The magic word ‘Anzac’

On 25 April we will stop to remember those who served in the conflicts New Zealand has participated in, from the world wars to Iraq and Afghanistan, via Korea, Vietnam and others, and not forgetting New Zealand’s 19th century wars and the Boer War. There is much to remember, and this year the focus will […]

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We need to talk about America…

Statue of Liberty

Not that we haven't been doing just that for the last few months, but there's so much to say. America fascinates and repulses me. I couldn't live there - not just because I would eat all the food - but it is a fascinating place to observe, and we are fortunate to generally be able […]

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Tell me a story

Joe Harawira of Te Reo Wainene o Tua

Stories are essential - without them nothing really has any meaning. But stories and meaning and knowledge are being lost all the time. We were honoured to have Charles Te Ahukaramū Royal as one of our presenters. He spoke about how the exact meaning of some words to describe Māori types of story has become unclear, […]

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Beautiful but doomed: Ted Dawe’s Devon Santos

Ted Dawe

Ted Dawe is coming to the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival this month, so I thought I'd better get up to date with his latest book Into the World, the final entry in his Devon Santos trilogy (although chronologically it is the middle instalment). Into the World joins together 2003's Thunder Road, a fast-paced […]

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Remembering a disastrous day – The Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme lasted from July to November 1916. The New Zealand Division became involved on 15 September at Flers-Courcelette, which was their first major action on the Western Front. While the casualty figures for the whole battle are horrendous for all nations involved, those for the opening day of the battle for […]

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Frank Worsley – a local hero

Winter snow

It is just over a century since Frank Worsley, Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean reached a whaling station on remote South Georgia following a daring 16 day voyage to alert the world to the loss of Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition's ship Endurance. Because of this journey the rest of the crew - stranded on Elephant Island […]

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The Battle for Crete

World War II soldiers marching

This May sees another 75th anniversary from the Second World War with great significance for New Zealand. From 20 May to 1 June 1941 Allied Forces, including the 2nd New Zealand Division, took part in the ultimately unsuccessful but fiercely fought battle for Crete. That April the Germans had invaded Yugoslavia and Greece and as they had quickly occupied […]

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In which Katherine indulges her weakness for Lord Byron

Pocket Watch and book

It is always a great feeling to discover a book that you didn't really know anything about before you picked it up and find that you can't put it down. Recently a new book, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club caught my eye. The synopsis looked promising - young adult urban fantasy set in […]

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A small piece of Christchurch’s Antarctic heritage

Scott memorial, corner of Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace, Christchurch : the Clarendon Hotel can be seen on the left next to the Public Trust Office [194-?

Christchurch has many links with Antarctica, both modern and historic. This November sees the 105th anniversary of the ill-fated Terra Nova expedition sailing from Lyttelton. Led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott and officially known as the British Antarctic Expedition, the expedition ended in disaster when the polar party perished on their way back from the […]

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