Hard on the heels on World War One, the 1918 influenza pandemic was the worst health disaster of the 20th century. Worldwide, over 50 million people died and here in Aotearoa 9,000 New Zealanders lost their lives to the flu in only two months. What was it like? How did people deal with this disaster 100 years ago?
For 100th anniversary of the arrival of the pandemic in New Zealand, Christchurch City Libraries and the Lyttelton Museum have teamed up to tell this story in an exhibition detailing the local response in Lyttelton and Christchurch. They have brought together a fascinating range of images, artifacts and stories from that time and recreated a 1918 medicine depot complete with an inhalation device for preventative treatment!
This is a travelling display and will be featuring at libraries around Christchurch. The exhibition is on at:
- Papanui Library until Friday 9 November,
- Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre from Monday 19 November to Friday 7 December,
- South Library from Monday 10 December to Friday 28 December,
- Tūranga in January 2019.
If you’d like to read more about the 1918 influenza pandemic and the local response take a look at Geoffrey Rice’s Black Flu 1918 and Black November: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in New Zealand and information and images on our website.
The exhibition ran for two weeks until 27 October at Lyttelton Library and there were two fantastic free talks at the library:
- Tuesday 16 October 7pm to 8pm: Anna Rogers, who has written about WW1 nursing, will discuss the pandemic and New Zealand’s military medical contribution.
- Wednesday 17 October 7pm to 8pm: Dr Geoffrey Rice, acknowledged expert on the pandemic, will look at the question: could it happen again?