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    Excitement is building up for the Festival of Flowers & Romance in Christchurch. Our exhibit opens on 19 February at the Canterbury Museum. We have had offers of butterflies from all over New Zealand – it will be awesome to see all those butterflies released on 22 February. Then when it closes on 4 March, we’re off to the Ellerslie International Flower Show. Great fun!

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    Lovely photos Martin and Colleen. The one of the monarch on the Rudbeckia is exceptional, you can clearly see the pool of nectar!



    Martin Woodhall’s wonderful photos taken in Christchurch begin here:

    Monarchs of Ellerslie



    The release seemed to strike a chord with many people. I got lots of very positive feedback when I was talking to people at the exhibit in the Canterbury Museum. I am posting some photos of the exhibit in the Photos section of this website.

    Canterbury Museum exhibit photos 1

    and then scroll right.



    Living in CHC. I was at the Memorial service. It was a beautiful and sensitive service and the release of the butterflies was very moving and beautiful. Thank you



    Yes very touching release. I had goosebumps watching the butterflies go..
    Would loved to of been able to come down to the festival of flowers. However airfares and accomodation is too pricy;(
    As it looks like there is some awesome photo opportunities down there..



    Just watched the video again of the butterfly release, very, very touching! Congratulations to all those who made this possible. Hope you are all having great fun in Christchurch.



    And good on you all down there for the work you’re doing!
    The butterfly release was a lovely touch to the day.



    sounds like you’ve been kept really busy in Christchurch..hope,admidst the business and sadness, you’ve been able to enjoy some of the nice weather




    It has been a very emotional day, but I believe the butterflies were a fine tribute to the victims and I have been told will help the survivors look to the future.

    It was not the best of days – quite cool – but as the forecast had been for rain, we were very relieved.

    Ann Brower, the sole survivor of the Red Bus crushed by fallen masonry on Colombo St, described the service as “nice”. The most poignant moment was the monarch butterflies that did not fly away because they “wanted to stay here”.

    “Those people [who died] didn’t want to leave either,” she said.

    See some coverage here!



    Photos from yesterday at the Canterbury Museum are here:

    Photos from Canterbury Museum

    On each page, one photo will show up larger than the rest. Click on the “next” or first smaller photo and it will then show up larger size. These were taken with my cellphone so not the best but will give you an idea.

    I loaded them in groups of five or six – so when you’ve done with that set, click on the link in the upper right hand corner and it will take you to the next set.

    Hope they are self-explanatory! Otherwise leave a comment on the respective page seeking clarification please.




    Here’s photos of a very satisfied customer at the show today:

    Roger’s baby/Monarch Photos



    Some photos have been posted here.

    Pupae in the mail

    Then scroll right to see a few more. I have been too busy to take any myself but will do so today. Or perhaps someone else will come and take some and send them in.



    Just an update…

    Margaret and I are moving to the apartment today. With us we will be taking five… whoops SIX now… butterflies and 300 or more healthy pupae, quite a few of them changing colour this morning, so the timing is working well.

    The courier packages arrived with their contents – ALL absolutely safely. Wonderful packaging – a tribute to you all who have sent them.

    The T-shirts are fantastic. I am absolutely thrilled with mine – the colour, the print and the sizing is great. It’s important when ordering them not to stipulate a “small” or a “large” but order by the centimetre size which is stipulated – that’s the width of the shirt. Double the cm and you get your bust or chest size.

    Wearing your T-shirt through the door of the Canterbury Museum will speed the process up. And we will have name tags ready for you to wear.

    We visited the museum yesterday to see the “aviary” being built. It’s looking great (but early days yet!). There is a team of four or five building it.. painting, electrical etc. Wish I could take them home to my own projects when they’ve finished. 🙂

    Our display is on the third floor, on the way to the museum cafe. At present there is an amazing exhibition there (lasts until the 22nd) of Hearts for Christchurch. People from all around the world made patchwork, embroidered, applique hearts (etc) and they decorate the walls. Well worth seeing!

    Parking is at a premium around the Canterbury Museum. If you’re staying in the apartment, it’s a short walk to the museum. If you are living in Christchurch, you probably have this sussed already.

    Not that we’ve experienced any shakes since we’ve arrived but it would be a good idea to ensure you’re aware of what to do in an earthquake just in case. This is a highly recommended site:

    Well, I think that’s about it. We have one day to do hundreds of things… so we had better get on with it. Now… how are we going to move these pupae and butterflies? WITH GREAT CARE.



