Jim Gardner Memorial Lecture

These lectures salute Jim Gardner and his long career as a school teacher, then as lecturer and reader in History at the University of Canterbury (1948-1976), and as author or editor of much regional history. We celebrate his work for the Historic Places Trust, and the Canterbury and New Zealand Historical Associations, and his life-long encouragement of teachers, writers, students, archivists, and readers of history. Jim Gardner’s services to history were recognised in 2007 with his appointment as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

2022: on Sunday 24 July  Ron Crosby (Waitangi Tribunal), ‘The Musket Wars in the South island’.

2021: on Sunday 25 July Craig Thornhill (Christchurch Girls’ High School) spoke on the subject: ‘Whose History? Changing History Curricula in Aotearoa New Zealand Schools’. 

2020: on Sunday 26 July Dr Jock Phillips (editor of Te Ara, the online encyclopedia of New Zealand) spoke about his father, former Professor of History at the University of Canterbury: ‘Neville Phillips and the Mother Country: the making of an Anglophile historian’. 

2019: on Sunday 21 July 2019 Professor Tony Ballantyne (Otago) spoke about ‘Putting Captain Cook in his Place(s)’.

2018: on Sunday 22 July at 2 pm in Central Lecture Theatre C2 at the University of Canterbury: Professor Geoffrey Rice addressed the question, ‘Why did Wellington suffer nearly double the death rate of Christchurch in the 1918 influenza pandemic?’

2017: Dr Evgeny Pavlov: Exorcising Revolutionary Ghosts: Putin, Patriotic Consensus and the Centenary of 1917.

2016: Dr Chris Pugsley: 1916 – A Pattern Emerges – The NZ Division, the Somme and Conscription.  Dr Pugsley was born in Wales and emigrated to New Zealand with his parents in 1952. He joined the NZ Army in 1966 and as an infantry officer was involved in the making of a television documentary about Gallipoli. In 1984 he published Gallipoli, the definitive account of New Zealand’s role in that disastrous campaign. In 1988 he retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel to devote himself to military history, completing a PhD at Waikato University on military discipline in the First World War. He was writing fellow at Victoria University in 1992 and lectured at the University of New England in Australia 1996-99, before becoming Senior Lecturer in War Studies at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, 2000-14. He has published 15 books on various aspects of NZ military history, from the Land Wars to the Second World War and the Malayan confrontation of the 1960s. In addition to his research he has worked with major institutions such as Archives NZ and the NZ Film Archive. He advised on the current Gallipoli Exhibition at Te Papa. He was appointed an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit in 2015.

2015: Chris Jones: Magna Carta — 800 years and beyond  Dr Chris Jones LMS FRHistS is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Canterbury. His publications include Eclipse of Empire? Perceptions of the Western Empire and its Rulers in Late Medieval France (2007) and the edited collection John of Paris: Beyond Royal and Papal Power (2012). He was also co-editor of Treasures of the University of Canterbury Library (2011). He has edited a collection of essays on the thought of Dominican theologian John Quidort of Paris, due out in 2015, and is currently completing a series of articles on the late thirteenth century chronicler Geoffroi de Courlon of Sens. In 2015 he was guest editor of the journal Parergon  for an issue devoted to medieval items in New Zealand collections.  In this spirited and vigorous lecture Dr Jones explained the circumstances which gave rise to the Great Charter of 1215, and exploded a number of long-held myths about its importance. For example, there is no mention of juries in Magna Carta. Clause 29 of the 1297 version remains part of New Zealand statute law: that no man shall be taken or imprisoned except by the judgement of his peers and the law of the land. Dr Jones then examined the Welsh clauses of the original charter, which were soon dropped in the reissued versions, and commented on their relevance for a bicultural state such as New Zealand.

2014: David Monger: Lies, Damned Lies, and Propaganda: British State propaganda in the First World War David Monger is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Canterbury. His book Patriotism and Propaganda in First World War Britain was first published in 2012 and released in paperback in 2014. This lively illustrated talk challenged widely-held assumptions about wartime propaganda. Lord Kitchener’s famous pointing finger poster is credited by some popular writers with tricking a generation of young men into volunteering themselves for futile slaughter, and therefore demonstrates the deceit inherent in propaganda. However, such views derive from the post-war revulsion against the massive losses of the conflict, and distort the purpose and meaning of wartime propaganda. The Kitchener poster was in fact little used, and came after the largest rush of enlistments. Propaganda served a multitude of purposes besides recruitment, and most often was used simply to inform the public, or to encourage thrift and bolster morale. Atrocity stories were certainly used to whip up hatred of the enemy, and at times were exaggerated, but casual assumptions about the dishonesty of all propaganda may now be used to deny real events, such as the Armenian genocide. The most famous poster of the Second World War is now the much-parodied ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, which was never issued during the war.

