ARCHIVES FROM THE GOSSIP PAGE
2011 - Record Of A Catastrophe And Recovery!
Café talk last week seemed more interesting than ever. Perhaps café-goers were relaxing into Christmas mode – one even driving all the way from New Brighton to Sydenham for his cuppa on Boxing Day. Perhaps it was the culmination of a year of stress or, perhaps people are coming to the boiling point – will YOU be turning up to the protest meeting in the foyer of the Christchurch City Council building on February 1 st? Anyway, apart from the Marryatt debacle, I can tell you what six of the major points of interest will be in quake-torn Christchurch in 2012.
- Poor communication and the growth of PR speak.
- Christchurch City Council intimidation of rate-payers.
- Engineer and technical reports.
Forget rugby, forget quantum physics, forget Mayor Parker and his council, forget Gerry and the Wastemakers, insurance will be the talking point in 2012.
The Insurance and Savings Ombudsman in Wellington has a dedicated phone line for inquires and complaints from Quake City residents plus an downloadable information sheet on their website for those affected. YES, I wnat to know more about insurance matters.
Iain, who is in charge of earthquake matters, said that there have been over 400 inquires so far since the quakes began, but only 16 complaints. That will change in 2012. Some café-goers were talking about legal action and said they know of dozens of others in the same boat – they are just waiting for “deadlock”. Deadlock being the final hoop in the insurance circus. Another hoop is that the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman cannot rule on cases over $200,000 unless the insurance company agrees to it. Hoopla!!
If you are wondering what a photograph of a bee's arse is doing at the head of this posting, just bear in mind not only can it sting, but it can crap all over you!
Enjoy 2012 wherever you are!
Happy Christmas and all that. Even a new round of earthquakes on December 23rd did not put too much a damper on things as this fellow in the central city shows. (Yes, Keith, it is a female on the right. She gave her name as Jane then took to her heels after being photographed with Santa!)
French visitors Piat and Marie headed for the hills before the quakes struck.
From the island of Reunion, the couple headed to the Alps for some paragliding.
Leaving poor Jo to mop up the water pouring from her quake-damaged hot water cylinder.
Or, dodging this rubble in Peterborough Street.
Or clearing up the liquifaction - yes, it is the former Lancaster Park (AMI Stadium) in the background!
22/12/2011: PEOPLE IN SYDENHAM!
Hand watering only says the Christchurch City Council so out comes Harry, of Turf Technologies Ltd, to give the cricket pitches at Sydenham Park a drink.
What is this fellow doing?
How about this fellow?
Andy's garnering a bit of Christmas dosh wheeling baskets of strawberries up and down Colombo Street and using a bit of Irish blarney to sell them - he's from Dublin! The other two have to remain nameless for their own protection
19/12/2011: Noah ( Pete Majendie) and his Ark of Hope are snapped for posterity by The Press photographer Don Scott in Sydenham Square.
Majendie and the Side Door Arts Trust have built the Ark as an interactive art installation - in otherwords you get to walk through the ark and experience all sorts of weird things.... but be quick, it closes this Thursday!
17/12/2011: Old fencers never give up, they just leave the country!
Had a phone call recently from a former fencer from last century (Pre 2000 to you younger blades.) offering his old gear to a good home – a local fencer or club. He took up fencing under coach David Eccleston in Napier in 1966 and stopped in the early 1970’s. He is an aid worker overseas and was back in New Zealand to tidy-up which included passing on his gear – sadly it’s too old and out of date but the thought counts, so thank-you David Wilkinson. Read about what this former fencer gets up to OVERSEAS.
Psst, over thirty and a fencer?? Christoph Büchel, 2011 (source)
How about trying the Masters Games in Dunedin in February 2012? They even have a visual foil competition! More info at: MASTERS FENCING The entry fee is $75 plus a $15 sport fee But there is a special for superannuitants!
13/12/2011: THE BEGINING OF THE END!
Salvage operations started today at the former Sydenham Post Office before the Knock-It-Downs get to work on it's demolition.
12/12/2011: It’s billed as the Ark of Hope – an interactive art installation for all ages.
Buggered if I know what that means, but boy Sam, left, and Pete where hard at it when I caught them on Saturday constructing the bare bones of the ark on top of a big box. Pete's got a model of what it will look like when finished.
It opens in Sydenham Square, near the old Post Office that’s about to get the attention of the Knock-it-Downs, at 7pm on Friday December 16 th so you’ll have to wait til then to see what it is all about.
Who knows, it might just slow the traffic on Brougham and Colombo Streets long enough to consider stopping to see how the old suburb of Sydenham is going ahead and set to become the new CBD!
9/12/2011: A connectics driver experienced a sinking feeling in Sydenham yesterday.
The team was working on a cleared site facing Colombo Street and parked their van on the former footpath, behind the safety fence, when it gave way embarassing the young driver (face hidden to protect the young)!
No, it has not stopped the rebuild in Sydenham which has become the new city centre!
8/12/2011: GOING, GOING...soon:
Wow! Someone is listening! Us quake-city survivors have another weekend of central city walkabout: See posting of 5/12, below, on Disaster Tourism.
“”The walkway into Cathedral Square will remain in place for another weekend, instead of closing this Sunday as originally planned. The walkway follows the lowest-risk route along Colombo Street, beneath several buildings that are being prepared for demolition. Roger Sutton, the chief executive of"" (SAYRAH) ""says the work on the largest one - the BNZ building"" (above) "" is progressing well. But as the actual demolition work hasn’t yet started the walkway beneath it can safely remain open longer than anticipated.””
7/12/2011: Amid Sydenham’s rubble the poppies grow, bright red signals of a city’s woes…
with apologies to Lt-Colonel John McCrae.
Inveterate café goer Maureen Fletcher, who died in a nearby Colombo Street café in February’s earthquake, would appreciate the symbolism of these poppies growing in Sydenham. She once ran a popular ashram in the North Island and had a strong belief in spiritualism.
Why are poppies so symbolic? Have a read!
5/12/2011: A walk in the locked-down red zone on Sunday or, the financial future of central Christchurch.
Back in the early 1980’s Aussie folk group REDGUM had a hit called "A WALK IN THE LIGHT GREEN. It was a song about the horrors of the Vietnam War and it touched a raw nerve among a population that had been overwhelmed by the media coverage of the Asian war more than a decade earlier, but now consigned to history. If we are lucky some Kiwi musician will do the same for the Christchurch quakes - a world-wide hit - and the sooner the better for the financial future of the CBD was evident on Sunday afternoon, tourism – Earthquake Tourism!
With the central city out of action for the next five to ten years disaster tourism has the makings of a profitable business for Sayrah or the Christchurch City Council for on the weekend xxx (waiting for Sayrah’s figures for the weekend’s tramp! About Monday’s posting – I did e-mail Sayrah for an actual count of the number of people who used the Square walkway last weekend, but to no avail – they are usually super fast with their responses - though they did publish a media-speak press-release this morning: Does our Roger speak like this????) thousands sauntered the narrow, fenced in path to the Square and back.
Many were locals out to see the damage for themselves, but many were tourists on an adventure trip to the site of a disaster. We should take advantage of that very human trait – curiosity!
2/12/2011: Here’s a great way to promote our ravaged city world-wide – a last building standing hunt.
Install ten video cameras at various points in the locked down central Christchurch so viewers can watch from a distance and first to spot a live person without a hi-vis jacket and hard-hat wins a vial of liquifaction.
Think I’m kidding? Have a look at this "Hunt The Haggis" site and take note of how widely popular it is.
The options are endless; hunt Mayor Bob, hunt the Liquefaction, hunt the Red Sticker Breakers, etc, etc. In fact CCC and Sayrah could save vast amounts of your hard-earned dosh for they wouldn't need to pay for Private Eyes, busses to take folks through the central city, plastic cones and hi-vis jackets and hard-hats. Is our city worth watching? Read this fascinating story in the nation's top newspaper: "THE PRESS'.
For the three of you quick off the mark asking about the pix, above, it shows how quickly the weeds (and grafitti) are taking over vacant sites in Sydenham. In this case the corner site once inhabited by the wee printing company, Angus Donaldson, who have moved further up Colombo Street on the other side.
28/11/2011: Two old buildings in Sydenham are in the news this week.
The first, the former Sydenham Post Office is to come down while, the second, is to be restored!
Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward, GCMG (God Call Me God) laid the foundation stone of the PO in 1911.
It is constructed of double-brick with a stone facing as can be seen in this pix.
A dangerous mix?
More about God Call Me God.
It is good news for this old cottage in Harold Street, just off Buchan Street, as new owner Rod Stuart inspects his latest acquisition.
The Sydenham businessman plans to restore the tiny cottage, built sometime between 1860 and 1870, and live in it.
26/11/2011: Where have all the voters gone??
If only Christchurch’s recovery from the great catastrophes could be managed like a General Election – people kept in the dark for ten hours on the Day then everything revealed for all to see.
Here a delighted Dean brandishes the sticky label that proves he has cast his votes.
You are not allowed to take pictures inside a Polling place, just as you are not allowed to take pictures inside the fenced-off central city. But that is changing albeit slowly, too slowly.
Ask at a Polling Place how many people have turned out so far and you are told nothing, just like the quake-savaged citizens of Christchurch. As the Rev Coleman said at last weekend’s march to CERA (Sayrah), “Cantabrians throughout our region have been asking, pleading for open dialogue with the Government.”
However once the votes have been counted all is revealed and a veritable avalanche of information is unleashed upon the citizens unlike Civil Defence, Sayrah, and the CCC, but unlike our un-popular whipping boys, those running the general election get a chance to improve on their work every four years.
You know you are in Christchurch when your polling place is still awaiting repairs – St Mark’s in Opawa – no, they were not using the church as a polling place but the social hall next to it.
24/11/2011: What about rip-offs?
Try this one for size. On Saturday an Opawa resident had his car stolen from his driveway. An early 90’s Nissan, it was found by the Police abandoned near McLeans Island badly vandalised with most of its panels bashed or dented but what assaulted the owners most was the $450 removal bill from the towing company who took it to their yard. The towing company then proceeded to offer the couple $200 for the scrap value of the car! The towing company is about to be visited by the owners, wouldn’t it be interesting to be privy to that conversation – beat TeaGate hands down?
Is your crack showing???
You know you are in earthquake-ravaged Christchurch when the locals talk openly about their cracks. No, not their drug use and not that anatomical one either for the more anal among you!
Like many Christchurch residents these bees were looking for a new home!
When her children went out on Halloween Night they found this swarm of bees so next day Mum, a beekeeper, turns up to capture the swarm! MORE ABOUT BEES.
22/11/2011: Results from this year's national fencing champs in Wellington can be viewed here: Nats 2011.
Now here is a photo of a fencer on the way to the 2o12 London Olympics?
Sadly it's not a Kiwi but a fencer from another tiny fencing nation, PANAMA. Eileen Grench, right, won a bronze medal in the Women’s Individual Sabre at the recent 16th Pan American Games. She is now training and competing in Europe to make sure she qualifies.
19/11/2011: The march of the helpless against the actions of the useless!
If you needed to express in one sentence what happened at Christchurch’s Wider Earthquake Communities’ Action Network Cranmer Square march this afternoon it would be the march of the helpless against the actions of the useless. But the reality is far more complex than those eleven trite words, for the catastrophes that have struck the city in the last 13 months is far and away beyond the experience of any Kiwi. But read what Wecan! had to say….WECAN!
Reverend Coleman harangues the crowd...
The coloured crosses he holds delineate the state of the land in Christchurch. Read about the new colour bar in Christchurch - THE PRESS.
While these protestors could be heralding a problem for insurance companies, Gerry Brownlee and Roger Sutton ...
For many of those marching expressed dismay at the apparent emasculation of the one person they felt could have been their leader - Roger Sutton - lack of communication was the cry so read what Roger has to say ... Rog's words.
18/11/2011: A page of history... from the programme for 1983 Nationals held in Wellington.
Now have a read of Fencing Central's swish 21st Century example.
15/11/2011: Train hard, fight easy! Exhausted fencers......
Sandy Patterson, left, Luke Robertson and Andrew Kell head back to Sol on the Metro after a training session at the Royal Spanish Fencing Federation's national fencing centre in Madrid.
11/11/2011: What did Madonna, Winston Churchill and Boris Karloff have in common?? LISTEN HERE!
9/11/2011: Today is the last day to enter the New Zealand open fencing championships in Wellington unless you want to pay a whopping $50 late entry fee – that’s a one way trip tween ChCh and Wgt. ENTER HERE!
Generally accepted as the culmination of the fencing year, the event sees the best fencers from throughout the country vie to be the top blade in the three weapons used in modern fencing, foil, epee and sabre.
To whet your competitive appetite here is a pix from the past – a Kiwi epeeist fights his way into the second round of the foil event at the World Fencing Champs. Who? Where? And when? Chocky fish for the first correct answer.
7/11/2011: Death of a City.
Talking about our political leaders, it is interesting how quickly they have caught on to the quake-citizens increasing feelings of frustration and a desire for revenge over the handling of the last rites of the death of their city.
What would you do if you were barred from attending the funeral of one of your parents or children or other loved one?
What would you do if the bureaucrats said that you couldn’t attend the last rites of a loved one because you could be injured, but saw hundreds of other people gathering at the graveside on the other side of the fence?
What would you do about the disbelief and anger you experienced?
Would you not make a quiet promise that those officials blocking your attempt to say farewell (for whatever politically correct reasons), to the very personal memories of a great city, will be remembered and revenge exacted at some future time?
Of course you would!
Here the tributes to the memory of those who died in the collapse of the Canterbury Television Building adorn the fence that still stops mourners from approaching the cleared, and one would suspect, a safe site as anywhere in Christchurch, while a busload of gawpers drives past.
The bus ride to nowhere is an attempt, too little and too late many citizens suspect, to allow access to the fenced off central city. Kiwi apathy has its reward!?
6/11/2011: A great success says Arthur Gatland about the Auckland clinics run by three-times world foil champion, Segei Golubitsky. Or, to put it another way, it was a ripping event when one of the attendees ripped his fencing trou during training! Sadly nobody got a pix of the moment.
Read more about SERGEI or catch him in Australia in January.
4/11/2011: NEW GROWTH IN SYDENHAM!
Bit of a pun this – spotted on the roof of the Work and Income New Zealand building in Sydenham. The four storey building, one of the tallest in the area, has been closed since February’s earthquake.
Thanks to the Christchurch City Council photographer who turned-up to record the opening of the Coffee Zone pop-up café in Sydenham.
Have a great weekend!
3/11/2011: They are everywhere.
Appearing mysteriously, generally overnight.
They are the beacons of our quake-shattered city.
They are the CONES!
Thousands upon thousands of them, perhaps one or two for every citizen? At around $50 each they are not cheap, though one safety shop in Woolston has them on special for $38.
Could they be the new growth recovery industry talked about by our council, Sayrah or National and Labour leaders? Give them a hug today, the cones silly not the politicians, for making life easier for us in Catastrophe City!
2/11/2011: Another first for Sydenham!
Wednesday sees another first for the former borough that had as its motto, “Deeds, not words.””
But first, congratulations to the Merivale Tractor set for opening their high-end container mall in the former central business district. There is nothing like a bit of retail therapy and competition, but banning Trade Aid seems a bit narf, especially since the Hummingbird Café advertises it – try their tasty Oomph blend!!
Now back to Sydenham, the suburb that’s going ahead, that had one of the first container shops in the city five months before the Cashel Street container mall, (see posting in Archives 11/5/2011). And now Ian's cafe..
Which is leading the way in the use of recycled building materials from quake damaged businesses to aid the recovery. In this case material from the Burger King store on Moorehouse Avenue, used by Ian to construct his pop-up café not far from Sydenham's first pop-up, the Triton Dairy on Colombo Street.
Here volunteers from GREENING THE RUBBLE prepare gabions for planting in Sydenham.
While further down the road another small business gets ready to reopen.
Sydenham is doing great things without the orchestrated propaganda of the suits in the former city centre – come and see! Have a coffee even – sadly it’s not Oomph.
1/11/2011: Hi Sergei. Welcome to New Zealand!
Former world foil champion Sergei Golubitsk, who is running a series of fencing clinics in Auckland, is not unknown to Kiwi fencers. Kiwis were on hand when he won his first, of three in a row, World Championships in Capetown in 1997. Here's some foil finals action from Capetown..
Plus a general view of the Culemborg convention centre where the champs were held..
Psst, have you got one in your neighborhood?? 29/10/2011: SO NEAR YET SO FAR!
It pays to read the advertising as many of Christchurch’s earthquake survivors found out when they turned up for the opening of the Cashel Street container mall this morning.
Dozens turned up at 10am expecting to inspect the shops and café and be on hand for the official noon opening, but were refused entry.
Confusion reigned. Told by security guards that they could not enter the area near the Bridge of Remembrance until after noon and told in the previous day’s The Press by the organization, Re:START, that the official opening started at noon, a ribbon cutting ceremony at 12.30pm and access to the shops afterwards, dozens of disgruntled citizens headed off to the reviving areas of Sydenham and Addington for shopping and coffee.
But there was some good news – George and Charlotte found out that they are from the tiny town of Bradford upon Avon near the English city of Bath! In the background, young shoppers are told they are not allowed in.
Read more about BRADFORD UPON AVON.
Read how The Press saw the opening CITY MALL HAS REOPENED.
26/10/2011: WORLD FENCING CHAMP TO VISIT.
Now that the All Blacks are the world rugby champions it’s time to note the arrival of another World Champion on the Kiwi scene, Sergei Golubitsky. A former three-times World foil fencing champion and Olympic silver medallist. Goubitsky is in Auckland to run a series of training clinics for Kiwi fencers starting this Sunday. The four clinics are packed with fencers from all over the country – Auckland to Dunedin!
The clinics are the work of Air New Zealand long-haul pilot, Arthur Gatland. Gatland, the current New Zealand open men’s foil champion, takes his fencing gear with him on his travels and when in Los Angeles, he visits the South Coast Fencing Club, about 40 minutes' drive south-east from LA where he has a good friend Gerry Rafanelli. Rafanelli recently told Gatland that Golubitsky was running a clinic at the club and asked him if he was interested in participating. Gatland couldn't make it, but it started him thinking.
