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 Christian Temperance 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 →

A Town Run Dry

It was once said that drunkenness was a feature of pioneering life, but this observation extends far beyond the timeframe of the early colonial lifestyle. During the latter decades of the nineteenth century the Ashburton Guardian often reported on drunk-and-disorderly cases that were laid before the Magistrate. Drunkenness was widely regarded as one of Ashburton’s,... 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 →

Driving Change

The winds of change were blowing strong in the latter decades of the nineteenth century, with major advances and experiments in science and technology having taken place at this time. The Ashburton Guardian often published sections on scientific matters, including articles and opinions from all around the world. A prime example of this comes from... Continue Reading →

Winter Trek Gone Awry

  Winter in the Ashburton District can be slightly chilly at the best of times, and can get much worse than that. This is not recent news - it has been observed for over a century that winters in Canterbury have deadly potential. The story of one unlucky “swagman” has been recounted in several works... Continue Reading →

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