Knowlescourt, 274 Papanui Road, 4 March 2011, north facade: Picturing Canterbury

Knowlescourt, 274 Papanui Road, 4 March 2011. Kete Christchurch. Knowlescourt__274_Papanui_Road__4_March_2011___north_facade. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

The former house at 274 Papanui Road, known  as “Knowles Court” was built in 1910 for Christchurch solicitor, Thomas Gregory Russell and his wife Doris. It was designed in the Arts and Crafts architectural style by John James Collins of the firm Armson, Collins and Harman. The interior of the house was later converted into flats. Although a heritage listed building, having sustained damage during the Canterbury earthquakes, the house was demolished in 2011.

Do you have any photographs of 274 Papanui Road? 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.

Black Swans on the Estuary, October 2011: Picturing Canterbury

Black swans on the Estuary October 2011 .
Swans and other birds on the South Brighton Estuary. Photo taken 12 October 2011 by Donna Robertson. File Ref: Black_swans_on_the_Estuary__12_October_2011_325.jpg , Kete Christchurch, CC BY-NC-SA 3.00

In August 1864 the City Council’s Committee on Swans decided to import black swans to help control watercress in the Avon/Otakaro River. However the swans preferred a different habitat and soon left for other areas.

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

What a great whānau day!

10AFFIRMLast Saturday was a busy day in the Christchurch eastern suburbs, with the traditional Christmas parade in New Brighton and AFFIRM  in Aranui, you could not be bored.

AFFIRM is a fantastic community event for all ages  – my favourite this side of Christmas –  and in this tenth edition it was clear that there still is a strongly united neighbourhood in Aranui.

Everybody enjoyed the “Aranui Top Team” competition, some of the tasks the teams had to do were hard but made all the supporters and spectators laugh, have you ever watched a multi-person sack race? It is quite amusing!

At the Christchurch City Libraries’ tent people had the opportunity to record their earthquake memories in the Plains FM recording POD, they will be added to the CCL’s permanent collection as it is such a special part of our city’s history. Have you donated your earthquake story yet?

The Pasifika performances from local groups got us all dancing and Ladi6 paid homage to her origins by giving it all on stage.

Kia kaha vibrations were in the air.

Affirm Aranui

Affirm 2009Head to Wainoni Park on the December 3 to enjoy Aranui Affirm Festival. The festival runs from 9.30am-4.00pm.

The festival has been going strong for a decade but this year feels more important than ever thanks to Aranui’s mighty community which is ready to showcase its unity and many talents. It is all about family and celebrating Aranui’s community more than ever because of the hard times they’ve gone through

From a morning haka to its own Top Town contest, they’ve got it all covered. Be ready to be entertained for free with a full stage from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm, including a performance by Kiwi hip-hop princess Ladi6. There will be cultural performances and community awards. All five local schools will be performing.

The festival supports the White Ribbon movement against domestic violence, this year with a Top Town competition.

Don’t forget to come and visit the Christchurch City Libraries stall where we can tell you all about the forthcoming brand new Aranui Library!


There is more, but don’t wait – buy a ticket now!

LogoYes, two proposed festivals were cancelled, but The Press Christchurch Writers’  Festival isn’t going to let a few earthquakes stop local audiences hearing the words of some of our best writers.

In July, August and September the festival is bringing some entertaining, challenging and thrilling literary events to Christchurch.

On Wednesday 27 of  July Rachael King and Lloyd Jones will be in conversation about The Silence Beyond: Selected Writings of Michael King. In this new book,  Rachael has assembled a collection of her father’s wide-ranging, often personal essays, talks and eulogies, some previously unpublished,  highlighting the full scope of talents of one of New Zealand’s greatest modern thinkers.

coverOn Sunday 7  August  Owen Marshall will be talking talking to broadcaster Ruth Todd about his subtle and compelling new novel, The Larnachs. This  tale of intrigue, morality, judgement and scandal draws on the family history  of James Ludie Lanarch – the politician and self-made man who built the famous ‘castle’ on the Otago peninsula. It is a memorable piece of fiction from one of our most talented authors.

I’ve already blogged about Tess Gerritsen and John Hart Setting the Stage for Murder as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival on Sunday 21 August. I’m so excited about Gerritsen I had to be restrained from telling  a woman on the street in Cheviot  with a copy of Girl missing about this event – apparently sharing such useful information with strangers is beyond tragic.  After Gerritsen and Hart discuss their latest novels there will be the presentation of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel by a New Zealandwriter in 2010, with the finalists all reading excerpts from their thrilling tales.

What’s For Pudding?  is the question Kate Fraser, food editor of The Press, will be posing to Alexa Johnston on Wednesday 31 August. Following on from the success of Johnston’s best-selling Ladies a Plate, her new collection of  tried and true recipes will be a selection of sweet treats that have graced New Zealand tables for generations. Apparently the choice of hot and cold puddings reflects the changing social habits in a century of cooking in New Zealand. Social habits have changed so much in my household that the question is what is pudding, not what is for pudding, so some tips might be timely.

I’m also really looking forward to Putting Words to the Feelings on Sunday 18 September, when five writers with strong Canterbury links – Fiona Farrell, Joanna Preston, Tusiata Avia, Carl Nixon and Charlotte Randall – reflect on their experiences of the Christchurch earthquake and how the reimagined landscape of the city and its surroundings will emerge within their writing.  This will be presented as part of Christchurch Arts Festival.

Which is your must-see session?

At the end of The Empire

Lyttelton demolitions: The end of The Empire
The Empire Hotel in Lyttelton was demolished yesterday. It was one of several recent building take-downs on London Street. View more of this set of photos on flickr.