On Friday night Pam and I attended the annual Heritage Awards which were held at Christs College. It was a wonderful evening of great celebration of the heritage of Canterbury.
The two trustees, Dame Anna Crighton and Jenny May had excelled themselves with their entries. Geoff Bone was rushing around with a worried look on his face all night so I guessed he was something to do with the organisation as well. It was a very well-run evening.
There were the normal large buildings which you would expect to be there, but the mix of awards was fantastic. The standouts for me were often the little people projects. The Balmoral Fire Lookout restored by the Hawarden Waikari Lions Club was one. Another was the Ng King Brothers Chinese Market Garden Settlement which I had never heard of. It was where early Chinese gathered in the Ashburton district for socialisation and community support. I will put some effort into visiting it.
There wasn’t a single award, which were broken into “winners” and “highly commended”, which were undeserved. They were all wonderful.
It was great to see Turanga Christchurch Central Library get a well-deserved “Future Heritage” award. The overall winner was Te Whare Waiutuutu Kate Sheppard House which has been purchased by the State as a memorial to women’s suffrage. Marion Hobbs who chairs Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga gave a typical jolly Marion speech (she’s a gem that woman) which inspired me to go and visit the house.
The final award of the night was presented to Jackie and Paddy Snowdon who had restored the Pumphouse in Tuam Street. If you haven’t visited this site then do so. The restoration of this building is fantastic and Paddy’s speech was classic Paddy. He spoke of his love of the building, his wife, his family and his staff. It was wonderful to hear precisely the passion which is what saves so many old buildings. The award booklet which we were given as we left said about this building:
The building has been a city icon for a very long time. It has been commemorated in art and has for some decades built up a reputation as one of the city’s best treasure houses of historic building materials, antiques and curiosities, to say nothing of its characterful ownership.