Posts Tagged ‘victoria square’

The 180th anniversary of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is being marked today in various ways across the country.  In Christchurch there’s a festival in Victoria Square where many stalls had a Maori and/or sustainability focus.

Waitangi Day stalls

I bought Shabby Chic All Natural Cleaning Paste, made from baking soda, pure castile soap, and essential oils.  It looks a little like Chemico.  There was also a variety of food stalls, some of which had a Maori flavour

Food stalls

Raw fish was offered, and Hearty Hangi’s made with love.

Modern hangi are gas-powered

Hundreds of people were enjoying the music and entertainment in the fine weather.

Waitangi Day entertainment

I noticed two plaques laid in the ground of the Square, that I hadn’t seen before.  One read Market stalls selling meat, fish, produce and groceries occupied this area in the 1880s, and another: Public Works Department offices and yards occupied this site in the 1860s.

6 February is a day when we can stop and reflect on the meaning of Te Tiriti and what action we might take.  There have been several messages about the importance of Pakeha learning Maori ways to balance the fact that Maori have been obliged to live in a Pakeha world for over 180 years.  My learning Te Reo this year will be a move in that direction.

We need to learn the Maori way
and hear the things they have to say

Read Full Post »

In Victoria Square
the song of cicadas
drowns out construction
willow weeps into the river
across from way-finding trees
a punt passes – no passengers today
on the riverbank a man
enjoys his ice cream
then rinses his hands in the water
eight Canada geese paddle upstream
a lone duck floats down
still the cicadas sing


Read Full Post »

Victoria Square was thronging for the last day of the Christchurch Big Band Festival, held over Labour Weekend.  This was the festival’s 12th year, with 25 different bands at eight different venues.   There was plenty of seating available, but little with back support, so I was glad I’d taken my folding chair.  When I arrived at 1.30pm the Garden City Big Band was playing.  Apparently the Music Director for this is Lana Law, who also leads the All Girl Big Band who played at 2pm.  She must be a busy woman!

All Girl Big Band

The weather was perfect – 23 degrees – and there’s plenty of shade in Victoria Square where the trees were a beautiful spring green.   Stalls were selling pizza, chips, ice cream, wine, and beer so it was a great opportunity to picnic (I’d already had a good lunch).

The music was just superb.  It’s always special to hear jazz in the open air.  I ignored a few spots of passing rain and stayed on for the Mike Bickers Boptet, a smaller band, but also excellent.

We are lucky to have such entertainment in our central city.  I look forward to next year’s Festival!

So good to have al fresco jazz
all played with fervour and pizzazz

Read Full Post »

A sad sight in Victoria Square this morning.  Someone had uprooted many of the Iceland Poppy plants and left them strewn on the pavement.  I’ve heard recently of people stealing plants from Abberley Park and the Botanic Gardens, in some cases hoping to sell them.  Others possibly want them for their own gardens, but what can be the motivation for this wanton destruction?  Captain Cook, like Lord Nelson, seems to have turned a blind eye.  There are signs in the Square announcing surveillance cameras so perhaps the miscreants will be identified.  These flowering plants bring pleasure to many people.  It’s a shame to see them spoiled.

I wonder who would pull them out
then leave them lying round about?

Read Full Post »

After more than a year behind fences Victoria Square is finally open to the public again, although the roads around it are still a one-way obstacle course.

Still fences nearby

Queen Victoria is shining brightly

Good to see the Bowker Fountain playing again – and we now know it’s pronounced ‘Boker’

Ettie Rout’s Memorial Tree is flourishing

The Square doesn’t look different, thank goodness.  There’s thousands of new paving stones, everything has been spruced up, and the flower beds have their usual neat displays.

“Queen Vic is back and looking bright.
When will they get the roading right?”



Read Full Post »

Victoria Square will be closed for the next year, while it’s being upgraded.  A public outcry persuaded the powers-that-be to revise their earlier plans, but the work will still take a long time.  The whole area is now fenced, with blue mesh that precludes taking photos.  I used to walk through the Square weekly, but that’s not now possible.

Signs suggest people take an alternate path on the other side of the river, which I did.  From here you can see the work in progress, overlooked by Captain Cook.

Visitors are instructed to head to The Commons if they want food and drink, and at midday on Thursday there were just two food trucks operating, and the only customers seemed to be those working on the Town Hall rebuild.

With Cathedral Square still in such a sad state it’s a pity Victoria Square will be out of bounds until 2018.  If you’re looking for a pleasant green space in the central city right now, the Margaret Mahy Family Playground is the place to go.

“I miss our green Victoria Square
and pleasant weekly walks through there.”




Read Full Post »

I love anemones.  They have ‘my’ colours of purple and pink, and are so bright and cheerful.  When I’ve had them in my garden they’ve not reappeared the next year, so I guess they don’t like my sandy soil.  However I can enjoy the current display in Victoria Square.

Anemonies in Victoria Square

Anemonies in Victoria Square

Shakespeare wrote of anemones: “These flowers are like the pleasures of the world.”   Greek mythology linked the red anemone, sometimes called the windflower, to the death of Adonis.  This handsome young man was loved by Aphrodite, Goddess of Love.  Adonis enjoyed hunting, and one day when he was out hunting alone, he wounded a fierce boar, which stabbed him with its tusks.  Aphrodite heard the cries of her lover and arrived to see Adonis bleeding to death.  Red anemones sprang from the earth where the drops of Adonis’s blood fell.  In another version of the story, the anemones were white before the death of Adonis, whose blood turned them red.

“Anemonies, purple and pink
are most attractive flowers I think.”


Read Full Post »

Four ‘signatory trees’ which were planted in Victora Square after the earthquakes by representatives of the Crown, Council, Kai Tahu, and Community will be moved as part of the Victoria Square revamp.

Signatory trees in Victoria Square

Signatory trees in Victoria Square

Apparently the current location is too damp for some of the species, and in time they would obscure the view of the Town Hall.  Plus they are planted where people may wish to sit on the north-facing bank.  You’d think these matters might have been considered before the trees were planted.

“They planted trees without due care
and now they’ll be moved to elsewhere.”

Read Full Post »

Giraffe no. 15 “Beauty Amongst the Rust” by Troy Gutry stands in Victoria Square, beside the now-empty Bowker Fountain which in 1931 was the first illuminated electric fountain in Australasia.

Giraffe no. 15

Giraffe no. 15

When I stopped to take the photo I was accosted by a couple of English tourists, who wanted to commiserate with me about all the devastation.  I was in a hurry to get home, but stayed to chat with them for several minutes.  They’d last visited six years ago and could hardly believe the changes they now saw.

The giraffes will all be ‘de-installed’ this Saturday, so if you want to see more, you need to hurry.

Victoria Square is looking good and is a welcome green oasis in the central city.  I hope planned changes don’t make it less attractive.

“We’re happy with Victoria Square
and glad the earthquakes left it there.”




Read Full Post »

Earthquake Assembly Point

Whoever wrote this notice on the corner of Colombo and Gloucester Streets was definitely not a local. Victoria Park is about eight kilometres away to the south. I presume they mean Victoria Square which is just one block north. The sign could be confusing, especially if someone was trying to use a GPS to find the assembly point.

“They might not get there until dark
if walking to Victoria Park.”

Read Full Post »