Thursday, April 30, 2009

Christchurch Cycling Craze #10 - Nurse Maude Association, District Nursing

Nurse Maude's District nurses, with their bicycles, utside South Durham St District Nursing Office, Christchurch, 29 August 1914. Reference Number: 1/1-005293-G. Alexander Turnbull Library.

District nurses, in uniform and with their bicycles, outside the South Durham Street headquarters in Christchurch. Left to right they are: E Browne, Sister Constance, M Palmer, M Rogers, Sibylla Emily Maude, D Savory, L Laing and Tolerton. Taken by the Steffano Webb Studio on the 29th of August, 1914.

Sibylla Maude, 1862-1935, born in Christchurch but who later trained in nursing in England returned to become matron of Christchurch hospital. She was the first to establish a system of district nursing in Christchurch after she chose to practise nursing rather than continue to deal with the dead hand of hospital bureaucracy. (See Nurse Maude's biography at the NZ Dictionary of Biography.)

Concerned for the health care of the poor, especially the aged and infirm, Nurse Maude set up an office in South Durham Street in the working class suburb of Sydenham in 1896 and in 1901 formed the Nurse Maude Association to provide in-home nursing for those in most need.

In the early days carrying out her practice on foot, burdened by her equipment and supplies, Nurse Maude and her nurses eventually were provided with a horse and cart for transport then bicycles. Apparently in later years she received a car but her driving was reputed to put other road users in fear of their lives.

In addition to in-home care, Nurse Maude established camps for the treatment of
tuberculosis until a sanatorium could be built and in the 1918 Influenza epidemic she was placed in charge of coordinating nursing services.

Nurse Maude, circa 1900. Canterbury City Libraries

The Nurse Maude Association continues to carry out Nurse Maude's mission today with community, acute, and hospice nursing care. Several generations of this bird's extended family have both benefited from and contributed to Nurse Maude's good work for which he is sincerely grateful. The work of such communitarian organisations helps bridge the sometimes yawning gap between private effort and state largesse.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Christchurch Cycling Craze #9 - The 1918 Influenza Epidemic

A nurse leaving a sub-depot on her daily round of visits, during the 1918 influenza epidemic, Christchurch [1918]. The Weekly Press, 4 December 1918. Christchurch City Libraries.

In the influenza pandemic between October and December 1918, New Zealand lost about half as many people to influenza as it had in the whole of the First World War.

The death toll had topped 8600 before the pandemic subsided in December, with Maori affected disproportionately with an overall rate of death of 42.3 per thousand people, seven times that of the European death rate of 5.8 per thousand people.

The flu's impact on communities was uneven too. Some were hit hard while others escaped without much loss. The most consistently lethal sites for death from influenza were the military camps such as those at Featherston and Trentham where the rates were 22.6 and 23.5 deaths per thousand people respectively.

With the medical profession already stretched to the limit by wartime conditions with many doctors and nurses serving in the military abroad, volunteers were called upon to serve in providing medical care, food service, transportation, funeral and burial services. The bicycle provided the means for volunteers and nurses to make house calls upon the ill & dying at a time when quarantine regulations and the lack of manpower prevented transportation to hospitals and temporary treatment stations.

Walter Ford Gibbs (1893-1918), Kuaka's great uncle, was one of 458 Christchurch residents to die of influenza.

Walter Ford Gibbs, 1893-1918

Like many of those most severely ill or who died, Walter was young. In early November 1918, Christchurch was crowded with people attending the Show weekend races and as a cab driver Walter would have no doubt appreciated the increased business. But the large crowds were the ideal breeding ground and transmitting device for influenza.

After becoming ill, Walter was transported from his home at 20 Melrose Street, a small side street just south of Bealey Avenue to Christchurch hospital. He died there on 14 November 1918. Two days later he was buried in an unmarked grave in the Sydenham cemetery in Simeon Street. He was just 25 years old.

It wasn't until towards the end of the century that a modern generation "re-discovered" Walter and restored him to family memory.

Friday, April 24, 2009

ANZAC Day 2009

For Grandpop, and his brothers, who served in the Big One.
He sold poppies for the RSA on a Christchurch Street corner
until he could no longer.

And for Uncles Eddie and Leslie who served in the Other Big One,
dodging Rommel's Panzers in the dead of night in the North African desert.

