day on Coronation StCover of Mother's and Father's day treats

Here are some photos from Christchurch City Libraries’ digital collection of mothers being mothers in times past and present.

How were many Cantabrians celebrating mother’s day in 1984 you ask? By joining in a nuclear free parade, of course: 

Nuclear free parade, Akaroa, Mothers Day, 1984 from Kete Christchurch. Entry in the 2009 & 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Jan Shuttleworth. Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 NZ

And you thought that our Babytimes could get crowded:

Mothers and babies gathered outside St. Helen’s Hospital, Sydenham [1909]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0075
Adorable family standing in front of the United Services Hotel in the square: 

Mother and Daughters in Cathedral Square (early 1940’s). File reference: HW-08-CE-018. From Flickr.

On a final note, it can be observed that in our busy lives we often neglect to make time for ourselves. Could this be any truer than for the busy mother? Enter All Right? who have brought us a fresh new idea in the form of these popular downtime dice, to remind us to take time out for ourselves. Downtime dice can be nabbed (free!) in libraries, but get in quick – they’re going fast! Check out their website for ideas about downtime activities.

Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day!

Undergraduate students in gowns in the quadrangle on their way to lecture rooms, Canterbury College: Picturing Canterbury

Undergraduate students in gowns in the quadrangle on their way to lecture rooms, Canterbury College [1926?]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 14 IMG0085.
Founded in 1873, Canterbury College (now the University of Canterbury) was the second oldest university in New Zealand. The university was originally situated in the precinct of heritage listed buildings which is now known as the Christchurch Arts Centre prior to its relocation to the Ilam campus (beginning in 1961).

Do you have any photographs of Canterbury College? 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.

A section of Armagh Street, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

A section of Armagh Street, Christchurch [1899 or 1900]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 7, IMG0024.
Horses were volunteered by the public for use by the New Zealand Rough Riders in the South African War (1899-1902). Here sixty of them are seen being officially inspected outside the Rink Stables of W. Hayward & Co. at 199 Armagh Street. Fourteen of them passed all tests and were taken to camp that night. Fodder was supplied by George Treleaven & Co., produce merchants, of 193 Armagh Street and shipped to South Africa for the horses.

Do you have any photographs of Canterbury’s involvement in the South African War? 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.

The camel ride including two young travellers at the New Zealand International Exhibition 1906-1907: Picturing Canterbury

The camel ride including two young travellers at the New Zealand International Exhibition 1906-1907 [ca. 1906]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0005.
The three adult camels which offered rides to vistors to the New Zealand International Exhibition (1906-1907) were purchased in Melbourne, Australia. Prior to their departure to New Zealand, the camels gave birth. Accompanied by two baby camels, the three adult camels arrived in Christchurch in October 1906 onboard the S.S. Wimmera. After being unloaded they were conveyed to their destination by cattle trucks which were impractical given their long necks.

Featured as part of the “Wonderland” amusement park section of the exhibition, it cost 3d to ride a camel. The camel handlers were Aboriginal Australians from South Australia. The use of animals at the exhibition was inspected by representatives of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but it was found that the camels were not being mistreated.

The exhibition closed in April 1907, after which some of the “Wonderland” amusements were dismantled and removed to Wellington where they were put on display at Miramar. Although one of the camels died in June 1907, the rest were relocated to Wellington. Following the Miramar “Wonderland” show, one of the camels was given to the zoo in Wellington.

Do you have any photographs of the New Zealand International Exhibition (1906-1907)? 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.

The Camel Ride Including Two Young Travellers At The New Zealand International Exhibition 1906-1907

A glimpse of libraries past

As we move ever closer to the opening of Tūranga, it can be interesting to reflect and look back on how far libraries have come in the last few decades. Looking at our fabulous digital collections I hit a fascinating and poignant vein of images of Christchurch libraries past.

Particularly poignant is this image of staff in 1982 outside the new – now old – central library on the corner of Gloucester Street and Oxford Terrace. It feels very symbolic of change, and hope, and the unexpected – and was recreated in 2013.

IMG0091
Canterbury Public Library staff outside the new library building on the corner of Gloucester Street and Oxford Terrace [1982] File Reference CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0091
Another image shows behind the scenes views of Canterbury Public Library from the 1950s. Lots of stamping and binding and indexing going on! I’m glad to say that our wonderful Bindery is still going strong, but I think we look a little different behind the scenes these days – still heaps of books, but much more technology.

IMG0090
A behind the scenes look at the day to day activities of the Canterbury Public Library 
[1954]
File Reference CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0090
Two more views show cataloguing and processing in the 1960s and 1950s. We still do a considerable amount of cataloguing and getting items shelf ready, but we certainly don’t have tables like that any more, nor do we wear the legendary smocks!

IMG0092
The cataloguing and processing department of the Canterbury Public Library moved to the area that was formerly the bindery, who had moved to the ground floor of the library house next door in Cambridge Terrace 
[1967]
File Reference CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0092

Cataloguing and processing staff of the Canterbury Public Library in their workroom in Cambridge Terrace, 1953
Cataloguing and processing staff of the Canterbury Public Library in their workroom in Cambridge Terrace 
[1953]
File Reference CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0093
I love looking at photos like this. It’s great to look at where we have come from as we plan our move ahead into the future. However, as much as we have changed, some things do stay the same – piles of books and librarians working hard to connect you with wonderful content.

 

Dainty Inn, High Street: Picturing Canterbury

Dainty Inn, High Street by Patricia Scott, Kete Christchurch. StaceyBuildings-006. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Situated at 242 High Street, the Dainty Inn first opened in 1940 as a “milk bar and quick lunch business”. It was later purchased by James Michael Curnow (1922-2014) who ran it for 28 years. His recollections feature in Remembering Christchurch. Although it was not the only milk bar on High Street (the other being the Milky Way), part of its attraction was a pulley system which took orders to the kitchen. The business closed in 1989.

This photograph shows a glimpse of neighbouring booksellers Simpson & Williams at the right, with Evans Footwear and Princess Restaurant at the left.

Do you have any photographs of the Dainty Inn or High Street? 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.

Simpson & Williams, 238 High Street, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

Simpson & Williams, 238 High Street, Christchurch [1925]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0007.
This store advertised itself as “The busy booksellers, stationers and printers “. Envelopes, writing paper, pen and ink were provided free. Stamps could be purchased here, as could postcards of local and New Zealand views, magazines, etc.

The business had its origins in a printing and stationery firm, founded in 1862 by J.T. Hughes which, in 1878, was purchased by Alfred Simpson and J.S. Williams. The store remained in operation until 1972, with the printing business closing in the following year.

Do you have any photographs of High Street shops? 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.

Simpson & Williams, 238 High Street, Christchurch

A patient’s quarters at the Avon Pine Sanitorium at Wainoni on the New Brighton Road: Picturing Canterbury

A patient’s quarters at the Avon Pine Sanitorium at Wainoni on the New Brighton Road. [22 Apr. 1904]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0045.
The Avon Pine Sanitorium was established in 1904 on Professor Alexander William Bickerton‘s (1842-1929) land at Wainoni Park for fee-paying tubercular patients who were treated by the open-air method. It was formally opened by Sir Joseph Ward (1856-1930), then Minister of Public Health, and was under the charge of Dr. Cecil Greenwood (b. 1860/1861).

Do you have any photographs of Wainoni Park and its surrounding area? 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.