Foundation stone laid for a memorial on Anzac Day

After the ‘Great War’ ended, there were many competing ideas for a permanent war memorial in Christchurch. Options discussed were varied and included a museum, a monument, a new tram shelter in Cathedral Square or a hospital ward. Vigorous debate around the suitability of the options often played out in The Press in letters to the Editor.

One very popular suggestion that came to fruition was initially offered by Lilian May Wyn Irwin in a letter to the Editor of the Press on 24 July 1919. This was to retain the arches that were created for the Peace celebrations held the previous week and combine these with a memorial bridge at the site of the Cashel Street Bridge. This was an appropriate location as all Canterbury soldiers would have crossed this bridge as they were coming and going from the King Edward Barracks.

A War Memorial Committee was created and after much campaigning and fundraising, the foundation stone for the Bridge of Remembrance was laid on Anzac day in 1923.The days’ proceedings followed a formal order of ceremony with the Governor General Viscount Jellicoe laying the foundation stone and addressing the crowd.

The Bridge of Remembrance took just over one and a half years to complete, officially opening on Armistice Day, 11 November 1924, and is the only memorial arch on a bridge in New Zealand.

Lord Jellicoe addresses those in attendance, foundation stone ceremony, Bridge of Remembrance
[25 Apr. 1923] CCL PhotoCD 15, IMG0014

Upcoming First World War exhibitions

Halswell Heroes Exhibition Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre

9 April to 6 May
Staff from Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre, Upper Riccarton, and Spreydon libraries share their research from the war stories
of men who enlisted from the Halswell area. Ready either to live or die valiantly, these are the stories not only of the men who died during the war, but those that came
home to live, their stories just as valiant as the men who never made it home.

Sumner Boys Exhibition Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

25 April to 25 May
A collaborative display of research on the war stories of men who enlisted from the Sumner area. Stories and photos are included of soldiers on the roll of honour located on the
wall outside Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre.

More about the Bridge of Remembrance

Zetland Arms hotel, Cashel Street, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

Zetland Arms hotel, Cashel Street, Christchurch [1902]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0026.
Date: 1902

Another of the early wooden hotels in Christchurch which was originally an eating house, later a hotel. The licensee from 1898 was John Fox (1836-1907). This building was condemned by the Licensing Committee in 1902 and plans for a new hotel were approved in March 1902. See: Early Christchurch Hotels compiled by Jim Watson.

Source: Canterbury Times, 7 May 1902, p. 36.

Do you have any photographs of Canterbury hotels? 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.

Cashel Street, 14 December 2009: Picturing Canterbury

Cashel Street - 14 December 2009.
File Ref:Cashel_Street_-_14_December_2009__DSC08393.JPG. Kete Christchurch CC BY-NC-SA 3.00 NZ.

The City Mall was opened on August 7, 1982.  Also known as Cashel Mall, it was reinvented following the 2010/2011 earthquakes as Restart Mall with retail businesses housed in recycled shipping containers. This image shows it as it was prior to the earthquakes, bustling with people and a new sculpture by Neil Dawson, whose Chalice also features on the banners.

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

Cashel Street, 1946 : Picturing Canterbury

Cashel Street, 1946. Christchurch City Libraries, CCC-AFStacey-010

Drag and drumming – A Farewell to the DIC

The music and piano department on the ground floor of D.I.C.The Christchurch branch of the Drapery Importing Company (DIC) began advertising its wares in 1885. The original building burnt down in 1908 and a new one reopened in 1909 (oh for such speed in rebuilding) and it continued operating successfully until 1978 when it merged with the next door Beaths (later Arthur Barnett.)

The DIC used to be one of the triumvirate of big department stores in Cashel Street, the others being Beaths and Ballantynes. My first memory of it as a child is of going into a gloomy high-ceilinged room that was the children’s department. It was all very Are You Being Served, except much darker. High on the shadowy walls, groovy 60s dresses in neon colours were displayed on mannequins. There was something strangely surreal about it.

In my last two years at school I got to see a different side of the building during a holiday job in the accounting department. Hidden from the public and emerging from behind the temporary divisions, I was surprised to see quite a fine building.

My farewell memory to the DIC was in an empty upstairs area of the building which was converted into a performance venue for the duration of an Arts Festival. Here the gloomy interior came into its own. It was the perfect cabaret location.

Following some rather timid local jazz musicians, Gareth Farr burst onto the stage as Lillith LeCroix in a flamboyant red dress and followed his drag act with a world class session of drumming. It was a memorable goodbye to a building which held a lot of memories.

Do you have any memories of the DIC building? Share them here.

Canterbury Flour Mills – Image of the week

C. W. Turner’s Canterbury Flour Mills, circa 1870.

C. W. Turner's Canterbury Flour Mills

Source: Illustrated guide to Christchurch and neighbourhood / M. Mosley.

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Also contact us if you have any further information on any of the images. Want to see more? You can browse our collection.

Anzac Day inspection – Image of the week

Lord Jellicoe inspects the First Canterbury Guard of Honour, Anzac Day, foundation stone ceremony, Bridge of Remembrance. 25 April 1923

Lord Jellicoe inspects the First Canterbury Guard of Honour, ANZAC Day, foundation stone ceremony, Bridge of Remembrance

Do you have photos of Christchurch places or events? We love donations. Contact us

Also contact us if you have any further information on any of the images. Want to see more? You can browse our collection here.

Image of the week

The Bridge of Remembrance with Cashel Street in the background. [1930-?)

The Bridge of Remembrance with Cashel Street in the background

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Image of the week

Woman serving expresso coffee at Fails Cafe 82 Cashel Street, near the Bridge of Remembrance c. 1955

Woman serving expresso coffee at Fails Cafe, 82 Cashel Street, near the Bridge of Remembrance

One of the only coffee machines in Christchurch at the time.

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