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 →

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 →

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 →

Up to no good

Practical jokes come with an inherent risk; they have the potential to go wrong. The way a prank can go wrong varies. Usually, hiding somebody’s personal belongings will only slightly annoy the victim, but even an act as innocent as that could end in an altercation. Then there are the more risky pranks – drugging,... 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 →

Social fabrics

To help tell the important Ashburton story of the Tekau factory we’ve relied heavily on contributions from the community. People have contacted the museum from far and wide, across New Zealand and from Australia, to share memories, garments, photographs and anecdotes about their love of Tekau garments and the Tekau experience. Tekau knitwear was more... Continue Reading →

Bugs, Rust and Dust Bunnies

We hope you enjoyed Easter. While some no doubt commemorated the religious festival, others will have seen the long weekend as an excuse to gorge on chocolate. Like Christmas, Easter doesn’t seem to make any sense to those who live in the Southern hemisphere. It’s all so topsy-turvy. Easter in the Northern hemisphere heralds spring,... Continue Reading →

Any New Zealander can immediately recognise where I grew up, thanks to my Southland accent. A former flatmate and I would often make frivolous bets. Anytime I lost, I had to say “Dirty purple work shirts” like a ‘normal person’. Some of us are proud of our New Zealand accents, and some of us consider... Continue Reading →

Hating summer People rave about summer. But this year it’s a bit hard to know from week to week if we are really having summer, or some other season. Early religions, such as the Celts, celebrated the ending of winter and the lengthening days, bringing warmer weather. But here in the southern hemisphere, with summer... Continue Reading →

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