Beca Heritage Week 2017

BECA Heritage Week is back again, 13-23 October, and this year the theme is Plains, Port Hills and Peninsula – Finding our way.

Beca Heritage Week logo

The big event on Sunday 15 October is the City of Cycles family fun day, at The Arts Centre which will offer music, entertainment, and films as well as food vendors, vintage markets and… valet parking for bicycles!

Other events during heritage week will include talks, tours, classes on researching family history, and much more.

Pick up a programme flyer at your local library or find Heritage Week events online.

Library Heritage Week events

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

Exhibition – The lost cave baches

This exhibition will show photographs and tell stories of the Lost Cave Baches, located between the east end of Taylors Mistake and Boulder Bay. A booklet will be available with photographs and stories.

Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre
13-23 October during library opening hours

Lyttelton by Rail

In celebration of the opening of the Lyttelton Rail Tunnel 150 years ago, members of the public are invited to share their stories, memories and images of travelling on the Lyttelton to Christchurch passenger train. These memories will be collected and recorded in the Lyttelton Library by volunteers for the Lyttelton Museum. There will be an accompanying display of images and information about the Lyttelton Rail Tunnel at the Lyttelton Library.

Lyttelton Library
14 – 21 October during library opening hours

Entrance to a tunnel on the Christchurch railway [ca. 1868]
Entrance to a tunnel on the Christchurch railway [ca. 1868] CCL PhotoCD 18, IMG0029

City of Cycles Family Fun Day

Look out for library staff and the following events at City of Cycles family fun day, at The Arts Centre on Sunday 15 October.

Heritage Display

Come and see a heritage display reflecting Christchurch’s past in the Classics Building at The Arts Centre. Library staff will be on hand to answer your questions about our heritage images collection and our Christchurch Photo Hunt competition.

Storytime sessions

All aboard for a special storytimes adventure incorporating stories, songs and rhymes with a Cantabrian flavour (and plenty to please train fans too). Set inside a magical star tunnel, these sessions will run every half hour from 10am to 3pm in the Classics Building at The Arts Centre. Suitable for children aged 3-7 years. Bookings will be taken on the day.

Ride On: A pedal through Christchurch’s cycling history

An exhibition for those who love freewheeling. Here you’ll see a fascinating display illustrating Christchurch’s colourful cycling history. It will include heritage bikes on display, as well as images and historical research pulled from Christchurch City Libraries collections.

Book talks – Port to Plains; Over and under the Port Hills, the Story of the Lyttelton Railway Tunnel

David Welch, author of the recently published book, “Port to Plains; Over and Under the Port Hills, the Story of the Lyttelton Railway Tunnel” shares stories about the railway tunnel, the Bridle Path and  the section of the original Sumner Road, from Ferrymead via Sumner to Lyttelton. Participants are invited to join in an open discussion about local history and various research methods.

Lyttelton Library
Monday 16 October 6.30–8pm

Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre
Tuesday 17 October 3.30–4.30pm

Book Talk – Head of the Harbour by Jane Robertson 

A history of Governors Bay, Ōhinetahi, Allandale and Teddington, this immensely readable, impeccably researched and superbly illustrated book tells the stories of the families who settled at the head of the harbour, of the homes they built, of their relationship with the land and sea, their working and recreational lives. It traces the influence of well-known residents such as Thomas Potts, Hugh Heber Cholmondeley and Margaret Mahy. Author Jane Robertson has interviewed many residents and ex-residents, whose experiences and photographs enrich a book that is not just for those with connections to this special place, but for anyone interested in the history of Canterbury and of New Zealand.

South Library
Friday, 20 October 11am-12pm

eResource Tasters – Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry library edition logoAn introductory session on how to use Ancestry Library Edition, which is free within the library. Come and get some tips to help you discover your family’s history.
You will gain an overview of the wide variety of vital records from New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Europe and the United States from this eResource. Free, no booking required.

South Library
Thursday 19 October 11am-12pm

Christchurch Photo Hunt

Christchurch Photo Hunt Our annual heritage photo competition takes place in October. It’s an opportunity to contribute to the photographic record of our city.

So dig out your photos of local people, places or events. Entries can be made online, or by dropping into your local library.

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

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.

Bonjour French Fest!

No doubt like many of you, I grew up learning French at school. For seven years I practiced saying helpful phrases like Ouvre la fenêtre; and Il y a un autobus. I must have enjoyed it, because I then chose to study French at university. As a consequence, decades later, I can fake the BEST French accent, order coffee authentically, and pronounce the word croissant like a pro.

French Fest

My early exposure to French language and culture has also, however, left me with an enduring love for all things Gallic. So Akaroa’s biennial French Fest – happening this year from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th October – is a celebration I would very dearly love to attend. Malheureusement, I will be away that weekend, so I will be relying on all of you to do your best to pop over the hill and join in the celebrations.

