Tag Archives: history

It’s been one hundred and twenty years ……

This coming Friday, 20th September, voting begins in our City Council elections. We will elect a Mayor and other local community representatives. A friend of mine** is standing for election to the Health Board. The fact that she can stand for election (and that I can vote for her) is due to a momentous event that took place on 19 September 1893. It was on this  date, one hundred and twenty years ago, that Lord Glasgow, Governor of New Zealand, signed a new Electoral Act in to law. The new  Act  gave all women in New Zealand the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

The suffragists were jubilant at their success, and this legislation made New Zealand the first self-governing country in the world to give women the freedom to vote. Congratulations came pouring in from around the globe. Our historic victory in tiny New Zealand gave courage and hope to those who still had a long fight ahead of them for women’s suffrage.

The campaign for women’s suffrage in New Zealand was long and hard.  The campaigners, led by Kate Sheppard, compiled a series of petitions, the final one of which was submitted to Parliament on 28 July 1893. It contained more than 25,000 signatures, was more than 270 metres long….and it was successful. The petition is of such significance that it is included in the UNESCO Memory of the World register of documentary heritage. suffrage-petittion_0 (‘Suffrage petition, 1893’, URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/suffrage-petition-1893, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 20-Dec-2012)

A mere 10 weeks after the new Electoral Act was signed, New Zealand went to the polls on 28 November 1893. In those ten weeks, “109,461 women – about 84% of the adult female population – enrolled to vote in the election. On polling day 90,290 of them cast their votes,” http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/page/women-vote-first-general-election

To understand the excitement and fervour of those first women voters, listen to this wonderful sound recording of three women recalling  their first experience of voting in 1893. Not only are their words wonderful but their New Zealand accents, so different from our accents today,  are too.  http://static.radionz.net.nz/assets/audio_item/0010/2521792/santk-20130909-0000-first_time_women_voters_1893.asx

Sadly, many voters no longer feel that same enthusiasm. In our last general elections in 2011, one million of our eligible voters didn’t use their right to vote. What a waste!

There are many excellent  links to the event we are commemorating today, http://cclblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/suffrage-city/ including my own post (not necessarily excellent 🙂 )

https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/1802/

Kate Sheppard is worth more than Ten Dollars

Kate Sheppard is worth more than Ten Dollars

And, because of the international significance of the achievements of this day in 1893, I would like to recommend two blog posts about women and the recent elections in Australia and Norway. http://misslouella.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/sheilas-eh-who-needs-em/  and http://bentehaarstad.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/democracy-100-years/

Lastly, for the sake of those who fought so hard to give us the right to vote, and, for the sake of those women who cannot vote, or cannot do so easily and freely, when it is time  for any of us to vote, PLEASE VOTE. It matters.

** My friend’s Facebook page is  Vote Allison Franklin for Canterbury DHB

© silkannthreades

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Rice Bread and Blossom

It seems that I am on an unstoppable bread (making ) roll…(eek, arrgh, squeak, sorry…. for a no good, horrible, very bad, but irresistible, pun 🙂 ), because, yesterday, I made some rice bread. I had some lonely, left- over cooked rice in the fridge, so I decided to use it in one my favourite recipes, Philpy, Hot Rice Bread. Philpy, is a quick (non yeast) bread which, apparently, has its origins in South Carolina.

Philpy (Hot Rice Bread)

Philpy (Hot Rice Bread)

I have been making versions of Philpy since 1987, which was the year I first discovered the recipe in American Harvest by Nava Atlas.

