The Kate Sheppard Memorial has been a traditional gathering place for Christchurch feminists since 1993. Sadly it was fenced off after February 2011, and I was pleased to learn a few weeks ago that there were plans for Mayor Lianne Dalziel to liberate the memorial on International Women’s Day, Saturday 8 March. An e-mail notice announced that this would happen at 10am, that we should bring a white flower to toss in the river, and that Lianne would be putting out a press statement about it.
I saw no sign of a press statement, but I duly turned up at 10am clutching a bag of white alyssums, the only white flowers in my garden at present. It was wonderful to see the Kate Sheppard Memorial released at last.
There was one other woman there, who’d had the notice from the UN Feminists, but no sign of any liberation ceremony. We did think the Memorial looked as though it was tilted slightly towards the river and weren’t sure whether it was like that in the olden days. After waiting a few minutes we decided the floods must have caused cancellation (as has happened with other events, e.g. Culture Galore), and we tossed our flowers in the river anyway.
“It still was really good to see
Kate Sheppard and her friends now free.”