2013: Peter Field: Distant Mirrors: An American’s Reflections on New Zealand Democracy Peter Field joined the staff of the History Department at the University of Canterbury in 2001 and is currently an Associate Professor and Head of Department. He gained his PhD at Columbia University (where one of his classmates was current US President Obama) and has taught at Columbia University and the City University of new York. This talk was a lively illustrated commentary on the major book by David Hackett Fischer, Fairness and Freedom (2012), which contrasts New Zealand’s insistence on fairness with the US traditions of personal freedom and untrammelled capitalism. Professor Field concluded that the US could learn much from New Zealand to its advantage, but its constitutional arrangements make it almost impossible for the US to adopt anything like New Zealand’s MMP voting system.

2012: Jenny May: The Battle for Heritage Architectural Historian and Christchurch Heritage consultant Jenny May was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit in recognition of her work to save and preserve Christchurch’s heritage buildings. She is a board member of the NZ executive of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, chair of the Christchurch Arts Centre Rutherford’s Den Trust, a director of Ferrymead Heritage park, and a trustee of the Christchurch Symphony Foundation. She is also a member of the fundraising committee of the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund, and a lay canon of Christchurch’s Anglican Cathedral. This illustrated lecture highlighted the many problems facing heritage groups in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

2011: Chris Connolly: The Rise of Modern Democracy Dr Connolly came to Canterbury University in 1977 and retired in June 2011 after establishing a high reputation as a teacher, researcher and supervisor. After graduating BA Hons from the University of New England, Armidale, he completed his doctorate at the Australian National University, Canberra, and taught there for two years. His main fields of research have included Australian history and the philosophy of history. At Canterbury he contributed to a wide range of courses, most recently as the mainstay of the Honours programme and a first-year course in Global History. Themes from world history have long held his attention: his course on Emacipations involved serfs, slaves, religious minorities, women, the poor and subordinated races.

2010: Geoffrey Rice: Defining Victoria Square Professor Geoffrey Rice began teaching and researching history at the University of Canterbury in 1973. His interests embrace the Crusades, Medieval and Renaissance Europe, eighteenth century British Foreign policy, the French Revolution, the social history of medicine and local history in Christchurch and Lyttelton. His lecture on Victoria Square, Christchurch’s oldest public square, put the space in the context of other squares of the same name and of many with similarities or particular characteristics in other countries. He also reviewed the many changes in Victoria Square over 150 years from market place, business centre, ceremonial and play ground, and its transformation into one of New Zealand’s finest public spaces.

2009: Dr Peter Hempenstall: Getting Inside the Tasman World Professor Peter Hempenstall has retired from the University of Canterbury, but retains firm Canterbury connections as Emeritus Professor. His lecture, based on the book Remaking the Tasman world, focused upon the secret shared histories that linked New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific together for most of the 20th century. Using his native Newcastle and Christchurch, and a Pacific community as examples, Professor Hempenstall reflected on local communities with their idiosyncratic cultures and their own histories. The stereotypical view was that New Zealanders saw themselves as superior to Australian Britons, with no convicts, a better record of race relations, and better attitudes to women and minorities. Australians, meanwhile, more or less simply pretended New Zealand did not exist. All the great Australian history narratives constructed a historical world in the South Seas in which New Zealand and her often precedent-making innovations were simply absent. Professor Hempenstall addressed similarities and differences between these local communities to provide a more balanced picture of trans-Tasman history.

2008: Dr John Wilson: Local lives – recovering an Addington Community Addington, a district of remarkable diversity, change, and renewal has been home to institutions and industries important to the whole of Christchurch and Canterbury – among them the railway workshops and station, barracks, prison, Salvation Army base, flour milling, saleyards, and agricultural shows, harness racing, and notable churches and schools – and home of many distinguished citizens. Dr Wilson’s talk covered the craft of producing local histories, drawing on his long and much-applauded research and writing, and especially his recent exploration of the story of Addington.

2007: Dr Jim McAloon: Scottish Canterbury? Dr McAloon is an Associate-Professor at Lincoln University, teaching New Zealand history. He also shares in a major research project, now in its third year, organised by the Irish-Scottish Studies Institute at the Stout Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington. As the author of prize-winning books and as the writer of many book chapters and journal articles he has a high reputation as an authority on cultural, political and social developments in New Zealand, particularly in the South Island. The creation of community and personal wealth by settlers has been the focus of much of his research. His 2002 book, No Idle Rich: the Wealthy in Canterbury and Otago 1840-1914, won the history section of the Montana Awards and the Archives and Records Association’s Ian Wards Prize. His history of Nelson shared the J M Sherrard Award for regional history in 1999. Jim McAloon has known Christchurch and Canterbury from childhood; he took his master’s degree at the University of Canterbury in 1986 with a thesis on the Labour movement in Christchurch before World War I; then received his doctorate at Otago in 1993 for his first work on colonial wealth.

