No job too tough

While conducting some research for a member of the public, Senior Curator Maryann Cowan discovered the exciting legacy of yet another interesting Ashburtonian – that of Mr. James Russell Richardson.

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 →

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 →

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 →

  Each one of the models in our previous Sounds Like Us exhibition was special. Each one represented an aspect of Kiwi culture or identity. One of our radio icons that may have stood out to some people, but yet fly under the radar for others, was the ANZAC radio. The ANZAC radio encapsulated the... Continue Reading →

He reo irirangi whakairo New Zealand’s national identity is uniquely broad and complex, integrating multiple cultures and languages, based around the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Kiwis are lucky to live in such a diverse and engaging place as Aotearoa, and I am grateful for the standard of preservation that this country upholds, particularly... 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 →

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