Canterbury Museum


125 Years of St John celebrated at Canterbury Museum

Posted: 8 April 2010

An exhibition that explores the history of St John and commemorates 125 years of the organisation in New Zealand has opened at Canterbury Museum.

St John: 125 Years celebrates the development and growth of St John in Christchurch, Canterbury and New Zealand. The exhibition includes four ambulances, which illustrate the remarkable changes in technology from the hand-pulled Ashford litters of the 1880s to the fully equipped modern vehicles used today. There are also displays of uniforms, early first aid equipment, and a reconstruction of an Ambulance Communications desk used by St John in Christchurch in the 1970s.

A series of oral histories gathered by Maureen (Dawn) Lee, a Senior Order Member of St John, bring a fascinating human element to the exhibition, as do the recordings of real 111 calls–including one which results in the successful home delivery of a baby.

Chair of the Canterbury Museum Trust Board, Michael McEvedy, said, “The Order of St John has an intriguing history and visitors to this exhibition will take away not only an understanding of St John’s past, but also an insight into the broad scope of their work and involvement in our communities today.”

St John Christchurch Area Committee Chair, Michelle Corkindale, said “St John hopes that visitors to this wonderful exhibition learn something of our past. It looks at all parts of our organisation and how we became one of New Zealand’s best loved community organisations. Many thanks to the team at Canterbury Museum, and our own people, for their hard work in putting this exhibition together.”

St John: 125 Years is on display at Canterbury Museum until 29 August 2010. For information on public programmes associated with the exhibition visit www.canterburymuseum.com.

Canterbury Museum is located on Rolleston Avenue, in the Cultural Precinct, next to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and opposite The Arts Centre on Worcester Boulevard. General admission to the Museum is free; donations are appreciated.