Zealandia’s Turpin

Charismatic, athletic and intelligent, Jonathan Roberts came from a respectable family. A native of Cornwall, he immigrated to New Zealand with his family as a small child in 1862. After leaving school, he worked as a BNZ clerk in Timaru, Christchurch, Akaroa and Wellington, where he later became a commission agent. While in Wellington, his…

The Misleading Lady

From 1919 until 1963, New Zealand audiences were guaranteed ‘snappy scenes, bright singing, excellent dancing and sparkling comedy’ when attending a Stan Lawson Production.

Flipping Fried Eggs

Retired Aircraft Engineer, Corporal Colin Creighton, No. 41 Squadron, RNZAF recounts his experiences serving during the American Vietnam war.

The Cabman’s Last Stand and the Triumph of the Taxi

For as far back as 1856, when the first hansom cab plied the streets of the Christchurch, the cabbie has been an important part of the city centre, conveying visitors and locals alike from the extremities of town into and around the burgeoning hub. There were cab stands at the Railway Station on the South…

Notes on a Journey: Ōtautahi

“In the bay in which we landed, we found two or three miserable primitive Maori cabins, inhabited by half-a-dozen helpless old creatures and a few diseased children — forming a pa named Rapaki.”

“The Publican and the Sinner.”

The story of a rugby mad church cleric, his neglected wife and a widowed publican. Read time approximately 26 minutes. He was a widower and father of two children. She was a cleric’s wife, temporarily released from her duties as wife and mother, with the novelty of time on her hands. In the 1880s, life…

Antigua Street Bridge – from the beginning until 1945

“Bridges are as much a distinctive part of the Christchurch landscape as its well-planted appearance and its old Gothic style provincial buildings. The chance which placed the city by the river Avon has made possible in these later days the special beauty of its river banks, but it has also made necessary a great number of bridges, for until they were built the convolutions of the river were a considerable obstacle to traffic.”

Government Building Worcester Street – Building for the Future

The construction of government buildings have long attracted opinion and criticism and the Italian Renaissance style Government Buildings on the corner of Worcester street and Cathedral Square were no different. Cabinet passed the plans for the construction of the new Government Buildings on 28 June 1910. They would be built on the site of the…

Was Christchurch the birthplace of Mary Poppins?

Almost a century ago, the story of Mary Poppins and the Match-Man was published for the first time – in Christchurch’s afternoon newspaper, The Sun.

But how did the story of the world’s most famous nanny first find its way into a Christchurch newspaper? To answer this, we need to delve into the early life of an Australian girl, Mary Poppins’ creator, P. L. Travers.

Tram vs Bus in 1930s Crush

The busiest intersection in the central city heaves under a rush of pedestrians, buses, trams, cyclists and private motor cars, pushing passed each other as they head for various parts of the city.