While Golubitsky was at the South Coast Fencing Club, Gatland e-mailed Rafanelli and asked him to approach Sergei to see if he would be interested in coming to NZ and running a few training clinics in Auckland? Gatland couldn't offer much money, but hoped to compensate Golubitsky by guaranteeing him an interesting stay - with a few days at the beach, a selection of fun activities like a ride in a B777 flight simulator, windsurfing, wakeboarding, gliding, golf etc. Golubitsky replied saying he was definitely interested, as was his wife Carolin who was keen to accompany him to the bottom of the world.
So then it "simply" became a case of persuading Air New Zealand to support the project by providing a free air ticket for Sergei - which they kindly agreed to as a "one-off" present because of Gatland’s achievement in winning the open foil at last year’s National Fencing Championships in Dunedin plus his commitment to further the sport in NZ. The support from Air New Zealand and from the national body, Fencing New Zealand, plus the four fencing regions has ensured Gatland can keep the clinic prices down to an attainable level for budding Kiwi champions.The clinics in Otahuhu and Gulf Harbour start this Sunday, 30 th October and run til Sunday November 6 th.
22/10/2011: Least we forget – Earthquake Survivor New Zealand!
Mayor Parker and Recovery Minister Brownlee are no doubt doing their best about helping people whose lives and homes were shattered by the Great Catastrophe, but I cannot but think that they and everyone involved with the recovery at Sayrah, Erni and the City Council, should spend a hour a week visiting people, workers, business owners, residents and prisoners by pushbike.
Not only would it be a great chance for publicity, but also a positive indication to those whose lives have been shattered and ravaged by the earthquakes and by insurance companies and the demolition burglars, that they have not been forgotten. It would give our leaders an idea of how narf some of the rebuild ideas for urban transport are.
What a great story, the boss of Sayrah (CERA) Roger Sutton, Mayor Bob, his city managers and councilors cycling out to a suburb to visit some lucky family each week, while the political parties could create huge voter interest by using the idea in a lead up to November's General Election. Voters would lap it up!
It's something that's never done before (well, they used cars and a helicopter last time they tried it. See earlier posting on March 4 th in the 2011 Archives) It could become a weekly TV programme with potential for huge sales overseas.
Earthquake Survivor, TVNZ take note, could be the replacement for all those cooking shows. Get in touch if you would like someone to visit you. I can put you on to about 30 deserving stories.
20/10/2011: Punctures and yesterday’s big wet.
Rough roads mean that punctures have sky-rocketed for Christchurch motorists – up 60% plus says Jazmin, of Tony’s Tire Services. The influx of punctures in the last few months has seen the branch on Lincoln Road put one of it’s staff on full-time puncture repairs – now this lady manfully struggling with her flat tyre in Opawa refused the help of local males at first, but relented after finding the wheel nuts too tight to undo. – Wonder if she went to Tony’s?
Lake Cameron – yesterday’s heavy rain and rumpy drainage formed this lake in Cameron Street, Sydenham.
Allan, the gas man, changes into his gumboots in the foyer of The Warehouse in Barrington Mall before going out to work in yesterday’s downpour.
16/10/2011: Another page of history.
National Fencing Champs 1983
Question: If 1983 was the 40th anniversary of our National Champs, in which year did they start?? Your answers to: Baz please....
15/10/2011: Wots this to do with fencing, you ask. Read it and make up your own mind. Epeeists might have a problem understanding it, but all you foilists and sabreurs will love it....a superb parry and reposte!
12/10/2011: The word's gone out - promote Nationals!!
Baz is running round Wellington in a lather, Vikki, excuse the spelling but she is from Canterbury originally, will be looking severe and as for Rob and President Ken - well you can provide your own words to describe what they are going through? Anyway, here is a programme from the past........
You can get your entry form, or futher information, here: NATIONALS 2011 and watch this space for further revelations of 1983...
11/10/2011: Things have been tough for many minor sports in Catastrophe City fencing among them. Recent MidSouth comps have had to be cancelled owing to lack of entries especially recent open foil and epee events. But not sabre.
Thanks to MidSouth tournament co-ordinator Marguerite Abaffy, who approached Christchurch sabreurs and the Sabre Club to find out what day and time suited them. So last night ten sabreurs from the club turned out for the MidSouth Open Sabre shifting the club’s usual Monday night session to the Fencing Institute for the event.
Alex Chan got his mitts on one of the new gold medals ordered by former MidSouth President Luke Robertson last year – sadly Luke only managed second to score a silver medal while Rob Blackburne won the bronze. Eight men and two women competed with apologies from others who could not make it. Among them was Keith Mann, a Life Member of the both Fencing MidSouth and Fencing New Zealand and who, at 80 years of age, is muttering about competing the Commonwealth Veterans Fencing Championships in Singapore next year. Why are these fencing parents avoiding looking at the photographer?? No rude comments please.
MidSouth open sabre Results: 1 Alex Chan, 2 Luke Robertson, 3 Rob Blackburne, 4 Aidan Taylor, 5 Susan Fourie, 6 James Litchwark. 7 Michael Chen, 8 Gwen Smart, 9 Jonathan Gerry, 10 Ross Shepherd.
9/10/2011: More medals for Kiwi fencers in Australia!
The final day of the Australian U20s in Melbourne saw New Zealand teams score a gold in the women’s epee ( Carla Campbell, Wai Ling Chan, both Christchurch, and Jazmin Hopper, Auckland) and a bronze in the men’s foil (Hamish Chan, Auckland, Julius Herzhof, Christchurch, Daniel Kahu and Haz Forrester both Wellington). To see the full results use the link to the Aussie U20's below.......
7/10/2011: Young Kiwi fencers win medals in Australia.
It is the most fun you can have with a sword without injuring someone and New Zealand fencers are having a great time at the Australian U20 championships in Melbourne. Felix Boyce, of Wellington, won bronze in the individual men’s epee event and the New Zealand team of Boyce, Oliver Agnew, Bevan Dobbs and Gideon van Zyl were second, winning silver medals.
Also in action were two top Kiwi referees Hamish Clarke, of Christchurch, and Nicola Shackleton, of Wellington, who controlled many of the finals.
The championships continue on Saturday and Sunday with men’s foil and women’s epee events.
See full results at: AUSSIE U20's
NOW ITS TIME FOR A FENCING QUIZ.
1) Which Christchurch fencer has eaten his way into the news?
2) Who is the Christchurch fencer who has recently. this week, acquired a noisy Triumph?
3) Name the two elderly Wellington fencers who have challenged each other to compete at next month's nationals?
4) What do a former World fencing champion and Air New Zealand long-haul pilot have in common?
(First correct e-mailed answers win a Morris Minor key-ring!!)
4/10/2011: We have been blaming the Christchurch City Council, Sayrah, the insurance companies and Gerry Brownlee for many of our current woes, but could it be that the Church of England was responsible for many of them?
The musings of the famous Kiwi poet, Denis Glover could suggest that.
Here’s what he says:
“” But Christchurch – what is it? Oh indeed, Christchurch, is one of those ridiculous settlements by the New Zealand Company as propounded by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, followed through by the hopeful John Robert Godley, and now busy assessing itself still in terms of the first four ships. …… What did the gallant Englishmen do? Though proceeded by surveyors who should have known better – Thomas, Torlesse and company – with unerring instinct they picked on the most miasmal part of the Canterbury Plains, bog, fog, and mud, and decided that they would pitch the high banner of the Church of England.””
So there! Forget the alb, surplice, burqa, Christchurch City Council, Sayrah or the Insurance companies, have all our woes been caused by The Church of England and a bunch of religious settlers selecting the wrong spot to found our city??
Have a squiz at these:
1) You can read more of the poet’s musings on Bog City in his personal narrative, “Hot Water Sailor” or learn more about Denis, who lived in Christchurch, at: Denis Glover
2) The illustrations are by Russell Clark and you can read more about him at: Russell Clark
3) Plus read about the founding of Bog City at: Christchurch
Then make up your own mind.
2/10/2011: A Bob each way is not the same as a bent two-bob note!
But both magnate Bob and mayor Bob are wrong about the rebirth of Central Christchurch?? Why? Because all the low rent shops that made the central city so quirky and all the booze bars and cafes that gave it a life at night, are gone.
Here many of those small businesses litter Manchester Street after February’s quake… The used bookshops, the off-the-hanger clothes shops, the music shops, the second-hand shops, cafes, photographic and artists studios even the oldest barber shop in town – all gone – and with rent now at $1000 a week for a used shipping container in the former Cashel Mall, which in many cases is nearly twice the rent that the tiny businesses were paying in the central city before the quakes (for example, a shop in New Regent Street raised many eyebrows before September’s earthquake when the owner asked for $700 per week rent) so you can be sure they will not be back for a long time, if ever. Yes, a few of the hardier types have managed to relocate, but many have not.
Rhys, a former Manchester Street bookshop owner is already planning his move to the North Island, while a large IT company that worked out of a high-rise building close to the Cathedral is opening a new office in Queenstown. Even a famous city photographer, nick-named Mcboom, is now ensconced in the Whitianga miles away from his munted New Brighton home. (There were nearly 200 photographers listed in Christchurch before the quakes.)
Will life return to the CBD? Emphatically yes, but not as Magnate Bob and Mayor Bob suggest – but you will need to wait twenty years to see it though.
1/10/2011: Poor TVNZ. Once the flagship of Kiwi telly now a laughing stock harassed by the Prime Minister over the timing of Coronation Street - now it's weather frontman this morning had the rain on the West Coast descending at 18mm -per-hour! Listen to what Joan'y says about A HARD RAIN'S GONNA FALL.
What is this thing nestling silently among the dandelions in Sydenham?
The Thingies have also been mysteriously appearing in other Christchurch suburbs much to the interest of residents. Is to do with seismic research? Is it an earthquake warning device? An artesian well? A CCC device to subdue unruly residents? A covert Police surveillance device?
According to a super quick response from Sayrah, “”it is a Piezometer or groundwater stand pipe or, in simpler terms, a groundwater depth monitoring station. It consists of a surface cap (as shown in photo), and a slotted pipe to depth that has groundwater in it and it can be read by a geo-technical engineer.””
Psst, have you got one in your neighborhood?? vv
30/9/2011: She’s at it again!!
Auckland fencer Nancy Liu wants a teensy bit of your money for a good cause – find out more HERE!
29/9/2011: The City Centre is dead and gone even property magnate Sir Bob Jones reckons that. Read his reasons at THE PRESS the nation’s top newspaper.
Lets face it the CBD had been declining for years. First when the university moved to Ilam and then with the apparent unrestricted development of suburban shopping malls and parking restrictions. Bob’s rather dogmatic use of the word “cannot” is also a bit shy of the mark as central Christchurch will revive just not as magnate Bob, mayor Bob and our city bureaucrats expect.
But the former borough of Sydenham aint dead as these pix show.
Life is surging back into the old established area as businesses move in to take advantage of Sydenham’s location and lack of severe quake damage.
Situated between the main road and rail links the area has a great future.
Caught in action, engineering consulting company Beca’s new staff barbeque is un packed in Sydenham.
More than 100 of the company’s staff are now working from the BNZ building on the corner of Colombo and Lawson Street in Sydenham.
(See previous postings about Sydenham starting 2/3/2011 in Archives 2011 section.)
27/9/2011: Feed me. Life in quake-stricken Christchurch is still going on as this hungry baby magpie shows.
22/9/2011: Tattered and discoloured they may be, but seven months on the New Zealand and French flags still fly over locked-down central Christchurch.
They still flutter from drunken flag-poles over Torenhof, a Belgian beer café in the Canterbury Provincial Chamber complex, which was badly damaged in the February earthquake. The land and buildings were literally picked up shifted approximately 200 cm east and twisted. The question is, is the right-hand flag a black, white and red French flag or a discoloured and faded Black, yellow and red Belgian flag? Thanks Nigel! Read more about the popular central city café on Armagh Street by the River Avon on their Facebook site or http://www.belgianbeercafe.net.nz/
Work has started on rebuilding the St Martin's New World Supermarket as this pic of a big drill shows. A popular shopping spot for Heathcote, Beckenham, Waltham, St Martin's and hill suburb shoppers, the rebuild cannot come quick enough.
19/9/2011: University pf Canterbury Fencing Club members celebrate being back on Campus on Sunday!
The nation’s oldest swords club was driven off-campus by the February Earthquake which damaged the land beneath the Students Association Building, denying the 83-year-old club the use of the Ballroom and access to their equipment. But thanks to the help of Waltham Primary School, the club managed to get up and running after rescuing most of its gear. Now it is back on campus using a gym at the University of Canterbury's College of Education campus. It meets each Sunday from 2 - 4pm - all students welcomed.
UCFC President Titch directs an epee duel between Rob and James on a sunny Sunday in Quake City.
14/9/2011: It squats at the end of Victoria Street like a ziggurat blocking the access of those traveling from Merivale, Papanui and further north to the central city.
It was, I believe, one of three major reasons for the death of the city centre - the others were the moving of the university to Ilam and the impact of the Parking Nazis. Now badly damaged by the earthquakes, it may be demolished and road access to the central city restored. Read about a Ziggurat and the condemned Crowne Plaza Hotel.
You can see some of the external damage below:
With the accent on World Cup Rugby and that team that our bro Robbie coaches those pesky Aussie's have also collared another bit of Kiwi history thanks to TradeMe, this Morris J van! The van and its owner Ian were regularly seen driving round Kiaipoi and Christchurch, but not any more - the van's new home is across the pond in Sydney!
9/9/2011: Council dognappers save the Queen's corgis from looters?
Sharp-eyed café-goer Richard spotted that they were missing from a picture published in THE PRESS on Wednesday. Café consensus was that they had been looted, but a quick phone call to Maria Adamski, Parks Heritage Contracts Manager, at the Christchurch City Council, put the looted theory to rest – the Corgis are safe and sound in a council shed! They will be released as soon as practicable.
The Pembroke Corgi sculptures were a permanent display on High Street in front of Alice’s Vidioland. The life-sized dogs are made of bronze and cost the City $24,000 to help celebrate the Queen’s 50 th Jubilee. There are no others like them anywhere in the world.
The Corgi in the front is carrying his collar in his mouth and the Corgi at the rear is sniffing an ice-cream cone.
The sculptor is David Marshal, a Christchurch vet.
4/9/2011: Foil results from today's South Island Fencing Championships at the Fencing Institute are:
MEN’S FOIL: 1 Hamish Clarke, Christchurch; 2 Chris Bell, Christchurch; 3= Michael Aymes and Gideon van Zyl, both Auckland; 5 William Bishop, Wellington; 6 Maxime Roland, Auckland; 7 Haz Forrester, Wellington; 8 Clovis Dyson, Auckland; 9 Daniel Kahu, Wellington; 10 Daniel Garelja, Auckland; 11 Jonathan Krebs, Auckland; 12 Felix Boyce, Wellington; 13 Julius Herzhoff, Christchurch; 14 Ben Wilkins, Christchurch; 15 Michael Claydon, Auckland; 16 Ruben Beer, Christchurch; 17 Graham Payne, Timaru; 18 Jurgens van Zyl; 19 Benjamin Krebs, Auckland; 20 Lucien Nightingale, Christchurch; 21 Min Hong, Christchurch.
WOMEN’S FOIL: 1 Kate Brill, Christchurch; 2 Rachel Rowlands, Dunedin; 3= Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch and Jazmin Hopper, Auckland; 5 Stephanie Wyllie, Christchurch; 6 Carla Campbell, Christchurch; 7 Grace Christie, Hamilton; 8 Anna Garcia, Christchurch; 9 Kate Boyer, Christchurch; 10 Rebecca Polacheck, Christchurch.
3/9/2011: An interested spectator watches the action...
Results of the epee events at this weekend’s South Island Fencing Championships are: MEN’S EPEE: 1 Daniel Kahu, Wellington; 2 Brett Davis, Christchurch; 3= Mark Rance and Andreas Sesun, both Christchurch; 5 William Bishop, Wellington; 6 Xavier Watts, Wellington; 7 Alex Chan, Christchurch; 8 Felix Boyce, Wellington; 9 Gideon van Zyl, Auckland; 10 Julius Herzhoff. Christchurch; 11 Jurgens van Zyl, Auckland; 12 Lucien Nightingale, Christchurch; 13 Oliver Agnew, Auckland; 14 Martin Brill, Christchurch, 15 Rob Blackburne, Christchurch; 16 Graham Payne, Timaru; 17 Alex Nicole, Christchurch; 18 Issac Officer, Christchurch; 19 Quin Downs, Christchurch; 20 Jonathan Anderson, Christchurch.
Women's epee action:
WOMEN’S EPEE: 1 Wei ling Chan, Christchurch; 2 Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch; 3= Carla Campbell, Christchurch and Jazmin Hopper, Auckland; 5 Grace Christie, Auckland; 6 Anna Garcia, Christchurch; 7 Rebecca Polacheck, Christchurch; 8 Susie Messent, Christchurch.
The Champs, at the Fencing Institute in Christchurch, continue tomorrow with foil and sabre events. National epee champ Graham Payne welcomes visitors to the South Island Champs. Graham, formerly from Auckland, now lives in Timaru.
Mtc - more to come!
1/9/2011: Shag Rock, foreground, is well and truly shagged as this pix taken from across the estuary shows.
Take note of the empty freight containers protecting the only road to Sumner from falling cliffs. Read about the Christchurch landmark http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapanui_Rock
30/8/2011: APOLIGIES, the host of this site has had a problem with a hard drive failing. Normal service will resume as soon a possible. Keep your e-mails coming and keep visiting!
Don't forget the South Island Champs this weekend and that the United Fencing Club holds its first meeting tonight since the Earthquake, oh, and those sabreurs looking for a bit of competition, if there is no sabre comp at South Islands on Sunday, can turn up at the University of Canterbury Fencing Club's Sunday session, entry fee - a packet of gingernuts which Titch will refund if you don't turn up!
25/8/2011: ANSWER THIS.....
What is the link between a long-haul pilot and a former world fencing Champion?? Hint: There are three weapons used in modern fencing; foil, epee and sabre.
First correct answer wins the last Morris Minor key ring so be quick…
23/8/2011: More positive fencing news! A former Christchurch fencer starts a fencing club on Guam!
Yep, former Linwood High School and United Fencing Club fencer Karita, seen here with former four-times national epee champion Rangi de Abaffy at a recent University of Canterbury Fencing Club session, is now married and living with husband and two children on the Pacific island. With hubby and a friend the trio enlisted help from the International Fencing Federation and USA Fencing, who provided equipment and other assistance, and are in the throes of selecting a venue. Related to the formidable fencing Kell family, Andrew, Peter and Patrick, Karita was a top foilist in her day.
More on Guam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guam
In other fencing news it appears that two former foilists now living in Wellington (names withheld to protect the innocent), have challenged each other to compete in this year’s nationals being held in the Capital. Mtc (More To Come).
19/8/2011: RATTLE YOUR DAGS!
RATTLE YOUR DAGS
Oxford Terrace lies in ruins as this abandoned street sign shows.
Once a centre of Kiwi Booze Culture the strip, from Armagh Street to Cashel Street, was alive with bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes, but not any more and over-indulgence has moved to the suburbs or laid out in private homes.
Thank goodness the Draft City Plan is just that, suggestions and ideas but not the real thing otherwise we all might as well pack up and move to Dunedin. Why? Because people do not seem to realise that the City Centre was dead long before the Earthquakes flattened it – see posting of 30/5/2011 in the Archives which charts forty-years of CBD decline – and the only way to revive it is to BRING people back into it.
For that you need cheap accommodation, lots of free or cheap parking, entertainment and employment and it needs to be done quick before they all leave for other places.
The IT hub sounds good as does growing the Polytech, even the idea of a parking area for Freedom Campers. As for Light Rail and removing Lincoln University to the city centre – forget it. Too slow and too costly.
But the most positive thing about the draft plan is that it is the result of thousands of people’s energy and drive, which bodes well for the future.
Long Live Oxford Terrace….
You can read the draft plan here: http://www.centralcityplan.org.nz/
16/8/2011: Fencing news this week is positive. United Fencing Club re-opens on Tuesday August 30 th in the hall at Shirley Intermediate School, entrance from North Parade, just past Shirley Boys High, time - 7pm to 9pm.
This is great news for those living in the worst hit areas of Christchurch as the club draws much of its membership from those Eastern suburbs of the Garden City badly hit by the earthquakes. Contact Rob Sheard on 980 1914.
And now some contrasting pix from the snow dump.
Clearing snow on Colombo Street.
A long and winding path in Sydenham.
And City Care’s Ruben with his front-end loader in a side street near Colombo Street.
12/8/2011: Are these leaning?
Visitors from Canberra have a squiz at the leaning towers in Armagh Street. The question is, are these high-rises in the Red Zoned Central Business District leaning because of the earthquakes or parallax error? What’s your view?
Read about parallax error: PARALLAX ERROR.
10/8/2011: Bridge Over Smelly Waters!
A footbridge over the polluted Avon River, Avonside Drive, Christchurch. The Cristchurch City Council is slaving away to repair the munted sewerage system that dumps yuckkies into the river and plan to have things cleaned up by Summer.
Also, some in the quake- ravaged city are asking that this rumpled bridge be kept, as is, as a memorial showing how powerfull the earthquake was. Now listen to what Simon and Garfunkel have to say about BRIDGES!
8/9/2011: Prepared to risk it??
Here is an indicator that the good people of quake-ravaged Christchurch make their own decisions about what others (officials) think is extremely dangerous – footprints in the snow on a twisted footbridge over the Heathcote River in Opawa says it all - don't mollycoddle us or, more likely, we are too lazy to take the long way home!
6/8/2011: A flash new bog in Avonside:
A visitor to the shattered Red Zoned Avonside Drive area tries one of the new toilets provided for residents still without sewerage and water services.
If you want an idea of what the recovery of earthquake-stricken Christchurch is going to be like.
If you think that the present fumblings of the Christchurch City Council, Sayrah, the Earthquake Commission, business interests or Czar Brownlee will improve.
If you have any desire to assist in the recovery effort.
If you just want an idea of what YOUR FUTURE is in Christchurch then read these two books; “The People’s War “and “The Myth Of The Blitz”. BUY THEM HERE!
Written byANGUS CALDER they give a factual account of a stricken nation recovering from a catastrophic event – the Second World War and the Blitz. Just change the locations and dates and you could think you are reading about Christchurch!
Lets hope they are widely read and the mistakes they highlight are not repeated here and that the positive things are. Meanwhile, the Knock-It-Downs are still at work.
3/8/2011: Meet Edna, the award winning movie promoting fencing: EDNA THE DRAGON.
What's your verdict?
Respected Wellington and university fencer Waimaria Erueti, seen on the right at a training camp at Linwood High School in Christchurch with her friend Karita Avia, was buried in Wellington this morning. Read her obituary: Waimaria Erueti
29/7/2011: NOW FOR SOME EARTHQUAKE NEWS: A damaged New Brighton house awaits it's fate....
And a story about a professional engineer, one who worked on many buildings and infrastructure in our city: Now retired, he was asked by Civil Defence if he could help out with building inspections. Yes, he said, well turn up at the Art Gallery/Civil Defence Headquarters and we will get you started. He turns up but is not allowed to enter. Sorry says the security guard you don’t have a pass. But I have been asked to come and help. No pass no entry! Could you phone Mr So and So to tell him I am here? Sorry, can’t do that. So off goes our engineer, after 20 minutes of fruitless talking, back home where he then phones his Civil Defence contact who then has a pass driven to the engineer’s home so he can start helping our city recover.
If you want to see what he had to deal with in the central city have a look at Ross Becker’s pictures: Have a look at these!
26/7/3011: He is not a fencer but Brian Strong, right, attended the NZ Secondary Schools and U20s day after chilly day to take thousands of pictures of the fast and furious action on piste. You can repay his dedication by buying one of his pix of YOU in action!
Have a look here: fantastic fotos You can do it all on line and hang that great shot of YOU in action on YOUR wall.
25/7/2011: Christchurch liquefaction is spreading throughout New Zealand thanks to the organisers of the National U20’s Fencing Championships being held in the earthquake-ravaged city.
Small sealed vials of the grey stuff along with a certificate with a background of the damaged city were presented to competitors as a memento of the first national fencing competition in the city since the September earthquake and are proving a hit with out-of-town fencers. The two-day champs finished on Sunday with the foil events.
One of the willing workers that made the event a success:
Results: Mens Foil. 1 Hamish Chan. 2 Daniel Kahu. 3= Maxime Rolland and Jurgens van Zyl. 5 Clovis Dyson. 6 Harry Forrester. 7 Julius Herzhoff. 8 Daniel Garelja 9 Felix Boyce. 10 Finn Butler. 11 Michael Claydon. 12 Gideon van Zyl. 13 Jon Krebs. 14 Oliver Agnew. 15 Ben Wilkins. 16 Simon Fisher 17 Foley-Walker . 18 Lucian Nightingale. 19 Alex Thomas. 20 Ben Krebs. 21 Joon Hong. 22 Min Hong. 23 Sheldon Ogilvie. 24 Jonathan Brill. 25 Jack Ledbrook.
Womens Foil. 1 Wai Ling Chan. 2 Grace Christie. 3= Stephanie Alexander and Stephanie Wyllie. 5 Jazmin Hopper. 6 Olive Butler. 7 Melissa Burgess. 8 Sasha Green. 9 Alice Boyd. 10 Rachel Mercer. 11 Kate Boyer.
23/7/2011: They should have named it the Fencing Fridge instead of the Fencing Institute, but the 2011 National U20 Fencing Championship got off to a warm start in Christchurch today with the mens epee event, continued with the womens epee and then finished off with a bit of swashbuckling sabre. It continues on Sunday with the foil events. And, though it was cold outside it was hot action inside at the venue in Addington with fencers from Auckland taking the lion’s share of the honours – two of the three gold medals.
Results: Mens Epee. 1. Jurgens van Zyl, Gulf Harbour Fencing Club, 2, Alex Chan, Sabre Club (Christchurch). 3=, Oliver Agnew, New Zealand Academy of Fencing and Daniel Kahu, Upper Hutt College. 6, Felix Boyce, Wellington Swords Club, 6, Julius Herzhoff, 7, Sheldon Ogilvie and 8, Ben Wilkins (all the Fenicng Institute). 9, Bevan Dobbs, Auckland Swords Club. 10, Isaac Officer, Christchurch. 11, Gideon van Zyl, Gulf Harbour. 12, Alexander Kuch, Gulf Harbour. 12, Lucian Nightingale, Fencing Institute. 14, Alex Thomas, Upper Hutt College. 15, Min Hong, Fencing Institute. 16, Simon Fisher, Upper Hutt College.
Womens Epee. 1, Wai Ling Chan, Fencing Institute. 2 Stephanie Alexander, Upper Hutt College. 3= Carla Campbell, University of Canterbury Fencing Club and Hannah Ramsay, Sabre Club. 5, Jazmin Hopper, Gulf Harbour Fencing Club, 6, Lydia Whittington, TAO. Melissa Burgess, Upper Hutt College. 9, Katie Boyer, Fencing Institute. 10, Sasha Green, New Zealand Academy of Fencing.
Womens Sabre. Katie Logan, New Zealand Academy of Fencing. 2, Hannah Ramsay, The Sabre Club. 3=, Carla Campbell, University of Canterbury Fencing Club and Sasha Green, New Zealand Academy of Fencing. 5, Gwen Smart, The Sabre Club. 6, Rachel Mercer, Upper Hutt College.
22/7/2011: Out of town fencers experienced a thrilling 5.1 strength aftershock this morning,
Pre fight check:
but the threat of earthquakes in the Garden City has only slightly reduced, by two or three in the three weapons, the number of competitors turning out for this year’s New Zealand Secondary School Championships in Christchurch, most noticeably so in the boy’s sabre event where no championship was held due to a lack of entries. However, the four that did turn-up took part in a mixed round with the girls before separating into their two groups. With Katie Logan, of Auckland, wining the girls event with last year’s champion, Hannah Ramsay, of Christchurch, third. In the Boys, it was last year’s champion Alex Chan, of Christchurch Boys High School, proving to be the top sabreur, but no award was made.
The sabre dance:
Results: Girls Sabre. 1, Katie Logan, Epsom Girls Grammar School. 2, Stephanie Alexander, Upper Hutt College. 3=. Melissa Burgess, Upper Hutt College and Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch Girls High School. 5, Gwen Smart, Cashmere High School. 6, Susan Fourie, Middleton Grange. 7, Rachel Mercer, Upper Hutt College.
Tomorrow sees the start of the New Zealand U20 Championships at the Fencing Institute in Addington, with epee kicking off the 2011 champs followed by sabre, and the foil events on the Sunday.
21/7/2011: Results from yesterday's foil events and today's epee events at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships being held in Christchurch. The national event ends tomorrow with the sabre events.
Boys Foil. 1, Julius Herzhoff, Christ’s College; 2, Felix Boyce, Wellington College, 3=, Michael Claydon, Kristan School and Daniel Garelja, Auckland. 5, Lucian Nightingale, Burnside High School. 6, Harry Forrester, Onslow College. 7, Jurgen van Zyl, Wentworth College. 8, Alex Thomas, Upper Hutt College. 9, Jared Howlett, Dunedin. 10, James Tomlin, Green Bay High. 11, David Solin, Otago Boys High School. 12, Simon Fisher, Upper Hutt College. 13, Min Hong, Middleton Grange. 14, Daniel Keleghan, Christ’s College. 15, Joon Hong, Middleton Grange. 16, Sheldon Ogilvie, Cashmere High School. 17, Jonothan Brill, Christchurch Boys High School. 18, Foley-Walker, Dunedin, 19, Walker-Halen, Raphael House. 20 Gareth Smith, Onslow College. 21, Anthony Goh, Christ’s College. 22, Jack Ledbrook, Wentworth College.
Girls Foil. 1, Wai Ling Chan, Burnside High School. 2, Stephanie Alexander, Upper Hutt College. 3=, Grace Christie, Te Kura and Stephanie Wyllie, Wentworth College. 5, Olive Butler, Otago Girls High School. 6, Melissa Burgess, Upper Hutt College. 7, Kate Boyer, St Andrew’s College. 8, Rachel Mercer, Upper Hutt College. 9, Catherine Marshall, Rangi Ruru. 10, Alyssa Ong, Christchurch Girls High School.
Boys Epee. 1, Alex Chan, Christchurch Boys High School. 2, Felix Boyce, Wellington Colllege. 3=, Alex Thomas, Upper Hutt College and Jurgens van Zyl , Wentworth College. 5, Julius Herzhoff, Christ’s College. 6, Joon Hong, Middleton Grange. 7, Lucian Nightingale, Burnside High School. 8, Sheldon Ogilvie, Cashmere High School. 9, Min Hong, Middleton Grange. 10, Alex Nicolle, Christchurch Boys High School. 11, Simon Fisher, Upper Hutt College.
Girls Epee. 1, Wai Ling Chan, Burnside High School. 2, Grace Christie, Te Kura. 3=, Stephanie Alexander, Upper Hutt College and Stephanie Wyllie, Wentworth College. 5, Kate Boyer, St Andrew’s Colllege, 6, Melissa Burgess, Upper Hutt College. 7, Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch Girls High School. 8, Dindi Chan, Burnside High School. 9, Rachel Mercer, Upper Hutt Collelge. 10, Lydia Whittington, Samuel Marsden.Collegiate School.
Father and son:
And a fencer:
20/7/2011: Some pix from the New Zealand Secondary School Championships underway in Christchurch.
What are they looking at?
Danger - photographer at work:
Results will be published here as soon as they are received from the organisers so keep looking. Also, have a look at what the Nation's top newspaper has to say about the champs: THE PRESS!
19/7/2011: Have You have heard of the Four Musketeers? Thought So. Here's their Story:
In spite of more than 7400 earthqukes since September that have interrupted their preparation, four young Christchurch fencers will attempt to defend their titles at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Fencing Championships that start in the city on Wednesday.
Of the six gold medals up for grabs four are held by Christchurch fencers. Alex Chan, of Christchurch Boys High School, holds the boys sabre, Wai-Ling Chan, of Burnside High School, the girls foil, Julius Herzhoff, of Christ’s College, boys foil and Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch Girls High School, girls sabre.
The competition, at the Fencing Institute, Jack Hinton Drive, in Addington on begins with the foil event, then the epee on Thursday and sabre on Friday.
Watch this space!!!!
For further information contact me direct 03 3666396 or, phone the organiser, Carla Campbell 027 367 5724.
18/7/2011: Earthquake Ravaged Christchurch To Be Put To The Sword!
Now we have your attention, we can tell you that dozens of young fencers from throughout the country will converge on Christchurch this week to compete in the New Zealand Secondary School Championships and the Under 20 Championships.
At stake will be medals in the three weapons of modern fencing, sabre, epee and foil but also a chance at selection for the 2012 Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Jersey.
The competition starts at the Fencing Institute, Jack Hinton Drive, in Addington, on Wednesday with foil, then the epee on Thursday and sabre on Friday and the U20s on Saturday and Sunday.
Spectators are welcome and it won’t cost you a cent. For TV and photographers, the action will be fast and furious with lots of chances for those ‘dramatic” shots, just the thing for that unusual lead on a quiet news day with fencers from as far apart as Auckland and Dunedin clashing on the pistes.
This is the first major fencing competition held in Christchurch since the September Quake - unless you count the Univerity's One hit Ecclestone comp - so interest among local fencers is high.
17/7/2011: Café talk this week covered two topics; praise for the Police and Army, and the lack of Common Sense. A group of engineers were talking about their experiences in the Red Zone after February’s Earthquake. All spoke positively of working in the central city and the knowledge that if something happened the Army and Police were on hand to help.
Another commented about the eerie silence and the fact that for the first time he could hear the Avon River chuckling away in the central city – no background traffic noise! All were concerned about the central city rebuild, wondering how those surviving high-rise building would fit into a redesigned central city – it could look like the few remaining teeth in an old man’s mouth quipped one - unsightly gaps and nothing in-between.
If professional engineers are worried about the remaining tall buildings making for an ugly landscape shouldn’t the rest of us be worried too? All the neat little drawings and designs produced by our urban planners don’t seem to cover that problem, with nothing but nice homogenous skylines. Go look at flattened Sydenham. A few uncomfortable tall building surrounded by nothing but vacant land a few low rises
14/7/2011: Uni Fencer bails-up Prime Minister:
University of Canterbury Fencing Club eppeist Peter Campbell interviewed the Prime Minister John Key this morning. Key, on campus to lecture sociology students, willingly faced Campbell, a student at the School of Journalism, who just happened to be on hand along with a camera and microphone as part of his course work.
13/7/2011: More good news in Christchurch, The poor fellow who got ticketed for no warrant of fitness after contacting the police to have a dumped vehicle removed from in front of his house, June 25 th posting, has had the ticket quashed as it was only days out of warrant and the February Earthquake had hindered his ability to renew it. Common Sense at Last!! Hurrah. But the dumped vehicle still rests in front of his house, oh?
The Knock It Downs at work in Colombo Street:
The barren St Martin's New World Supermarket site, but the good news is that it is to be rebuilt.
The other good news is that local resident Shirley Lennon's 1500 signature petition requesting the retention of Post Shop and Kiwi Bank facilities at the site has been sent to the NZ Post Group and local Member of Parliament Ruth Dyson. Plus after weeks of e-mails and phone calls, that Mr Roach, the Chief Operating Officer of the NZ Post Group, has assured Mrs Lennon the group will look favourably on re-opening a Post Shop and Kiwi Bank in St Martin's.
7/7/2011: This smoke stack at the Christchurch Hospital's boiler house has been given the green light after fears it might have fallen over because of recently discovered damage.
5/7/2011: FENCING NEWS:
Brett and Suzanne were among those competing between the earthquakes in Christchurch on Saturday. Six epeeists turned out for the MidSouth event and only two aftershocks were recorded and, unlike the wee tremor experienced recently in Auckland, life went on as usual. So North Islanders, there is no reason not to come and take part in the New Zealand Secondary Schools and Junior (under 20) championships starting on the 20 th July! And that’s the long and short of it! Get your entries in, you are also welcome to do a bit of pre-comp training at the University of Canterbury Fencing Club (Sunday arvos) and the Sabre Club (Monday evenings).
4/7/2011: Someone has said that picking on the Christchurch City Council is no way to move along the recovery of Catastrophe City, insinuating that this site has been picking on the CCC. Not true, this site simply records, in words and pictures, what is happening and if that means recording a lack of commonsense and rise of bureaucratic idiocy so be it. If I were Mayor Parker or Czar Sutton I would be hiring me to promote the GOOD things that are happening, of which many are recorded on this site, but don’t hold your breath. Gardening in the Red Zone, surrounding the Art Gallery with a protective fence to keep citizens at bay, spending weeks on the dead in the central city to the detriment of the living in Eastern Suburbs, restricting reasonable access to the central city, are just a few examples highlighting the fact that the catastrophe is beyond the skills and experience of all of us! That includes YOU! Read what our Press says about CCC: WE ARE WATCHING!
Would Graham the Builder do a better job than Parker, Marryatt and our Councillors?
I guess it boils down to do YOU trust the Christchurch City Council??
With the exit of many of the under-therties – the people we will need to revive our city – this live session by The Frost comes to mind, a shambolic opening and lyrical ending: THE FROST.
If you think that the CCC is bad, have a look here: it should also put to rest the idiocy of trams or light rail for our city: EDINBURGH TRAMS TOO
1/7/2011: Café gossip this week was mostly about insurance companies and Earthquake Commission and how people are still waiting for payouts from the September earthquake let alone those events that have followed. However, one thing got them chattering and that was the return of the Parking Nazis and how dare they, the Christchurch City Council, sool them onto the Police for parking their police cars in the what remains of the central city. Most did not give a rats-arse about the Red Zone and the flattened city-centre and individuals parking there, but were incensed by the diktat to ticket Police cars. Most felt that those out to help in Catastrophe City should not be hunted and penalised for doing so. Around 120 extra Police and extra vehicles from out of town are assisting the local Police so why penalise them? It is almost as silly as gardening in the Red Zone.
The question dear reader, is would the Parking Nazis try and ticket one of the Army’s armoured vehicles? How would they know if the machine-gun in the turret is loaded or not – buuurppp!!
These Opawa shops have gone!
Also gone are 2011 diaries. Business peopls and others who lost their diaries in the earthquakes, or have their belongings still in the red-sticker zone, are having problems replacing them. A quick ring round many Christchurch stationery retailers found none for sale. Even stationery giant Croxley, who market the popular Collin’s range, did not have had any. Most are sold in the early part of the year said their Auckland headquarters. There are some 2011/12 examples available though.
27/6/2011: LOOTING, RENT RACKING AND NOW THIS! All the grubby bits you don’t hear about on TV or read in the newspapers you can discover here.
Are the rats gathering to gnaw at the carcass of Catastrophe City or is it a bit of cheeky advertising by a North Island company looking to employ quake struck Christchurch workers – you be the judge – have a read of: How Does Hamilton Sound to YOU?
25/6/2011: HAVE ANOTHER LAUGH: The story posted on the 15 th about the case of Kiwi Blind Justice has obviously raised a laugh or two, but it also caused one reader to doubt the facts and that the Police could be so short-sighted, so to speak. Here’s the evidence, the dumped car:
And its expired registration sticker:
(My friend did not want his ticket for no warrent of fitness photographed cos he is so embarrassed!)
24/6/2011: Avonside Red Zone resident Nick Abbafy ponders his fate outside his badly damaged home.
The pensioner had let the insurance lapse on his free-hold riverside retirement home, both it and the land it sits on were badly damaged in February's quake.
Read what Nick said to officials at a community meeting today, in THE PRESS the nation's top newspaper.
23/6/2011: MORE GOOD NEWS FOR CHRISTCHURCH AND FENCING: with the popular Grange Motel and Guest House opening for business.
Des Ramsay owner of the historic central city business and dad of Australian and New Zealand fencing champions Sam and Hannah, waits to welcome you. Contact him: THE GRANGE
22/6/2011: One sign of a city getting back on its feet, so to speak, is this shot of a local leaving her favourite café on Worcester Street.
The damaged Under The Red Verandah café was featured on this site on February 26 th only days after the February Earthquake now it is back up and running close to where it formerly stood. They have changed the name to reflect their rebirth – After The Red Verandah – you can see the vacant site near the stop sign in the pic where the original building stood!
21/6/2011: LOOTING! Not a good look for Catastrophe City, but it appears to be endemic...Talk among business owners is that about 20 small businesses were looted over the weekend.
This popular central city bed and breakfast business was one of them. It appears the thieves moved the high safety fence to back up their car and trailer to remove furniture and appliances.
If you wonder why the lights go out now and then in Catastrophe City, this is what a power cable fault looks like.
This one was on the corner of Linwood Avenue and Woodham Road and is the result of the cable being stretched and damaged during the quakes.
16/6/2011: FEELING A BIT DOWN??
Then get away from Quake City with the help of Canned Heat - have a listen for the lads from the sixties will certainly cheer will make you happy GOING UP THE COUNTRY!
You can read a bit more about CANNED HEAT.
15/6/2011: HAVE A LAUGH: A friend living off the Avonside end of Linwood Avenue had a car dumped on the road in front of his house some weeks after the February quake so he phoned the Police. “Leave it with us,” he was told, “We are a bit busy at the moment but we will get on to it.’
Three weeks later he returns home to find his own car, which he occasionally parks on the street, with a $200 ticket for no warrant of fitness stuck under its windscreen wiper – the wof had just expired and he got a new one the next day - But the rub of his story is that the dumped car, which was parked immediately behind his ticketed car had no wof or rego stickers and no tickets on it! – talk about a case of blind justice??
Here is another pix of the Mystery Man after he was given the HighVis Glove Award – gave him my highvis cycling gloves to help motorists see his hand signals!
14/6/2011: Oh dear, more earthquakes have hit Catastrophe City and a s usual I went cycling round taking pictures and rubbernecking, trouble is I cannot be bothered posting more pix of dead houses and damaged streets. If you want that sort of coverage have a look at The Press photographer Don Scott's dramatic aerial pix at: The Press.
All I want to post is this shot of a solitary individual in the middle of Colombo Street controlling the chaotic traffic fighting to get home after yesterday's 6.3 quake. I don't know who he is, he wouldn't tell me his name, but his action in taking control deserve a national medal or at least recognition by our Christchurch City Council or Police. Remember the motto of the now defunct Sydenham Borough Council, "Deeds, not words." Anyone recognise him? Let me know please. This one man helped thousands.
12/6/2011: We've had our home damaged too!
A former swamp, Lake Victoria in Hagley Park, developed a leak after the February Earthquake and like many residents of Catastrophy City the waterfowl are making do with what is left. Read more about this central CHRISTCHURCH PARK
11/6/2011: PULL UP TO MY BUMPER BABY!
Nearly 7000 earthquakes couldn’t do it. Rumpled roadways and potholes couldn’t either, but some stupid driver did – closing part of Brougham Street to traffic recently to allow Police and others to remove the light standard he/she managed to flatten in broad daylight.
GOT ONE! The holiday road death toll might be down but the idiocy on Christchurch roads is still rampant, but I got one today. The merivale tractor was following closely behind me as I drove up Brougham Street – too close as I could see the female driver very clearly – and when I swerved to avoid a big ripple in the inside lane we were both driving in the look of consternation and fear as her tractor tried to get airborne and head for the other side of the road was worth the stress. Both Pages and Dyers roads have some great potholes and rumpled sections to catch out bumper lickers – try bagging an idiot today!
Now listen to Grace and her bumper...
10/6/2011: While the residents of St Martins and surrounding suburbs fight to retain their Kiwi Bank and Post Shop, another local initiative is the Opawa/St Martins Farmers Market.
Started after the February earthquake the market on Fifield Terrace, near the Rudolph Steiner School, has grown to more than 20 stalls.
Open every Sunday morning between 9 –12 it attracts lots of locals and many from further afield as New Brighton and Hornby.
9/6/2011: HOW NOT TO RECOVER FROM A CATASTROPHIC EARTHQUAKE.
E-mails are circulating alleging all sorts of impropriety and shenanigans in the recovery of Christchurch, but if you want a story of criminality and corruption don’t look at ChCh, read on.
An acquaintance returned a few days ago from a holiday in Italy and commented that he hoped Christchurch’s rebuild would not degenerated into questionable and criminal activities as had happened in L’Aquila, in central Italy.
His visit to the ravaged city two years after the 2009 quake found a silent, vacant city controlled by the military. Buildings were propped up and the famous central fountain had had millions of Euros spent on it, but little else seems to have been done.
Read about L’Aquila in the good old days: L'Aquila
Now read about the recovery shenanigans: Recovery
Will it happen in Christchurch?? What do you think??
8/6/2011: ARISE ST MARTIN'S.
We know there are many surprising deeds being done in our stricken city as citizens struggle back from the abyss, but all our leaders can trumpet is an entertainment hub in Hagley Park and touch of wide screen TV for the shattered suburbs.
In St Martins, for example, local people are already thinking ahead by undertaking a petition to make sure a Kiwi Bank and Post Shop return to their wee local shopping precinct.
After February’s quake the Super Value supermarket and 12 shops and banks were destroyed (see earlier postings and pics from the 25 th and 28 th February in the 2011 Archives).
The only business operating is this local law firm:
Plus a few backyard enterprises.
With their shopping centre closed locals have to traipse all the way to Barrington Mall, about six or seven kilometres away, for their banking and post shop thingies and while they appreciated the help, many former St Martin’s post box holders including business people find it a tad frustrating to be able to access their boxes only during normal working hours and not after-hours and weekends as previous.
They have also been told that the shift is permanent and Kiwi Bank and Post Shop will not be returning when the supermarket is rebuilt.
That has fired up the locals and a petition was circulated last week in 25 locations asking that the New Zealand Post, Post Boxes and Kiwi Bank be re-instated in the rebuilt St Martins shopping centre. Shirley, the driving force behind the petition, has been surprised by the huge response and hopes NZ Post and Kiwi Bank will be too. People don’t just come form St Martins she says, but from the suburbs of Heathcote, Opawa, Hillsborough, Cashmere, Beckenham, Huntsbury, Waltham and Sydenham among others. Will people power prevail????
7/6/2011: When only hours after uploading the previous posting a City Care van drives up to my place I thought Mayor Bob and his workers had come for some revenge over that posting.
Expecting to eat humble pie and thank them for responding so quickly to revive the rumpled berm, I tottered outside, but no it wan't the berm they had come to fix but the sewer line. Talk about embarrassment, they had a laugh at my predicament and then got on in the rain with sussing out the sewer damage. A salutary lesson perhaps, if you throw crap at others expect it back!
7/6/2011: Plants before people! If you need an example of the lack of leadership in the Christchurch City Council the recent story about council workers gardening in the Red Zone in The Press, says it all.
The 7000 plus earthquakes since September are just too much for normal people and organizations. No offence to those manning Civil Defence, CCC. Sayrah (Cera), her boyfriend Erni and the dozens of other organizations involved in the recovery of the quake stricken city but they are not up to it. What is it? Clear simple leadership and clear simple communication with the people of Christchurch at all times. No weasel words, no obfuscation, no lies and certainly no hiding the truth.
Now if City Care is looking for something to garden then this berm outside my place needs reseeding. Formerly grass, the berm became the site of a silt mountain when neighbours dumped their deposits, so to speak, there. A kindly sewer digger flattened it out and I had planned to reseed it, but if City Care is desperate for jobs ……?
1/6/2011: AND NOW THE FENCING NEWS:
Christchurch fencers are leaving the ravaged city not because of the more than 7000 earthquakes since September, but the lure of medals.
Ten fencers are packing their swords this weekend and heading to Wellington to compete at the North Island Championships among them are seven medallists form last year’s nationals: Men’s sabre champion Luke Robertson and bronze medallist Alex Chan. Foilists Hamish Clarke (silver) and Julius Herzhoff (bronze). Epeeists Brett Davis (silver) and Andreas Sesun (bronze) and Carla Campbell, bronze in the women’s epee.
More than 70 competitors will turn up at Victoria University’s recreation centre this weekend for the second most important competition in fencing after the nationals. Robertson is the current NI sabre champion and both Sesun and Chan are previous winners in their respective weapons of epee and sabre.
Follow the results at: North Island Champs
30/5/2011: LETS GET IT RIGHT FOR HER SAKE!
Most of the people of Christchurch couldn’t give a rats-arse about the re-building of the central city and those bureaucrats, business-types, developers and others that think the general populace do are only fooling themselves and trying to hold on to a dream that has been dying for forty-odd years.
First came the move of the University of Canterbury to llam.(There are 22,000 people at the Ilam campus today.).
Next came the stopping of Victoria Street and the constriction of central city movement. (This cut a direct cross-city route and reduced the need for people to go to the city centre at all!)
Then came the dumbing down (redevelopment) of the Square and the removal of public transport from it which, accompanied by the rise of the Parking Nazis interested only in revenue extraction and the unrestricted development of large shopping malls, were further blows that reduced the need and desire of citizens to access the city centre.
Now the officious, though legal, restriction of access to the Square, except for a few privileged animals has eradicated any desire of normal citizens to even think about the central city.
That’s a pity for from the devastation comes the chance to do it again and this time get it right and get a city centre that people want and will use but pissing-off the very people that will have to use the rebuilt central city is not a good idea – they could turn away from it all!
First of all woo all the ratepayers by giving them the chance to see the extent of the devastation. If not given clear leadership in this they should exert their desire with affirmative action – if a group of irate businesspeople can cause Civil Defence to surround its-self with a wire fence, like inmates in a concentration camp, imagine what a horde of pissed-off ratepayers could achieve? A broken cordon? Mayor Bob should take leadership in this with Sayrah (Cera) still without its Czar.
Next would come geo-technical report on the land and what is possible and what is not and naturally the emphasis would be on the stricken suburbs, but a realistic and common plan for the central city could give an immense fillip to people living in those devastated suburbs and convince them that Christchurch will survive so they should stay.
Could this be the face of a new city - bikes only, including service vehicles?
For more about what the people want read: LET THE PEOPLE IN! in the nation’s top newspaper.
And to read more about ideas on building, transport and energy efficiencies have a look at this: THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE.
Plus remember the motto of the former Borough of Sydenham, Deeds – not words!
26/5/2011: The fury of residents unable to access the city centre might be getting through to officials going by this latest release from Erni (?): "A section of Zone 6 will open on Friday 27 May from 12.00 noon******** The area is being opened so that residents living in homes with green placards are able to move through the area without carrying identification. The completion of debris clearance from the Pyne Gould Building, and from demolition sites north of the Red Zone in Colombo Street, means that large volumes of heavy traffic have also reduced********** People moving through the newly opened area should remain aware that demolitions are ongoing and some heavy vehicles will continue to be present********** A cordon map is online at MAP OF CENTRAL CITY CORDON ends:"
25/5/2011: It's nice to be proved right. The rant on May the 18th and earlier postings about the death of Public Transport seems to be correct according to a story in the nation's top newspaper today. THE PRESS
Here the Big Reds and other interlopers wait for passengers near the Public Hospital by Hagley Park. Big Reds was what Christchurch residents used to call their all red buses, but with the dumbing down and contracting out of the bus service to private companies other coloured buses now roam our streets and that personal feeling about public transport has been lost.
Compare this pix with the one at the bottom of this page taken a month ago: R.I.P. the old Christchurch Girl's High School. All gone, though I did see some elderly women collecting the odd momento.
23/5/2011: Six thousand plus earthquakes since September 4 th (6720 to be exact or more than thirty per day if you average them out) and one could say the citizens of Catastrophe City, those remaining that is, are suffering quake shock, a condition similar to that suffered by front-line soldiers in the Great War and akin to the trauma that soldiers and civilians suffered in the Second World War. In café chatter last week there was no talk of that and, more strangely, no talk about the elevation of Roger Sutton to the position of Recovery Czar. For a graphic illustration of the quakes visit: EARTHQUAKES GALORE!
Unlike this footbridge over the River Avon
this Morris Minor and its owner, captured recently at my local Opawa garage, are still operating!
18/5/2011: The Great Catastrophe has handed down some immutable laws. Well, not really laws or rules, more like Q.E.D. Want to know what quod erat demonstrandum means? Click on it.
One: You come first. The first Immutable Law is that people will look after themselves first during a catastrophe. One national fencing champion who was on the third floor of the new The Press building watched the old Press building shake apart then he and his workmates took to their heels once the shaking stopped. Early the next morning he sits bolt upright in bed from a deep sleep thinking, “Shit, what happened to the painters and decorators who where in the new Press building too?” (They survived!)
Two: Three-hundred-thousand plus people who experienced the September and February Earthquakes will not enter or use a multistoried building, they will also keep clear of verandas and other overhead constructions. So why are architects, city planners and others persisting in including them in their vision of a rebuilt Central Business District? Suggestion, make them all live and work in any multistoried buildings they design.
Three: Public Transport is dead. Any idea of trying to save it should be consigned to the dump along with other rubble. Forget buses. Forget light rail. Buy a car (preferably four-wheel drive and diesel) or a bicycle, as the cunning Japanese are doing, for when the Catastrophe struck it was public transport that stopped working and did not get going for weeks and weeks – the bike or car is KING, especially when the next shake comes. In fact Environment Canterbury could afford to supply all the regular users of buses, about 75,000 people per year, with a free bike and wet-weather gear and still have cash left over from the urban transport levy.
If you are looking for transport have a squizz at this classic collectable:
Owner Ian has it listed on Trade Me: Morris Van but make sure you have plenty of cash as he is asking over $30,000!!
17/5/2011: WILL THE EASTERN SUBURBS BE ABANDONED?
There is an under-current of fear among people still living in the Eastern Suburbs, especially among those near the Avon River, and that is abandonment. Residents spoken to fear that the Christchurch City Council bureaucrats and perhaps others have taken a secret decision to abandon them and their homes. A possible indicator of this is the story this morning in the Nation’s Top Newspaper, THE PRESS, about the shift of the EcoShed from Aranui/Bexley in the east, to Blenheim Road in the west. The story highlighted the fact that elected city council representatives did not know about the shift.
Lets hope it is a CCC bureaucratic information SNAFU and not part of a secret plan. Only Robert Gerrie the manager of EcoCentral would appear to know. Perhaps QEII Park will be moved to the central business district?
Now, more than ever, ratepayers need to be informed well in advance of ANY changes in their suburbs.
Talking of fear brings to mind Asterix the Gaul who had a fear of the sky falling on his head. Have a look at this pix:
The owner, who lives in the Eastern Suburbs, was not in bed at the time the ceiling fell and though it does not look like much rest assured that after a couple of Kgs of plaster fell on your head you would be hearing much more than Bach’s Sleepers Wake! How about the Incredible String Band’s SLEEPER AWAKE!?
15/5/2011: This is a fencing website that, somehow, became a record of the catastrophe which hit Christchurch on February 22. Like all other sports in the stricken city, fencing took some major hits as far as clubs and venues were concerned, but now there is a sense of recovery. United Fencing Club has found a replacement venue after its current home at Avonside Girl's High School was abandoned, fencing is restarting in schools, there were ten schools with fencing programmes last year, and there was the Eccleston Epee.
On Sunday afternoon the relocated University of Canterbury Fencing Club held its annual Eccleston One-Hit epee competition with a record 20 entries!
Below, are some who turned up.
Plus some spectators:
Also some former champions emerged from the twilight:
Thats right, Rangi de Abaffy and Brendon Lindsay.
Also on hand were two of our tallest epeeists, Brett and Brad:
Then came the problem of how to keep the score when one of the competitors dropped out leaving President Titch to make an executive decision:
And the winners! See for yourselves :
Last year's joint winner, Anna, managing fifth equal this year with Brett the winner and Margeurite de Abaffy and Alex Chan equal second I think - you try and make sense out of it! Anyway everybody had a good time, the sun shone and the cakes were eaten - thanks to the bakers!
11/5/2011: Café talk lately has still been about the central city even though those talking have been hard-hit by the earthquakes individually they seem to be taking a long-term view on repairs to their broken homes. It is insurance companies they talk about and the fact that the companies want to save money on payouts on many central city buildings by throwing, “steel rods and concrete at them” instead of demolishing them and rebuilding. It seems many café-goers will be wary of working in or visiting “repaired” CBD high-rise buildings. Perhaps Sayrah (CERA) and Jerry Brownlee will have to talk to insurance companies and tell them to get a move on?
Here’s a heartening story:
Floods, fires and earthquakes cannot close this Sydenham business.
Sydenham dairy owner Dayel has been on this site for 42-years suffering floods, fires and quakes. But his wee shop was demolished after February’s violent event, unbowed he, and daughter Ila have returned! It’s bit quiet he said, “I wish my old customers would return.”
As the motto for the old Sydenham Borough says:
So help the old fellow out, go buy a pie and soft drink or a banana!
9/5/2011: More about builders:
One I met tells the story of having to do the same repair work on the same house three times! Once after the September quake, then again after the Boxing Day Quake and now the February one. He reckons that we should do as they do in quake-prone Japan, wait a suitable length of time after the damaging quake before beginning repairs so as to allow for after-shocks – he suggested around 12-months. This seems reasonable given it is only six months since the September Quake and there have been two major shocks since – Boxing Day, February 22 causing much damage – plus a slew of not so damaging aftershocks.
Talking of builders and building what stood here?And here a sewer pipe gets repaired.
4/5/2011: They call it market forces. They call it a free market. Rent your home out in quake-torn Christchurch to those that cannot leave owing to work or other commitments, at an inflated price, then go stay with friends or rent somewhere cheaper like Dunedin or the West Coast and bank the excess.
Surviving second-hand dealers have sold out of furniture some were also appalled at the amount of paper-work needed to deal with salvaged goods recovered by one of the re-build-it companies even though they are registered with the Police. Here slate is recovered from the roof of the former Christchurch Girls High School.
Rawhiti Domain, is this to be the site of New Zealand’s first concentration camp? Great news for New Brighton businesses but is it appropriate? Surely it makes more sense to built temporary accommodation in the vacant swathes of the central city, near the Polytech for example, than way out by the beach?
Heard the story about the Mairehau home-owner who returned from work earlier this week to find his formerly green-sticked house flattened by the Knock it Downs and his neighbour’s red-stickered house still standing?
2/5/2011: Time for fencing: The International Fencing Federation has some great action pix on its website. Trouble is there are no captions with them, no who, what, when and where plus they are not adjusted for web viewing. Here I have tweaked a few and added captions, you can add your own too: FIE.
I think my attack missed but her counter-attack didn't.
How not to execute a fleche!
How to execute a fleche!
You can't fool me - its bent.
See, If I whirl my sabre round and round I can hover!
1/5/2011: MAY DAY. Hurrah, the end of the imposition of a civil emergency and the return of commonsense (we hope). John Hamilton, the National Controller of Civil Defence talks about his reign in the pages of the nation's top newspaper, The Press: The leading Knock it Downer repents?
The former Christchurch Girls High School is still standing - just.
Tradesmen are kings in ravaged Christchurch. Revenge of the nerds, or to put it a nice way, revenge of the skilled manual workers! If you are a lawyer and need your house repaired, re-plumbed or your sewer fixed after Christchurch’s run of earthquakes, look out, as some tradespeople who have used lawyerly services in the past are thinking of getting their own back. Many lawyers charge out in six-minute modules and now the tradesmen plan to do the same. They reckon they can squeeze out more money that way. Many lawyers include a $300 administration fee for handling letters or other correspondence, now the tradesmen are thinking of doing the same. Imagine the income from handling all the letters and forms needed to get a building or resource consent!
Talking of tradesmen, February’s quake was heart-breaking for Hamish the Builder. Along with workmates and his boss Hamish, no that’s his boss’s name too, they had partially built two double storey flats in the central city. Now they have turned into knock it down men to demolish their handiwork munted by the ferocious quake and will then start building all over again. Hamish leans against a steel beam ripped and twisted by demonic energy of February’s quake.
30/4/2011: Oops, it seems I have upset some with yesterday’s posting. “It was unfair,” two of you have said, “for those you have named cannot put their side of the story and you maligned them.” They can, read above. Any reader can and some do.
If you think the point of view is unfair, answer this question: Did any of the leaders of CCC, Erni, Sayrah or Civil Defence let any of the 50,000 plus Christchurch citizens, sitting in the cold and dark, know what was happening on Wednesday night?? No! End of story, lets get on and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Perhaps Sayrah needs a TV and Radio station based in ChCh (with a back-up generator of course!) so she can let her boyfriend Erni tell us poor shits sitting in the cold and dark what is happening.
Words are words, talk is talk, action is action, performance is reality Here are some performing people: Wellington policemen, Stu and Curt, hours into a two-week stint looking after our ravaged city.
While Terry does maintenance on phone lines in the central city.
If you want to know about Erni, here's a message he sent last night: ERNI - Earthquake Recovery News and Information
Hello Vik Manuge
Living in the Red Zone
A reminder that people should not be living in the Red Zone.Because of demolitions, which will be ongoing for a long time, the Red Zone is now potentially more dangerous than it was at the time of the earthquake.
Demolition companies are not prepared for people living in the Red Zone - They may demolish a building near you and not know you are there. Civil Defence recommends that people living in the Red Zone seek alternative
This message is delivered to you from Readynet on behalf of Christchurch
If you no longer wish to receive ERNI messages please reply with your name
and the Zone, site or group you registered for.
(Isn't Erni cute! )
29/4/2011: LEADERSHIP IS LACKING IN OUR RAVAGED CITY, fifty-thousand or more Christchurch residents sat in the dark and cold on Wednesday night when the power was cut to some of the city for several hours. Many sat and waited scanning the radio waves with their transistor radios (Thanks Meridian!) searching for information that never eventuated - I did hear that there was a brief mention made on the late TV news. Many were worried and two families I know headed for the hills just in case there was a tsunami on the way.
THIS IS UNACEPTABLE and caused unnecessary stress for many for, especially among the older and less mobile, all it would have taken was for someone from Erni, Civil Defence, Sayrah or the City Council to have requested the broadcast media to interrupt their programme's with an emergency message, which they can do under the present emergency regulations. That they did not was a failure of the management systems in place in those organisations. That they did not was failure of those leading those organisations, Parker, Hamilton, Brownlee etc. They must go!
Survival is a 24-hour battle. For the safety and well-being of Christchurch citizens they must go and a Leader put in their places, I vote for Peter Whittal! Have you anyone in mind????
27/4/2011: A folorn tribute to those who died behind the fence.
A wider view, yesterday, of the place where so many died in February's Earthquake - the empty site and stairwell where the building that housed Canterbury Television once stood.
26/4/2011: Rack renting is alive and well in post-earthquake Christchurch with rents of $1250 per week being asked for some properties with survivors of February’s quake, that tore apart their homes, having to enter rent auctions for a chance to live in the Garden City. More commonly called gazumping, rent auctions are the reason many survivors are leaving the city, some heading for faraway places like Bluff, with its cheaper house prices and rents, and nearby towns such as Amberley, Kaiapoi and Rangiora filled to the brim with former city dwellers. Today I had to travel round Opawa, Waltham, Sydenham, St Martins before finding a to rent sign - this one in the central city - no idea how much they want, but hopefully not the $1250 a week as advertised on Trade Me last night!
We saw this happen with commercial properties right after the quake when businesses re-located from the ravaged central city and chased undamaged offices and buildings in the suburbs. Perhaps this is a crusade for Sayrah (CERA) to undertake?
Talking of money matters, when is a bank not a bank? When it is a store. Has the Bank of New Zealand come up with a neat way of avoiding banking and financial regulations by calling its branches stores? When will it be renaming itself as the Store of New Zealand? Who came up with the narf idea of calling their branches stores? Does this mean more Kiwi dollars leaving the country for Aussie stores?
Definition of a bank: Not the BNZ?
Definition of a store: The Store NZ?
New Regent Street café owners are still being billed by the Christchurch City Council for using the street for outdoor dining despite their businesses having been closed for more than two months!
There is hope that the popular al-fresco dining area in the red no go centre of the city will open again. Business owners were told it could take three months but some believe it could be longer, years perhaps. While some facades have are cracked or fallen and some shops have sunk a bit due to liquefaction, business owners are convinced the street will be revived.
However many will not survive until then for the withdrawal of Government assistance and Work and Income’s rules mean many cannot get the dole or other assistance and will set up or find work elsewhere.
Two other stories you will be hearing more about in the weeks ahead are, water quality and rent racking.
23/4/2011: Please don't move the University back to Town.
The citizens of Christchurch have always had a good rapport with its university students – the odd capping prank aside - more so when the varsity was based in the central city and the students took control of the Square in capping week and thousands of office workers and others turned out to watch the antics.
This year’s capping was a bit different, in a tent on a rugby field since the Town Hall in the central city is damaged
Yet with the university safely ensconced at Ilam in a purpose-built campus, those with dreams of the old days and those with a more financial interest – read profit motive - want the uni to return to the city centre. Among those supporting the idea was a political analyst pontificating on Sunday morning TV last week. Shame! Why leave hundreds of millions of dollars worth of functional buildings empty and useless? Why spend further hundreds of millions on a new campus in town? Why not park Christchurch International Airport there instead?? Or, better still build the new combined Christchurch City Council, Police, Ambulance and Fire Service compound there? That way when the capping parade returns to town all the authorities will be on hand to cope with student high-jinks.
21/4/2011: We are still here!
Former insurance salesman Mark gives a cheery wave to all the people of Christchurch. He was running security for Knock It Downs working in Selwyn Street - in the background is MP Jim Anderton's Spreydon electorate office - Read what Jim says about reviving our city.
Now some fencing news.....
TROPHY HUNT - A NATIONAL CONCERN! – YOUR HELP NEEDED!
A project has begun called "The Trophy Hunt" and is being run by Fencing Central’s President Bryan "Baz" Clark He asks that if you have or know the whereabouts of any of the National/North Island/South Island Championship trophies that you email or give him call to update The List. If his list is not complete then please contact him so he knows that there are others in circulation that needs recovering. While he is not directly recovering the South Island Trophies he will pass any information regarding them to the FENZ, South and Mid South Presidents so that they can make record/contact/organize collection directly. Finally, if you know anything about the history of any of the trophies he asks you contact him as well so that these historical facts can be recorded. Contact Bryan "Baz" Clark Email: President@fencingcentral.com Ph: 027 733 8645 Below is a list of Trophy's on his list
NATIONAL: Men's Foil (Located) Men's Epee (Located) Men's Sabre (Located) Women's Foil (WIP, May have Located) Women's Epee (WIP, May have Located) Women's Sabre (Located) Michael de Angelo Sportsman (Located) Rose Bowl for Style (WIP, May have Located) Goodman Trophy (Located) Master of Arms - Original Master of Arms - New Teams - Women's Foil (Located) Teams - Men's Foil Teams - Men's Sabre
NORTH ISLAND CHAMPS: Men's Foil (WIP, May have Located) Men's Epee Men's Sabre (WIP, May have Located) Women's Foil Women's Plate? Women's Epee Women's Sabre
NZ CUP: Men's Foil Men's Epee Men's Sabre Women's Foil Women's Epee (Located) Women's Sabre (Located)
SOUTH ISLAND CHAMPS: Men's Foil Men's Epee Men's Sabre Women's Foil Women's Epee Women's Sabre
Now, here's a heads-up for the 2011 ECCLESTON ONE-HIT EPEE (with cake and tea).
Date: Sunday, May 15 th.
Place: Waltham Primary School hall, Hastings St East, off Waltham Road, which is just off Brougham Street, Christchurch. Map here: http://www.zoomin.co.nz/map/nz/christchurch/beckenham/-waltham+school/
Timetable: Registration 2pm fencing will start soon after. Then comes the tea, cake and biscuits. Yes, tea and cake afterwards for all competitors to generate a bit of afterquake socializing!
Entry Fee: $15 or $10 if a member of UCFC. (Fee includes tea and cake afterwards)
Entries: Will be accepted on the day until 2pm.
Clothing: Fencers must wear protective clothing – fencing jacket, plastron, glove and long trousers. Fencing trousers are preferred but trackies will be accepted. They must have no holes or openings along the legs.
Equipment: You must have a second weapon and bodywire by the piste every time you fence. Weapons will be tested on the piste. (To encourage foilists, sabreurs and beginners ucfc can loan gear at a nominal cost. Epee and bodywire $25. Epee, bodywire and mask $25. Mask, jacket, plastron, glove, bodywre and epee $25.)
Rules: There will be a champion woman and a champion man.
Every fencer will fight every other competitor.
If any fencer withdraws for any reason their bouts are deemed not to have taken place and are removed from the score sheet.
All bouts will be of one minute duration.
Points will be awarded as follows;
Single hit 2points.
Double hit 1 point.
No hits 0 points.
Any fencer not presenting within 1 minute of call will lose that bout 0:2. At the end of the tournament the man and woman with the most points will be the winners. If two competitors are equal on points the one with the most wins is the winner. If the result is still a draw the decision goes to the winner of their bout and if this is equal they barrage for the title.
There will be spot prizes, the criteria for which will be decided before the tournament but will not made known to the competitors.
(Fencers compete at their own risk and by entering the event agree to adhere to and obey the directions of the organisers.)
19/4/2011: UP COLOMBO STREET.
I rode up Colombo Street across Christchurch on Friday. It was a grey cloudy day with no wind and a bit chilly. Colombo Street, named after the Sri Lankan city of the same name, is the main drag of the Garden City. It runs ruler straight from the bottom of the Port Hills in the suburb of Beckenham through the heart of our city to the suburb of St Albans, a distance of about 12 kilometres. Apart form the central city, which is still cordoned off to us citizens but not the big wigs and royalty, it was an interesting cycle for it showed a city recovering from a catastrophic earthquake. Although I sniveled a bit at the gaping holes and crumpled buildings and the memories they held for me, the bike ride gave a sense of hope for in between the gaping empty sections and munted buildings the lights were on and people were going about their everyday business. Houses were being repaired and signs were proclaiming businesses that were back in action and the bars in both Beckenham and Edgeware were full.
Those predicting the death of Christchurch and those suffering in the ravaged Eastern Marches should take the trip, it might just give them a jolt of hope and the courage to keep living in OUR city – it did me. History of Colombo Street.
Colombo Street looking towards the Port Hills from the CBD.
About those memories, most are too personal and private, but one might interest you – the blowing up of Frank!
On Salisbury Street just off Colombo Street is a former student house. In the early 1970s Dave, Frank and Wayne (real names, but no-way are you getting their surnames!) flatted there. It was a three bed-roomed weatherboard house with an dunny (toilet to you) in the backyard, built from bricks and with a small slatted window in the back wall.
A hang-out for many student types, especially those with a motoring bent (in those days that meant motorcycles) there was always something going on. One morning Frank, who came from the central North Island, ran through the house throwing fire-crackers into his flatmate’s bedrooms, bang, bang, not a good awaking after a sociable night drinking! A cracker landed on Dave’s bed, bang, and burnt a hole in his blankets.
A phlegmatic type from a rural Southland background, Dave decided revenge was called for. One of his jobs down on the farm had been blasting tree stumps so he had access to black blasting powder and electrical detonators. After a suitable time had elapsed a detonator was inserted inside the ceramic throne of the outside dunny and connected to an igniter in Dave’s room and a casual visitor hung around outside.
Eventually, off goes Frank for a visit to the wee room. The casual visitor peers through the slatted window with hand raised. Frank drops his trou and visitor drops his hand – BOOM! Exit Frank with his trou around his ankles and a bum full of bits from the throne. The explosion, which was planned to have just given him a wet arse, broke bits off a concrete plug and peppered Frank’s bottom with shrapnel and water. There is a photo about of Frank lying on the table having the bits removed with tweezers and doctored with iodine! Truly. No, no vital parts were damaged in the making of this story.
Next time, the story of a famous Kiwi artist's son kidnapped from his flat in Manchester Street.
15/4/2011: Read the newspapers or watch the telly and it is all about the central business district of Catastrophe City – if you live in the suburbs, forget it! Yet more people live and work outside the CBD than in it so why this one-eyed view?
Around 340,000 people live in Christchurch, that’s 62% of the South Island’s population, and around a third, 100,000, live in suburbs badly hit by the February Earthquake with about another 100,000 citizens also suffering some damage and destruction yet sources say only about 50,000 work and live in the CBD where most of the media coverage has been. Is it because that is where most died? People died in the suburbs too but you never heard about it, did you? Is it because the media were based in the CBD and it was easy to get cover stories there than drive elsewhere over rumpled roads? Not now, most of the media now work out of offices in the suburbs and all did their best under trying circumstances, but the stories from the suburbs are there but mostly relegated to the minor media – welcome back Canterbury TV!!
Talking of suburbs, all 25 inner suburbs around the CBD were hit to some extent, some severely damaged, while 27 of the 44 outer suburbs where also damaged, some irreparably. The Prime Minister’s helicopter visit to Bexley highlighted the plight of the Eastern suburbs. John Key lived in Christchurch and attended Uni here so he was aware of what had happened out there, but what happened elsewhere?
Everybody’s butcher Graham Robinson survived with a bit of damage to his Selwyn Street shop. Now the proud owner of the oldest butcher shop in Christchurch, he never closed and was open for business the day after the quake, dishing up his own cured ham, bacon and his special cuts of meat, as he has done for the last 30 years, but go and talk to him about the hassles repairing his shop, which was built in 1906, and you get a feeling for the miasma of rules and regulations that have to be gone through, but his ham is still delicious!
Also found lurking in Addington – a Morris Minor! Tough old birds they are, they say they were built with steel from former German Second World War warships.
14/4/2011: Some of you have asked about the old Post Office building in Sydenham. Quite why that is I am not sure since the requests have come from as far apart as Europe, North America as well as New Zealand. Well here it is, most of it, for as the pix shows the Knock It Downs were hacking at part of it on Friday...
How to operate a road block without getting our of your seat. Pulling strings is Josh who was on cordon duty on Park Terrace late last week - who said ingenuity and commonsense is dead? But the bugger wouldn't let me cycle up the path which runs alongside the Avon River by Park Terrace to Bealey Ave so I had to go through Hagley Park!
With the latest addition to the prostitutes parading our city streets about to start strutting her stuff read what the nation's top newpaper says about Sayrah!
12/4/2011: And now something different – Fencing news from Catastrophe City!
Martin Brill is the new MidSouth President, no-one else put their name forward. Also no-one stood for Secretary or Treasurer so the positions are vacant.
United Fencing Club has elected its first male President in its history, Geof Low. The club is going into abeyance until further notice. Its venue, Avonside Girls High School has been extensively damaged as has much of the area the club serves.
Both the Institute and CFA are in action, CFA at the Kendal Avenue School as they have been ejected from their usual haunt, Burnside High School.
Here is the University club in action at their new premises at the Waltham Primary School, also the base for the Sabre Club.
10/4/2011: It's Sunday here in Catastrophe City and it is becoming very clear that the mjority of citizens are still stunned over the extent of the disaster, more so than the high vis media are covering. Here the Knock-it-downs are in action in Sydenham on Friday!
The question is, do the citizens of Christchurch really care about the rebuilding of the earthquake shattered city? And, do our elected and unelected officials really care what the citizens think? Here's a couple of pix from a peoples meeting last Saturday
Here's a quote from the handout: "Get together with your neighbours, attend community meetings, pressure polititians and above all take direct action to force concessions from those in authority."
If you were in authority would you be threatened by this people mob at Woolston Park? Nah! You might worry about the business owners, the developers, the central business property owners and their lawyerly and media cohorts though.
Now perhaps this central city panelbeater has the right idea - hammer them. In this case a certain central city hotel!
6/4/2011: DOWN BUT NOT OUT!!!!
Gordon Lewis has owned this central city petrol station and wheel alignment business on the corner of Barbadoes and Tuam Streets for 37 years. It is open to the public but thanks to the central city cordon nobody comes – he believes the brick-built former nunnery building just up Barbadoes Street is all that is stopping traffic using the street, and his business.
On Barbadoes Street, just up from Gordon’s fenced-in petrol station, Dallas, a karateka from New Brighton, checks out the central city Seido Dojo that has suffered some damage.
As has the Victoria Street clocktower – whiplash perhaps?
And the barred door to the Star’s Tuam Street premises – both the Star and its larger rival The Press, have performed amazing feats of ingenuity in keeping the newspapers running and the editions flowing. Evidence suggests circulation increases for both papers in the wake of the February earthquake.
4/4/2011: It looks like the bunker mentality is with us for another week, but wait, here's a chink in the armoured fence surrounding the Art Gallery Bunker... It was not there on Saturday, nor were our officials - it seems that rescuing the Garden City is a Monday to Friday job!
Perhaps it's a secret escape route for Civil Defence when the angry citizens come calling?
Is this another example of the flight of commonsense - ten or more workers plus a crane working on the dead?? You would think there were more important projects to work on than that of a long dead Pom who killed himself and his mates..
Oh, what a big thingie you have - Sydenham was the target of the knock it down men today.
But wait, if all the old buildings in the central business district (within the four avenues) are flattened, does that make these four 1850's workingmens cottages on Montreal Street the oldest buildings in the cbd????
Its gotta be Easter! checkout girls at the South City New World supermarket and a happy shopper.
2/4/2011: Café society this morning showed that there is good business in quake tourism – two Aucklanders were in Quakesville seeing the destruction for themselves – they were appalled that it is far worse than shown on TV. Anybody want to start a quake tour for out-of-towners? Be quick.
With the cordon being reduced in the central city today a few hardy souls came to pay their respects to end of a city as they knew it.
It was quiet up Colombo Street far different from that day in February when the city was torn apart and the few there were very quiet and stunned by the extent of the destruction.
Here Des, a city resident for more than 60 years, was trying to work out what had once stood on this part of Colombo Street in the central city.
A bit of good news, Steve gives the thumbs up for a warm winter – he is one of a crew working deep in a hole in Fitzgerald Avenue repairing the high-voltage power cables that supply much of the East and South of the city.
They have done a sterling job manning checkpoints, helping devastated residents and dealing with locals trying to get to grips with the disaster, the New Zealand Defence Forces. Here one releases a bit of stress (or boredom?) whacking golf balls across the Avon.
Plus one of the sights nobody would have thought they would see – armour deployed in a New Zealand city!
1/4/2011: This is not an April Fools joke, I repeat, this is NOT an April Fools joke.
Research has shown that earthquakes have cut the number of alcohol related visits to the emergency department at Christchurch Hospital! Hospital staff are alarmed by the drop in alcohol related visits to the Emergency Department especially on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Last Sunday morning, it appears, there were no alcohol-sodden patients awaiting treatment. There is also anecdotal evidence from patients in the wards above the ED entrance that the usual 2am brawls and squabbles in the ED driveway have ceased. Emergency Department staff have put this down to the closure of bars and nightclubs in the Central Business District and are worried that if it continues, it could prove what many experts have been saying for years – limit the sale of alcohol and you limit the carnage drinking causes.
This could mean that the rebuilding of the CBD will go ahead without the inclusion of bars and nightclubs and that restaurants and off-licence liquor shops will have to suspend sales of alcohol at 10pm. There is also talk of a civil defence anti booze cordon around the rebuilt CBD from Friday to Monday.
Here a citizen of Christchurch pleads with Civil Defence and other officials near the Polytech for permission to enter his city's centre.
Perhaps he should have used this unguarded gap in the wire defences at the Civil Defence bunker to approach the higher uppers?
Sydenham farewells an old friend: a grubby digger roots around the entrails of Churchill's Public House on Colombo Street.
31/3/2011: Café society was strangely quiet today. Perhaps it was an older crowd? Perhaps people were just tired after last night’s big aftershock kept many awake? Perhaps they were thinking of the problems that are about to eventuate if you are a girl named Sarah?
Cera, pronounced Sayrah, is the acronym for the latest bureaucratic construction, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. It’s going to be heads-up for all the Sarahs in hearing when Cera is spoken in polite society. Maybe they should have called it Canra, pronounced canya, as in can ya do it?? Can they do it? I hope so, but it is a bloody big ask. Strangely it was not mentioned at all in polite café society, but the word ‘twit’ surfaced a few times when the girls were talking about the Art Centre and the eviction of it’s tenants.
Here’s one they wouldn’t have evicted, the poet James K Baxter seen here giving a reading of his works in the upstairs Common Room when the building, now the Dux de Lux Restaurant, was the former Student’s Association building when the university was based at the town site, now the Arts Centre. Gillian turned the former downstairs cafeteria into a vegetarian restaurant Dux de Lux. About the Dux Here a couple of former univeristy fencers demonstrate their noble art in the cloisters of the Arts Centre in 1970 - you didn't need Civil Defence permission to visit it then!
Learn more about the Arts Centre Bugger, not more reading! and those running it.
29/3/2011: What is Christchurch's oldest surviving building??
The bureaucratic mindset is firmly entrenched in quake stricken Christchurch. I cycled up to the Civil Defence HQ in the Art Gallery in the central city this morning to talk to someone about a few concerns I have. As you will have read in earlier postings civil defence have erected a high wire fence around the gallery, after a confrontation with local businessmen, complete with security guards manning the gate – sorry said the guard, civil defence personnel only!
Talk about a bunker mentality and arms-length dealings with citizens. Being charitable I can only think they knew who I was and did not want to talk to me or, more likely, they don’t give a fuck about the people of Christchurch!
Or, again being charitable, they don’t have the skills, interest or time to deal with locals – it is all just too much for them. The seat shuffling by our public servants so far doesn’t hold out much hope for anything better – nobody wants to be caught holding the baby (sorry Rangi).
The good news is that the British Army is in town helping. A handful of soldiers from the British Army on secondment with the New Zealand Army are helping man the cordons around the city centre – Sergeant Craig of the First Battalion Scots Guards will serve here until June. He’s a true Scot from Livingstone, near Edinburgh and is usually based at Catterick. Read More About The Scot Guards.
More good news is that the Grange Guesthouse at 56 Armagh Street built in 1874 and damaged in the February quake will be reopening for business.
Sadly its neighbour across the street, the Old Girls High School, built in 1881 will be demolished. This could leave the Grange as one of the oldest building left in the Central Business District, apart form the Provincial Chambers. Old Christchurch Buildings.
28/3/2011: ANOTHER DAY: It is now obvious, very obvious, that the February 22 nd catastrophe was way more that anybody, citizens, the Christchurch City Council and other officials, including the Government, could cope with. The immediate aftermath was much larger than any planning had foreseen and which no New Zealand city has the capability to immediately repair. All agree that it was just too big and too violent an event that ripped the heart out of the Garden City. Another problem is the lack of involvement of citizens in reconstruction for cities are about people and not buildings. Now we can watch the descent into feudalism under an Earthquake Recovery Tsar – you have to feel sorry for the Tsar as it will be a huge job with little thanks – already a government appointed Tsar as abdicated!
Nobody wants to be left holding the baby!!
As was Rangi at the first meeting of the University of Canterbury Fencing Club on Sunday.
Former cantabrians now living in Wellington or Auckland who have returned to assist families and friends are appalled at the destruction, destruction they point out, that is not obvious from the media coverage of the disaster – it is far worse.
Café gossip this morning was all about wages and travel costs. It seems as if the bright young things are having to work harder – those that still have jobs – and are finding it difficult in getting to those jobs over ravaged roads and around stupid drivers. One thing is certain is that evenings in the Garden City are quieter since the ravaged roads have curtailed the outings of the car crims, boy racers to you, as their modified vehicles prove unsuited to negotiating our rumpled byways.
This pink limo had no trouble negotiating ravaged roads round the Eastern suburbs. Born in Australia and brought up in Tauranga - it started off as a blue Ford Fairmont then with a bit Kiwi ingenuity morphed into this pink limousine. It was out driving residents with no transport to the local supermarket in New Brighton.
27/3/2011: DAY THIRTY-TWO: This was once someone's home. Before that it was where they trained secondary school teachers and before that .... AN ABNORMAL SCHOOL
Anyway, even 40-odd years ago it was damaged. Under this rubble is a room where, in the middle of a Christchurch winter, budding teachers used to stuff the cracks in the stone wall, remains on the left, with crumpled up newspapers to stop the cold draughts freezing them.
Central city parking - is your car here??? Say goodbye to it!
The Smiths City Market car park comes down.
25/3/2011: DAY THIRTY: I can see why officials are bunkering down. Rumbles in the cafes, especially those few operating in damaged suburbs, are coming from lots of pissed-off people. People who feel a bit left out of things and a touch disenfranchised.
The Rally for Christchurch next Saturday April 2nd at 1pm at Linwood Park, Woolston (Opp the EastGate Mall) might stir up a few things. As the organisers, Action for Christchurch East. say the rally is for residents who want to get involved in the city's recovery and are tired of being talked down to by polititians who leave them felling that their concerns and opinions don't count. Have a look at: Rally for Christchurch!
Talking of feelings, how about this sign seen in New Brighton?
24/3/2011: DAY TWENTY-NINE:
En guarde for Christchurch fencing!
Today is devoted to fencing gos. Apart from fences that have gone up round the Art Gallery Bunker, the ancient art and modern sport of fencing has been keeping a low profile in quake-stricken Christchurch, but not at Clubs Day at the University of Canterbury..
Most high schools have put off sport, including fencing, until at least next term, though spies tell Medbury has started.
The United Fencing Club is holding its AGM next Tuesday and will decide where to re-locate to – its usual home at Avonside Girls High School was badly damaged. Christchurch Fencing Academy starts this coming Monday in the hall at Kendal Avenue school, its home at Burnside High School is being used by two schools now, while the Wednesday session is running at the Fencing Institute.
The Sabre Club has relocated to the hall at Waltham Primary School on Wednesday nights and the Canterbury University Fencing Club will relocate there too, starting this Sunday at 2pm - it’s usual base at the Ballroom
has been red stickered, meaning no entry and no access to its gear, worth around $30,000. Christ’s College might also lose its gear housed in the Old Girls High complex which is due for demolition soon.
So all in all a confused and shaky situation for Canterbury fencing and the rest of the country’s fencers, including Fencing New Zealand, will have to cut a bit of slack for us.
The Fencing MidSouth Agm is this Friday at the FI, but since the clubs have not started I doubt is there will be any coherent outcome.
Wish us well and if anybody has some spare epees and extra large jackets cufc can use til it gets access to its own (if ever), get in contact!
What's behind this door? First correct answer on an A4 bit of paper will win a Morris Minor keyring.
FENCING – THE ANTI-QUAKE SPORT
JOIN US FOR A FASTER RECOVERY!
AT THE SABRE CLUB.
Wednesday evenings at
The Waltham Primary School hall on the corner of Hastings and Vienna Streets.
Beginners and Intermediates 6.30 to 7.30pm
Expert fencers 7.30pm on (foilists and epeeists welcomed too for a faster recovery!).
First session is free – all instruction and equipment supplied.
Turn up and have a go!! Recover faster! Come Fencing.
23/3/2011: DAY TWENTY-EIGHT: The latest café gossip is about ‘what happened to me’ in the February earthquake. This is accompanied with graphic actions and shrieking. Very dramatic and no doubt a catharsis for the sufferers, but more disquieting is that between the dramas comes the chatter that many singles in the 25 to 35 age-group are leaving for Australia or further afield. These are the very people needed to rebuilt the city and recover the economy with their youthful energy and disposable income.
Communication, or the lack of it, has been another hot topic. This lack of clear communication was obvious from the early days after February 22 nd when it became obvious that the extent of the catastrophe was way beyond the knowledge and experience of officials and the rest of us. It first became apparent in the rants of inexperienced media folks, especially TV fronts-people, and then among politicians, CCC and Civil Defence officials, but was noticeably absent in the ranks of the Police. Compare this birdy pix with the one taken on day 25, see the bunker fence?
Bunker mentality. Adolph Hitler retreated to his bunker in the last days of the Third Reich and died there. Now Civil Defence have built a wall round their headquarters in the Christchurch Art Gallery perhaps to protect themselves from irate ratepayers and citizens. Who knows? It is not a good look to the citizens of Christchurch. Mr Hamilton and his crew have immured themselves like Libya’s beleaguered Colonel Ghadaffi. Is this an indication of the fall of the Garden City? Or the disappearance of commonsense? Be interesting to know the name of the individual or company handling Civil Defence’s media spin as surely they must have seen the absurdity of the fence.
Here is a lament for commonsense – supplied by a kind reader.
We mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense.
No one knows how old he was, because his birth records were lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair, and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn), and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate when well-intentioned regulations were set in place. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job the parents had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer paracetamol or a sticky plaster to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live, as the Ten Commandments became contraband, and the criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself against a burglar, and the burglar could sue for assault.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.
He is survived by brothers, I Know My Rights; Someone Else is to Blame; and I’m a Victim.
Here's a pic of Sydenham earlier today when the fence was moved to allow residents and business owners entry for a quick squiz.
21/3/2011: DAY TWENTY-SIX: Tempers are starting to turn violent in Christchurch. They have been a bit frayed for sometime now on an individual basis. This has been easily ignored or passed off as an aberration by Civil Defence and other officials. Not so today when residents and business owners broke through the central city cordon in an attempt to reach their homes or businesses.
I bet Jimmy would give them an earfull if they tried to exclude the former west coast greengrocer from his Sydenham premises without a good reason. Though his Funky Pumpkin store at New Brighton is closed until further notice both Sydenham and Blenheim Road branches await your visit.
This is a big hole in Vienna Street that is causing some problems as it keeps filling up with water and needs two or three pumps to keep it dry while the sewer pipes are repaired. The quake seems to have opened up a spring on the bottom left.
Is this what they are replacing? A broken pipe.
While in Opawa, near the Heathcote River, they are trying to shore up the river bank so they can fix a sewer, centre.
As Clint Eastwood would say, “Do you feel lucky..’ Is this a cast-off mattress or someone’s bed under the bushes in Waltham Park? I hope it’s the former…
20/3/2011: DAY TWENTY-FIVE: The spirit and general intelligence of quake-battered Christchurch improved dramatically this weekend with 50.000 plus credulous milquetoasts fleeing the city. If we are lucky they won’t return and the rebuilding and recovery will be that much faster. what's milquetoast?
Wot's he talking about? Drivel or what, have a look here.
New Brighton resident Lewis Surgenor was at his local café for his Sunday coffee and points to the sand hills over which the tsunami was to have come.
Nor did it stop Jerry and Alan of the Earthquake Commission. Jerry is from Wanaka and Alan from Croydon, London.
But the Bridge of Remembrance still stands, albeit with a crack or two.
Will it be deconstructed or reconstructed? Repaired?
19/3/2011: DAY TWENTY-FOUR: Local café talk about the National Memorial in Hagley Park is not kind to the dignitaries who attended. There were some scathing comments about the full-page instructions and maps appearing in the papers on how to get there and what to do. Presumable it was all prepared by the CCC and one elderly lady asked why they couldn’t have provided maps of the damaged or closed roads and such like in the immediate aftermath?
The people getting the café kudos are those walking the damaged streets for the EQC, street cleaners and those sensible officials manning cordons. There are dozens of stories of sensible people making commonsense decisions such as allowing businesses to operate or allowing those disposing of some of the food and other comestibles from damaged buildings to take a wrong turning or two and end up at such places as the Roy Stokes centre instead of the dump! Petty insurance or health regulations be damned, why dump something that can be used by those in need, and we are not talking about meat pies, rather rice, pasta and other packaged foods that have to be cooked first so are little or no health risk.
Focus is now on Japan but Sydney’s channel 7 is still in town.
How about this perfectly parked spire? Puts the skills of many Christchurch motorists to shame!
The questions I should have asked these operators was, “are you going to deconstruct these buildings?”
Christ's College or the former Town site of Canterbury University now the Arts Centre,
More birds. Sailors and wharfies call them shite-hawks cos they have no discernment over defecation. This bunch were caught in front of the Art Gallery/Emergency Centre. No, no smart captions about birds of a feather please.
Jerry Jackson, a letter writer to The Press on Saturday took to task those officials using gobbledegook – the question is, is this obfuscation deliberate – or the result of poor leadership and a poor understanding of our language?The Press
An example of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The few local dairy’s still open have been selling out of the nation’s best newspaper over the last few weeks and asking for extra copies but no joy.Now they are getting them but are finding them hard to move.
16/3/2011: DAY TWENTYONE: Psst, looking for a job? Dave of the Jungle Patrol Cafe in New Brighton is looking for a barista! Dave, who featured in an earlier posting, is being run off his feet by demand in the seaside suburb.
Leaders from Civil Defence, the Christchurch City Council and sundry political parties, including the one in Government, are starting to cope some criticism, not only from many in Christchurch, but further aflield – read what The Press columnist Chris Trotter says: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/chris-trotter/4768606/Sense-of-foreboding-over-Refugee-Christchurchs-recovery
Local café talk is not too forgiving either. They think that Mayor Bob Parker and the Prime Minister John Key were great front-people but there is a nagging suspicion that real leadership is lacking, especially in the Christchurch City Council, and Trotter’s column gives some reasons for those concerns.
But enough of doom and gloom, here’s a nice heart-warming story about Bird.
Bird is a local of St Martin’s and is usually found at home with her caring mistress but seems to have been a bit disorientated by the February Earthquake. Since the cataclysmic event Bird has been turning up outside Opawa Seafood, the suburb’s top chippy, for a hand-out from owner David – no not chips, birdseed!
The empty AMI stadium today – no Rugby World Cup matches!!
A marketing guru took umbrage about yesterday’s rant on what would happen if the IRB take its World Cup games away from Christchurch. He suggested the Crusaders would do more good financially for their rugby franchise, and ChCh he hastened to add, by playing in England and other centres in New Zealand. Go on! Pull my other leg.
This Sydneham business is ready for anything!
15/3/2011: DAY TWENTY: Taking the Rugby World Cup games away from Christchurch will be the death-knell of the professional sport in Canterbury. Rugby, or thugby as I have been known to charitably call it, has been in decline for some years like many other established sports – fencing too?.
The renaming of Lancaster Park, the loss of free to air games on the television, the holding of games in the dark, dank evenings and the general concentration on running a sport as a business have all told over years with smaller crowds and less participation.
You still see adhoc gatherings of people playing cricket, basketball or soccer in Waltham Park but it’s been a long time since I have seen rugby. Also the days when many of us living near Lancaster Park could turn on the telly, turn off the sound, open the front door and enjoy the live, direct sound effects have gone and the chance of the ground turning into a huge white elephant draped round the neck of earthquake shattered ratepayers is a distinct possibility unless it quickly becomes a multi-use venue like Hagley Park. Athletics, speedway, cycling, skateboarding, tennis, cricket, boxing, karate, shooting, netball, even climbing could all be centred there, and should be.
Another concern was the comment by one of the leaders of the search and rescue team off to help in Japan when he pointed out that the crew had vast experience, including the Pike River Mine disaster, pardon me! The 29 that died are still underground and I believe the search and rescue crew were not deployed/used so what experience was gained? Curriculum Vitae enhancement or salesmanship?? We all do it.
What’s on this fellow’s CV? Ken was captured yesterday on Riccarton Road with his shopping bag?
Or the CVs of these rescuers burrowing desperately in the rubble on Manchester Street – Richard, Robyn or Rhys if you see this contact me.
Here are two contrasting shots from Colombo Street in Sydenham yesterday.
Ray, of Angus Donaldson, is ready for work at the backdoor of the premises, the well-known printing and copying business, shares with PennyLane as seen from Buchan Street, now their new front door.
And Police at work outside Ray’s real front door on Colombo Street. Both Sydenham businesses would love to do business with you!
Now this sandhill on vacant land near the corner of Colombo and Brougham Streets was caused by liquefaction.
Here are Mike, front, Massey and Steve, driver, cleaning up the evidence.
13/3/2011: DAY EIGHTEEN: and NINETEEN: After the news of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on Friday evening I was just going to let this site revert back to fencing news as there was no way what we are going through in Christchurch could compare to the suffering and deaths Japan must be experiencing. However some readers have asked for it to continue as they seem to appreciate the personal and quirky approach – even to the extent of an e-mail from an American Morris Minor owner!
Travel across the city is a major problem. Traffic on the way to ChCh airport.
On Friday it took nearly three hours to drive to the airport and back instead of the usual 40-minute return trip – on reflection, I could have cycled quicker. Bumper-to-bumper traffic and poor driving skills rather than damaged roads were the problems, problems that could have been alleviated by good, old fashioned, traffic policing. I know that our police have been heavily involved in rescue and security matters in the cbd and Eastern Suburbs, but not once did I see an example of a policeman, or anyone else, on intersection control. Yes many traffic lights were up and working and yes I was travelling on roads in the relatively undamaged Western suburbs, but even during the previous weeks I never saw a policeman on point duty, even on the vital routes of Brougham Street and Moorhouse Avenue – road users were left to cope alone. But the pier at New Brighton
is still standing and my favourite policeman still plays chess with me.
As bike shop owner John jumps for joy – he still had no power, water or phone but his New Brighton shop is open so go buy a bike and travel easily.
Now some necessary people at work. Nick grabs a banana during clean-up operations at Hummingbird Coffee.
Matt, a water technician, tests for leaks with his sensitive thingie.
Now Pom Captain Robert Falcon Scott might be facedown in the flowers,
but Sergeant Henry James Nicholson, a First World War soldier and holder of the Victoria Cross is still standing! And so is most of Christchurch!!
11/3/2011: DAY SEVENTEEN: STOP PRESS: Yes it’s an old archaic term, but it was one of my first jobs in a newspaper, locking the stop press blocks onto the print rollers at the old Evening Star in Dunedin. Anyway a very nice person has confirmed the rumour of the central city dope growing enterprise at the Crichton Cobbers in Fitzgerald Avenue. They say a picture never lies, they also say a picture is worth a thousand words….
And the stories of bureaucratic inconsistencies continue - rescue teams visiting central city buildings ten or more times to check and clear them after they were previously checked and cleared. Damaged vehicles removed without recording their destinations, good food being dumped by businesses cleaning up premises, the list is long and shows that even with the best intentions things can go wrong. However, the thing that most people notice is the tireless efforts of the repair gangs.
Here is a door smashed by search crews. The key had been left in the lock!
An Army truck patrols Colombo Street in Sydenham. In the background is the famous watering-hole, Churchill’s Bar.
Officials oversee the demolishing of the Crighton Cobbers building on Fitzgerald Avenue. There is a rumour among locals that a cannabis growing operation was discovered here – a central city high?
Another view of Fitzgerald Avenue, near the Avon River.
And, today’s special pix, a Morris Minor lowlight tootles up Fitzgerald Avenue!
The Morris Minor was designed in 1943 by Sir Alex Issigonis while he was firewatching at the Cowley factory duriing the Blitz, the bombing of the United Kingdom by the German Luftwaffe, during the Second World War. It was first sold in 1948 and ended production in 1971.
10/3/2011: DAY SIXTEEN: The strain is starting to tell with the odd attack of hysterics in public, I witnessed one event in Opawa, but even more worrying are the silly ideas being put forward for the rebuilding and revitalisation of Christchurch, particularly the central business district. Recovering, from this???
One idea is to relocate the University of Canterbury at Illam, or a substantial portion of it, back into the cbd. There are 22,000 students and staff out at Ilam so the idea seems feasible, but it will have to be all or nothing for as one who had to scurry between the town-site and Ilam for lectures while attending the university in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it is just plain stupid and irresponsible. Costly too, with thousands of students shuttling between the two sites on bikes, in cars or buses – now here’s a thought, perhaps they could re-route the trams to run between Illam and town? Mayor Parker would be pleased at that!
Maureen Fletcher once ran an ashram in Wairewa, in the North Island, and retired to her hometown, Christchurch. An inveterate café goer, she died in a café in Sydenham that collapsed on February 22 2011, aged 75. Here she is outside another of her favourite cafes, the Oak Tree Café, in the mall at New Brighton.
The New Brighton café, which was owned and run by Annie and Shelly, was destroyed in the earthquake.
Maureen was buried at Ruru Lawn Cemetery yesterday by her friends and family.
A solitary piper played a lament.
Maureen would have liked this bit of news, Strawberry Fare, the well-known restaurant on Peterborough Street, is commited to re-opening as soon as possible, hopefully within two months!!
9/3/2011: DAY FIFTEEN: The bureaucratic stranglehold on the central business district that seems to be exerted by civil defence is starting to rile people. It seems that those controlling the civil defence side of things are slow to react to the wishes of the people and businesses which want to get on with life and rebuild. The Minister of Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee, is becoming the butt of some peoples’ anger for a lack of decision-making – who would want to be a politician?
Now meet Jack, all the way from Zimbabwe. Jack thinks that even after our quakes Christchurch is still a better place than his homeland.
Lindsay, left, Les and James are another lot from out of town. The trio seen here water blasting the silt from the sewer pipes in Hargest Crescent, are from Timaru. They work for SJ Allen Ltd, of Timaru, which has six more teams work in the shattered Garden City.
A watering place for fencers, Pomeroy’s Bar on Armagh Street, has survived.- the sign says it all!
But Poms may be closed for a while.
But not the skate park on Moorhouse Avenue.
8/3/2011: DAY FOURTEEN: The heritage building debate hots up. One side wants to keep many of the city’s older historic buildings while the other wants them down. Surely it is up to the owners if they want to save them or not. If they come down then nothing over two stories should replace them. If the owners want to save them then they have to be strengthened – the experience of the Garden City Quake is that buildings (heritage or otherwise) can kill and maim, not earthquakes!
As I write, silt is being removed from the nearby streets.
Stupid drivers rule the roads - this one zipped in and out of the traffic lanes around me all the way up Brougham Street accelerating and braking like a nutter, result no gains for the Pajero, but a few frights for other more considerate drivers...twit!!
At New Brighton many residents were heartened to find road and other repair crews slogging away in the dark and rain on Sunday night. In the New Brighton Winz office around 20 staff, many form outside Christchurch, have been beavering away each day. Tui was seconded from Auckland.More than 500 beleaguered residents were helped on Friday alone.
Where have all the people gone?? The malls still standing..... in this case Riccarton Mall.
For the more politically correct view of the Christchurch Earthquake have a read of the nation’s top newspaper:The Press
7/3/2011: DAY THIRTEEN: News that the Government may take over the rebuilding of Christchurch is a slap in the face for the Christchurch City Council. Distancing citizens from the locally elected officials could back-fire especially in the overly parochial Garden City. Not that the CCC seems to have been visible to many in the eastern suburbs, while Mayor Bob Parker has done a great job as a television frontsman, here he has a group grope in St Martin’s park with local residents yesterday...
he is followed by a bevy of relatively unknown civil defence, fire service and police people spouting jargon riddled guff that appears short on facts.
Here are two keen types, Tim O'Loughlin, left, and Andrew Groom who turned up for yesterday's meeting with the Mayor on Saturday! !A day early.
Bit of a misunderstanding there. Have a look at Andrew's good neighbours site: GOOD NEIGHBOURS, help each other. He is a self-employed IT specialist.
Some people are now saying that too much time and effort was spent on the central city to the detriment of the suburbs which some are even suggesting were more badly hit than the central business district. One has even said out loud, that rescuers spent more time and effort on the dead than the living. Others are saying that many buildings were structurally unsound after the September quake yet were green stickered. So the back-biting and finger-pointing has started.
A glimmer of good news, Opawa General Practicioner John Dewsbury who lives on St Andrews Hill said that one of the more dramatic things he remembers were the lights coming on in different sections of the city night after night as power was quickly returned to the devastated parts of the city.
And for those disbelievers - here's the Tranz Senic snapped on Saturday near at the Monteal Street crossing - up yer choo choo too!
Thanks for your e-mails, even the grumpy one about the train. You can harass me by clicking on the e-mail address at the bottom of the page.
6/3/2011: DAY TWELVE: And the cracks are starting to show. There is a military maxim about the issuing of orders or directions– make sure you get them right the first time and make sure they are able to be clearly understood by the stupidest soldier. An order followed by a counter-order equals disorder is the maxim and that is starting to show here in Christchurch, but here is a stirring pix taken by a friend in central Christchurch yesterday as she struggled to collect belongings from her home.
The former teachers college building on the corner of Peterborough Street still stands with its flags flying!! Now, that would be a stirring sight - every building still standing in Christchurch flying a flag!
5/3/2011: DAY ELEVEN: The rebuilding has begun. Bexley Road, the scene of car swallowing chasms pictured in earlier postings, has been repaired and re-sealed. Trains are running again. Yesterday motorists on Broughham Street by the corner of Aldwins Road came to a bemused halt when the crossing arms came down and the bells and lights started ringing and flashing for a Transrail engine towing a few wagons towards the Heathcote tunnel.
The Bridge Street bridge is back in action and electricity is coming back, but I would not like to be Danny or Michael up there when an aftershock comes!
They were still without power and water in round Oram Avenue, New Brighton, yesterday, but the buses and this make-shift bank were up and running.
A hurt house gets some attention while a dead one awaits burial.
The spire of this New Brighton church gives the appearance of having been temporarily parked until the rest of the church is repaired.
And one to end for the day ... Like the rest of Christchurch, OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
4/3/2011: DAY TEN: It was a warm but smelly welcome for the Prime Minister, John Key, left, when his Air Force helicopter landed in the suburb of Bexley this morning. It was, perhaps, a fitting landing site, a former city rubbish dump. On hand to greet him were the Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, centre, and Roger Sutton the boss of Orion, right, but so was the pervasive stench of human ordure from the destroyed sewerage system.
One of his first stops on his way to the seaside suburb of New Brighton was to greet children and staff of Pipi Preschool on Pages Road.
When a mate hurts, a mate helps. While the citizens of the Garden City struggle to get back to some sort of normality the talk on the streets is about certain feral types and the incredible support given by Government Departments.
During wartime, looters would have been shot and some Waltham and Heathcote residents I spoke to yesterday are convinced that penalty should be brought back. Having said that, the old-timer recommending instant execution burst into tears when a convoy of Army trucks and trailers went past.
Andrew, a self-employed builder, lost his tools and other gear in the quake and subsequent flooding that munted his Pages Road home. Now living in a Sydenham warehouse, he approached Work and Income in Hornsby for the first time in his life and was given instant financial support even to the extent of a cash grant to fill his petrol tank.
On a more personal note, a friend and I went to an emergency centre advertising shower facilities. Hands sanitized at the door we lined up to sign in. Not too long a wait, but after providing name and telephone to record our particulars for safety reasons, we were then directed to a double line of tables manned, or in our case womaned, by Red Cross and other officials wanting more details! For safety purposes we were told again, but what looked like three A4 sized forms to fill rested on the table – no way, not for a shower – so I left. You don’t need to fill out forms for a bucket wash in the backyard!