    Just to clarify, the people who run Braemar Apartment also run West Fitzroy. I think it’s best if ALL deliveries go there, and I can check with them 2-3 times a day or more. On Wed. we move into Braemar.

    Classique Lodge is a motel and not at all close to Braemar/West Fitzroy – and deliveries to a motel could end up anywhere (but Braemar/West Fitzroy are expecting packages coming for us.)

    Hope that explains things!



    If you are in Christchurch, you can deliver pupae to us – just phone me on 027 481 4811 to arrange a time.



    Thanks everyone for your offers of help. I must stress that we are all volunteers and while I’m doing the majority of the organising, I’m also trying to work full-time elsewhere. It’s impossible making business calls during the day – and then I have so much to do when I get home. So if you have any non-urgent questionsit would help if they could wait until next week when I will be in Christchurch and tightening up on the organising and knowing more myself about the location etc.

    Roster is here (to view) – contact Jacqui if changes need to be made,

    Duties 1-4 are people living in the accommodation. 5 and 6 are “local” people who may have indicated they could do a half day, or if you’re in as Duty 5 AM and PM (or 6 AM as well as PM) then you’ve been scheduled for a full day. The museum opens at 0900 and closes at 1730 so a half-day is basically 4.5 hours, being there ready to go before 0900 and finishing about 1315 (or for those in the afternoon, 1245 to 1730-ish).

    The roster is very flexible – not set in concrete. As you can see we’ve still got some holes. Four people each day would be fantastic.


    JK Jacqui Knight, Auckland
    MT Margaret Topzand, Auckland
    KY Kate Young, Hamilton
    YA Yvonne Andrew, Thames
    SS + CS Stan & Carol Swan, Wellington
    JC + PH Jane Carver and Peter Herbert, Palmerston North
    JJ Jill Jones, Whangarei
    DFLF Dean & Lois Farrow
    ML Mary Lyall
    SL Shirley Lynch
    FYNG Fay & Nev Gray
    BL Bev Laing
    WM Wendy McLintock
    BB Bee Bryant
    DM Denise Marshall

    Margaret and I arrive in Christchurch on Monday. We’re staying at Classique Lodge for two nights (Blenheim Road). Then we move into Braemar Apartment, Cnr Armagh St and Cranmer Square. The phone number there is 03 377 8964 – Jacqui’s mobile is 027 481 4811.


    While the exhibit is at the Canterbury Museum we envisage that we will be doing the following:

    * Crowd control ? encouraging people to move along, look at other parts of our display etc. There will be a PowerPoint presentation playing outside the ?aviary?. Inside the aviary (where the butterflies will be flying) people will be able to take a cotton bud with sugar on and hopefully a Monarch will perch on it and they will be able to observe feeding.

    * Children will be able to tag paper Monarchs ? but this will be outside the live exhibit. Helping people by demonstrating tagging. The plan is to have some paper butterflies.

    * Explaining to people about how to care for butterflies, metamorphosis) although there might be official educators from the Canterbury Museum there as well).

    * Shop ? taking money and handing over items from our stock. This will be relatively simple, everything will have a sticker on it and will cost an even amount (e.g. $5) so it will be a matter of removing the sticker and pocketing the money besides keeping the products neat and tidy.

    * Handing out brochures.

    * Tidying ? making sure that the exhibit is tidy, picking up dead leaves, watering the plants (last thing at night)

    * Banking, fetching coffees, teas, relieving while at lunch or for toilet breaks. First thing in the morning and last thing at night we will do a tidy up, remove to ?safe storage? butterflies that are keen to depart etc.

    More detail will be explained to you at the beginning of your first duty. (And there will be other things that I haven?t thought of.)

    It will be similar at the Ellerslie Flower Show although there will be no formal school visits which there might be at the Canterbury Museum. It will also be ?outdoors?.


    New T-shirts have been designed and are available here. Please order them in the royal blue colour.

    Thanks Kate for organising that! Order them now and you should have them within a week, to be worn with dark (pref. black) trou or skirt. If you can’t afford a T-shirt please email me and we might be able to work something out.


    These can be sent to J Knight, C/- Reception, West Fitzroy Apartments, 66 Armagh St, Christchurch on 13 or 14 February. Please also send an email with delivery details in it so we can follow it up.

    Thanks a lot!


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