Ballantynes’ Fire 70th Anniversary – 18 November 2017

About 70 years ago, on 18 November 1947, should you have been wandering down Cashel Street towards Colombo shortly before four in the afternoon, you would have seen a strange sight: Ballantynes co-owner, Kenneth Ballantyne, climbing down the parapet of his storefront. Flames all around him, he is the last to escape the Ballantynes' fire with his…
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A natural quartet

I've recently been delving into some "recreational non-fiction" reading! Recreational non-fiction is what you might call stories based on fact that read as easily as a novel. This can be particularly true of memoir or biographies, and I've come across four such titles that I would like to recommend to you, the Christchurch reading public…
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Paemanu: Ka Nohoaka Toi

Ngāi Tahu artists have transformed CoCA Gallery. On a recent visit I was captivated by the rock art images drawn on the walls. The drawings, by Ross Hemera, are inspired by ancient rock art. Fascinating pieces of sculpture and projections also rim the gallery walls and interior.  Ngāi Tahu artists from Aotearoa and around the…
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The Boat Runner

When you read Devin Murphy's immersive coming of age novel The Boat Runner, you are carried away into a world where doing the morally right thing no longer seems so straight forward. Devin Murphy spent eight years working on this debut novel, inspired by his own and his wife's family history. He draws on the…
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100 years ago: Canterbury Hall fire

"One of the biggest and most destructive fires experienced in the city in recent years took place last night, when the big block of buildings known as the Canterbury Hall, comprising His Majesty's Theatre, the Alexandra and Victoria Halls, the offices of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, the offices of the Canterbury Industrial Association…
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Zetland Arms hotel, Cashel Street, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

Date: 1902 Another of the early wooden hotels in Christchurch which was originally an eating house, later a hotel. The licensee from 1898 was John Fox (1836-1907). This building was condemned by the Licensing Committee in 1902 and plans for a new hotel were approved in March 1902. See: Early Christchurch Hotels compiled by Jim…
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Recent necrology, October 2017

Some well-known people who have died recently Fats Domino, 1928-2017 American pianist and singer-songwriter, a titan of early rock ‘n’ roll Roy Dotrice, 1925-2017 Chameleon-like British character actor Peter Godfrey, 1922-2017 Father of choral music in New Zealand Robert Guillaume, 1927-2017 American actor, known for his role as Benson in the TV series Soap and…
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