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NOT THE FRONT PAGE BUT THE GOSSIP PAGE

There is a brilliant definition of news, though I apologise in advance to forgetting whom to attribute it to. "News is something, that someone, somewhere, doesn't want known. Everything else is advertising." We could say the same for gossip, witness the rise of the gossip magazines and televised infortainment.

Whatever definition you give it news/gossip/information is widely sought and avidly devoured. Its dissemination is one of the pillars of democracy for those who hoard information, for whatever mistaken idea, should be rejected by all fencers who believe a bout is a free and frank conversation between two equals - a conversation of the blades!

So this site encourages the spreading of information/news/gossip as long as it can pass the basic tests for slander - truth or reasonable personal belief!

Since the Great Catastrophe of February 22, 2011, this site has also been recording the trials and tribulations of the citizens of Christchurch in the rebuilding of their earthquake flattened city.

(If you have something to say about anything to do with fencing, earthquakes or what is posted on this site then this is the place to say it. You can engage blades by e-mail at: En guard!)

Like Letters to the Editor, submissions should be concise, pertinent and may be subject to editing.


Archived Gossip and Photos: 2014

2013, 2012

2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007


23/1/2015: TREE BUTCHERY!!

Some locals are accusing the Christchurch City Council and its minions of tree butchery.

 

A big gap in the trees gracing Cranmer Square in the centre of Quake City.

 

This is human damage not quake!

 

Yet the butchers hide under some of those beautiful old trees, they have not yet butchered, from the sun.

 

Is this poor bugger, captured by "M" recently, between Shannon and Levin looking for a shady tree?

 

The swanky Levin clock tower reads a blistering 31Deg!

 

Wots he doing on a long, hot summer's day??

 

Quack!!

 

 

22/1/2015: HERE IT COMES!

The parking and traffic melee on Riccarton Avenue by the Hagley Oval, aka Germon's Wall.

Read about the Christchurch City Council's parking or dropping-off fines levied agin poor cricket followers hERE in the nation's top newspaper!

 

"This is a busy road with high demand for both traffic volume and parking needs given its location to the Hospital and Hagley Park and the current traffic flow changes in the immediate area." Oh yeah???

Took this pic on Riccarton Road at before the start of the Boxing Day cricket match and what does it show ...... orange road cones! Now imagine the revenue that would be generated if the council fined them or rented out the hundreds of car parks they are protecting.

QUACK!

 

 

 

21/1/2015: JUMP TO IT!

Dare to try it at a club near you.

 

 

 

20/1/2015: QUAKERY OR QUACKERY??

An elderly resident of one the more plusher suburbs of Quake City is getting ready to pack up and move out for repairs to his house damaged by the September 2010 Quake and its 13,000 plus followers.

More than a dozen visits from EQC, his insurance company and other, so-called, experts to his home built a few years before the big shake, has left him shaking his head and wondering if there had been any communication at all between the, so-called, experts.

The 70-page Scope Report he received distilling the research, investigations and decisions of the, so-called, experts included the plans of a nearby house instead of his! It also said he had timber flooring, not the carpet and vinyl covered concrete pad that it did have. Yes, some of the vinyl did look like wooden floor boards, but to say the floor was timber is just plain quackery!!!

 

Quack!

In a similar vein did you know that the floors of many industrial buildings in Quake City had floors sloping towards the buildings' big opening doors? I didn't and nor did most of the, so-called, experts so many building owners spent thousands of dollars, and weeks of their time, to prove it, otherwise their floors could be deemed quake damaged and slated for repair or demolition.

The sloping floors were designed and built that way to help remove any noxious gases, chemicals or other nasties that could prove dangerous if spilt or released during manufacturing or other use.

Quack!

 

 

 

19/1/3015: DEEDS NOT WORDS.

This says it all.

 

The repair and refurbishment of the former Work and Income New Zealand building on Cilombo Street in Sydenham is underway with an opening planned for this December.

 

As most people see it from Colombo Street.

 

 

And a view of the former Winz building, from behind!

 

It is said the outside of the building will be clad in glass, just like the Becca building up the street. So get out your sunglasses!

 

Are these the oldest buildings in the sunny inner-city suburb of Sydenham to survive the quakes???

 

 

17/1/2015: QUICK! THE WALTHAM POOL OPENS AT 11AM.

