Christchurch City Libraries has held a Photo Hunt every October for the past 14 years. It aims to gather photographs, digital and physical, from across the community and to encourage people to share their photographs and stories of Canterbury.
This year’s theme was Our Stories: Milestones and Moments, which aligned with the Christchurch Heritage Festival theme. In total, we had 548 entries submitted and these are available to view on the Discovery Wall. The images can also be found on the Discovery Wall in Tūranga as well as on the Mobile Discovery Wall, which will be at Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre during the month of December.
They will also be available to view on our digital heritage repository – Canterbury Stories – very soon.
Photo Hunt 2022 winners
Donna Robertson, from the Web Team at the Christchurch City Libraries, was our guest judge and joined Sarah Snelling in selecting the winning images. They decided on an overall winner along with winners and highly commended for the categories of People and Places. They also selected a highly commended collection. Donna was a great help during the selection process and the judges chose some very deserving winners.
The judges commented that this year’s entries were unique in their own way and filled in some of the gaps in our digital heritage collection. We received images that portrayed a different take on photos we already have in our collection and others that were so visually striking that it was difficult to look away.
The Photo Hunt is continuing to be very well supported by the library and wider council staff. We received 267 entries from staff, which was great to see.
Special mention goes to the images of Queen Elizabeth II. We received quite a few of Her Majesty, which was lovely especially after her passing; they certainly show how much the people of Christchurch admired her.
Have a look at our 2022 Photo Hunt winners and highly commended below:
Overall Winner - Commonwealth Games, January 1974 to February 1974
Contributed by Susan Hanham
Judges’ notes: The story of the Mum making the outfits to wear to the Games, which align with the colours of the Commonwealth Games is fantastic. We do not have many images of the Commonwealth Games in colour so this is a great addition to our collection. It shows a great milestone for Christchurch as it hosted the 1974 Commonwealth Games, which has not happened since. It is an interesting photograph as it shows QEII Park as it was when it was first built and it shows the entrance and fountain and not the more common view of the stadium. It is also an appropriate photo as we near the 50th anniversary.
We would love more images that show the 1974 Commonwealth Games in colour! If you have any, you can contribute to our collection anytime by signing up to the Discovery Wall website. Otherwise, we can scan your photographs and return them to you. Please contact us at LibraryDigitalContent@ccc.govt.nz for more information.
Category Winner - People: Anisa MacLean at the Christchurch Botanical Gardens, 2000
Contributed by Anisa MacLean
Judges’ notes: Anisa had just moved to Christchurch from Iran when this photo was taken, which would have been a hugely significant milestone for Anisa. She has the slightly skeptical expression of someone getting used to a new place. Being located in the Townend House in the Botanical Gardens, home to glorious begonia displays, visually enhances this photograph. It is also great to have an image from 2000 as we do not have many photos from the 90s and early 2000s.
People – Highly Commended: Raymond Comfort and friends, January 1965
Contributed by Marie Grey
Judges’ notes: An interesting image showing Christchurch’s 1960s surf culture, a unique moment in time that is not well represented in our collection.
People – Highly Commended: The boys of Phillipstown, 1920s
Contributed by Norma McLaren
Judges’ notes: There is a lot to love in this image. It must have taken a lot of effort to get all of the boys lined up with the scooters that they made themselves. Children playing with their scooters is also universal because even now we see children using their scooters, nearly 100 years later in 2022.
People – Highly Commended: Marion Morris, 1957
Contributed by Emma Pounsford
Judges’ notes: A visually striking image with the red of her coat being echoed by the red of the rhododendron, which adds a little something extra to posing in the garden for a photo.
Category Winner - Places: Toboggan on Dyer’s Pass, 2011
Contributed by Irene Absalom
Judges’ notes: There is a bit of magic to this photo. It is visually eye-catching to have, amongst all of the white and darkness of a snowy day, the red of the tobogganer’s hat and the yellow of the bus stop sign to stand out. We are right in the middle of the action with the snow falling right in front of the camera. It is somewhat novel to get enough snow in Christchurch to actually toboggan like this so it is a great to have that fun and exciting moment captured here, especially after the 2011 Christchurch Earthquakes.
Places – Highly Commended: New Brighton Pier construction, August 1996
Contributed by Teresa Connor
Judges’ notes: The photo is showing two noteworthy moments in time at once. The construction of the new New Brighton Pier is underway after a 30 year delay (the original New Brighton Pier opened in 1894 but was demolished in 1965. Residents campaigned for a new pier to be built and it took over 30 years for it to come to fruition) as well as snow on the beach, which is relatively uncommon and a little odd to see.
Places – Highly Commended: Christmas River Carnival, 1941 to 1942
Contributed by Joan Swift
Judges’ notes: A wonderful image of a different take on a Santa Parade. It clearly shows the Avon Rowing Club, of which we do not have many images in our heritage collection. Taken during World War II, it shows people in celebration even during hardship.
Places – Highly Commended: Steamboat in the Christchurch Floral Festival parade, about 1960
Contributed by Bruce Harding
Judges’ notes: It is great to have a colour image of one of the many floral parades held in Christchurch. The colour makes it visually striking and it is lovely to see quite a lot of detail such as the different flowers on the steamboat, people watching on the balconies of the Farmers building and the clothing. It is also of interest as the Hay’s Steamboat was re-used and decorated differently for other parades such as the Christmas parades of which we have photos in the collection.
Highly Commended Collection - Helen Milburn family album collection, 1900s to 1980s (81 photographs)
Contributed by Helen Milburn
Judges’ notes: This contains a large amount of material of great quality. It demonstrates a very good family collection that contains images typical of what would be in a family album. The images from the 1980s have a familiar ‘look’ to them, and are of an era that we do not yet have much of in the collection, but they are now 40 years old!
You can view the full collection here
Every year, we encourage staff across the Christchurch City Libraries network and the wider council to submit their photographs and to tell their own stories. As stated above, we received a total of 267 staff entries. We were lucky enough to obtain photographs that were incredibly varied - from images of boats on Lyttelton Harbour to the damaged houses from the Christchurch Earthquakes.
Staff Category - Winner: Cuth Wilkins lecturing, 1953
Contributed by Ruth Wilkins
Voted by the staff at Content
Thank you to those who contributed this year. We received some really impressive images which tell the story of Canterbury and its residents very well. We cannot wait for next year and remember you can contribute to our collection anytime by signing up to the Discovery Wall website. Or we can scan your photographs and return them to you. Please contact us at LibraryDigitalContent@ccc.govt.nz for more information.