Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Cathedral West Side Closure

A detailed proposal was made to the Church Property Trustees offices at St Peters Church, Bowden Hall, Upper Riccarton.  The proposal is titled “Cathedral West-Side Closure Proposal”
Please click on the heading “West  Wall Closure” above to see details



Marquee on June 21 – Church Corner

Where and When: Church Corner 10.30 AM till 2.30 PM
Operators: Catherine Morganti, Lynn Campbell and Geoffrey Rathbun
Impressions:  Cold and uncomfortable, sorry to say, with some “theatrics”, but good Souvlakis !


Catherine does not handle the cold well, I learned.
She was pleased to be going at the end of her stint, but still happy to have interacted with the locals, and she got some signatures and had some good conversations.  
Here is Lynn taking over for her.
Catherine was approached by an older man wearing a brown tweed jacket.  A gentleman.  But, he was protesting that he was from the Church right behind us, and did not want our activities associated with their church.  He was a little bit agitated when I came over but soon calmed down.  I told him we did not want to cause any problem. I offered to move away if it was serious.  He said we could stay.  He was good to us I felt.  Actually, the land at the apex of the two roads is actually church land, but they have allowed a public footpath to go through it, with a seat, and a large tree surrounded with a stone wall.  Actually, it is a nice location.  On a day when the weather was nice, it would be great.


It was a sunny day, but the wind made it cold.  There was a lot of traffic here, but not many chances of handing out fliers.  However, we did meet quite a few passers-by.
However, the main benefit of this site was our great visibility, and the fact that we would have been making contact with people who had never seen us before.


Julie Tobbell dropped in about one o’clock.  It was so nice to have unexpected support.
Shortly after she arrived, and I think Lynn was not there then (maybe getting one of her famous cups of coffee) we had another visit.  Sadly, this one was not so pleasant as that from the gentleman.  As I was talking to Julie, I spied a lady “stalking” our way.  Julie could not see her as we spoke, so she had no warning of what was about to happen.   I was wondering to myself as she neared us “for or against ?”.  Can I tell by the stride ?  Shortly, I would have the answer to that.  No !  I had been thinking her stride signified a happy walk.
She launched into us with mouth flapping and eyes bulged and voice box working well.  How dare we come and do this right beside her church !  I think she said we were being “provocative”.  I tried to calm her down a bit, but Julie took over and took the full onslaught.  After a few minutes of ranting she left, knocking over one of our signs.
Actually, I found the whole thing quite entertaining, at least initially.  However, afterwards, I did feel a bit shocked at how someone could be so aggressive and rude.  It good lesson in human nature I suppose.


Here is Lynn and myself.  I think I had just finished my nice Souvlaki that I got from just across the road.  That put me in a good mood!



Overall, I was pleased to get out on our first marquee in the west side of Christchurch.  We got about 5 signatures, and a few toots (not many though).  The cold weather hampered us though.  We may not come back to this site, because I do not want to rile the Anglicans too much, and because there was not much opportunity to hand out leaflets.

Marquee on March 16 – Opawa

Where and When: Brougham St and Ensors Road from 9.00 AM till 1.00 PM
Operators: Di Genet, Christine Parr and Geoffrey Rathbun
Impressions:  It was a great day weather wise.  A HUGE number of cars saw us.  We handed out ALL of our materials, and sold about 10 bumper stickers.   

These two people (not related) came up to us from different directions.  So so nice to have great support.

DSC01326Here is Di.  She was quite new to all this, but slowly she gained her confidence.  Thanks Di for your great help, and for the interesting conversations we had

This is me and Di.

This is the Opawa style sign.  Very good and double sided.

Once again, Christine really got into the handing out of material.  This was great.  Just like last time, I was handing out across the intersection, so the marquee was empty.

This is a laugh.  I think “The Breeze” must have seen us set up at this great spot, so they tried to take over “our” corner.  We set up our marquee in front of this hoarding.  It also proved useful to me as I changed my clothing unseen from prying female eyes, hidden between the boards !  ha ha


Now, if we could get one of these hoardings, it might be quite good.  Now, there IS an idea !

Marquee on March 9

Where and When: Fitzgerald Ave from 10 till 1.00 PM
Operators:  Peter Ross, Kit Doudney and Geoffrey Rathbun

Peter Ross and a man called Richard I think.  His brother is a famous cyclist.  Blair Stockwell.  Richard was a nice guy and stayed with us for about one hour.  He explained to me where there is a 24 hour bakery on Ferry Road.  I like bakeries, and the food they bring, so I was very interested in what he said about that.

