Arrivals and departures

The Universe can count itself lucky that there were no cameramen on hand to record my New Zealand arrival 15 years ago. Months of wailing, breast beating and sad partings had taken their toll. Add to that a Harare detour, a missed connecting flight and a night spent in a Perth Airport Transit Lounge, and what emerged at Christchurch Airport Arrivals Hall umpteen hours later was not a pretty sight.

However, I am looking forward to Christchurch Photo Hunt Competition, with its theme: Arrivals and Departures – the journeys that have shaped us.

Christchurch Photo HuntKiwis are great travellers, and worldwide there is a growing trend for people to live away from the countries of their birth. According to an article in the Jul/Sep 2015 Destinations magazine, approximately 3% of the world’s population live outside of the countries in which they were born. Frankly I would have put that figure higher given the teeming masses at the airports I frequent on my annual trips back home (wherever that may be). Maybe I am just seeing the same tired old passengers again and again?

If you are looking for inspiration to get your photographic juices flowing, we have masses of beautiful photography books, and I have a fair smattering of  of recent reads on the topic of coming and going – and running on the spot:

On coming home: Kiwis often travel out and wing their way back at some stage in life. Paula Morris has written an excellently researched little book on this topic: On Coming Home. It is a tiny book of only 76 pages about the author’s return to Auckland to look after her ageing mother, herself an immigrant. Arriving and departing is inextricably linked to our concept of Home, and this book comes with an outstanding bibliography. Norris’s mother sums it up like this:

My mother: I’m not a New Zealander.

Me: You’ve lived in New Zealand for forty years.

My mother: If I lived in China, would it make me Chinese?

Cover of The Other side of the WorldOn the lure of the new: The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop is the book I wish I had written. In this novel Charlotte uproots from Cambridge, England, to Perth, Australia, where her husband has landed a lecturing position. It is a book about people who just do not transplant well. People whose rope of yearning is so strong it starts to pull the corners of their mouths down. I have always known that I am not really a mover. Yet here I am. This book was written for me.

On to-ing and fro-ing: Justin Cartwright grew up in South Africa, but lives in England. Several of his books are about the pull that South Africa still exerts on him. Books like White Lightning, To Heaven by Water and more recently Up Against the Night. In Afrikaans (and indeed in the book White Lightning) he is disparagingly referred to as a “soutpiel”. This is a man who has one foot in England, one foot in South Africa – and I leave you to work out which part of his anatomy is in the salty Indian Ocean.

Cover of Island HomeOn staying put: My choice here is Tim Winton‘s latest book Island Home: A Landscape Memoir. This is a beautiful song of praise for how the land that we love makes us who we are – in this case the land is Australia. You get the distinct feeling from this book that Tim Winton would wither away if he had to live away from his beloved country.

But don’t think that you have to be the world’s greatest Frequent Flyer to enter the Christchurch Photo Hunt. Maybe you just went on a picnic from Sockburn to Spencer Park and you have a great photo of it. Maybe someone took your photo as you left on the bus from Worcester Boulevard (in the good old days) to take your place at Uni down south.

Help us flesh out the full panorama of all our arrivals and departures over the years. Every Picture Tells a Story!

Do you know us? Help us identify these people from Christchurch’s past

The photos submitted in our Christchurch Photo Hunt often come with great stories, making them images laden with memory. But sometimes, beautiful images come to us context free. See these striking images submitted last year.

These images were bought as a job lot of glass negatives in a garage sale. Christchurch City Libraries has made these fragile historical photos accessible by digitising the collection. Can you help identify the subjects of the photos or tell us anything more about them?

Family Group - Mother and Daughters. Kete Christchurch PH14-094.jpg
Family Group – Mother and Daughters. Kete Christchurch PH14-094.jpg

“Glass negatives are a wonderful example of how digitisation can really enhance access to images. Glass negatives were a very early form of photography, but one which is now both fragile and very hard to view in that format. However, when digitised the images show incredible detail and clarity and can very easily be viewed. So the Library is absolutely delighted to have these come to us through the Photo Hunt competition,” said Christchurch City Libraries Content Manager, Anne Anderson.

If you recognise any of the people in these images, please do tell and we can add to the story. See them all.

Portrait of a Young Woman. Kete Christchurch PH14-096.jpg
Portrait of a Young Woman. Kete Christchurch PH14-096.jpg
Family Group. Kete Christchurch PH14-095.jpg
Family Group. Kete Christchurch PH14-095.jpg

Join in the Christchurch Photo Hunt 2015, and win

Moments in time captured in photos can illuminate our history. Gathering and preserving these images for the future is the aim of the annual Christchurch Photo Hunt which closes on 31 October. The theme this year is Arrivals & Departures: the journeys that have shaped us and prizes will be awarded in each of two categories – people and places. Your photo doesn’t have to be old.

Entries can be submitted at a library, or online. If you send in original photos, they will be scanned, then uploaded to the community archive Kete Christchurch – the originals will be returned to you. Entries close at 5 pm Saturday 31 October 2015, and the winners will be announced on Friday 27 November.

<3 Christchurch Photo Hunt

I love the Christchurch Photo Hunt. And this month it’s happening once again. I can’t wait to see all the new photos go up on Kete Christchurch.

Past Photo Hunts have given us hundreds of images of families and friends celebrating everyday events and activities from around the Canterbury district. They are incredibly touching to browse. The annual Photo Hunt, going since 2008, is slowly building a fascinating photographic archive for us all to share.

One of my favourites from the 2014 Photo Hunt on Kete Christchurch is a shout out to the fifities. It’s all about the dresses, the shoes, the hair.