What stories you might have told if I'd been but a bit older.

In Flanders Fields

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The poignant story behind the poem here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lest We Forget - National War Memorial & Carrillion - Wellington - ANZAC Day

National War Memorial & Carrillion Tower, Wellington, 2009
Formerly the National Museum & Art Gallery, the site has become the Wellington campus of Massey University.

Lest We Forget - Lyttelton - Those Who Also Served, ANZAC Day

Their final resting place, one lasting look over the port that was their life.
Lyttelton, 2007.

In memoriam to those whose lives were shortened or traumatized by their wartime service in the years of peace that followed and to those who died while serving in the merchant marine in wartime.

And to those who dealt with the anguish and pain of never seeing sons, fathers, husbands, brothers, and chums ever again. And to those who lost daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and friends.

Lest We Forget - The Lyttelton Anzacs, Anzac Day

The War Memorial, Lyttelton, New Zealand, 2007

To this memorial we might add those whose lives were shortened or traumatized by their wartime service in the years of peace that followed and those who died while serving in the merchant marine in wartime.

Lest We Forget - Sumner, Christchurch ANZAC Day

Sumner, seaside suburb of Christchurch, ocean front Boer War Memorial to Sergeant H A Rule and Trooper G E Wiggins, two Sumner men who died of enteric fever in 1900 while serving in New Zealand forces fighting in the Boer War in South Africa.

Sumner ocean front memorial to those Sumner lads who served in World War One.

Lest We Forget - New Brighton ANZAC Day

New Brighton War Memorial,
Christchurch, 2009

A solitary seagull serves as sentry to the dead, facing into the prevailing nor-easterly off the Pacific, a mere stone's throw from the memorial.

The Bag Lady of New Brighton, Christchurch, 2009

The Bag Lady, with her trademark hat of many mini stuffed animals, passes by the War Memorial to her right. The New Brighton public library & pier lie behind her, with the equally trademark clock tower in left background.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Message In a Bottle at New Brighton

Sea Bass at New Brighton. They were fishing them out at a rate of 100 per hour...

What Tommy Taylor, prohibitionist and Mayor of Christchurch, 1911, hoped wouldn't wash up on the beach at New Brighton.

Doffing my hat to Canterbury Heritage which has an anti-wowser postcard posted here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Christchurch Cycling Craze #8 - Woman With A (Cycling) Cause

Unidentified "Lady" Cyclist, Lancaster Park, Christchurch, circa 1896
Lantern slide, probably by A E Preece, Pioneer Amateur Sports Club, Canterbury Public Libraries

Resplendent in her "rational dress" this unidentified woman cyclist looks the photographer dead in the eye with a determination to meet whatever lies up ahead on the Lancaster Park cycling track and in wider society.

By 1896, in the short few years since their formation, the Atalantan Ladies' Cycling Club and the wider suffragist movement had made it possible for this young woman to compete in race events and increasingly ride in safety on city streets.

Indeed, she had probably contributed her own considerable share to the cause.

The rest, as they say, is history...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Christchurch Cycling Craze #7 - The Atalanta Ladies' Cycling Club

The Executive Officers of the Atalanta Cycling Club for Women. The officers were Miss Blanche Lough, later Thompson (1847-1963) (Captain), pictured standing in the centre; Miss Keating (Sub-Captain); Mrs Alice Meredith Burn (Hon. Secretary), pictured on the right; Miss Barker (Hon Treasurer). Committee members were Mrs Kate Sheppard (1848-1934); Miss Bertha Lough, pictured seated in the centre; Miss F Adams. Christchurch City Libraries

The Atalanta Cycling Club was formed by twin sisters Blanche and Bertha Lough and friends in Christchurch in 1892 to organise day trips and longer tours as well as picnics and balls. It was named after Atalanta, the female athlete in Greek mythology.

Clearly of an independent spirit and keen to blaze new trails for women, a number of the Atalantans were to rise to prominence beyond their cycling activities as the observant, knowledgeable reader will note. Blanche (Lough) Thompson was to become a social reformer: she participated in the free kindergarten movement, was active in the Red Cross, served in soup kitchens during the 1918 Influenza Epidemic and became the first woman to win a motor car driving competition in New Zealand.