Yep, that's this morning so Sydenham and Waltham residents can cool off on this, about to be, stinking hot Saturday.

Jeremy has prepared some seating for you to come and watch the opening's big splash.

 

Bugger, someone has beaten you to it! Splashing that is .....

 

 

 

15/1/2915: FUEL PRICES PLUNGE!!

 

Today's prices in Palmerston North. Pic by 'M'.

 

Compare them with YESTERDAY'S PRICES!!!!

 

 

13/1/2015: WILL IT OR WON'T IT - OPEN???

Squished nearly five years ago, the wee pool in the relaxed suburb of Waltham was due to open this summer. In fact the nation's top newspaper said it was to open LAST WEEK However that was not to be - next week they say.

The pool three months ago .....

 

Yesterday.

 

A vast difference you see all because of these .....

 

Dozens of chariots of slaves (Contractors) and overseers (City Care).

 

The question is dear reader, will it open ON???

 

 

12/1/2015: YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QUAKE CITY ....

When its port cannot provide for all the ships wanting to visit and has to move INLAND.

Waiting for a berth?? Don't even ask about room for the tourist liners.

Unlike the Christchurch airport the sea port has no urgency in dealing with the tourists wanting to goggle at the quake-riven city.

 

 

9/1/2015: CROSSED SWORDS!!

Two Kiwi fencers marry ....

James and Katherine got married in Ohoka yesterday.

(Sorry about the out-of-focus pix of the crossed sabres, it was a bit dark at the reception.)

 

James and KJ leave the 150-year-old former Methodist church at Ohoka, in north Canterbury, where the ceremony took place.

 

A question for those of you who know James Russell and Katherine Taylor from their fencing days - who will hold the reins????

 

As you can see, KJ galloped to the ceremony in a horse and carriage then the pair trotted off together afterwards.

 

6/1/2015: PUT TO THE SWORD!

 

A poor water-filled milk container.

 

 

Two fencers at the Cape Town World Champs hold the interest of spectators.

 

 

3/1/2015: IN PALMERSTON NORTH THEY CELEBRATE DIFFERENTLY THAN MOST KIWIS.

They dress up in funny clothes. .. ... .... .... .... .... . . ... . . ... . . ... ............................... . . . . . .. Pic by 'M'.

As you can see GEORGE , the tuatara, and his Dragon got dressed-up for Christmas! George is Palmy's most well-known reason for visiting the tiny village on the Manawatu plains noted for its weather and as the home of a former agricultural college now called a university.

 

However don't ask the locals the way to George - they only know him as the Tuatara and not by his name. It is also said that the wee village, also known as Manawatu City, has more cafes per head of population than anywhere else in New Zealand!!

 

 

1/1/2015: HERE'S SOME SABRE ACTION TO WELCOME YOU TO 2015!

A sabre dance.

 

A sabre drop.

 

And a sabre jump.

 

And you can learn the ancient art and modern sport here .....

 

31/12/2014: AND ANOTHER DOUBLE HIT!

This time from the days of black-and-white photography.

Taken at a competition in Christchurch - is that Barry Garland on the right?? No idea of the fellow on the left. The same reel had pix of Olga Jeykll, Diane Swain and Keith Mann in action.

 

And who is this fellow with that thing round his neck and why is he wearing it??

 

Why, it is Andreas the winner of this year's Mochi Shield, a competition held each year by the University of Canterbury Fencing Club in honour of Italian world epee champion Gianfranco Mochi who once lived in our quake torn city and did so much for local fencing.

 

 

30/12/2014: A DOUBLE HIT!!

Yes we are going to end 2014 and begin 2015 with some fencing pix, after all this is primarily a fencing site.

 

Was 2014 a palpable hit for you dear reader as it was for these two Kiwi fencers.

 

See how the attacker's epee blade has bent but did not break. That's why fencers were wearing kevlar clothing before many police forces throughout the world - safety.

 

Unlike these two daring engineers hamming it up for the camera.

 

 

29/12/2014: GONE!

Nothing there now.

 

But this once stood proudly.

 

but it went with a bit of grace ....

 

Religious overtones or something else?

 

But what is left is set-off nicely.

The question is what will replace the sixty-year-old Opawa Baptist church's well-used buildings? A car park?

 

 

27/12/2014: YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QUAKE CITY ...

