Cathedral Balloons, Kidsfest 2007: Picturing Canterbury

Cathedral balloons, 2007.
Balloons in the Square for the opening of Kidsfest 2007. File Reference:MeOp-PH14-cathedral-balloons-2007.jpg. Entry in the 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Melanie Opie. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 NZ.

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

Government Life building in Cathedral Square – opened 17 July 1964

On 17 July 1964 the Government Life Building opened in Cathedral Square. One of my favourite photos in our entire collection is this one of its construction –Workers on top of Government Life. For me, it is the Ōtautahi version of the famous Lunch atop a Skyscraper (New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam).

The Post Office tower is dwarfed in this view, taken from the top of the Government Life Insurance building in the Square.  [Mar. 1963] CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0059
The Post Office tower is dwarfed in this view, taken from the top of the Government Life Insurance building in the Square. [Mar. 1963] CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0059

That iconic clock has been a landmark of the central city – when it was turned off lots of us missed looking up to see the time (and the temperature).

Government Life Building showing clock 12:45 4 July 1963 CCCPlans Government-Life-11-2
Government Life Building showing clock 12:45 4 July 1963 CCCPlans Government-Life-11-2

In the 1965 photo above, you can see it is 1:52pm.

Christchurch Cathedral Junction and Woodwards Corner, Kete Christchurch Christchurch Cathedral Junction and Woodwards Corner, 1965. Kete Christchurch

Post earthquakes, Mike Hewson’s artwork Government Life Suspension reflected the building back for us.

Government life art by Mike Hewson. Tuesday 22 January 2013. Flickr: CCL-2013-01-22-IMG_2308
Government life art by Mike Hewson. Tuesday 22 January 2013. Flickr: CCL-2013-01-22-IMG_2308

The Government Life building was demolished in 2014.

Government Life building. Wednesday 18 June 2014. Flickr: 2014-06-17-IMG_0287
Government Life building. Wednesday 18 June 2014. Flickr: 2014-06-17-IMG_0287

Government Life demolition
Government Life demolition. Thursday 16 October 2014. Flickr 2014-10-16-IMG_2635

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Korean Day is back!

Korean Day is coming back again this year. It will take place in Cathedral Square between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 29th November 2014.

Korean Day 2013 - Dancer
Performer at Korean Day 2013.
Christchurch City Libraries, CCL-2013-11-30-Korean-Day-2013 IMG_8266.JPG.

This special day first started in 2013, when it had the distinction of being the first public event held in Cathedral Square after the February 2011 earthquake. This was an important milestone in the reintegration of Cathedral Square in the cultural life of the city.

Korean Day has quickly become an important cultural event on the Christchurch calendar, as well as being the biggest event for the Korean community in the whole South Island.

The organisers of the day, the Korean Society in Christchurch, see the event as an opportunity to help build strong ties with other local communities through collaborative performances.

The day promises to be a unique showcase of shared artistic values. You can look forward to traditional Korean dancing, as well as music and pieces by guest performers. A special guest will be Park Choon-Hee, Mayor of Songpa-gu, Christchurch’s Korean Sister City. And of course there will be lots of delicious food to sample, and plenty of entertainment for the whole family.

Korean Day Display
Korean Day display at Upper Riccarton Library

So make sure you don’t miss out this fun opportunity to let go of the daily stresses and to recharge your batteries – come along and get a chance to experience Korean culture!

Hope to see you there!

Jo Yang
Network Library Assistant

Government Life building in Cathedral Square – opened 50 years ago today

On 17 July 1964 the Government Life Building opened in Cathedral Square. One of my favourite photos in our entire collection is this one of its construction. workers on top of Government Life. It is the Ōtautahi version of the famous Lunch atop a Skyscraper (New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam).

The Post Office tower is dwarfed in this view, taken from the top of the Government Life Insurance building in the Square.  [Mar. 1963] CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0059
The Post Office tower is dwarfed in this view, taken from the top of the Government Life Insurance building in the Square. [Mar. 1963] CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0059
That iconic clock has been a landmark of the central city – when it was turned off lots of us missed looking up to see the time (and the temperature).

Government Life Building showing clock 12:45 4 July 1963 CCCPlans Government-Life-11-2
Government Life Building showing clock 12:45 4 July 1963 CCCPlans Government-Life-11-2

In the 1965 photo above, you can see it is 1:52pm.

Christchurch Cathedral Junction and Woodwards Corner, Kete Christchurch
Christchurch Cathedral Junction and Woodwards Corner, 1965. Kete Christchurch

Post earthquakes, Mike Hewson’s artwork Government Life Suspension reflected the building back for us.

Government life art by Mike Hewson. Tuesday 22 January 2013. Flickr: CCL-2013-01-22-IMG_2308
Government life art by Mike Hewson. Tuesday 22 January 2013. Flickr: CCL-2013-01-22-IMG_2308
Government Life building. Wednesday 18 June 2014. Flickr: 2014-06-17-IMG_0287
Government Life building. Wednesday 18 June 2014. Flickr: 2014-06-17-IMG_0287

The Government Life building is currently being demolished.
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A busker with a banjo entertaining in Cathedral Square, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

busker
A busker with a banjo entertaining in Cathedral Square, Christchurch [1927] Christchurch City Libraries, File Reference CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0060

A newspaper vendor in Cathedral Square, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

newspaper vendor
A newspaper vendor in Cathedral Square, Christchurch [1927] Christchurch City Libraries, File Reference CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0039

A shoe-shine man reads a newspaper while waiting in Cathedral Square for customers: Picturing Canterbury

A shoe-shine man reads a newspaper while waiting in Cathedral Square for customers, Christchurch
A shoe-shine man reads a newspaper while waiting in Cathedral Square for customers, Christchurch Christchurch City Libraries, File Reference CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0061

A sandwich-board man advertising dancing shoes in Cathedral Square: Picturing Canterbury

A sandwich-board man advertising dancing shoes in Cathedral Square, Christchurch
A sandwich-board man advertising dancing shoes in Cathedral Square, ChristchurchChristchurch City Libraries, File Reference CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0041

Busking along into NZ Music Month

No busking in the Square at present but there will be a banjo or two twanged during  NZ Music Month 2013 performances at our libraries. Come along and enjoy the diverse range of musicians who are making our city a more enjoyable place to be.

busker in Cathedral Square

Time’s up for another splendid building

View more Plans of Christchurch Buildings