The most famous member of the Atalanta Club, however, was undoubtedly Kate Sheppard, suffragist and social reformer, who was a founding member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) that campaigned for the vote for women who, it was believed, with a majority of the electoral vote would favour prohibition. Working with the likes of Tommy Taylor, reformer & prohibitionist, at The Prohibitionist, Sheppard and the WCTU successfully forced the hand of Richard Seddon's Liberal Government to secure New Zealand women the vote in 1893. New Zealand was the first nation to extend the franchise to women.

But the struggle was far from won: it took another forty years or so for one of their gender to gain a seat in parliament.

In the early days on the streets of Christchurch, the Atalanta Club members were subjected to abuse and even stone throwing as some members of the public found the act of cycling by women to be scandalous. Often one of the brothers of the Lough twins accompanied the group to deter such hecklers and troublemakers.

One of the contributing factors to the unwelcome attention the women cyclists received was the view held by a number of the club members that "rational dress" - bloomers or knickerbockers - should be worn for cycling. By September 1893, such negative publicity had been generated that the Club decided that none of its members should wear rational dress when cycling, though this was relaxed in succeeding years as public attitudes thawed.

Thus, the Atalantans swept up in the Cycling Craze played a key role in transforming social attitudes to women's participation in sport, in improving their health and leisure opportunities as well as contributing to securing the women's franchise.

The Atalanta Ladies' Cycling Club, circa 1892.
Christchurch City Libraries

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lest We Forget - Cheviot War Memorial & Anzac Day

War Memorial
Cheviot, North Canterbury, NZ, 2009

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of war memorials per capita in the world. Every small town - even crossroads - seems to have one to commemorate the loss of its young men in the two world wars of the twentieth century. A New Zealand War Memorials register compiled by NZ History On-line has over 450 memorials listed but some are still to be added - one at least is known to be missing by this blogger.

As ANZAC Day, 25 April, approaches we remember the sacrifice of the men of Cheviot, North Canterbury in those conflicts.

The Cheviot Estate, Ready Money Robinson, and the First Liberal Government 1893

John "Honest Jock" McKenzie (1838 - 1901)
Liberal Minister of Lands

Jayne over at Our Great Southern Land reminds us that 19 April 1893 was the day New Zealand's Liberal Government purchased the Cheviot Hills Estate of Ready Money Robinson as part of its policy to break up the runs of the large landholders into smaller farms.

We originally posted on Ready Money Robinson & his Cheviot Hills Estate here. It has turned out to be one of the most frequently hit posts for this blog, perhaps because searchers are hoping to hit up "Ready Money" for some of the proverbial "ready" or, more likely, perhaps because his name crops up in NZ school history assignments, if such a thing as NZ history actually gets taught anymore.

The small town of Cheviot (pop 390, in 2006) that sprung up to serve the closer settlement of farm families was originally named McKenzie in honour of Liberal Cabinet Minister of Lands, John McKenzie, with street names named after leading Liberal politicians. McKenzie's biography may be found at the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.

McKenzie Monument, 2009

At a later date, the zeal for the Liberals passed presumably as memories dimmed and a close acquaintance with historical events was lost with the passing of a previous generation. As a result, the town's name was changed to Cheviot, proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished and rewarding that land speculator Robinson with town naming rights for his Cheviot Estate.

But in its early days, Cheviot/McKenzie's residents and those finding new opportunities on the subdivided Cheviot Estate erected a memorial to Jock McKenzie's policy of breaking up the large land runs and giving the small farmer a go.

McKenzie Monument, close up, 2009

McKenzie's zeal for land tenure reform was not without its excesses. The plight of the "poor" landed gentry aside, McKenzie's efforts to bring land held under Maori ownership up for sale resulted in 2.7 million acres of Maori land being purchased by pre-emption or on the free market for on-selling to pakeha settler farmers between 1892 and 1900. Land purchased by the government from Maori for 2 to 4 shillings per acre was sold for 2 pounds per acre, adding a tidy revenue boost to the Treasury coffers.