 

When the knock-em-downs are lined up nicely for Christmas in the former city centre of quake City.

There they are on Cashel Street just by High Street, perched on a neatly painted heap of rubble of former city centre buildings - grumbly, greedy things ........ devouring our city!

 

 

26/12/2014: BARBARIANS AT THE WALL??

Hadrian's Wall, the one tween England and Scotland, was built to keep out the invading barbarians.

The question is will Germon's Wall, the one built round the wee cricket ground in Christchurch's Hagley Park (now called the Hagley Oval), be enough to keep the invading sportsfolks and their cars at bay??

Germon's Wall at the opening of today's Boxing Day cricket test against Sri Lanka - it needed the wall, a fence and a hedge to keep in the spectators.

 

See, police were needed to maintain order.

 

Thousands of cars use Hagley Park for parking ...

 

It kept them off the streets such as Riccarton Avenue.

 

But this had to be the best seat at the oval by far, unless you needed the bog!

 

Here's one view of GERMON'S WALL!

 

25/12/2014: MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL!

 

23/12/2014: PSSST! ANY OF THESE CREDIT, EFTPOS, COMMUNITY SERVICE, VISA AND OTHER ASSORTED PLASTIC CARDS YOURS???

One dairy's haul of plastic - over sixty of em.

 

Local dairys and other shops are having a field-day fielding dozens of left-behind plastic at Christmas time.

Many. of course, have no names so owners cannot be contacted.

Even t he nation's top newspaper has a story about the plastic ....

 

22/12/2014: MEET SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC.

He was a regular visitor to Christchurch before the quakes.

As he once was - the centre of visitor attention in central Christchurch.

 

And after the earthquakes ....

Face down in the gutter.

 

And now???????????????????????????

Nobody cares.

 

Read about the great Pommie explorer and his links to Quake City HERE!

AND HERE!

Oh, and what is in store for other statues in the central city that commemorate our past? The gutter? Oblivion? A wee move?

 

 

20/12/2014: MEET MISSY!!

A parrot at Nelson's Nature Land Wildlife Trust. ... Pic by Slaw.

Missy sometimes says hello but mostly just grunts or screeches like a fire alarm. She's the maddest (and ugliest) parrot in the zoo, and probably a strong contestant for maddest parrot in the Southern Hemisphere too. She's the avian equivalent of clinically insane, but pretty harmless as she doesn't have a bottom beak.

Sounds like someone you know??????

Find out how to meet Missy HERE!!

 

 

18/12/2014:WHAT ABOUT THIS WALL JUST UP THE ROAD?

It seems to talk too and dance.

It's on the corner of Welles and Manchester Streets, near the now squished, by the earthquakes, upstairs cafe where Annie Lennox used to to go to recover from her performances on stage.

 

 

 

17/12/2014: THIS WALL CAN TALK!

And it is directly opposite the one that can't talk.

Though wot it says is anyone's guess.

 

16/12/2014: YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QUAKE CITY .....

 

When the walls speak like this one between Welles and St Asaph Streets in the former city centre. Oh, and the towering knock-it-downers now renamed put-it-uppers.

 

 

14/12/2014:TV3 CRAPS ALL OVER NEW ZEALAND'S SECOND WORLD WAR HISTORY......

Yep, didya watch last night's TV3 news bulletin?? BATTLE OF THE RIVER PLATE????

Battle of the River Plate

Battle of the River Plate

Don't look too close at it below for you might get covered in the crap dumped by TV3 as news!

Here's TV3's view of one of the major naval engagements of World War 2. Soldiers did it!!!!!!!

 

Here's New Zealand History's view. Sailors did it!

 

Embarrassing or not? Perhaps a current, or former, naval personage needs to tell TV3 the difference between a soldier, sailor and airman. Otherwise they could end up calling the Prime Minister a Donkey!

 

 

12/12/2014: CAN'T YOU POST SOMETHING POSITIVE ABOUT QUAKE CITY WHINED ONE OVERSEAS READER .....

WELL YES .... HOW ABOUT THE GO-A-HEAD SUBURB OF SYDENHAM.

Remember this? The former dairy on Colombo Street - one of a whole row of shops and buildings downed by the quakes.

 

Now two of the skittled businesses have re-built! The other, on the left, is Graeme Patching's Frame and Mirror Company.

