February 22 – 7th anniversary of the Christchurch Earthquake

Thinking Day - Lord and Lady Baden-Powell's Birthday

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

Today was a very special anniversary for the people of Christchurch, New Zealand as it marked the 7th anniversary of the fatal earthquake. At 12.51 p.m. on Tuesday 22 February 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake caused severe damage in Christchurch and Lyttelton, killing 185 people and injuring several thousand. The earthquake’s epicentre was near Lyttelton, just 10 km southeast of Christchurch’s central business district. There were five main earthquakes over an two year period followed by over 10,000 aftershocks.

One of the questions we get asked the most about whether the Christchurch Cathedral will be rebuilt or pulled down and in September 2017 a decision on this issue was finally made. More than six years after being destroyed in the deadly earthquake that struck Christchurch, the city’s iconic cathedral will be rebuilt by the Anglican Church in New Zealand. The Gothic Revival-style cathedral was one of the city’s top tourist attractions before the quake toppled its spire and ruined much of its structure. Since then, the cathedral’s future has been the subject of intrigue and legal action. The basic points of dispute have been over who should pay for any action taken, and whether the remains should be rebuilt or cleared away to make room for a new design.

The Anglican Church said the Christchurch Cathedral will be rebuilt to its basic design, but will be strengthened for future quakes and improved with better heating and seating. The rebuild is expected to take 10 years and cost $NZ104 million.

Today was the joint birthday of the founders of Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and is known around the world as “Thinking Day”. Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, 22 February 1857 – 8 January 1941, was a British Army officer, writer, author of Scouting for Boys which was an inspiration for the Scout Movement, founder and first Chief Scout of The Boy Scouts Association and founder of the Girl Guides. In August 1907 he held a camp on Brownsea Island to test out his ideas and about twenty boys attended. Boys and girls spontaneously formed Scout troops and the Scouting Movement had started, first as a national, and soon an international phenomenon. A rally of Scouts was held at Crystal Palace in London in 1909, at which Baden-Powell met some of the first Girl Scouts. The Girl Guides were subsequently formed in 1910 under the auspices of Baden-Powell’s sister, Agnes Baden-Powell. Olave St Clair Baden-Powell, Lady Baden-Powell, 22 February 1889 – 25 June 1977, was the wife of Robert Baden-Powell. She was elected World Chief Guide in 1930 and as well as making a major contribution to the development of the Guide / Girl Scout movements, she visited 111 countries during her life, attending Jamborees and national Guide and Scout associations. A tradition since 1932, the World Thinking Day Fund collects pennies and coins from members around the world, to support their fellow Guides and Scouts. All donations help fund WAGGGS (World Association of Girls Guides and Girl Scouts) activities and are used where the need is greatest in their global movement. In the Scout movement, this day is Founders Day.

Today we were thrilled to have Ann Reive visit the exhibition who took part in embroidering the Fishguard Tapestry which we visited on 27 February 2017. She worked on various parts of the embroidery including the signing of the surrender. The soldier’s jacket apparently had five shades of red across it. We were really impressed by the Fishguard Tapestry which had been on our “bucket list” for many years. It is an amazing embroidered 30-metre long tapestry which tells the story of the 1797 last invasion of mainland Britain. This beautiful work was a Fishguard Arts Society community project and took over 70 women two years to make the finished work using 97 different colours of embroidery thread. It is on permanent public display at the Fishguard Library in a purpose built room.

We also had a guy in with his family who is a musician and composer who is currently researching King Penda (died 15 November 655) who was a 7th-century King of Mercia, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom in what is today the English Midlands.