In a visit to Cheviot a few months ago, Kuaka took a few pics of the McKenzie memorial while the flock of young adult godwits he was traveling with were in turn taking a pit stop & stuffing their faces with more food & beverages, missing yet another historical reference right under their noses...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Christchurch Cycling Craze #6 - Cycling Sydenham Rugby Club 1900s

photo by Adam MacLay. Alexander Turnbull Library

By the early 1900s, cycles and their cyclists were everywhere. A couple of Super 14 squads worth of men & boys stand outside the Sydenham Football Club Hall displaying their cycles before, perhaps, retiring inside for a few beverages. Mr CH will be along shortly to help out with an exact street location! Hastings Street? (And probably to tell me Sydenham was dry then - which will truly astound me).

Or per chance, the lads were about to play a game of cycle rugby with a half time show by the bicycling band?

And should push-bike power fail to budge an immovable object, the trusty steam traction engine could be prevailed upon to haul the Oddfellows Hall from its Lichfield Street location in the central city to a site 3/4 of a mile away in Sydenham in 1903. Skids rather than trollies were used under the Hall as they didn't want to unnecessarily raise its height and snag the telegraph lines overhead.

The Weekly Press, 25 Nov. 1903, p. 45
Christchurch City Libraries

A small child on a tricycle provides an attentive audience and managerial supervision.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Christchurch Electric Trucks, 1920s

Click image for larger view.
Photo by Adam MacLay. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Lest anyone think that electric trucks were not up to the task of hauling a heavy load, these Orwell trucks of the New Zealand Express Co. stand laden with Michelin tyres on a Christchurch street.

And for the ladies, something that was "simple of operation" and would not "soil the gloves" was in order. Heaven forbid that any would wish to drive an Orwell electric truck...

Click image for larger view.
Magnus, Sanderson & Co., Ltd., Wellington, seller of The Detroit Electric, an ideal lady's car. 1917

The New Zealand Express Co building, artist sketch 1905

A sign of Christchurch's prosperity in the early twentieth century, the New Zealand Express Co building designed by the Luttrell brothers was at 7 stories the tallest building in New Zealand at the time of its completion. The trucks in the picture above are located at the far left of the building "around the corner". The photo below includes yet another truck that appears to have been backed up to the first Orwell. Two different photographers are credited with the respective photos - a photo shoot by truck papparazzi or a misattribution?

photo by Adam Henry Pearson. Alexander Turnbull Library

And a fossil-fueled specimen of the type that would dominate for the next century:

photo by Adam Henry Pearson. Alexander Turnbull Library

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Christchurch Cycling Craze #5 - Cycling Corps World War I

Again, the title is a bit misleading since there is no direct Christchurch connection in this post, but in a follow-up to Jayne's post on the NZ Cycling Corps of World War I over at Our Great Southern Land here are a few more pictures of the bicycle's role in World War I.

Click image for larger view.
Henry Armytage Sanders.
Alexander Turnbull Library

Another view of Premier Willian Massey and John Ward reviewing the New Zealand Cyclist Battalion as they march past in dismounted fashion on 3 July 1918. The ground looks dry but somewhat bumpy underfoot. Perhaps that's why they do not "march" or ride by cycling in review.

Click image for larger view.
Photo Henry Armytage Sanders. Alexander Turnbull Library

As the war drew to a close and the Germans ran out of rubber for their bicycle tyres, they resorted to spring-loaded wheels to soften the ride around the front line. Above, soldiers inspect a captured example of a springed wheel cycle on 14 September 1918. Note that before retreating the Germans have "spiked" their vehicle by removing the seat, exposing the unwary Allied soldier who would seek to mount the cycle to severe rectal injury. Those dastardly Hun!

Click image for larger view.
Photo Henry Armytage Sanders. Alexander Turnbull Library

And should you get tired of the cycling life in wartime, you could always hitch a ride on something a bit more substantial such as "Jumping Jennie", a tank, pictured here in a trench at Gommecourt Wood, France, on 10 August 1918.

Christchurch Cycling Craze #4 - Pricing Cycles 1905

Click image for enlarged view Advertising poster for J B Clarkson, Palmerston North, Feilding, Levin, & Dannevirke - all the main population centres of the lower North Island - listing prices of various models of bicycle and the Centaur motorcycle in 1905. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Ok, it's not Christchurch prices and it's not 1890 prices but 1905's, but you can get the idea of prevailing prices and what a king's ransom it was to buy one of these machines a century ago. A £20.00 Centaur cycle in 1905 is the equivalent of NZ$3034.58 in 2009 prices.

Imagine the shiver of dread down the spine, the cold sweat of fear, & the feeling of being swept away by the winds of change if you had recently purchased a bicycle and the new-fangled motorcycle arrived on the scene deep-sixing your previously cutting edge, oh, so fashionable, plain bicycle into the dustbin of the previous century...

Or if you couldn't afford a bicycle perhaps you could afford the price of a ticket - at 1 shilling - in the first combined Auckland annual charity fete & art union in September 1905 with the possibility of winning the fourth prize, a lady or gent's bicycle valued at 25 guineas:

Christchurch Cycling Craze #3 - Boys & Their Bikes

Boys & their (expensive) toys, Christchurch circa 1890
Christchurch City Libraries image

These brave young fellows put to shame those of us in a later age who took a million circuits of the backyard lawn before we would countenance unassisted self-balancing travel on a now standard uniform size two wheeler...

A Rudge Safety bicycle, presumably used, advertised for sale in the Evening Post classifieds of 8 March 1890 at 12 pounds would be equivalent in value to NZ$2011.57 in 2008 dollars according to the Reserve Bank historical inflation calculator. (Our thanks to Timespanner whose post on the historical price calculator directed us to said handy dandy calculator). Clearly, not a scientific estimate of value in current prices but an indication of the expense of pursuing the cycling life in 1890.

At those prices, these young lads either delivered a heck of a lot of newspapers, robbed a bank, or, most likely, had well-heeled parents.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Christchurch City Council Belt-Tightening?

With the economy in recession now for over a year and the prospect of the increased expense of moving into a renovated postal warehouse as its new Christchurch Civic Centre at an annual rent of $8.2 million, the Christchurch City Council is rumoured to be considering its options to restore fiscal balance.

To that end, we wonder if there might be any advantage to the CCC ordering up from storage its electric truck fleet from the early 1920s which would have the added advantage of enabling the Council to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reductions...

photographer, Samuel Heath Head. Alexander Turnbull Library.
click on photo for larger image

... otherwise it's shank's pony for council employees and ratepayers.

Christchurch Cycling Craze #2 - The Gang Puts In Some Miles 1907

photo Steffano Webb. Alexander Turnbull Library

A mixed group of men and women cyclists put in some miles on a dusty road somewhere on the outskirts of 1907 Christchurch. Their procession obviously attracts some attention as householders come out to their gates on the leftside of the road to see the swarm of cyclists pass by.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Swaggies On Shank's Pony - Especially for Jayne

Swaggies on Shank's Pony, Waltzing Matilda

According to Wikipedia - for a quick ref. subject to a second opinion of an expert, "to waltz Matilda" is to travel with a swag.

Shank's pony means to walk on one's own legs. One suggested source for the term is that the horse drawn grass mower of Alexander Shanks and Co of Arbroath, Scotland required the human operator to walk behind horse and mower rather than ride.

"waited 'til his billy boiled,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me..."

The Christchurch Cycling Craze #1

A peloton of cyclists of the Pioneer Amateur Sports Club, in front of the AMP building in Cathedral Square, about to head out for a Saturday afternoon run, circa 1886. Christchurch City Libraries image.

Christchurch has been known as the Cycle City for more than a century. Its flat terrain, temperate weather, and wide streets lend themselves to the cycling way of life, even if the infrastructure has not always been provided to a standard or availability that cycling enthusiasts may have liked.

A mix of bicycles and folks are arrayed in front of the AMP building above prior to embarking upon a Saturday afternoon rumble, er, ramble.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Every Soldier Is His Own President - Fiji's Emergency Regulations

If Fiji's emergency regulations are accurately quoted by Radio New Zealand (and it is not without error) on its web site on 13 April 2009 then the following clause condemns the illegal military dictatorship by their own words - emphases added:

"The full clause reads:

Any police officer or member of the armed forces, if in his or her opinion such action is necessary for the public safety, after giving due warning, may use such force as he or she considers necessary, including the use of arms, to disperse the procession, meeting or assembly and to apprehend any person present thereat, and no police officer or member of the armed forces or any person acting in aid of such police officer or member using such force shall not be liable to criminal or civil proceedings for having by the use of such force caused harm or death to any person."

Looks and reads like a double negative to kuaka!

In other words, the emergency regulation states that any police officer, military person, or someone aiding and abetting them shall be liable for using force against persons engaged in public assembly. Sloppy drafting, Freudian slip, or just feeling guilty?

Interim attorney general for Fiji, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyu, says there is no need to enact the regulations, as there is no chaos and nothing happening in the streets.

Or could it be there is no legitimate legislature to enact the regulations? Oh, and no judicial branch left to rule whether the police or military are liable or have violated human or civil rights?

Mr Attorney-general you are living a lie.

Fiji's current slide into lawlessness reminds Kuaka of a haunting statement a resident of East Africa during the 1970s made to Kuaka with respect to the Idi Amin regime. Commenting upon the lawlessness that prevailed from the top down, he dryly noted: "Every soldier is his own president".

The Truth Shall Set You Free: Fiji Strikes Down Freedom of The Press, Freedom of Speech

Another bunch of bananas from Bainimarama's illegal regime...

Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch, nay, you may kick it all about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.

- Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Professor at the Breakfast Table
US Supreme Court Justice

Over the weekend, the illegal Fijian military dictatorship imposed emergency rules submitting the Fijian press to censorship and limiting rights to public assembly.

Several days earlier the Fijian Court of Appeal ruled that the 2006 military coup led by Frank Bainimarama was illegal & in violation of the nation's constitution. Presumably, this makes Bainimarama's coup a seditious act but we haven't checked the Fijian constitution or the court's opinion for the fine detail on that matter. If you can still find the ruling, that is.

Reward for the Court's decision upholding the Rule of Law was the dismissal of the nation's entire judicial branch until the military's puppets could be installed.

Following the loss of the freedom of the press, Fiji TV pulled its 6 pm show on Sunday while the Fiji Times' Sunday edition had a blank second page and stories & a cartoon missing on page 3.

Information secretary, a.k.a. Head of MiniTrue, Major Neumi Leweni asked Fiji Times staff to explain the empty spaces and the phrase referring to state restrictions. The illegal administration is demanding that the Fijian news media publish happy news or "pro-Fiji" news in the Newspeak of puppet Interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. No word yet whether Fiji TV will be required to broadcast programming incorporating Aldous Huxley's the "feelies".

New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully believes Fiji will now inevitably be suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum while Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says Fiji is now "virtually a military dictatorship". Mr Rudd's use of the word "virtually" seems redundant.

Former New Zealand Governor General Sir Paul Reeves warns Fiji will pay a heavy price for ignoring the rule of law. Sir Paul, who currently serves as the special representative of the Commonwealth Secretary General to Fiji, says the military regime is on a slippery slope downwards with Fiji's status within the Commonwealth and the Pacific Island Forum likely to be downgraded.

Fiji joins other military dictatorships like Myanmar in driving a nation's economy back a century or two. If rickshaws reappear on the streets of Suva, will the dictatorship claim it's their contribution to combatting global climate change?

Kuaka (godwits) will continue to treat Fiji as fly-over country in their next southern trans-Pacific migration as they have historically. Maybe in a free Fiji, they may be coaxed in to alighting for a morsel or two above high tide mark.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Christchurch Bicycle Band Coda

The Bicycle Band [ca. 1900]. Re-published Christchurch Star, 10 Mar. 1965, p. 10
Christchurch City Libraries Image Collection

Accompanying caption:

"Christchurch's Bicycle Band claimed to be the only one of its kind in the world. Joshua W. Painter (d. 1944), a well-known distance and trick cyclist, and his brother Fred started the bicycle band in 1895. It was really an offshoot of the already established Christchurch Professional Brass Band. The men held instruments in one hand and steered their cycles with the other, and they rehearsed in the open ground of Barracks Square, Hereford Street. Left to right, front row: H. Woods, T. Dalton, A.J. Watts; second row: G.H. Gordon, W. Crawford, F. Hopkins, F. Painter; third row: F. Taylor, A.W. Gordon.

Despite the claim to uniqueness, evidence from the Netherlands and Australia suggests other bicycling bands existed and some remained playing long after the Christchurch bicycle band disbanded circa 1915.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Invalided Returned Servicemen Parade at the Bottleneck, Christchurch 1918c

Returned Servicemen of World War (Invalided) in Motorcade, circa 1918, at "the Bottleneck", intersection of High, Hereford, and Colombo Streets, Christchurch. Press photographer. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Christchurch Bicycle Band Reprise

The Christchurch Bicycle Band on the "march" once again. circa 1895.
Alexander Turnbull Library

We sincerely hope Mr Canterbury Heritage will stop by & perhaps help us out with a suggestion as to which of Christchurch's fine streets this parade may be on.

