Halloween Witch
By MesserWoland (own work created in Inkscape) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
It’s Halloween! Although this festival developed from the Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day, these days it’s more about the candy and costumes. In some suburbs of Christchurch kids go around “Trick or Treating” before bedtime, so it pays to have a few goodies on hand and it’s worth stocking up on your favourite choc bars so you can devour them yourself if nobody turns up. Since big kids also enjoy scary thrills, treats and parties, here are some suggestions for your Halloween entertainment.

Happy Halloween!
By Cindy (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
By Cindy (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Cup and Show week: 8-16th November 2014


New Zealand’s most vibrant and exciting spring festival, New Zealand Cup and Show Week, kicks off on Saturday 8th November 2014.


Canterbury A & P Show 2013, Christchurchnz.com
Canterbury A & P Show 2013, Christchurchnz.com


New Zealand Cup & Show week has something for everyone: fashion, racing, cuisine, outdoor activities and the A & P Show.

CPIT  will be  closed on Friday the 14th November for Canterbury Anniversary Day, it is a perfect opportunity for you to take part in some of the many exciting activities available over the week.


For more information check out the official site:



1916 – the third year

By 1916, any thoughts of “over by Christmas” were gone. The Technical College lost many Old Boys in the fighting of this year.

Leonard Barter
Leonard Barter
Edward Beattie
Edward Beattie
Hugh Bower
Hugh Bower
Leonard Derungs
Leonard Derungs














Leonard Barter, Edward Beattie, and Hugh Bower were reported missing on September 15-16, 1916. Leonard Derungs joined his company in France on October 1, 1916, and was reported missing that same day.

An extensive enquiry was carried out in December, 1916, which confirmed the deaths in action of these and many other men.

Walter Dougall was a pupil in the Agricultural department, and an active sportsman – “An excellent forward, who knows the game well and plays with dash,” according to the Football notes in the1912 Technical College review. He was wounded four times, and promoted to Lieutenant, before dying on September 15, 1916, of wounds received the same day.

James McCullough was an early pupil in the cabinetmaking department, and worked as a shop fitter in Wellington. He died after being wounded in an accidental explosion on August 26, 1916.

Geoffrey Willey
Geoffrey Willey
Albert Wills
Albert Wills








Leonard Scott, Geoffrey Willey, and Albert Wills also died during 1916.

1916: The Year of Stalemate

1916: The year of Stalemate

By many measures, 1916 was the worst year of the First World War. More soldiers were killed during 1916 than any other year of the war. Although the year would start with some small hope, by the end stalemate on land had truly set in. Gone was the belief that the war would be “over by Christmas”, and a new understanding of the price to be paid would start to emerge.

The Battle Of The Somme - Attack Of The Ulster Division - By J. P. Beadle (Cranston Fine Arts)
The Battle Of The Somme – Attack Of The Ulster Division – By J. P. Beadle (Cranston Fine Arts)

Focus on Europe

Of note during the year were the final withdrawal from Gallipoli, the Battles of the Somme, Verdun and massive conflagrations on the Eastern Front.  The battle for control of the Atlantic had started to heat up, with major sea battles at Jutland and Dogger Banks and the scourge of the U Boat developing.

On land, the focus of battle had shift from peripheral regions to the trenches of the Western Front. For good or for bad the war would be decided at sea and in Northern France and Belgium.

British 39th Siege Battery RGA Somme 1916, IWM
British 39th Siege Battery RGA Somme 1916, IWM


New Zealand’s role

New Zealand forces had finally shift our prime focus to Europe, before the end of the year the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) would be fully committed to the titanic battles taking place there.

Thankfully, we were not involved in the early stages of the disastrous Battle of the Somme ( 60 000 casualties on day one, 20 000 dead within 24 hours).

NZ troops unloading at a French port 1916, IWM
NZ troops unloading at a French port 1916, IWM



However, our forces would play a significant part in the later stages of the battle and start to build the enviable reputation for toughness and resourcefulness that characterised them later in the war.

Help us envision our future library

future library

You can do this by taking our incredibly quick survey online by clicking here  or …

Look for the bouncepad

Next time you drop into the Library look for our bouncepad and enter your choices for our future there.

Where is it?

It is sitting in front of our Library service desk where you often come to borrow a laptop, get help with your assignments, get binding materials, etc. 

What does it look like?

An ipad on a stalk.

survey point

Livestream of the new Whareora building under construction

View the livestream of the new Whareora building being built to replace the current Recreation Centre.

Its usually pretty static but interesting to monitor the progress from time to time.

According to the Campus Master Plan FAQs  this facility will be opening in December 2014.

If you want to get fit this summer see the timetable and cost of gym membership etc on the Recreation Centre page, then when the Whareora opens you’ll be fully prepared to make the most of the new facilities!




The greatest enemy of all

Illness and disease have always ravaged armies, and the First World War was no exception. In an age before antibiotics, even common ailments could kill.

Ameral Abbott
Ameral Abbott
Alan Barker
Alan Barker
David Fincham
David Fincham
Reginald Leeming
Reginald Leeming








Ameral Abbott, who had worked on his family’s farm at Southbridge, died of Polio in Cairo on May 8, 1915, without having seen action. His brother, George, was also killed in the war.

Alan Barker was fondly remembered in the Technical College Review as a lively member of the Society. He died of Tuberculosis in hospital in London on July 7, 1917.

David Fincham died of Malaria in Cairo on November 7, 1918. His family received news of his death on November 11, 1918, the day the war ended. Frank Rudd also fell to Malaria in Cairo, on October 22, 1918.

