Tag Archive | vote

Kate Sheppard: suffrage hero or that bloody woman?

Annual celebrations in Christchurch 19th Sept

Christchurch in particular is proud that local woman, Kate Sheppard, was the leader and figurehead of the suffrage movement that resulted in a petition that ensured all New Zealand woman were able to vote from 1893.

New Zealand is the first country in the world to give women the vote: married, single, migrant, indigenous, poor, rich, with or without land, working or not – all women were able to vote with the passing of the 1893 Electoral Bill.

Notice we kiwi did not use the word ‘suffragettes’ as we’d the vote some twenty years before that term was coined!

Born to Scottish parents, Kate came to New Zealand in 1868 with her widowed mother, and New Zealand honours her by having her image on our ten-dollar note.

Every Suffrage Day, 19th September, a few women gather at the Christchurch memorial panel to pay tribute to all those wonderful women by placing white camellias and purple balloons on this inner city sculpture. Note this is at the corner of Worcester Boulevard & Cambridge Terrace – although with post-quake (2010/11) plans it may be moved.

A punk rock musical about her struggles with the Prime Minister (Seddon) has recently been performed at the Christchurch Festival .. called That Bloody Woman, it had good reviews so I look forward to seeing it soon – apparently some were initially ‘shocked at the opening scenes’ when her sexual behaviour was exposed but ‘this quickly abated as the story developed’ I was told.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Pedestrian crossing signal in Wellington NZ.  Began a temporary installation but now here to stay

The memorial was unveiled in 1993, the 100th anniversary of this historic event. It has six women on it with Kate Sheppard holding the petition in a wheelbarrow which is how the petition was delivered to the steps of Parliament in Wellington. The side panels show women in typical everyday (1893) settings – gathering shellfish, teaching, factory sewing, farming, caring for families and nursing. These are flanked by bronze panels telling the New Zealand suffrage story.

Here are more pictures about one of our favourite kiwi women.

 

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Three cheers to ‘that bloody woman’ I say!

New Zealand women have been voting since 1893 (for 120 years)

Christchurch Art Gallery --

Women’s suffrage 1893:  120 years ago, New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the vote.

Every 19th September  women in New Zealand celebrate and remembered with gratitude, the struggle for the right to vote – long before the term suffragette was in vogue in the UK and USA.
(For more detailed information of this see New Zealand’s online encyclopedia http://www.teara.govt.nz/ )
We Christchurch women are proud that Kate Shephard, a Christchurch woman, was the prime organiser of the 31,872-signature petition (collected over seven years) and annually we have gathered at the memorial (cnr Worcester Boulevard & Cambridge Terrace) which depicts those wonderful women and the wheelbarrow in which the petition  was taken to Parliament in Wellington.
Suffrage day is often also called White Camellia day, as women who supported enfranchisement wore a white camellia, yesterday women both wore the flowers and lay them at the wonderful memorial. The memorial was unveiled at the 100 year anniversary and a new camellia verity was also created then and named ‘Kate Sheppard’.  Today we celebrate 120 years of all NZ women being able to vote.
Kates home in Christchurch

Kates home in Christchurch

So far, from my research, it seems only one of my ancestors,  my great-grandmother Elizabeth Rowe, (married Herbert Bunny) signed the petition and during that same year, 1893, her daughter, Mabel, my maternal grandmother was born.

One of the great things about the 1893 Electoral Bill was passed was that Maori women were given the vote too … not just women with land. Unfortunately Chinese women, in fact all Chinese people, did not get the vote until the early 1950s.web KATE detail

Don’t waste the courage and strength of those brave 19th century women – make sure you always vote.

Street portrait competition with Meetup – Wellington NZ

While finding it hard to get over my travel, and suffering from camera envy, and start my real work again,  I spent a couple of hours in a photo event in Wellington – we had to produce two  street portrait photos in two hours: these are the two pictures I entered from my ‘hood’ – Cuba Street, Wellington . Which do you prefer and why? (We haven’t had the result of the comp’ yet – prize is the title of ‘awesomeness’ )

The colours of Cuba St

 

 

Staunch

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