American Harvest by Nava Atlas

American Harvest by Nava Atlas

American Harvest, (Regional Recipes for the Vegetarian Kitchen) is a gem of a book, beautifully researched and illustrated. Every recipe comes with a small note on its history, as well as a delightful quote expertly, and often humorously, illustrated by the author. For example,  the quote for Philpy comes from Abe Martin’s Almanack, 1911, and goes like this “Q. My husband buys forty-five cents worth of mixed drinks every time I send him for a five-cent loaf of bread. How long will we keep our home? A. It takes longer to drink up some homes than it does others. Try baking your own bread. -Kin Hubbard.” Well, that may, or may not, be a helpful answer but baking your own  Philpy Hot Rice Bread is certainly a good idea. It’s easy and fun and it’s a great bread for a snack, or for breakfast, or lunch. And it goes well with lots of different toppings. Nava’s recipe is also a versatile one.  It  can be made gluten-free and dairy-free with ease. Yesterday, I made a gluten-free Philpy by using a combination of buckwheat flour and brown rice flour, instead of the usual whole wheat flour. I also whizzed  up the ingredients in the food processor, for the first time ever, and that gave my bread a very good texture. (Why has it taken me 26 years to work out that little trick????)

Come and sit with me, in the spring sunshine of Christchurch. Let  me offer you a warm slice of South Carolina Philby, spread with butter and sweet, young rhubarb compote. Sound good? It tastes good 🙂

Philpy for Tea

Philpy for Tea

Spring Blossom

Spring Blossom

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For those of you who would like to learn more about Nava Atlas, I would recommend a visit to her VegKitchen website which has links to her career as a writer and artist as well.http://www.vegkitchen.com/

And, as a little sampler of the way Nava brings joy to my baking through her art and wit and research, take a peek at my collage!

How to have fun with history, food and art

How to have fun with history, food and art

© silkannthreades

Out ‘there’ forever

Whenever I prepare to write a post, a pint-sized, shadowy, but very vocal, bogey man appears over my right shoulder.  A bogey man; well, more a creature of unspecified gender who repeats ad nauseam and ‘whiningly’,”Remember,  remember, whatever you put out on the internet stays there forever; be careful, you may live to regret what you let loose in public….blah, blah, blah…out ‘there’ lives evil….”. And I cower and hesitate and write ever so cautiously, and recheck and rewrite, and waste a great deal of precious time pandering to this scaremongering spectre of  certain doom and ruin.

Where this creature comes from, I am not sure, but, yesterday, I determined to give it a little tap on the shoulder; tip it off-balance a bit, and maybe, if I am lucky,  see it tumble to my feet with profuse apologies for being such a wretched nuisance.

So, here I go with my attempt to dislodge the harbinger of the awful doom awaiting  me (and you) on the big world-wide web.

NEWSFLASH! bogey creature……. on the day we are  born, our lives enter the public sphere, and there is no going back. We become a matter of public record from our first breath. And, as any genealogist, archaeologist, historian, or little Rumpelstiltskin, will tell you, we are, from that beginning moment, out ‘there’ forever, our lives always trackable and traceable and scrutinisible.  Perhaps, not in every fine detail, but certainly enough detail to be able to  leave our mark on history somewhere, somehow. Thus it has ever been, and ever will be, internet or no internet.

Case in point. Here is a photo which I found the other day. I hesitated, thanks to bogey creature, about showing it to you. Then, in an epiphanous moment, I realised, that it is an official photo which has probably been readily available in  public archives  for about 36 years.

For all to see

For all to see

What am I doing? Well, I am not sleeping! I am listening  intently to a debate. I will leave you to ponder, until my next post, where and why, and the story behind this photo. In the meantime, I am travelling back in time to listen to the ancient prophets/creatures of doom as they watch our cave dwelling forbear raise his/her hand to paint that very first stroke on the cave wall. I hear the critters say, in tones of eerie menace, “Be Ware, Be Very Ware…..once you mark that wall, your life will be out ‘there’ forever, for all to know where you have been and what you have been doing; you are open season; prey to all….muahahahaha”  And the cave person turns to face the menace, and paints the wall anyway. Thank goodness he/she did.

Note to self: the creature hasn’t tumbled yet but it is looking disconcerted 🙂

© silkannthreades