And there’s a lot to celebrate – this year marks the 175th anniversary of the first organised European settlement. You can choose to mark the occasion by attending Friday night’s Fête des Lumières Street Party, or watch the following morning’s re-enactment of the landing of the settlers from the French ship Comte de Paris. Saturday also offers Le Jour du Marché, with a street market at the showgrounds, and on Sunday you can join in (or just watch!) a game of Ki-o-Rahi – a traditional Māori ball game played by two teams on a circular pitch that was taught to the French settlers.

As an added bonus, French Fest has this year partnered with Beca Heritage Week, and has the honour of offering the very first event in that festival’s programme. So much to see and do! Je suis jaloux that you will be able to attend – perhaps as a small favour I could ask you to bring me back a croissant, or possibly even pain au chocolat.

French books
French books at Central Library Peterborough. Flickr 2015-09-23-IMG_9541

Akaroa info

More French stuff

L'Hebdo magazine Cover of French Vogue Cover of Nina

Heritage Week a go go

IMG_2032BECA Heritage Week starts today – check out the rather splendid range of events on offer.

The big event on Sunday 19 October is Discover Central City. It is a day of family fun. There will be Tales for the kids on the Caterpillar in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens (book now on 9417923), and historic re-enactments in the newly-opened conservatories (yay Garrick House – with the crazy cactii and succulents- just re-opened today!)

You can enjoy free rides on the trams and events along the way. A retro zone at New Regent Street will feature bands, food, retro stalls, street tours and vintage motorbikes.

Library events

The library has a range of activities to celebrate our local heritage and the theme of: Making Connections — Experience our past – present – future:

  • Tales on the Caterpillar – Kids get to ride on the neat Botanic Gardens caterpillar and have stories as they ride. Sunday 19 October (book now on 9417923)
  • Adult storytram with Joe Bennett regaling you as you ride. Sunday 19 October (book now on 9417923)
  • Cemetery tours with Richard Greenaway.

Holding onto home – Friday 17 October 6pm at Canterbury Museum

The First World War seeped and stormed into every aspect of New Zealander’s lives. The things that survived – a crumpled theatre ticket, a knitting pattern, a crucifix made from rifle cartridges – bring this distant event back into our hands today. Join Te Papa history curator, Kirstie Ross, as she talks about the importance of things in maintaining individual, family and local identities during a conflict that was global and globalising. Her talk will focus on some of the stories featured in her new book, Holding on to Home, co-authored with social historian Kate Hunter.

The Berry Boys Project – Saturday 18 October 2pm at Sydenham Room, South Library

Since 2011, Te Papa’s history curator, along with university interns, volunteers, genealogists and members of the public, have been on the trail of the identities are 120 First World War soldiers who were photographed at the Wellington studios of Berry & Co, prior to their departure for war. Join Te Papa history curator, Kirstie Ross, as she shares about the detective work undertaken to reveal the identities of more than 90 of Te Papa’s ‘Berry Boys’. Bookings essential. To RSVP please phone 941 5140. You are invited to provide a gold coin donation.

Finding my First World War soldier – Saturday 18 October 3pm at South Learning Centre Lab

Finding my First World War soldier [2.4MB PDF]
Finding my First World War soldier [2.4MB PDF]
Searching for New Zealand biographical and service details during the First World War

Join a workshop with Christchurch City Libraries staff, who will introduce a range of New Zealand digital resources that will help you unravel the mysteries of your First World War photographs and official records. This is an introductory session for those just beginning to research their family war history. Follow-up workshops or support may also be offered to interested participants.Bookings essential. To RSVP please phone 941 5140.

Christchurch Photo Hunt 2014

The photo hunt takes place in October. As well as helping to boost important historical records, entrants are in line for some great prizes – one of two iPad minis or a Kobo ereader.

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

Feeling reconnected with heritage

Logo of Reconnect Heritage EventsLast week I attended the Heritage Forum which was one of the events kicking off the Reconnect Heritage events weekend. There were a number of presentation that brought us up to date with heritage buildings and projects in Christchurch and Waimakariri.

Attendees found out about the progress of the digital earthquake archive Ceismic. This is a great source for anyone looking for first-hand earthquake stories, images and recollections in a variety of formats and from many sources, including Christchurch City Libraries. One (of many) collection of note is the digitised copies of The Press from September 2010 to February 2011 inclusive, plus 14 June 2011 and 22 February 2012.

It was great to hear how work is progressing on the Arts Centre. The project to restore the complex is going very well – keep up to date on their Tumblr page. I was fascinated to hear Brendan and Victoria’s presentation about the restoration of their heritage home in Lyttelton. They had just finished restoring their house when the first earthquake struck and following February and June had to go through the whole process again with additional bureaucracy.

View of ChristChurch CathedralChristchurch now has a unique opportunity to explore its archaeology and Underground Overground Archaeology are making the most of this. Fascinating tales revealed from clues left behind by Christchurch residents can be found on their blog – find out about hotels, life for children and the Canterbury Club, as well as many more. Quake City is Canterbury Museum‘s earthquake attraction, telling the story of the quakes through objects including the cross from the top of the cathedral spire and the Godley statue.

