The diversity of suffrage

Most will be aware that we were the first country to allow women the vote, although territories or states – such as Wyoming in America- were earlier. While we often hear the term ‘women’s suffrage’, some women, like some men, could vote much earlier than 1893. In 1876, the Municipal Corporations Act allowed ratepayers of... Continue Reading →


Just over 100 years ago, an article written by Clara Lill was published in the Ashburton Guardian to mark the 25th anniversary of women's suffrage in new Zealand. Clara signed the petition in 1893 that successfully led to all women in New Zealand being given the right to vote – the first country in the... Continue Reading →

Slow News Days

We are no strangers to uneventful days, and it is painful to imagine how much more boring these kinds of days were a hundred years ago. Old issues of the Ashburton Guardian contain a lot of what you would expect – local developments, war updates, and pages upon pages of agriculture-centric advertising. However, it seems... Continue Reading →

Remembering Soldiers

  In 1918 Ashburton’s third Anzac Day was commemorated. The Ashburton Guardian anticipated it would ‘differ slightly’ from previous celebrations. Indeed, the government had declared Anzac Day 1918 a whole day holiday. A free day meant more time for more people to be involved, and more time for more expansive demonstrations. The proposed re-introduction of... Continue Reading →

Ashburton’s first Anzac Day parade set off from the Drillshed in Burnett Street. Already the departure point of the many farewell parades for men drafted as reinforcements, the Drillshed now saw yet another procession set off. The Citizens Defence Corps Band (formerly the Temperance Band) and the Salvation Army Band, both with their own ranks... Continue Reading →

The highly respected Robert Galbraith was Ashburton mayor from 1915-1931. It was his misfortune to be the sitting mayor during and after The Great War. His story is linked to how the War Memorial in Baring Square came about. It is a classic story of debate, intrigue, politics, delay and money. Letters to the Editor,... Continue Reading →

An Editor’s Christmas at War

At Ashburton Museum we are proud purveyors of stories past. World War One, known at the time as the Great War, was a time of unparalleled suffering and loss of life. We are all familiar with the stories of the brave men from the battlefields of Europe, but lesser known are the tales of those... Continue Reading →

What do you do for Halloween? Quite possibly you don’t buy decorations or festoon your home with pitchforks and slime. You or your children perhaps don’t wear a mask or scary costume to roam the neighbourhood, but perhaps you do get prepared and purchase lollies for other adventurous trick and treaters. It does seem, that of... Continue Reading →

Our Dansey brothers

A while back, Ashburton Museum staff learnt that a fantastic exhibition had been developed and was touring from the New Zealand Rugby Museum in Palmerston North. Titled, Balls, Bullets and Boots: From Rugby Field to Battlefield, it told the stories of players and coaches who also served in World War One. We wondered if any... Continue Reading →

Music, art and war

The many musical programmes in the Ashburton Museum’s archive would originally have been kept as a reminder of a concert attended, or perhaps for more personal reasons, such as a particular connection with a performer or an especially pleasant occasion. Today our interest in these programmes goes far beyond the bare details of what was... Continue Reading →

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