It was a bit wet that day, but that did not stop cheerful people dropping in

This is a very angry Maori man who called me a racist.  He threw our sign in the river.
  Here is a close up of him.  I confronted him about what he did.  We were face to face (about 8 inches).  I did not back down, and took his abuse stonily and gave it back, without the hate.  It was not too pleasant having such a foul face near to me.  Hopefully he will think twice about what he did. 

It was not too hard to retrieve as the bottom was sandy and firm.  In fact, my shoes were not wet after I retrieved it

Thanks Jack for turning up.  Good that we can provide a “waypoint” on your journey to Regent Street.

Here is Kit adopting the “casual chat in a busy intersection stance”.

Same stance from another angle to confirm the finer details

But, the man he was talking to was a repeat customer, and thus he had every right to remain in the right hand turn lane for two cycles of the lights.

Marquee on March 2

NOTE: Please click on any image for it’s full size version.
LOCATION and TIME: Fitzgerald Ave and Avonside Drive, 10.00 AM till 2.00 PM
OPERATORS:  Tim Hogan, Geoffrey Rathbun & Neil Roberts
VISITORS: Besides the 1000s of cars that passed us and received the message “Keep the Cathedral”, we had many people drop in and have a chat, as you can see below.


a good keen man


This lady makes a really nice photo with The Wizard !  The bumper sticker she holds may be seen by many people as she drives around town.   Perhaps Bishop Victoria Matthews might see it one day, and a small part of her brain might say to the dominant part of her brain “Hey Victoria….  maybe we should re-think our stubborn stance”


Alice dropped in and helped Neil prepare the leaflets for handing out.


This is the Wizard discussing ecclesiastical matters with two religious people.  Please note the Wizards double-ended Volkwagon.  CLICK on this photo for enlarged view.


A very nice family passed by and took our leaflets and bumper stickers.  The little boy was very very cute and friendly.  Of course, the little girl was cute too.


This is Tim Hogan’s cousin and his daughter.  He was “on the fence” he told us.  However, the information in the leaflets should put him right.



Some general shots of our crew.  Of course, one of our regular visitors is “Jack” also known as “The Wizard”.  He kindly dropped off a large number of coloured, double sided leaflets for us to handout.  This is much appreciated, as they add colour and substance to our plain photocopied leaflets.


Here am I, with my dirty jeans, talking to two tourists.  They are very curious about The Wizard, but were too shy to be introduced.  The beautiful heritage buildings in Christchurch are one of the main draw-cards for these tourists to come to our city.  This is why it is important to retain as many of these beautiful buildings as we can !

Marquee on February 25

RADIO INTEREST !         RADIO INTEREST !         RADIO INTEREST !  This morning (Thursday February 27) I had a call from Val Somerfield telling me that NewsTalkZB was running a talkback topic of “The Cathedral”.  They were asking for anyone who was running the Marquee on Fitzgerald to call in.  This was about 8.52 AM.  SO….. we ARE getting KNOWN around TOWN !  Unfortunately, I did not pick up the phone and I got it as a message later in the morning.  I will follow this up with Chris Lynch to see if he is still interested in this topic. RADIO INTEREST !         RADIO INTEREST !             RADIO INTEREST !  

Location & Time:  Opawa, Intersection of Brougham St and Ensors Road, 8.30 till 2.00

Operators:  Geoffrey Rathbun, Lynne Lochhead and Christine Parr (welcome to Christine … first appearance)

Visitors:  Leo and Di.  Di seems to be interested in helping us, so that is GREAT !  Di dropped in a few minutes before I was due to take off, and after I had taken in all the signs. So, people see us, and remember us.  I had a good chat with Leo.  Very nice guy.



Impressions:  It was a bit of a cold day, and the wind was there too.  I now know that Lynne does not coldness.  I suspected it before.  At least she brought along a jacket this time.  Nice green shade Lynne.  I managed to get all helpers to now park on the grass behind us.  As you can see, we had three cars parked up, this for about 30 minutes.  This makes our presence more impressive.


Lynn Campbell dropped in to get details of our 100+ petition signaturees.  Signaturees…. is that a valid word ?  She took them away, photocopied them, and brought them back. Great work.  Thanks Lynn.


Christine Parr:  Christine seems to be a natural for interacting with the public.  I almost had to physically hold her back.  She was so keen to handout leaflets.  I tried her with some bumper stickers too, thinking that was too advanced a topic for a newby.  But, she took what I gave her, and then she took more herself when I was not looking.    I could not check on her all the time, as at the same time, I was working the opposite side of Ensors Road, neared to the CPIT campus.  That has a different “mix” of people.   A bit challenging, as many were busy and did not want to open windows.  But, overall, I would be able to hand out leaflets to about   a half those waiting for the light to go green.  I try to make it light-hearted when I see and talk to them.  Most people just want to have a small smile at anything actually I find.  Enjoy life a little.  Also, almost ALL who take the leaflet take it with a smile as I can tell that they WANT TO KEEP THE CATHEDRAL.  It makes them happy to see someone fighting back.  Just below, are two photos, inadvertently appearing as a panorama of the scene.  It is actually quite accurate.  You can see Christine approaching a car, and then, the last photo shows her method of presenting the information.  Thanks very much Christine for your great work on Tuesday !  By the way, we now have three vertical banners going now, and I think the picture of the Cathedral just below attracts attention very well.  As well, it makes us remember what we are fighting to retain.