Next we heard about the status of some heritage buildings in the Waimakariri district. Focusing on Kaiapoi and Rangiora, we heard how many heritage buildings have been lost, such as Blackwells and the Rangiora Masonic Lodge, or are likely to go, such as Kaiapoi’s Bank of New Zealand. However, Waimakariri District Council’s Landmarks scheme is being developed to research and celebrate surviving and lost heritage buildings.

Lyttelton MuseumAfter their building was severely damaged in the February earthquake Lyttelton Museum had to salvage their entire collection, in collaboration with the Lyttelton Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Air Force Museum of NZ. This collection, and many others made homeless by the earthquakes, is now being taken care of at the Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre based at the Air Force Museum.

I had to leave before I could hear the presentation about post-quake Akaroa, but I really enjoyed hearing about what is being done to preserve the region’s built heritage, remember the earthquakes and uncover more about Christchurch’s past.

Bring on the heritage!

How do you plan to participate in Heritage Week (21 – 31 October)? Christchurch City Libraries is celebrating with  a whole month of free heritage-inspired activites, including ancestry and family history workshops. But the question remains: have you ever taken the plunge into genealogical research?

For her recent novel, Past Perfect, New Zealand writer Karen Zelas has done just that, travelling as far afield as Rochforte, France and as close-to-home as the Christchurch Central Library. Like the heroine in her book, Zelas ended up in the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre here at Central — a specialty family history area with genealogical research facilities.

Past Perfect weaves together two Canterbury stories — one set in 1840s Akaroa and the other in modern-day Christchurch. In my recent interview with Zelas, she discusses the “very enjoyable, even compelling” research process. Without having undertaken genealogical research before, Zelas took the plunge in an effort to make her character’s process as authentic as possible, unearthing all the relevant historical information she needed for her novel.

Zelas was scheduled to attend the “Hot off the Press” session at this year’s Press Christchurch Writers Festival. Disappointment was rampant when the festival was cancelled. So here’s a bit of a post-festival fix. Read my full interview with Karen Zelas and bring on the heritage for CCL’s Family History Month!

Naming Christchurch – Local street and place names

”]Cars, bicycles and a bus create a busy scene at the Bank corner, Christchurch [ca. 1930]Want to find out how and why Christchurch streets and places got their names? Christchurch street and place names is the resource for you. It aims to give the origins of Christchurch street and place names. Information has come from published works and anecdotal information.   

It is researched and regularly updated by Margaret Harper (Aotearoa New Zealand Centre, Christchurch City Libraries) and if you would like to contribute, please contact us.   

Did you know Antigua Street used to be called Windmill Road?  It is one of the original streets of Christchurch, named by surveyors Joseph Thomas and Edward Jollie. The names of these original streets were taken from bishoprics listed in Burke’s Peerage, and included familiar streets like Antigua, Barbadoes, Cambridge, Cashel, Chester, Colombo, Durham, Gloucester, Hereford, Kilmore, Lichfield , Madras, Manchester, Montreal, Oxford, Peterborough, St Asaph, Salisbury, Tuam and Worcester.   

Dardanelles living – Image of the Week

At the Dardanelles during World War One, 1914-18.

At the Dardanelles during World War One, 1914-18

“A striking photograph of a corner of ANZAC where New Zealand troops were stationed”. This is a view of sandbagged living quarters at Gallipoli.

Do you have photos of Christchurch? 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.

We want your photos!

2009 Heritage Week poster

Christchurch City Libraries is inviting the public to be part of a gathering and documentation of historical photos on peace and conflict in Christchurch from 14 September until 23 October. We are collecting images of Canterbury’s involvement in peace and conflict over the years and will publish them on the libraries’ Flickr site. This year we are looking at three broad themes in fitting with this years Heritage Week: Life at Home, Away from Home, and Peace and Remembrance. So gather up those photos and send them in! The Christchurch City L ibraries Photo Hunt 2009 is open from 14 September until 23 October and is part of the Beca Heritage Week’s ‘Doves & Defences’ celebrations. Winners will be announced and contacted on the 2nd November 2009.

Image of the week

Womens’ Royal Army Corp Parade

Womens’ Royal Army Corp Parade

1940’s. Parade of the Womens’ Royal Army Corps  at Burnham Camp. The woman second from the front is my mother Joan Gundersen (nee Gott). She was a Sergeant Major.

Christchurch City Libraries is inviting the public to be part of a gathering and documentation of historical photos on peace and conflict in Christchurch from 14 September until 23 October. We are collecting images of Canterbury’s involvement in peace and conflict over the years and will publish them on the libraries’ Flickr site. This year we are looking at three broad themes in fitting with this years Heritage Week: Life at Home, Away from Home, and Peace and Remembrance. So gather up those photos and send them in! The Christchurch City L ibraries Photo Hunt 2009 is open from 14 September until 23 October and is part of the Beca Heritage Week’s ‘Doves & Defences’ celebrations. Winners will be announced and contacted on the 2nd November 2009.