The missing sights of military commemorations

As we approach Armistice Day, we may reflect on how such war focussed events as Armistice and ANZAC day were commemorated. It is interesting to note that some aspects we think of as traditional were not originally associated with such events. Wreaths, perhaps the most common sight, were not present at the first commemorations. Generally,... Continue Reading →

The two Emily’s

This week the Ashburton Museum continues to highlight the many interesting and capable women who have contributed to our community. We celebrate two Emily’s who were included in last years exhibition to mark Suffrage 125 celebrations.   Emily Begg Emily Maria Hill was born at Wakanui in 1875 to Charles and Maria (nee Hyde), a... Continue Reading →

The stories of local women.

In our past Suffrage 125 exhibition Women of Power: Freedom For Change, we explored stories of just a few of our earlier women who made a change or impact in our community. The poster that advertised our exhibition featured Jamie Phillip a young woman who has been a local fire fighter. She is pictured opposite... Continue Reading →

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 →

The ‘gettes or the ‘gists?

As the 126th celebration of universal suffrage (or in many people’s minds ‘women getting the vote’) approaches, we’ve discovered many myths and legends have cropped up over the past century and a quarter. It is timely to provide a few insights, to allow people to commemorate New Zealand’s achievement in an accurate and meaningful manner.... Continue Reading →

Woman’s Temperance Christian Union

As we recently celebrated the passing of the Bill that allowed women to vote in New Zealand, we come across numerous mentions of the organisation known as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, also known as the WCTU. Some people may wonder what connection, if any, this group had with women’s suffrage. It’s easy to assume... Continue Reading →

In past articles we have referred to an amazing collection of glass plate negatives found under a shed in Ashburton. We wrote about how these came into the museum in very damaged condition and the work required to clean, scan and document this extraordinary collection of portraits of Ashburtonians from 100 years ago. These images... Continue Reading →

There is a saying about ‘wearing your heart on your sleeve’ and people had been showing their feelings and thoughts by wearing bright colours or items of clothing to show support for our Muslim community. Many women have donned scarves or headdresses like hijab. I’ve also heard of an event called ‘Odd socks for Christchurch’,... Continue Reading →

A band in war-time

There were a few gaps in the ranks of the Ashburton Temperance Band when it joined a street parade to the Theatre Royal as a prelude to the town’s first patriotic concert on 19 August 1914 – a small sign bigger of things to come. For four years, war’s disrupting tentacles reached further and further... Continue Reading →

Blog at

Up ↑