2006: Dr Jock Phillips: Our Story on the Web Dr Phillips is the General Editor of Te Ara: The On-Line Encyclopedia of New Zealand, produced by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Jock Phillips was born and educated in Christchurch, studied at Victoria University in Wellington, and then at Harvard University where he took his doctorate in 1978. From 1973 until 1988 he was a Lecturer and Reader at Victoria. There he founded and was first Director of the Stout Research Centre for the Study of New Zealand History, Society, and Culture. In 1989 Dr Phillips became Chief Historian of the Historical Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs. From this position he was appointed to lead the research, compilation, and presentation of the Encyclopedia. Dr Jock Phillips has written or shared in the writing of many books on a remarkable range of historical topics. He won special recognition for Te Whenua, Te Iwi – The Land and the People (1986) and A Man’s Country?: The Image of the Pakeha Male (1987). Our Story on the Web draws on Dr Phillip’s experience as General Editor of Te Ara, the world’s first digital-born encyclopedia, New Zealand’s on-line source of knowledge through words, pictures and sound. He explores entries on immigrant groups, and speaks about the regional entry on Canterbury, and the new demands and exciting rewards of presenting our country’s history, adding authority to the internet, and proving material for classrooms.

2005: Dr Greg Ryan: 1905 All Black’s Tour of Britain Dr Ryan is a sports historian and senior lecturer at Lincoln University. His theme is the 1905 All Black’s Tour of Britain, its aftermath of nostalgia, and the ways in which it shaped New Zealand ideas. It is of interest to a much wider audience than rugby and other sports enthusiasts. Dr Ryan recalls some of the events of the tour, on and off the field, for on these many legends were founded. New Zealand’s playing style and methods soured rugby relations with Britain for years afterwards. How did this affect the notion that sport could be a “bond of Empire”? Where did the tour stand in New Zealand’s agenda, and particularly that of Richard Seddon? How did recollections and impressions change over later decades? Also discussed are the ways in which historians have dealt with the tour and how they and other writers have shaped our social history and New Zealand’s view of itself and national sentiment. As a result of long research in New Zealand and in Britain, this is a challenge to many long-held opinions and ideas.

2004: Gordon Ogilvie: Business Histories and the Ballantyne Story After teaching English for 35 years Gordon Ogilvie retired as Head of English from St Andrew’s College and became a full-time author. He had already established himself as a biographer and a regional and local historian, particularly of Banks Peninsula and the Port Hills. Ballantynes: The story of Dunstable House, 1854-2004, is his seventeenth book in addition to a huge output of reviews and newspaper and journal articles on history, travel, music and food. He is also a tourist guide and entertaining lecturer. As an example of the importance of business histories (Gordon Ogilvie’s earlier books include From Gigs to Rigs: Steel Brothers) this year’s Jim Gardner Lecture highlights 150 years of retailing at Ballantyne’s Corner, Cashel and Colombo Streets, Christchurch. Ballantyne’s is a customer-driven business, always a leader in its field, and significant in Canterbury’s commercial and social history.

2003: Jonathan Mané-Wheoki: The Art of Defining Ourselves At the time of this Jim Gardner Lecture Jonathan was Dean of Music and Fine Arts and a senior lecturer in Art History at the University of Canterbury, Kaitiaki Maori (Honorary Curator of Maori Art) for the Christchurch Art Gallery, and Vice-President of the Humanities Society of New Zealand. Of Ngapuhi descent, Jonathan Mané-Wheoki took his first degree in English and a Diploma of Fine Arts (with Honours in painting) at the University of Canterbury before his post-graduate studies in nineteenth and early twentieth century European art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art in the University of London. For many years he taught courses in nineteenth and twentieth century European art, and more recently in New Zealand and Maori art. He is an authority on Victorian church art and heritage architecture. The Art of Defining Ourselves looks at the first exhibitions in the new Christchurch City Art Gallery, then into the past and among differing and distant cultures, to find what we learn about ourselves as Cantabrians and New Zealanders.

2002: W. David McIntyre: ‘When , if ever, did New Zealand become independent?’

2001: Anna Green: ‘People’s History and the Waterfront Dispute in 1951’

2000: Professor John Cookson: ‘Southern Capital’

1999: Dr Len Richardson: ‘Anthony Wilding’