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

The Gig Guide: September 2016

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Music

The Church Tour 2016
Debbie Harwood, Hammond Gamble, Sharon O’Neill and Shona Laing (Image supplied)

Kids

Comedy

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: August 2016

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Music

Comedy

Cover of GiselleDance

  • Giselle, Royal New Zealand Ballet 23 & 24 August

In addition August features both the NZIFF and WORD Christchurch festivals

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: May to July 2016

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Music

Kidscover of Mister Maker Let's make more

Comedy

Dance

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: February to April 2016

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Music

Comedy

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

Railways, Recalcitrants and Rave-ups

When I bought my house in Addington, the real estate guru assured me it was an ‘up and coming suburb’. Of course, they all say such things, and it wasn’t the main reason for buying my house, but who would know it would take the earthquakes to push it into the status of  “the funkiest and most exciting post-earthquake neighbourhood”, according to the latest Lonely Planet Guide to New Zealand.
Photo of the Star Hotel Addington

The review goes on to say,

“Previously sleepy Addington is now being transformed with new cafes, restaurants, theatres and live-music venues.”

I have noticed quite radical changes, with old buildings torn down (many I admit I was not sad to see go), and many new cafes and restaurants bars opened that are the places to be seen, but the older less salubrious parts still remain. Huge new office spaces are being built and the Court Theatre  is doing very well in its new digs by the railway line. The suburb though is also developing a down side with increased drunkeness, and need for police presence on weekend evenings.

Photo of men at the A&P showMy Grandad worked at the Addington railway yards, fitting out the coaches for people to relax in on their journeys. I used to so love going to the Industries Fair they held as part of the A&P Show. This was held, weirdly, exactly on the spot my house is now. I feel as if I have come full circle in more than one way as my parents’ first flat after they married was a few blocks from where I live too.

The Addington Jail, was built 1874, in the gothic revival style so favoured in our city under the guidance of Benjamin W Mountfort. It has survived recent events, partly due to its 60cm solid concrete walls. It previously served as home to sentenced and remand prisoners, a women’s prison and  a military camp. Closed in 1999, it is now run  as a rather unique backpackers. New post quakes uses have been found for the former Woods Brothers flour mill in Wise Street. The Christchurch City Council has approved funding for restoration work, and the plan is to turn the wonderful brick building into an entertainment and social hub, further enhancing the suburbs growing reputation.

So I think I’ll stay for a while, and see what becomes of my hood. What changes are happening in your neighbourhood? Good, bad or sad?

Matinee idols and opera stars

photoDid you ever wonder what our forebears did for amusement? Was early Christchurch a cultural wasteland, bare of entertainment apart from the male preserve of the pub? Surprisingly the answer is no. There was a Theatre Royal in various guises from 1863, which hosted both amateur and professional theatricals.

A quick look through Papers Past reveals visits from such luminaries as English actress Mrs Scott Siddons in 1877 and opera diva Nellie Melba in 1903.

1905 bought something a bit different in the form of the Giantess Abomah known as the Amazon Giantess and the African Giantess, who traveled all over the world as the tallest woman in the world.

Hilda Spong star of screen and stage performed in 1912.

In 1914 a rather dishy matinee idol Julius Knight starred in A Royal Divorce.

There were in addition various Shakespearian plays, as well as musical productions by local opera societies and touring companies. Gilbert and Sullivan musicals were popular, along with choral recitals and the occasional full blown opera. There seem to have been several opera societies on the go – The Christchurch Opera Society was reborn several times, and The Christchurch Amateur Opera Society and Sydenham Opera Society seem to be operating at the same time.

At times the theatre was as heavily booked as we are used to it being, leaving no gaps between different performing groups. Nor did the Theatre Royal have the show all to itself. In 1879 for example, both the Gaiety Theatre and the Oddfellows Hall were also running shows, as this advertisement demonstrates. Even Lyttelton got in on the act, although their entertainments are a little harder to decipher from this distance.

Not too bad for a small town at the bottom of the world.

Make mine extra fluffy

Cover image for "Book Smart"You would probably have to tie me to a tree at the edge of a steep cliff and tickle my feet with a feather to get me to admit that I read literary “fluff”. Why is this so hard for me to disclose? I think I am afraid of being judged – “proper” librarians only read high brow literature, right?

Well, that’s a myth, and today I bravely stand up in this circle of book addicts to say:

Hello, my name is Oneder and I may, on occasion, indulge in trashy reads.

I need to make it clear, however, that I am not an addict. Most of my book choices would  meet the approval of the Literary Snob Society. But every now and again, I find myself craving a predictable plot with simple characters, your usual kind of humour and a dash of mushy romance. In other words, when things get a bit too dark and heavy in the world of contemporary fiction, I need my fix of light and fluffy.

At the moment I am reading Katie MacAlister. Her writing is very formulaic, full of clichés, and some of the love scenes  are so cheesy they are almost vomit-inducing; I know the book is silly but I love it anyway. It’s fun and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

This doesn’t mean I want to be seen with it in public, though. I might get teased. So I go to great lengths to hide my guilty pleasure. I bury my trashy reads under a stack of prize-winning literature on my bedside table. I use the self-check machine so my library colleagues won’t know what I’m reading, looking around me to make sure nobody is watching before hastily stuffing it into my handbag. And if I can’t fit it into my handbag, I carry it in a way so people can’t see the cover or easily read the blurb on the back (why is it that these books always have covers that scream trash, so they can’t be mistaken for anything else?!)

Maybe I shouldn’t be so embarrassed about some of my reading choices. Maybe people won’t point and laugh at me like I fear they might if I opened one of my trashy reads on the bus or in the staff room; they may not even notice, or care. I’m not ready to take that risk yet, though…

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Confession time:  Are there books you don’t want people to know you read? What are they?