Railway office staff 1958
Railway office staff 1958 (CCL Photo Hunt) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

My favourite postcard from the 2013 Photo Hunt. Postcards and old cityscapes, just lurvely.

Golden thoughts [postcard]
Golden thoughts (Kete Site Admin) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
And a favourite picnic spot from the 2012 Photo Hunt.

Camping at Coes Ford
Camping at Coes Ford (CCL Photo Hunt) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

We can all support the Photo Hunt by sharing our photos. The theme for this year is Arrivals and Departures – The Journeys That Have Shaped Us, with two categories of People and Places.

It’s easy to share a photo/s this year. Pick up an entry form from Christchurch City Libraries or download it from the library website. Fill in the relevant information and drop the photo and form back to the library or submit the information using the online form. Entries need to be in before 5pm 31 October and all entrants go in the draw to win a tablet or E-Reader.

The photos are scanned by librarians and the originals are returned to owners. The digital copies are uploaded to Kete Christchurch for us all to browse and enjoy. These and past images are also accessible from DigitalNZ, an extremely useful website for researching family history.

Waiting for Fish and Chips, Scarborough
Waiting for Fish and Chips, Scarborough, Flickr HW10-Ce-124

A few years ago I submitted a family photo and am so pleased I did. My sister-in-law took it as the cousins were enjoying a “day out” in 1990. The children had spent the afternoon at Sumner beach and finished off the day swimming in Scarborough pool. They had been having fun, as cousins are prone to do, and the photo captured their excitement as they waited for fish and chips at the end of the day.

The cousins are now grown and have young children of their own. I can’t wait to share this unforgettable moment in time with our new family members.

Let’s share our photos with the Christchurch Photo Hunt and help preserve the heritage of Canterbury for everyone.

Heritage Week 2015: Sentimental journeys

Heritage Week logoBECA Heritage Week starts this week though it should more correctly be called “Heritage Fortnight” since this year it runs from 9-26 October – with an impressive range of events on offer (more than you could fit in a mere 7 days, even).

This year the theme is “Arrivals and departures – the journeys that have shaped us” and events over the course of the “week” include Akaroa’s French Fest, tours, seminars and talks, and heaps and heaps of other stuff. Check out the brochure of Heritage Week events [9MB PDF] for the full roster of heritage-goodies.

The big event on Saturday 18 October is a Central City Family Fun Day. All sorts of fun activities will take place at various “hubs” dotted about the inner city including face-painting, Highland Games, bouncy castle, ki-o-rahi (the traditional Māori ball game), music and performances.

Double decker busAs well as the entertainments there will be opportunities for people to investigate their own heritage with genealogists and whakapapa offering advice. And best of all, a free double-decker bus will be available to travel between hubs.

Have a look at the Family Fun Day map.

Library events

The library has a range of activities to celebrate our local heritage:

Spirited cemetery tours with Richard Greenaway 10-25 October (various locations)

Join Richard Greenaway, local historian and genealogist, on one of his colourful tours of local cemeteries. Richard will share information on the graves of people – important, interesting or about whom there is a positive,sad or quirky story. Useful for local historians, genealogists and those whose children need an original subject for a school project. Handout material will be supplied for a gold coin. Walking shoes recommended. Tours are one to three hours.

Explore your family connections Sunday 18 October – Victoria Square

Visit us at the Mobile Library Van to discover more about your family history. Staff will show you how to access resources where you can find key information such as births, deaths and marriages as well as migration and military information, or build on what you already know.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – Storytime on the Double Decker Sunday 18 October

Join Zac and Tania for stories, rhymes and songs all about transport as we ride on the double decker bus. Stories are best suited to children aged 3 to 7 years, caregiver required. Departs from Victoria Square, Armagh Street bus stop at 11 am and 12 noon. Bookings essential! Please phone 941 6649 or email libraryevents@ccc.govt.nz

Christchurch Photo Hunt

Photo Hunt 2015Our annual photo hunt takes place in October. As well as helping to boost important historical records, entrants are in line for some great prizes – an eReader or a tablet.

So dig out your photos of any and all modes of transport, people heading off on, or arriving home from trips big and small, images that document our travels, homecomings, and journeys of all kinds.

Entries can be made online, or by dropping into your local library.

Previous years’ photo hunt entries can be found on Kete Christchurch.

Take a trip with the 2015 Christchurch Photo Hunt

Since 2008, Christchurch City Libraries has been pursuing your old photos. Why? Because they are a fantastic record of local history. The pics go onto our Kete Christchurch – the repository of all kinds of Ōtautahi images.

This year’s theme is ‘Arrivals and Departures — The journeys that have shaped us’. We want your images related to this subject. You could win a tablet or eReader. Find out more, and enter in a library or online.

Christchurch Photo Hunt

There are four cool postcards you’ll spot in libraries – feel free to grab a few. They feature some top travel pics – perfect inspiration!

Christchurch Photo Hunt postcards
Christchurch Photo Hunt postcards [2.24MB PDF]

Akaroa Regatta
Regatta. Akaroa. 1907. Kete Christchurch 1907_Regatta_Ship_R_3391B.jpg
Boyce Refrigerated Truck being manoeuvred off the steamer Hinemoa
Boyce Refrigerated Truck being manoeuvred off the steamer Hinemoa, Kete Christchurch CCL-Kete001-002.jpg
London to Christchurch Air Race 1953
London to Christchurch Air Race 1953, Kete Christchurch IMG_0001.jpg
Waka, Okain’s Bay, 1977
Waka, Okain’s Bay, 1977.  Flickr HWC08-SO-101

Have a look back at Photo Hunts gone by: