Local Heart, Global Soul

August 26, 2018

The Cathedral’s Fate Yet Uncertain…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Visiting in the first days of January 2018, The Christchurch Cathedral seems completely unchanged from when we visited five years ago.

The building looks sad in it’s present state, and I know that there have been some court battles over it’s survival because one of the most favoured options by the Anglican church is to pull it down.

However it’s popularity is such that millions has been raised by the public for it’s restoration and even more some consider, is that the Cathedral is the number one icon of the city, the biggest focal point (Cathedral Square), as well as regional and international point of recognition.

In this piece: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/339026/fate-of-christchurch-cathedral-being-decided “Fate of ChristChurch Cathedral being decided”

I read: “The head of the Christchurch Anglican diocese, and Christchurch’s Bishop, Victoria Matthews has strongly stated her support for demolition in the past. The government, city council and heritage groups all back restoring it.

At Synod people backed each of the three options – demolish and rebuild, reinstate, or gift the building to the government.

The option to reinstate came with a $25 million funding pledge from central government and a $10 million pledge from the Christchurch City Council (although this is subject to public consultation).

As part of the discussion, Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said “there was no right or wrong decision, but if the call was made to demolish, it could face significant legal challenges”. National Party Christchurch Rebuild spokesperson Nicky Wagner reaffirmed her support for reinstatement and said she was “cautiously optimistic” that the Synod would choose to rebuild the cathedral.

How does the Synod come to a decision?”The Anglican Synod is a meeting of the Christchurch Diocese, which covers all of Canterbury, the Westland Coast and the Chatham Islands. It consists of three houses: the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity.

In a similar way to a council meeting or AGM, there were a variety of motions that the Synod debate and vote on.This year, it includes the fate of the ChristChurch cathedral. To come to a decision, a motion has to gain a majority in each of the three houses. If there was no majority, the voting will continue.”

I personally feel tis this building is worth more than money, it’s loss would be like Paris losing the Eiffel Tower, Sydney it’s Opera House or New York the Statue of Liberty. As any Christchurch resident about their first trip up to the top of the tower pre-quakes, they all have a story and happy memory. Also pre-quake I am probably one of tens of thousands who over the years have walked through the Cathedral’s doors for the Christmas Eve Service after the Carols by Candlelight event on the banks of the Avon on balmy summers evenings. I hope this this building is saved and restored, it deserves more than to be just a sad figure of a building in the Square that bares it’s name and a giant birdhouse for the local winged residents.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 22, 2018

Letters and “Best” Handwriting…

Filed under: Architectural Detail,ART,Landmarks,My Reference Library,Stone carved — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Old Post Office in Cathedral Square is one of Christchurch’s most well known landmarks.

I remember the days when I was a teenager, lining up to get stamps for letters, with other people who where there to post letters, aerograms (my father used those for years!) cards and parcels.

Email has I think, done a huge blow to the art form of sending what we now call “snail mail”.

I try and make a habit of sending postcards from places we visit, and yes, it takes time to scribble out messages.

I try and make it easier by using pre-printed address labels but I find that as time goes on there is one major difficulty that I could never have envisioned possible all those years ago.

That is: I am getting less and less used to writing by hand. I have three handwriting styles: the first is my “ultra neat” style for special occasion stuff, the second is my “still-neat-but-far more casual” (most used) and then there is the style I used most during my student days: the flat out scrawl that only I could (mostly) read, born of the days when teachers revealed blackboards full of text that needed to be copied down before class ended or before it was wiped out of existence for the next lot of text that the teacher was writing.

My children looked in disbelief when I told them this once. I asked how they managed. My daughter laughingly pulled out her phone and showed me photograph after photograph of texts on whiteboards, all she had to do was point-and-click.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Gone are the days of serious cramp in your fingers as you tried to keep writing frantically before time or text was lost. Or going around your classmates asking “Anyone get the last four lines? Please can I get a copy? Yes? Cheers!” Vital instructions were often in those last four lines. Assignment details and the like.

Later this Post Office had a large philatelic section, where First Day Covers of stamps could be bought, and folders full of beautiful stamps could be viewed.

I have always viewed stamps as miniature works of art and loved a visit here to take a look.

The main work of the central city Post Office moved half a dozen blocks from here into a massive new building I (am guessing) somewhere in the 1980’s.

The Old Post Office here in the Square seems to have survived the earthquakes reasonably well. A lot of work has been done, and it’s clear that there is still a lot yet to do.

That said, I am relieved that it’s still here. With the historic Regent theatre, The Press Building, numerous other theatres now completely gone and the Cathedral damaged, it’s nice to see that one of Christchurch cities beautiful old landmarks has survived. Like our “best” handwriting, it hangs in there by a thread. I hope to one day return to look at folders of stamps and enjoy the interior.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I took close ups of this section because it’s a rare view: other buildings obscured it before so I have never seen these windows before.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 22, 2018

ANZED Car Rentals, Happy Customers Return…

Filed under: ART,CHRISTCHURCH,Landmarks,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand just before Christmas 2017.

The day was warm but a little hazy and we’ve just been picked up by one of the ANZED rental car company staff.

It’s the owners wife in fact, because ANZED rental cars is a small family run business that not only goes the extra mile when it comes to their vehicles but also delivers friendliness on such a scale that a decent part of their customer base are return clients.

Today was no exception. We get picked up from the airport and driven to their offices about fifteen minutes drive away so that we can complete the paperwork, insurances etc.

We’ve been customers of this company so long that the first time we come we needed a baby seat for Little Mr.

We encountered some trouble later in our travels when after a long spell of dry weather, a storm passed through and the heavens opened with deluges of rain.

It was at this moment of our trip that we found that there was a leak somewhere in the rubber seal at the top of the windscreen and tiny but persistent river of rain was peeing down on the drivers seat. We put towels down to sop up the water and called ANZED.

Luckily, by sheer chance this happened the evening before we were due back in Christchurch on just a one day visit. There was another car of the same size and model standing in their garage but it was due to be rented to another client in two days, we needed a replacement car for another nine days so that wasn’t a replacement option. They had smaller cars (hatchbacks) but we couldn’t fit the wheelchair into the back, so that wasn’t an option either. To compensate for the inconvenience, we received an upgrade to a bigger vehicle, a minibus, at no extra charge.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The switch of vehicles was done as smoothly and quickly as possible, although in Himselfs’ case that may have been for more financial panic than customer efficiency. He had left Little Mr, Kiwi Daughter and myself in Northland shopping mall and he was probably thinking that the longer we were there amusing ourselves, the more damage was being done to my credit card.

A company who can deal with problems quickly and efficiently is one thing, but immediately downing tools to meet us in the underground car-park at the supermarket / mall so that we lost as little of our day as possible, in another. Kudos.

As soon as we turned into the road that exits the airport we spotted a new addition to the landscape: a huge double arch over a over-bridge. Neither had been here on our last trip of Christmas 2013-2014. I’d seen this from the air as we arrived, now we got to take a closer look. I found some information on it too:

Located on the intersection of Russley Road and Memorial Avenue,The gateway arches will be one of the first things travellers and returning locals see when entering the city from the airport. The arches are expected to become a powerful symbol for Christchurch and form part of the future identity of the city.

Designed by Warren and Mahoney, they symbolise the crossing of paths, the Southern Alps and braided rivers of the Canterbury Plains and the excitement of travel.

Once finished, the arches will weigh 400 tonne and the highest point will stand 27 metres above Memorial Avenue.

The arches are part of a $112 million upgrade to State Highway 1 in Christchurch, and provides a flyover near Christchurch Airport so traffic on the highway can bypass Memorial Ave.”

To say that this a landmark is an understatement, the arches are dramatic and grab attention as soon as you arrive. I like them and of course will be looking for them every time we come into land from now on. Now though, we have a car and with transport sorted, the adventures in New Zealand begin.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

ANZED Rental Car Company / Christchurch / New Zealand
http://anzed.co.nz/

Gateway Arches / New Zealand Transport Agency / Christchurch / New Zealand
https://nzta.govt.nz/media-releases/christchurch-citys-gateway-arches-take-shape/

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