 

Here's Hitesh Ravji and his daughter Priyanka outside their popular Sydenham dairy.

 

That has got to be positive! Read more about em here: The Nation's Top Newspaper!

 

 

11/12/2014: DOWN, DOWN AND .......

Down ...

The remains of a 60-year-old church building in Opawa. Question; how many car parks will it make??

 

 

10/11/2014: THEY LIKE FENCING AT CHRISTCHURCH BOYS HIGH SCHOOL - THE ANCIENT ART AND MODERN SPORT.

A three-day introduction to the modern sport of fencing ended with a touch of the ancient art it once was thanks to maths teacher Greg Mehrtens, a collector of old swords.

This is a sharp sword, he demonstrates, not like the blunt epees you have been fighting with ....

 

See!

All the participants in the introductory course got a chance to chop a water-filled milk container in half!!!

 

 

7/12/2014: GERRY AND HIS WASTEMAKERS HAVEN'T GOT THEIR HANDS ON THIS OLD DUNGA, YET.....

Now abandoned and derelict the former Christchurch Civic Offices, just up Worcester Street by the River Avon from the present lair of current Mayor Lianne and her ladies.

Read more about one of the last remaining central city heritage buildings HERE!

 

Here it is in the late 1960's as a group of uni students head past it on their way to lectures at the former University of Canterbury, now the Arts Centre, up the road.

It seems Gerry and his Wastemakers are focused on spending lots of money on destroying the perfectly adequate Victoria Square, just up Oxford Terrace past the Morris Minor, and spending millions more on a park for the Ladies of the Night on Manchester Street.

A question: Which Christchurch daily newspaper undertook a story about Manchester Street's Ladies of the night and their clients?

Was it published?

 

4/12/3014: NOW THE BAD NEWS .....

Remember the blub about the Ruelle Eatery in New Brighton posted on the 29/11/2014? Well, it seems to have sunk them ....

"Hey everyone, due to circumstances out of our control we are going to be permanently shutting by the end of the month We are going to be open Saturday & Sunday's hopefully for the next few weeks, thank you to everyone for your support, Nikki & Danielle"

Bugger, oh well, there is still the Lighthouse Cafe!

 

3/12/2014: SAFETY FENCES FOR THE SAFETY FENCES

YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN QUAKE CITY WHEN .....

The safety fences used by workers to keep people safe are surrounded by orange cones and safety fences - for safety reasons of course!

And the bureaucrapic nightmare goes on, and on and on and on and on ....

 

Who keeps the bumble-bee safe??????????????????????????????????

 

 

1/12/2014: HAVE WE LEARNT ANYTHING FROM THIS ...... ???

The remains of the CTV building after February 2011's earthquake.

Got talking to a group of gawpers yesterday near where the CTV building once stood. What have you learnt from the earthquakes they asked. Well I keep a supply of canned food, fill the electric jug with water after each use, have a supply of candles on hand and a can of red spray paint, was the reply.

Oh, they said, what we meant was what HAVE the officials learnt.

Dunno I said, it was a shamble beyond anyone's comprehension and told them some stories of bravery and stupidity already mentioned on this site. So nobody was to blame said one said nodding towards the former CTV site.

Here's Nigel Hampton QC's thoughts ....

 

Wot's your thoughts after all these years???

 

SEE THE ARCHIVES FOR STORIES AND PIX PUBLISHED PRIOR TO THIS!)

About the copyright - contact me if you would like to use one - photographs on this website.

GOSSIP PAGE: The Front Page of The Press, Christchurch and the South Island's largest newspaper, goes to bed in the good old days of hot metal type; Montage at the bottom of this page, Australian foilist Franki Bartolilo; Three-times world veteran foil champion Maurizio Galvan fronts up for New Zealand television; Epee action from Challenge Australia; More epee action from the 02 Commonwealth Fencing Championships; A famous French fencer captured in Seoul; Attendees at a training camp in Christchurch run by Maitre Galvan in 2007.