Marquee on February 16

Location & Time:  Fitzgerald Ave and Avonside Drive, Sunday the 16th of February, from 10.00 AM till 1.30 PM

NOTE:  you can click on any photo to see the high-res original.

Operators:  Geoffrey Rathbun, James Carr, Tim Hogan.  James, sorry, I failed to get a photo of you !  Next time.


Visitors:  As you can see, we had a good range of people stopping.  The first man seen here came jogging up to us from across the river, down the middle of the road.  I thought he was a jogger at first, but, no, he came directly up to us, clutching a fiver, so as to purchase a bumper sticker.  He must have seen our sign, and then parked up on the left where the river dips and bends low down right beside the Avon.  The next man seen here in his car had a great sounding Irish accent.  He told me I could take the photo as long as I got his nose in the correct profile.

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The following two ladies were all smiles for the whole duration of their visit to us.  Tim wondered if they were mother and daughter.  I think maybe yes.  EDIT.  Not ! Two sisters !  Sorry girls.  I have been corrected.

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Here is a photo just so we can see that selling the bumper stickers can have an immediate and beneficial effect !

Impressions:  GOOD (as usual).  We got a lot of supportive toots.  Yes, we did get a few negative people as well.  These tend to be a bit “extreme” and thus could be written off as “nutcases” I think 🙂  Anyway, NOW we are seeing that a lot of people are “repeats” and have already got our material from this marquee.  Also, I had a “snap” moment you could say when I tried to give some material to a man, and he said that he already had got it (including a bumper sticker) from the Opawa Marquee.  So, this means, our reach is getting pretty good.  I estimate, very roughly, that we may have reached about 20% of the Christchurch population, meaning about 20% x 400,000 = 80,000 people may have driven past and seen our marquees.  If we keep going this year (which I hope to do) then we should reach 100% of the population.  Then, our affect should be great !

Marquee February 13

Location & Time:  Opawa, at the corner of Brougham Street and Ensors Road, from 9.00 AM till 1.30 PM

Operators in Order of Appearance:  Geoffrey Rathbun, Alma Rae and Peter RossDSC01272

Here is Alma adopting an artists stance as she fills in the body of the text for the signs.  As you can see from the following photo, these signs are now looking OUTSTANDING !  By the way, Alma drives an older model BMW528i.  I have a BMW 728i which is being fixed in my garage slowly.  Too slowly !


On the left, Peter Ross, on the right Alma Rae with one of our new signs.  Please note the new-improved signs we have.  The sign, along with the two uprights can be removed from the heavy base.  The poles just slide into slots that I routed into the base.  All the signs can be thus stacked neatly and taken home in a car.  The heavy bases can be left on site behind a tree or something, ready for next time.  The bases are much more resistant to tipping over in the wind, even though the sign is now higher up from the ground compared to the other signs.


This is Julie Tobbell, with Peter Ross.

Visitors:  Julie Tobbell, who is on our mailing list, so she knew we would be there.  Julie is the Chair Person of the Somerfield Residents Association.  She stayed with us for about half an hour, as was then able to meet all the other visitors we had.  The first one was a lady, who turned out to be quite dogmatic, and opposed to restoration.  She was more concerned with not paying any money, and sitting in a comfortable church. It was stressful talking to her, so I had to pull away.  Anyway, it was good at least that she parked and then walked over to see us.  But, my feeling was that she just wanted to “have a go” actually, and we were a good target.  Next, we had a really interesting man, who turned out to be a computer expert.  He asked some good questions.  He said he was sitting on the fence, and asked for us to give him a reason that the Cathedral should be restored.  We ended up giving him many, but he did counter with many of his own ideas.  But, I think in the end we got him moving to our side of the fence.  As he left, he did volunteer his services to help with managing our data that we get from the petition.  He also said that we have a very good presentation.  Or PR or something like that.  That was good to hear, and I think he would be referring to our signs and vertical banners.  Good to hear.  He is the man on th eleft in the photos.