Update: And he did:

"This is a westerly view of Kilmore Street from the Victoria Street intersection, looking past Cranmer Square toward Hagley Park.

The two storey building in the distance still exists; formerly a convenience store and then a school tuck shop, it stands at the corner of Cranmer Square opposite the former Normal School."

Earlier post on the Christchurch bicycle band here.

Banana (Sugar?) Republic of Fiji Dismisses Judiciary In Its Entirety, Revokes Constitution. What Next, Fijian Pirates?

In a shoot-the-messenger edict, Fijian President Ratu Josefa Iloilo- cypher for military dictator Frank Bainimarama - has dismissed the nation's full judiciary and revoked its constitution after the Fijian Court of Appeal ruled the military dictatorship illegal and that Bainimarama should be removed from office. NZ press report here.

No word yet to confirm rumours that the next growth industry for Fiji will be Fijian pirates - a franchise of the Somali pirates - or a joint venture with North Korea on launching an inter-ballistic kite on the end of a string to strike fear in the South Pacific. reports that two Christchurch, New Zealand lawyers, Gerard McCoy and Christopher Pryde, argued for the military regime. Lawyers often say they do not get to choose their clients, but that's a cop out: they do so all the time by not taking the case or terminating the relationship.

Kuaka simply notes that New Zealand decriminalised prostitution a few years back, so pimping for a military dictatorship is no longer illegal, just immoral.

Yet another sad day for the good people of Fiji and the Rule of Law.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

US Navy Fleet Visit to Wellington, New Zealand 1925

The USS Seattle fires a salute off Oriental Bay as it enters Wellington's inner harbour. August 1925. Real photo postcard

Over at Canterbury Heritage, Mr. CH has a post on the US Navy's Pacific Fleet visit to the Port of Lyttelton in 1925.

This photo essay is a companion piece to CH's, based on a series 0f 7 real photo postcards recording the Fleet's visit to Wellington, New Zealand, headed up by the battleship USS Seattle, flagship of Admiral Robert E. Coontz, Commander in Chief of the United States Navy.

The real photo postcards were likely photographed & printed by the photographers accompanying the Fleet as happened during the 1908 Great White Fleet visit to Auckland on that fleet's around the world tour to show the Stars and Stripes to the world. Of interest to the real photo postcard collector is the stamp box on the reverse - a triangle with Gevaert within.

New Zealand Army Honour Guard presents arms at Pipitea Wharf, Wellington.
A movie camera can be seen mounted on the wall behind the guard adjacent to the sheds.

Official Welcome of the 1925 US Fleet at Parliament Buildings, Wellington

Top military brass turn out for the official welcome.
Unidentified individuals, ranks, and national origins.

The Californian dealer on eBay who offered these items for sale a couple of years ago didn't seem to know the difference between New Zealand and Australia so views of Melbourne and Wellington visits of the Fleet were intermixed. It is possible that the unidentified dignitaries in the above image are actually ones who were in attendance at the Melbourne welcome at the state legislature there.

Official reception for the 1925 US Fleet at the Wellington Town Hall.

Officers of the US Fleet attending a function or visiting some facility - given the HB Clothing Factory sign, this is most likely a visit to a Hallenstein Brothers Clothing Factory somewhere in New Zealand - Our good acquaintance the Canterbury Heritage blogmeister suggests in the comments below that the location is actually the Lyttelton railway station. Admiral Coontz is possibly the man 2nd from right, and woman immediately to left, Mrs Coontz (see photo below for further info.)

Since there is no caption or message on the reverse, the above event or visit is unidentified. In a touch of early sponsorship (?), signs for Buchanan's Whisky and HB's Clothing Factory. HB most likely is Hallenstein Brothers, a long established clothing manufacturer and retailer in New Zealand.

Admiral Coontz (most likely) in Maori cloak receives a hongi from a Maori guide while Mrs Coontz (in cloak) and US naval officers look on. Probably taken at Rotorua in the central North Island.