Reginald Leeming arrived in England on January 20, 1917, and was admitted to hospital ten days later. He died on February 8, 1917, of meningitis.

William Colville
William Colville
James Hooper
James Hooper
Daniel Spence
Daniel Spence








William Colville, James Hooper, and Daniel Spence all died of Influenza, during the epidemic of 1918-9. James and Daniel were on board the troopship Tahiti, when an outbreak of Influenza struck. Overall, 90% of those on board were infected and 77 died.

William was in camp at Featherstone when he fell ill, and he died on November 21, 1918, ten days after the war had ended.

Mental Health Awareness Week


Be sure to check out the five ways to wellbeing to keep yourself in tip top condition, physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and in spirit.

Whether on your own or in a team play the wellbeing game to grow awareness of your current state of wellbeing and maybe win prizes on the way.

Here’s one of my favourite you tube vids of wellbeing personified at Diana Isaac retirement village here in Christchurch,  where residents show celebration of 80 odd years of happy.

What have you done today to connect, give, take notice, keep learning or be active?

WW100: Disease: The greatest enemy of all

When people think about casualties caused by war they envision combat dead but disease has historically been a far greater danger.

A Hospital Ward : a dysentery ward of the General Hospital at Port Said. James McBey 27 June 1917. © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2941)
A Hospital Ward : a dysentery ward of the General Hospital at Port Said. James McBey 27 June 1917. © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2941)

Disease: the greatest enemy?

Was the Great War the first major conflict in which disease caused fewer deaths than armed combat?

 A comparison of war casualties from the pre First World War era is informative:

  • Peninsular Wars, Southern Europe, 1808-1815. Deaths from disease 70%, combat deaths 30%.
  • Crimean War, Eastern Europe, 1853-1856. British deaths from disease 55%, combat deaths 45%.
  • American Civil War, North America, 1861-1865. Deaths from disease 56%, combat deaths 44%.
  • First and Second Boer Wars, South Africa, 1880-1881, 1899-1902. British deaths from disease 66%, combat deaths 34%.
  • Russo-Japanese-War, Asia, 1904-1905. Japanese deaths from disease 35%, combat deaths 65%.
Apart from the Russo-Japanese war, it is obvious that more soldiers died from disease than from combat in the pre war period.
Malaria prevention at Salonika, during the  Q 32159 British soldiers stand on parade, waiting to receive their daily dose of the anti-malaria drug quinine, in Salonika during the First World War
British soldiers stand on parade, waiting to receive their daily dose of the anti-malaria drug quinine, in Salonika during the First World War. © IWM (Q 32159)
Of the 10 million military deaths during the First World War, 6-7 million died in combat and a staggering 3-4 million died from infectious diseases.

Improvements in ambulatory services, surgery and medical treatment meant that fewer died from infections & sickness. Regardless, a third of deaths during the war still resulted from disease.

Common vectors of illness

The types of illness across theatres is remarkably similar. Epidemics of typhus, malaria, typhoid (the infamous enteric fever), diarrhoea, yellow-fever, pneumonia and influenza, innumerable cases of venereal disease & scabies affected all nations.

A sergeant of the Lancashire Fusiliers in a flooded dugout opposite Messines near Ploegsteert Wood, January 1917. © IWM (Q 4665)
A sergeant of the Lancashire Fusiliers in a flooded dugout opposite Messines near Ploegsteert Wood, January 1917. © IWM (Q 4665)

Conditions in the trenches also caused specific diseases: trench fever, trench mouth and trench foot were all caused by the filthy conditions. Gangrene and tetenus were also problems.

The deadly 1918 Spanish Influenza was indirectly a result of the massive concentration of men in sub optimum conditions.

The New Zealand story

Of our 16 700 war dead, approximately 11% died of disease. This is 1600 women and men, including 275 from the 1918 Influenza pandemic alone.

Further reading:

Jared M. Diamond, (2005). Guns, germs and steel : a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. HM626DIA

Here is transcript of a lecture delivered by Professor Francis Cox, of Gresham College on this subject:  The First World War: Disease, The Only Victor: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/the-first-world-war-disease-the-only-victor

Here is an interesting statistical breakdown from the Otago medical School about New Zealand casualties:

Nick Wilson et. al. Injury Epidemiology and New Zealand Military Personnel in World War One: http://www.otago.ac.nz/wellington/otago038206.pdf

The primary site for WW100 commemoration in New Zealand:New Zealand WW100: http://ww100.govt.nz/

School Holidays

It’s the school holidays. I can tell. There’s less traffic in the morning, the malls are mad, and there are more kids in the library.

I found an interesting article from a British newspaper, saying school holidays (particularly the summer one) were outdated and should be abolished. Originally, it said, school holidays were arranged to suit a farming calendar – children were on holiday over the summer, when farmers were busiest. In Scotland, October half-term week was known as the ‘tattie holiday’, when children would pick potatoes on local farms.

Children playing

Children may no longer work on farms during their holidays, but they are often far from idle. School holiday programmes, run by schools or community groups, keep children occupied with activities ranging from swimming to computer programming. Libraries run activities for all ages. Parents take time from work or study to make sure their children go back to school refreshed and ready to go.



For polytech students, ‘holidays’ are something of a myth – there’s no classes, to be sure, but the assignments and studying don’t stop. The library is a bit quieter at the moment, so pop in and see us if you want a bit of help or just somewhere to spread out and study.