Monthly Archives: February 2011

Postcard from… Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand (date unknown)

Prime Minister John Key has requested a two-minute silence around New Zealand to show respect for those fallen and affected by the Christchurch earthquake.

This may be New Zealand’s single most tragic event.

I am calling on New Zealanders to stop and remember those who have lost their lives, those who are missing and the hundreds of people who are mourning family and friends.

At 12.51pm this Tuesday, the 1st of March, I am asking that New Zealand stops for two minutes as a sign of unity for the people of Canterbury who are enduring a tragedy beyond what most of us can imagine.

For those overseas wanting to participate in sync with New Zealand, find out your time so you can be in silence with us.

Before and after the Christchurch earthquake – images of some of the city’s iconic buildings.

Back in the UK

We landed back in the UK on Friday evening, but while my body may be here, my body clock seems to still be in South Korea.  Which is why I’m up at 4am writing a blog post.

The trip to New Zealand was amazing, and overwhelming.  Seeing all my family again was wonderful, though tempered with sadness as the impromptu family reunion was for my grandmother’s funeral. Saying goodbye was hard, too.  And then an earthquake devastated the city of Christchurch, with 147 deaths confirmed so far.  Thankfully friends and family are all okay, but the images and stories we saw and heard on our last days in New Zealand were harrowing and unforgettable.

In terms of my research plan, I managed to achieve most of my goals, and also make some connections with extended family members.  I’ll post more on this later.  For now, I need to try and get some sleep before heading off to the Olympia for Who Do You Think You Are? Live today.

Postcard from… Wellington, New Zealand

City and Harbour, Wellington NZ

City and Harbour, Wellington NZ 4073

This postcard is one of many in an album that belonged to my paternal grandparents. I’m not sure of the date of this, perhaps 1950s or 60s? Hopefully I’ll be able to find out a bit more when I talk to my father, who has the album now.

We arrived in Auckland yesterday, after 26 hours in the air.  Despite travelling with three young kids, it didn’t seem to take long at all.  Can’t imagine spending three months in a boat (unless it was a fancy cruise ship).

Today we have a short one hour flight to Wellington – will be fantastic to see my home town again!

Myrtle Jean Louisa McGonnell ~ Wordless Wednesday

Jean McGonnell

Jean McGonnell

Jean on her wedding day, 2005 at age 90, Wellington, NZ

Jean on her wedding day, 2005

Myrtle Jean Louisa McGonnell
(4 April 1915 – 2 February 2011)
R.I.P

My dearest Nanna, you will be missed so much.


Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Bartholomew O’Rourke ~ Tombstone Tuesday

O'Rourke family burial plot, Napier Hill, Napier

O'Rourke family burial plot, Napier Hill, Napier

Sacred to the memory
of
Patrick James O’Rourke
died 13th Aug 1908
also
Mary Josephine O’Rourke
died 11th Feb 1882
James Thomas Power O’Rourke
died 12th July 1914
Bridget Power O’Rourke
died 18 July 1914
Bartholomew O’Rourke Senr
died 13th Nov 1920
aged 79yrs 10mths
Brigid Power O’Rourke
died 15 May 1964
Sweet Jesus have mercy on their souls
RIP1

My great great grandfather Bartholomew O’Rourke is buried in Old Napier Cemetery, Napier Hill, Napier, New Zealand in a family plot, along with sons Patrick James O’Rourke and James Thomas Power O’Rourke, daughters Mary Josephine O’Rourke and Brigid Power O’Rourke, and wife Bridget Power O’Rourke.

Many thanks to the kind Trade Me genealogy forum member who located and photographed the gravestone for me.

  1. Old Napier Cemetery (Napier Hill, Napier, New Zealand), Bartholomew O’Rourke & family gravestone, Section T Headstone Ref 1207; photograph supplied by [NAME FOR PRIVATE USE], January 2011.

Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.