Monday 19 September 2016 is Suffrage Day / White Camellia Day – On 19 September 1893 women in New Zealand got the vote, and the white camellia was the symbol of the suffragists.
Here in Christchurch, there’s a celebration honouring the achievements of women from 12 to 12.30pm by the Kate Sheppard Memorial on the corner of Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace. Mayor Lianne Dalziel will speak, and the Kate Sheppard Memorial Award 2016 will be presented. The finalists in the Lois Middlemiss Award will read their poems, including Beth Walters, Aranui High – “East Side Youth: Our Voice”. (info from The Christchurch Mail)
Join Women on Air for their celebration of Suffrage Day – and 20 years of broadcasting! -Wednesday at 7.30pm Middleton Grange. It will feature actress Helen Moran as Kate Sheppard and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson will read the maiden speech of Elizabeth McCombs, New Zealand’s first female MP. Michele A’Court will read a piece called “A letter to my daughter”.
Sunday 19 September is Women’s Suffrage Day – a celebration of New Zealand women getting the vote in 1893. The Kate Sheppard Memorial in Oxford Terrace celebrates some of our pioneering sisterhood.
Another group of leaders are Christchurch’s own Women in the Council Chamber and we have brief political audio biographies on Ada Wells, Elizabeth McCombs, the famed Mabel Howard as well as more recent councillors.
Our collection of Unsung heroines highlights local identities. These women were characters in all senses of the word. Bella Button – famed for her horseriding prowess – trained cats to jump like horses. Lizzie Coker, of Coker’s Hotel fame, was remembered as a ‘fantastic creature in elaborate wigs and huge fur coats’.
Other things to explore:
A brief diary written on board the Tintern Abbey en route from Gravesend to Christchurch, December 1874 – May 1875 by Mary Anne McCrystal, 1849-1929.
Elsie Locke – one of our Canterbury Heroes, her plaque reads ‘Political, social and local community activist, well-loved historian and writer, determined and doughty fighter for the rights of the under-dog, active to the end’.