These are the guys who dropped in about 12.45 PM.  The man on the left is the computer man.  I grew to like him after our discussion.  His name is Matthew Nolan, and runs a business called DMarket Place Ltd.  Working with marketing.  The two on the right rocked up whilst we were in deep discussion with Matthew.  The one on the right is from Southland.  He told me this 🙂  They took a few of David Collin’s Cathedral Cut-Out models, and paid some dollars for them.  I will have to transfer some funds to David soon.


And, finally, here is Geoffrey Rathbun, giving you all the thumbs up for another great day at the Marquee, and telling you to “Keep the Cathedral”

Marquee on February 9

Location and Time:  The Marquee was at the corner of Fitzgerald Ave, and Avonside Drive, as usual every Sunday.  We ran from 10.00 AM till 1.00 PM.  We were scheduled to run till 1.30 PM, but  Neil and I decided to pack up earlier as the wind had been annoying.  But, we did not leave the site till about 1.30 anyway, because of the time it took to pack up.

Operators:  Geoffrey Rathbun, Bruce McGregor and Neil Roberts.

Impressions – Happenings:   I think I was in a bit of a bad mood that day.  Neil can attest to that.  I only took one photograph because of this too !  But, aside from that, we still got as many toots, and people stopping as usual.  Thanks to Bruce for arranging almost all of our street signs.  These are still prone to being blown over, so he sourced bricks and placed them on many of the signs.  Thanks so much for doing that Bruce, as it helped me do other things at the marquee.  I have left these bricks nearby where we put the signs, so we can use them again.  Here is a photo of Sue.


I actually know Sue from some work I did at Burwood hospital.  She wanted to know “what’s happening”.   She has already been to shop 7, so she already had a bumper sticker.   We just told her that we are getting the word out that the Cathedral can and should be saved.  We handed out lots of leaflets, with me doing the handing out and Neil making them up.  But, I think I saw Neil reluctantly hand out a few small ones.  We hand out the 2 sided colour leaflet provided by Jack, and also the single page B&W leaflet made by me.  So, to make the leaflets, we highlight three lines on the B&W sheet, and then staple it behind the coloured sheet.  We highlight the lines so as to make the B&W sheet more impressive.  I do hope then that most people who get these two stapled handouts will then keep them,  read them, and hopefully pass them on to others.   At the bottom of my B&W handout, there is a small message to Bishop Matthews.  I will repeat it here below.

Keep the Cathedral’s message to Bishop Victoria Matthews…  You do not appear to be listening to the people of Christchurch.   We encourage you to listen and engage with us.  We want you to tell us why you want to demolish the Cathedral…   We ask this because so far, you have given no valid reason to demolish our Cathedral.  Desire for understanding comes first, then understanding, then consensus.  We invite you or your representative to come to our meetings.  ICONIC is a good place to come to.  It is informal and dignified.

Marquee on January 31

Friday,  at Brougham St and Ensors Road, near Opawa.   A BIG, BUSY intersection.  We were on-site from from 8.40 till 12.30.

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Operators –  in order of appearance:  Geoffrey Rathbun, Lynn Campbell, Lynne Lochhead, Dave Adamson

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Visitors –  Fred Tunnycliffe, a person on our mailing list knew we would be there and dropped in to show us some of his artwork.  The first was a line drawing of the Cathedral just after the earthquake.  Then, he showed us a very striking three panel slightly abstract sequence of images of the cathedral, with the message of “hope”.  I have directed him to Ross Gray and the Shop at Cathedral Junction so he can sell these items.  We had a Plumber, now living in Rakaia, a man on a motorcycle, and a North Island Man who said (when talking about the loss of character buildings) “we don’t want it to be like Hamilton”.  I don’t know Hamilton well, but I assume then that Hamilton has a dearth of character heritage buildings.  We also had a Woman & Daughter drop in.  She parked on Brougham St.  At the end, we had a Motorcycle Rider come over for a chat.  Most of the other visitors actually entered the empty section and parked under the large tree.  This site is a really good one I think !

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Our Impressions – Well, as this was our first day here, we were uncertain how we would go.  But, it turned out to be good, and different from the other sites.  I got a few toots of support even before I had the marquee up.  It was easy to hand out fliers to cars on Ensors road.  The people on this road were more “residential” than on Brougham St.  I did some handing out of leaflets on Brougham St and found that it was a bit hazardous because of the speed of the vehicles.  However, I did hand out a leaflet to a man who opened his window.  When I explained it was about the Cathedral, he said “I am doing some work for these people right now”.  This was really telling, as it shows how what we are doing is probably having an affect right at the heart of the CPT Anglicans.  Most people will open their window just when they see you, so it is easy to hand out the fliers.  I would say about 80% of people were open to our message.  Only a few were negative.  This gave us all a great fillip to see and feel on that day.