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Four weeks after the big Canterbury eart…

6 Oct

Four weeks after the big Canterbury earthquake, the people of Sumner got together to celebrate the efforts of their volunteer fire brigade and raise funds.

A selection of photos from the fair on Saturday 2 October.

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A big hand for Avonside

6 Oct


The silt-shovelling team taking a lunchbreak on Avonside Drive a couple of weekends ago.

A huge team of volunteers, initially university students, combed Christchurch after the 4 Sept earthquake, helping out where they could.

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Self-help Community Pool

4 Oct

The strength of a local community can often be gauged by the strength of its community facilities.  More so when those facilities are provided directly through residents’ efforts.

The Sumner Community Pool is one of the few community pools in Christchurch that has managed to survive the pool-closure mania of the last two decades.  I know from my own experience as a school trustee at Shirley Intermediate School that it is a hard fight to maintain and fund pools in the face of bureaucratic resistance.

The Sumner Community Pool committee has been outstandingly effective in maintaining and developing their pool.  The pool is a hugely popular focus of community activity during the summer months.

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Kitty Fenton – Sumner Historical Society

3 Oct

The Sumner Historical Society is legendary in the Sumner-Redcliffs area.  Its annual meeting is always well attended, with local notables always attending or tabling their apologies.

Based at the Sumner Museum, on the corner of Wakefield and Nayland St, the Society has done sterling work in preserving the history of the Sumner community.  Right now we are hoping the their building will get the all-clear following the 4 September earthquake.

Here is a quick look around the museum and a chat with long-serving Society Treasurer, the delightful Kitty Fenton.


Earthquake thank you in Richmond

3 Oct

A resident of Avalon St in the Christchurch suburb of Richmond was so overwhelmed with neighbourhood support after the quake that he mounted this sign on his fence.


One whole side of Jonathan’s house was covered with tarpaulins.  It looked like most of the brick wall had collapsed in the earthquake.  Fortunately into an empty section.

I wrote earlier about Flesher Ave a few blocks away.  They got hit very hard.  But most of the rest of Richmond seemed to fare okay.  Sadly, many streets have isolated examples of damage greater than the loss of a chimney.  Jonathan is one example.  Over in Forth St a delightful brick house was also badly shaken up.  Much of the outer layer of bricks are on the ground, a large crack runs through the wall and a window frame is wildly askew.

It will be a shame if we lose more of the quaint remains of old Richmond.  The suburb has been intensively developed with small units.  I delivered twice as many fliers to letterboxes in this area than I would to a similar-sized area elsewhere.


Memphis Belle – values first

24 Sep

Update 3 March 2011: The Memphis Belle is a total write off following the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake.  The pharmacist from next door told me that Shane survived.  Tragically, the lovely good-sort Natasha at Wicks Fish (another neighbouring business) and her customer were killed.

Original article September 2010:

Shane Tatum of Memphis Belle pizzeria in Linwood is living the life he loves.  The eccentric decor of the Worcester St eatery gives a hint of the “old soul” who dwells within.  Jam-packed with World War II and related memorabilia, the shop is a delightful experience that money could not buy.

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Sumner Community Gardens

19 Sep

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Sumner Community Gardens.  This new project, behind All Saints Church on Wakefield St, is only just kicking off.  But the small organising team are looking forward to creating a vibrant community hub.  Given their enthusiasm and work to date, I think they will achieve just that.

In this video, take a look at the delightful surroundings and hear Kate Saunders talk about the Sumner Community Gardens.