ABOUT ME PAGE: Two top epee coaches at the Giardino Club in Milan. Oleg Putzanov, left, and Gianni Muzio, right. Montage; Kiwi fencer, Andrew Kell, demonstrates the new sabre mask - 2004 A Space Oddity - in Madrid; Top Kiwi womens' sabreur Katherine Taylor; Australian Olympian, Bill Ronald, relaxes on Lygon Street, Melbourne; Hot Man - an interesting portrait from the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Shah Alam; Christchurch fencing physiotherapist Scott Suen bounds in for a hit against a luckless Australian fencer; Kiwi sabreur, Robert Snoep watches the action at the CFC in Shah Alam; A polite discussion takes place among University fencers at the Uni Games circa 1969. Last but not least, a tidy black Morris Minor photographed in Melbourne. A famous Italian Fencing Master and three-times world vets foil champion used my Morris Minor van for his afternoon siestas while running a training camp in Christchurch in 2007. The fact that he went on to win his third title on the trot is no indication of the efficacy, or otherwise, of sleeping in the back of a Morris Minor van named Corrie the Morrie!

LEARN TO FENCE PAGE: Youngsters, barely taller than the epees they wield, duel it out in the fencing club at Toledo, Spain; Hitting actions - from beginner to Olympic champion - some example of how to hit your opponent; Kiwi epeeist Natalie Fraser fights into fifth place at a national womens epee competition in Vallalodid, Spain. What every competititve fencer needs - an FIE international fencing license - this one from 1973. A promising young sabreur is given a lesson by one of Spain's top coaches, Luis Jiminez, at the Royal Spanish Fencing Federation's national training centre in Madrid. Aussie coach Mathieu at work; A fencing tournament underway in Adelaide, South Australia.

BOOKS TO READ PAGE: Olympic epee champion Marcel Fischer (Switzerland), Rangi de Abaffy and Willie Upritchard (New Zealand) pose against the ivy after a training session in my backyard in Christchurch. The Montage: Aussie Fencer Sarah Osvath recovers from a tumble; The teams line-up at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Malaysia; Top Kiwi women fencers Jess and Les fight it out at the New Zealand National Fencing Championships; Remember when? Kiwi sabreur Keith Mann shows how to fleche during a sabre bout in the 60's! Mann, twice President of New Zealand Fencing and who still competes in local tournaments, received an award for his services to the sport in 2007. Bottom, Hamish McCracken limbers up while some tired Spaniards watch Challenge Australia action and Waimaria and Karita think about what book to read!

FENCING BUSINESSES PAGE : Top. A New Brighton resident enjoys the nation's top newspaper (The Press) in a local cafe; University Students march through Cathedral Square as part of Capping Day celebrations in the 1960's; A view of the Tagus River near Toledo in Spain; Another shot of University of Canterbury students celebrating Capping Day with a float highlighting Government funding cuts to universities; Chris, the head Reader at The Press, scans reporters copy for mistakes before it is sent for setting in the days before computerisation of the newspaper. Bottom: A Kiwi fencer begs for mercy after being disarmed; Top epeeist and coach David Eccleston at a training camp in Wellington; The last page for the next day's paper is sent to the platers; Ioan Pop, The FIE's Technical Director, captured at the World Champs in Seoul; A photographer from the Otago Daily Times captures the action at the 2006 nationals.

LINKS PAGE: Corps a corps or head to head - you decide. The power of acting - Christchurch actor and fencer, Simon Young, attracts the attention of a young admirer during a production in the Botanic Gardens. You need a good sense of balance for inline skating as Christchurch sabreur William Cowper found out. They might look like two grumpy old men, but three-times world foil champion Maurizio Galvan and local coach Rob Sheard were focusing on the actions of fencers at a training camp at the Fencing Institute. Kiwi fencers love beating up their big brothers in Australia and this shot shows Christchurch epeeist Hassan Kamel with the medal he won in Sydney; Gruff young Kiwi fencers ham it up at the Fencing Institute in Christchurch. Action in the mens epee at the 2007 New Zealand Nationals in Wellington where 14-year-old sabreur Alex Chan stole a seven-hit lead on former National champion Chris Nokes. Nokes came back to win 14-7 proving that a good Old Un can beat an uppity Young Un. Aussie and Kiwi coaches who took part in a training camp taken by Ioan Pop, the FIE's Technical Director. Action in the womens epee event at the World Champs in Seoul. Two members of the University of Canterbury Fencing Club fight off in the Duel at Dawn which marks the end of the fencing season. The duel is held at different venues each year, in this case it was the Christchurch Botanic Gardens!

Archived Gossip and Photos: 2013, 2012

2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007