Anyway while waiting for my friend to shower, I watched some people checking-in, having a shower, and then leaving without checking out. That put paid to the safety question. Bureaucracy gone mad!? I leave you to make your own decision, but it seems to be rearing its inflexible head in Christchurch.
Now for something more positive. A veritable united nations is walking our streets: from left, Isabelle (Nelson via Switzerland), Phil (Britain), Ron (Mayfield) and George (Australia) check houses in Waltham.
Further up the road was Aromaunga Flowers run by the Baxter family.
Their well-known Bridle Path Road property has its bunching shed demolished and was behind the cordon, but the branch on Port Hills Road is open and Rick and his staff are back in action.
They are selling on line too: Order your flowers here.
One of the reasons Bridle Path Road has been closed – workers stabilise rocks on the hillside above the road.
Up the road at Ferrymead, work is underway to repair the bridge and this bent railing on the right shows the force of the earthquake.
An idyllic shot of the Heathcote River.
3/3/2011: DAY NINE: American folk singer Woody Guthrie sang about dustbowl refugees in the Great Depression and it felt a bit like that today in Christchurch – dust, dust and windblown dust.
There is risk in everything we do, but there is a feeling among the ordinary people that there is too much of rush by officials to knock down any building that could conceivable be a threat. Hence this view of the old Sydenham Post Office at the intersection with Brougham Street – compare it to the pix HERE!
A former Mayor of an American earthquake-hit city especially mentioned keeping as much as possible and allowing property owners to recover belongings before buildings were demolished. Even fast food outlets!
This depot supplies the Army and other recovery workers, but, sadly, it has been a target for thieves. Across the road is another depot of water available for all! Guard Tavita reckons water is more expensive than petrol per litre.
Today’s quirky pix is this one showing that bikes are king in the Garden City – here dog takes hand-biker Colin for exercise.
Oh, and for seconds, how about this, even the trees in the Garden City need a luttle support.
2/2/2011: DAY EIGHT: Today we concentrate on the suburb of SYDENHAM.
Many things have taken on a lean in quake hit Christchurch, here Neil directs his workmates in removing airconditioning units from a Sydenham building.
Once again the suburb of Sydenham was badly damaged with shop fronts demolished and open to the weather and other predators but police and territorial solders, from the 2nd Canterbury Regiment, are on patrol in the village.
A green light and nowhere to go! A cordon on Colombo Street by Brougham Street protects Sydenham village.,.the city centre is in the background. The bulging roadway is the Colombo Street and Moorhouse Avenue overbridge.
Not all brick-built buildings fell down ,,,
Yet in another part of Sydenham all is back to normal as this shot in Coleridge Street shows cars lining both sides of the street as businesses start the clean-up and Mark, a concrete worker heads off on a call.
Ready for the next aftershock and a quick escape, Brock Harris keeps an eye on traffic passing from his upstairs flat in Antigua Street.
1/3/2011: Day Seven: More fencing news; Fencing MidSouth’s Annual General Meeting has been postponed until further notice as has its learn to coach programme.
Dunedin fencer Barry Dorking wonders who is our youngest national open foil champion?? He thinks it could be Brian Pickworth, but is not sure – any ideas?? What about our youngest national open epee champion? Any Ideas?
A bus to nowhere.
Once things settle down, one of the major questions that will need answering is what happened to Public Transport during and after the earthquake? The central city trams are going nowhere fast and damaged roads stopped the buses so if the Christchurch City Council and Canterbury Regional Council want to rebuild confidence in the bus system they are going to have to design and implement a system that can operate when it is most needed – in a disaster. As one wag has suggested, instead of relying on buses for public transport the councils could give every ratepayer a pushbike! An interesting suggestion that could cut down the gridlock that has plagued the city since the quake.
Talking about two wheels, here Richard admires the headlight of his Vespa.
His scooter had been left outside covered by a plastic tarpaulin and the interaction between the plastic headlight lens and plastic tarp during the earthquake produced this interesting effect – a melting moment perhaps? Suitably we caught Richard outside his favourite café in Opawa, the Opawa Café, which reopened yesterday for the first time since the earthquke.
28/2/2011: DAY SIX: The stench of human ordure hangs over much of Christchurch today as the aftermath of the earthquake six days ago becomes more apparent with much of the city still without water and much of the sewerage system destroyed. The economic implications are beginning to show too, as shown below, where more than 60 workers at the St Martins' New World are told they no longer have a job. The supermarket was badly damaged in last Tuesday's earthquake and will have to be rebuilt.
Shannon Mahuika is also out of a job. The Waltham resident is a pounamu carver whose work is sold in local tourist gift shops, mainly in the city centre, now closed off by security cordons. He also needs to use water while carving the greenstone, but with water still not running he has turned his chisels to carving wood. Here he shows a partially finished taihi, or Maori spear, in front of Waltham school.
Here's another use for a Christchurch City Council wheelie rubbish bin..to warn road users!
Some fencing news: Christchurch fencing coach and equipment retailer, Daniel Chan, after cleaning up fallen equipment in his Phillipstown shop. Remember, you can order your fencing gear via e-mail without having to visit Christchurch (but then you will miss the after-quake excitement! Oops, there's another one....), MAINLAND FENCING.
Now some fencing trivia, in what year did Percy Temple win the Christchurch Swords Club’s President’s trophy?? First correct answer wins a Morris Minor key ring – and not you Viv!
Now, meet Dion. The concrete placer and digger driver lives on Pages Road with no power, phone or water so what does he do? Serenades the few passersby with his guitar!
If you wish to employ his skills - as a digger driver or concrete placer of course - try him on 017 740 4384. His guitar and singing skills come free.
27/2/2011: DAY SIX: Café society in Christchurch is going to be very limited for sometime as these pix of the very popular Under The Red Verandah show.
The last menu...
However out at New Brighton Dave, the proprietor of the Jungle Patrol Café on Oram Avenue, fired up his espresso machine using a generator and a special delivery of roasted coffee beans on Sunday. “People need a treat,” was his comment as he served free coffees to New Brighton locals.
Interestingly his stash of beans came from LYTTELTON COFFEE COMPANY, whose café and roastery has been damaged and is closed, but who recovered their roaster and are now working from a freight container in the supermarket car park outside their London Street café.
Say hi to Tom, no, not epeeist Man Mountain but the Hastings Street resident who is a retired bricklayer and a keen gardener as this pic shows. He reckons the brick-built buildings in Christchurch were not basically unsound, just that they could not stand up to earthquakes. One maybe but not three major quakes and though many brick (and concrete too) buildings have crumbled to the ground, “”At least the dahlias survived.””
26/2/2011: Day Five and many are starting the clean-up, but the mouthpieces on TV don't seem to have a real grip on the catastrophic state of the eastern suburbs.
I am also embarrassed about the antics of certain TV reporters talking about live rescues and other fractured use of our language, wanna look up the meaning of the word rescue? None talked about dead rescues. Then there are the overly effusive front people injecting their own personalities into the story like they were fronting a TV gameshow. A question, what is the difference between sewage and sewerage? Look it up! As should certain politicians and reporters.
Things are slowly beginning to function again, below The KB Bakery on Gasson Street serves up hot pies and fish'n'chips ..
A shot of a destroyed inner-city building..
While Constable Graham and Corey, a soldier with Victor Company based in Linton, keep the looters and gawpers at bay near the Polytech ..
25/2/2011: There is not much fencing going on in Christchurch unless you count the safety fences going up around damaged buildings, but thanks to fencers all over the world for their messages of encouragement, particularly those from our Bro's (brothers) across the ditch (Australia) and Spain.
All the Christchurch fencers I know about are safe. Some have suffered major damage to their homes and businesses. The Matriarch of Canterbury fencing, Olga Jeykl, is safe though the same cannot be said for her home which lost its chimney. Fred Sesun's New Regent Street cafe looks as if it is gone, as is my former work place, The Press.
Here are more pix of the earthquake aftermath.
Below: Abandoned vehicles near the badly damaged bridge over the River Avon near South New Brighton..
Below: Field Engineer Johnny Johnson, based at Linton in the North Island. chats with locals at a road block in Aranui..
Below: The new Bridge Street lake in South New Brighton....
Below: The result of liquefaction in the suburb of St Martins..
While security guards look after a closed bank in the same suburb..
The spire and much of the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral in the central city might have fallen, but this Anglican church on Colombo Street near the suburb of Beckenham, is still standing...
25/2/2011: With much of Christchurch still without water, power and phone, people are being creative. Here Richard Foot has set up a water point using an artesian well on his Opawa property - its free and you can have as much as you like!
Below: An unlucky motorist in Bexley has his car recovered after it fell into a chasm the quake made in the road..
24/2/2011: A panicked driver jostle for a place in the lines of waiting motorists at a local petrol station. His action blocked the road both ways for some time. There have been no instances of fuel shortages, but many residents have left Christchurch for, what they consider, safer areas.
Have a look at what an earthquake and its aftershocks look like: QUAKE MAP
23/2/2011: United Fencing Club was to have its opening for the year last night but the big shake put an end to that, as was tonight's introduction to fencing coaching. Roads are closed and those that are open are suffering from land liquefaction, that's where the ground turns to a fine silt and erupts in most unexpected areas.
Thanks to fencers from throughout the world for their words of support. Here is a site for more earthquake info The Press Sad to say the old building that housed New Zealand's top newspaper was almost destroyed in the earthquake - see b/w pics posted earlier below.....
Below: it looks like a big ripple in the road, but its a trick - the overhead bridge on Moorhouse Avenue in central Christchurch was closed for fear of collapse....
Below: a calm bus driver waits on Moorhouse Avenue. Busses in Christchurch are nicknamed Big Reds.
Below: A leafy view of rescue work going on in central Christchurch.
Below: What happens when the land is constantly shaken by earthquakes - liquefaction! this eruption from the base of a power pole is accompanied by a flow of water.
21/2/2011: Fencing MidSouth is running an introduction to coaching course - foil, epee and sabre - under the aegis of Martin Brill. Below from right: Adrian, Luke, Brett, Dianne and Keith were among the 12 attending.
Below: No, its not a dance class, but a basic foil coaching class.
Below: Hand out time.
The course, at the Fencing Institute, continues this Wednesday with sabre and ends on Friday with epee. It is free to anyone affiliated to Fencing MidSouth! So do turn up.
18/2/2011: Chess with Knives - read about it here!
Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs?
Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs?
Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs?
Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs?
Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs?
Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs?
Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs?
Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs?
Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs?
Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs?
17/2/2011: Found these results from the 1987 National Fencing Championships held in Christchurch:
Women;s Foil. 1 Janine Kelcher, Wellington; 2 Jenny Bonney, Australia; 3 Rosemary Sharfe, Auckland; 4 Aileen Eccleston, Canterbury; 5 D Haswell, Australia; 6 A Troedson, Australia; 7 Jacqui Dorking, Otago/Southland; 8 Isabel Perkins, Canterbury; 9 Jenny Williams, Otago/Southland; 10 Dianne Swain, Canterbury; 11 K Gibb, Auckland; 12 Alicia Ponder, Wellington; 13 Minetta Eruiti, Wellington; 14 Andrea Lagan, Auckland; 15 J Munro, Wellington; 16 Karita Avia, Canterbury; 17 M Mulcare, Auckland; 18 R Robson, Wellington; 19 Vicki Clarke, Canterbury; 20 B Rampton, Wellington; 21 Jacky Emerre, Canterbury; 22 A Parkin, Wellington.
It's interesting to see who is still involved in our sport, two that I could see, and both from Canterbury. It is also interesting to compare the number of competitors with our recent nationals, 22 against 12 in Dunedin last year. Even more intersting is where the competitors come from, three from Australia - that large neighbour across the ditch!!
Have a look at this fencing website: USA
President Ken re-elected at the Fenz Annual General Meeting!
Saturday's meeting saw Ken Claridge re-elected, it also saw Vikki Lamb elected as Secretary and Rob Gestaldo-Brac continuing as Treasurer - a Wellington-based triumvirate! More to come!
12/2/2011: Say g'day to a weta!
A uniquely Kiwi beastie, though some are classified as an endangered species. Until recently researchers chucked them into a blender to chop them up for DNA testing - fair enough in the name of scientific research you would think - but no - they are an endangered species (like us humans one could say), so what do the researchers do now? Lop off a bit of the living beastie to throw in the blender. The question now, is do weta feel pain, fear or other emotions??
Want to know more about weta: try this DOC site.
10/20/2011: There are lies, damn lies and statistics and then there are sleek Morris Minor and Jaguar motor cars. The site stats for the FencingMaster for January show the most popular post was the pix of the sleek jaguar convertible driving along Brougham Street in Christchurch. Weird, especially for a fencing site!
To help you with your Valentine Day prezzi ideas - try these -
You can acquire them through the website whose details are in the background. Nipple and willy warmers indeed!
6/1/2011: Sorry Graham, you have been usurped! A claimant to your crown as the oldest fencer to win a New Zealand open (see earlier posting below), has appeared. Auckland foilist Arthur Gatland wants your adornment - you are too young at 56 - he claims to be 60 and right-handed!
Now, the question for Arthur, is why so many top pilots are left-handed. An example is the personal pilot for the King of Tonga. The King's private plane is a beechcraft with twin radial piston engines!
3/2/2011: Stop the press!
After a 10-year engagement, Christchurch epeeist Brett Davis and partner Kelly, have set the date for their wedding - January 7th 2012 among the alpacas.
Above: Brett, right, Hannah, Fiona, Jana, Jono and Alex after the announcement.
1/2/2011: WHO IS THE OLDEST TO HAVE WON AN OPEN FENCING CHAMPIONSHIP??
I was sitting having lunch with my old coach the other week and I asked him about Ces Marret (see earlier posting). “Didn’t know him,” he replied, “ I didn’t start fencing in New Zealand until the early 1960’s.” We then got talking about former national champions and somehow got round to talking about who was the oldest open fencing champion. He had personally won a nationals in his forties and he thought that some, such as Bob Binning, Richard Peterson or Brian Pickworth, might have done so even older.
Well Bob Binning is with the Great Sabreur in the Sky, Richard Peterson says he might have come close to it but supplies no date/age and I have no contact info for Picky, though rumour is that he is tucked up in the top of the North Island somewhere! So, based on that extensive research, our oldest national open champion has to be Graham Payne, who won the epee event at the 2010 nationals in Dunedin at the advanced age of 56!
Now, does the fact that he is a left-hander have any bearing on that result?
Spotted this split-screen Morris Minor in central ChCh about the middle of last year - just thought it makes for something other than fencing. Read more about this classic car : MORRIS MINOR! Don't forget to help our fencer Nancy .......
24/1/2011: Auckland fencer Nancy Liu needs a bit of help...
She is taking a walk for Oxfam and would like your help! Make a donation Here!!
20/1/2011: Add the last 2 digits of the year you were born to the age you will be this year and you will get the sum 111!
Now more news on fencing and fencers - what is Auckland fencer Nancy Liu up to? Who will be the new President of Fencing New Zealand? And, who will be the new President of Fencing MidSouth? These questions and many more answered soon.
The medal below is an Empire Games medal and was awarded to Auckland fencer Cecil George Marret for refereeing at the 1950 games. New Zealand fencers won two silver medals at the games that were held in Auckland.
Ces, as he was known, worked as a carpenter and used to fence and coach at the Seddon Technical School drill hall in Wellesley Street and is the dressed-up fencer on the left in the pirate picture below (earlier posting) taken at them old Majestic Theatre, now demolished. It is also possible he was the coach of Patricia Woodroffe who won the silver medal in the women’s foil event, the only women’s fencing event held at the games.
In the pic above of the two fencers, Ces is on the far right refereeing. While I am unreliably informed that the young lady in the background is Joyce Fenton, who went on to win a bronze medal in womens’ foil teams event at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica. more on 1950 games!
16/1/2011: Do you know what this is?
And what's its association with this ....
14/1/2011: Left-handed fencing gear for sale: GEAR FOR SALE! Be quick!
Someone also asked about The Press building and where it was -here tis .... it even has a sign on it!
Yes, the pic is old, from the early 1970's when there was a road through the Square and journalists used pen and pencils and there was nary a computer in sight ...
Here is a shot of The Press going to bed in those old hot metal days. Lines of mirror-image lead type set by the linotype operator on the far right, and stored on metal trays, called galleys, proofed by Bulkhands on to long strips of newsprint and corrected by Readers, are put into steel formes by Compositors, left, under the direction of the page Sub Editors, right. Once locked in tight the pages/formes are used to produce a copy called a flong which was then put into a machine which produced a curved metal copy which was then locked onto the rollers of the printing press. Then roll the press!
13/1/2011: Have you seen this fellow?
He was the mascot of the University of Canterbury Fencing Club and went missing some years ago and they would like him back. Notice he is a left-handed fencer and, like all members of the university, is ready for anything, on or off piste. Thanks to Geoff for the pix, readers may contact ucfc President Titch at: tinytitch @ live . com (remove spaces) if you spot him or know about his demise.
11/1/2011: Our Bro's across the pond get up to strange things sometimes. Someone sent me this pix from the recent training camp in Victoria .. I leave the caption to your imagination!
9/1/2011: Now, enough of sleek classic cars this summer season, here’s a pix taken from Gloucester Street, just behind the old The Press building, of the New Zealand flag flying in the sun.
The cranes in the background are working on the new building into which The Press will move after 112 years in the Cathedral Square building. The shift, the first since 1909, will happen in March and is being overseen by Assistant Editor Coen Lammers.
The Press celebrates its 150 th anniversary this year!
6/1/2011: Things are a bit slow on the fencing front so here is a pix of a sleek jaguar spotted on Brougham Street mear my place...
3/1/2011: Some summer fencing under the back veranda - Brett and Fiona indulge in some gentle epee!
Want your own electric sabre gear? Then Jackson is selling his: Sabre Gear for Sale!
Right-handed mans size, 1600N Uhlmann mask, 800N Uhlmann jacket and plastron and four FIE bladed pistol grip foils.
Small womens right-handed Leon Paul lame and mask, two electric sabres, three bodywires and small glove and sabre cuff.
First in, best dressed! Contact below for prices etc.