Parklands at play – Sunday 19 February

One of the great things about living in Parklands is there are lots of parks. Great if you have children who like to swing, slide, run or need a safe place to ride a bike. Fantastic if you want to take a walk or go for a run. The Parklands Reserve on Queenspark Drive is big and a perfect place for children to play. It’s located near the Parklands Library, so there is another plus.

If you are in Parklands on Sunday 19th February, come over and join the fun. If you have a bike, pedal along for a bike check and try the bike obstacle course. Local sports clubs will be there so you can have-a-go. A great way to try a new sport and maybe join a local club. Kelly Sports and Waimairi Golf Club will be there, so you can try SNAG and putting golf.

Would you like to try out the bubble balls and mega slides? What about pedalmania or table tennis? Did you enjoy watching The Karate Kid and secretly wish you could learn karate? What’s Zumba?

The pre-schoolers are welcome too with Toy Library ride-ons, story time, bouncy castle, messy play and face painting.

Do you own a ukulele? Have you always wanted to try one? Then join in with the Ukulele band. Maybe you prefer the sound of brass. Have a go at playing wind instruments provided by Northwest Brass Band.

By now you are probably feeling a bit tired and hungry. There will be food for sale including a Devonshire Tea tent.

Will I see you there? I hope so. I’ll be the one with the camera.

  • If you want to go outside and play games, we have books that have great ideas.
  • The library has books, magazines and e-resources on sport. You can also do a Subject search for your preferred sport.
  • To join a sport club, check out CINCH.

The courage to write

Cover of A Way of LoveCourage Day is held on 15 November each year. It is the New Zealand name for The International Day of the Imprisoned Writer. The day acknowledges and supports writers who defend the right to freedom of expression.The day also stands as a memorial to writers who have been killed because of their profession. It was started in 1981 by PEN, the international writers’ organisation.

The New Zealand Society of Authors named the event after Sarah Courage and her grandson James Courage. Sarah wrote Lights and Shadows of Colonial Life: Twenty-six Years in Canterbury, New Zealand. This book was not well received by her neighbours. They didn’t like how she portrayed them. The neighbours burnt the book.

James Courage was born in Amberley and educated at Christ’s College in Christchurch. His novel A Way of Love was banned because he dared to express homosexuality in his writing prior to the setting up of the Indecent Publications Tribunal in 1964. He has a plaque on the Christchurch Writers’ Trail outside his old school.

It takes a lot of courage to write a book that challenges our society’s views on what should or should not be in print. It takes even more courage to defend that right even when faced with persecution, imprisonment or death. As Heather Hapeta, previous chair of the Canterbury branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors, once said, ‘This New Zealand name of Courage is also appropriate because of the bravery required by those authors who face opposition in its many forms’.

On the 15th of November, let us celebrate the author’s right to write and the reader’s right to read.

Find your Kiwi soldier

Cover of Tracing Your First Worls War AncestorsIt was 100 years ago that soldiers from Germany, France, and Britain and her colonies went to war in a part of France and Belgium that was once known as Flanders.

It wasn’t long before the war had spread to Russia, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa. Thousands of men went to war and, although most came home, many did not.

Many of you will have an ancestor that took part in this great and terrible war. If you want to know what happened to them, we can help you. We just need a name.

  • Archway is a search engine for Archives New Zealand. With Archway, you can find your soldier’s personnel files. It’s not just soldiers listed in Archway. You will also find information on army nurses, deserters, defaulters and conscientious objectors. The files also include medical records, which are interesting to read if your soldier was sent home sick or wounded.
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a database commemorating those who died during the two world wars. I have tried searching using full name, but I have had very good results using last name and initials. Information on cemeteries and memorials make planning a trip to visit the grave easy.
  • Cenotaph Database has been created by Auckland Museum. It is a biographical database of New Zealanders who served in the military. It is a great database to use; type in the surname, the first name and the war. You should then find information about your soldier.
  • Cover of  Onward: Portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary ForceSome of these databases even have photos of your soldier. If they don’t, there is a book that you might find useful. Onward: Portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force by P. J. Beattie contains over 4,000 photographs of members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
  • Visit the library and we will help you. At the Shirley library, for the month of December, we have the use of an Apple iMac. This Apple iMac is a computer that has a selection of databases that will help find your soldier. If you don’t get the opportunity to use the iMac, don’t worry, the information can be found on our website. The iMac will go on tour around our libraries, so it might appear at a library near you soon.