As described by the Photo Hunt entrant in 2016, “This is my father and mother on Sumner Beach just before dad went for about (I think over) four years to the Second World War. They married just before he went. The war affected them both as my mother said it was like a stranger she met after four years. I feel the beach photo shows a vulnerability of the unknown to come in both their faces. I think she was opening her purse to get her lipstick for the photos!”
Highy Commended entry in the 2016 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt.
Do you have any photographs of people’s lives in Christchurch during the Second World War? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.
About Photo Hunt
October is Photo Hunt month at Christchurch City Libraries. We invite you to share any of your photos and help grow the city’s photographic archive. All entries must be received by 31 October.
Share your photos and help us to create a true picture of our city’s rich history. Anyone can contribute.
Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre is currently open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays. Extended weekend hours start on Saturday 18 August and mean the library will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, boosting access to the popular centre.
“Matuku Takotako is the centre of the community, and local residents have made it very clear that they want seven-day access – especially those who work and go to school outside the area during the week,” Christchurch City Council Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson says.
The new library, community centre and museum Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre opens tomorrow Saturday 19 August 2017. After the opening ceremony, Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre will be open from 3pm to 4.30pm. You can explore this new facility, and borrow items from the library collection.
Today we had a look around this newest Ōtautahi community space just before it opens, and were totally wow-ed. We’re sure you will be too. Here are some of our highlights:
These artworks were designed by Fayne Robinson (Ngai Tahu), Christchurch and refer to the surrounding landscape, cultural narrative …
Take along a piece of paper and crayons or pencils – you can take rubbings off a series of rubbing tiles throughout the building.
A pakohe (argylite) touchstone carries the design of the landscape through the plinth and up onto the stone, which is also reflected in the mural, to ground it to its location.
Fab fresh collection
There’s a lot of pretty new stuff on the pretty new shelves. Looks sharp!
Old into New
This beautiful table is made from kauri from the old Sumner Library, & upstairs is reclaimed kauri and rimu. ^DR pic.twitter.com/f591ldEpVa
View 1958: This is taken from a clay bank, looking down over the Sumner Gasworks on the corner of Wakefield Ave and Truro Street, Sumner. We lived in the stoker’s old home showing at the top left of the GasHolder ( which is still there today). Probably a rare view of the Gasworks which really doesnt seem to have had many photos taken of, apart from by our family who lived there about 45 years. The accompanying photo of my painting ( with the much smaller Gasholder ) is of the opposite view from our front door area.
View 2010: Triggered by the Sept 4 2010 Quake, I painted this watercolour of the Sumner Gasworks, which was situated on the corner of Wakefield Ave and Truro Street. My Dad, Roy Bradley, was a stoker there for 23 years from 1937 and stoked the last retort on Mon 20th Feb 1961. The Stokehouse was Demolished in 1970.
This is the View I lived with for 20 years. Is from our old home, the Stoker’s house next door. Painted mainly from memory with the help of a pencil sketch of my dad’s, and the background of a photo of family member. I’ve painted the Gas Holder much smaller than it was (artistic licence) as you will see in the other photo.
The painting view was just painted in 2010 but from sketches, old photo and memory. It is not how the Gasworks looked in 2010 as it was closed in 1960 and gone with-in a year or 2. I’d say the view I painted could be also dated as 1958 ( but painted 50 years later).
Date: 1958, 2010
Entry in the 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Margaret Norwood.
Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.
Construction is due to start in August on a combined library, community facility and museum in Sumner to replace those lost as a result of the 2011 earthquakes.
The building will include a library, museum exhibition and storage space as well as a hall (with stage), and kitchen facilities.
The design draws inspiration from the local landscape, incorporating natural timber, the colours of the seaside and architectural features from the demolished Sumner Community Centre. The facility will open next year.
All the design decisions have been made but one crucial piece of the puzzle is still missing and you can help. We need a name for this new multi-use facility. So if you’ve got any thoughts about what we should call it, please submit your idea. Submissions are open until 12 June and the best suggestions will be open for a public vote with a winner announced in July.
We are looking for a catchy name with environmental, historical or cultural relevance to the Sumner area.
When I first moved to Christchurch, there were very few wall murals and the outdoor sculptures were just statues of monarchs or founding fathers. For my art fix, I headed off to the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, tucked in behind the museum in the Botanic Gardens. It was a lovely building, full of many wondrous works of art. It was too small and could only have a fraction of its collection on display. I was delighted to visit the new Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu in 2003. My favourite pieces were on display and there were galleries full of paintings I had never seen before.
When the earthquakes struck and the gallery was closed, I thought it would be years before I saw art in Christchurch. I was wrong. It seamed that every smooth wall and every spare space made way for art.
The road to Sumner became an art gallery when all the shipping containers got decorated. When I arrived in Sumner, almost every container, fence and wall had been pimped out.
New Brighton and Lyttelton were the next colourful destinations. What could have been depressing road trips became an adventure. I wanted to see what the locals had in store.
The ruined buildings in the central city became the canvas for many artists, and they made walking through town much more enjoyable that it could have been. The Justice Precinct has copies of works of art on the wall. Copies of paintings are on a wall on Moorhouse Avenue.
Everywhere I looked, there was a mural on a wall. Unfortunately, a mural on Barbadoes Street has almost disappeared because of the construction of a new building. I expect I’ll be waiting a long time to see it in all its glory again.
Re:START Mall is pretty colourful. I think I can count that as a work of art.
Gap Filler created works of art too. They really are almost sculptures. The spaces created were unexpected and made me smile.
I have missed the Art Gallery and I am looking forward to wandering through its rooms again. However, when it was closed, I realised one important thing: Christchurch is an art gallery.
Kiwis love the sea and luckily we have a chance to properly celebrate it every year with Seaweek. The theme for Seaweek this year is “Look beneath the surface – Papatai ō roto – Papatai ō raro”.
There are lots of Seaweek events that Cantabrians can head along to:
Bring along your 2 – 5 year olds to swashbuckling ‘Stories by the Sea’ – discover what lies beneath the surface of our oceans. Session are on Tuesday 3 March 10:30 – 11 am at New Brighton Library and Thursday 5 March 10:30 – 11 am at Parklands Library. These events are free!
Attend the Akaroa Seaweek: Schools’ Debate at the Akaroa Bowling Club on Wednesday 4 March. Akaroa Area School is debating “The land is more important than the sea” with Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery.