Canterbury deafblind network

Canterbury Contact(s)

David Wilson

021 61 9889

Djwwilson1 at gmail dot com

Christmas lunch

On Thursday the Canterbury DB group attended the end-of-the-year Xmas lunch which was held at Hill End Tavern in Christchurch. A lovely venue as we had a nice big quiet room to ourselves. With our interpreters and good lighting, we were all able to communicate well with each other around the table, with no one missing out on the fun.

We had a special guest, Lloyd Ellison, who is sadly departing from DB services (BLV, Blind & Low Vision, formerly Blind Foundation), but we hope that he will be able to keep in contact  with the group as his knowledge and skills with Deafblindness are vital to us. Lloyd’s last day is 5th December.

The group presented Lloyd with a meal voucher, and he made a speech of thanks.  Lloyd also made special mention to our secretary, Jeanette, for her service over the years.

I thanked everyone for attending the group meetings over the year and thanked Lloyd for his contribution and service to us.  I also thanked Kaye Ellison (Deafblind Co-ordinator for the upper South Island) for her service, which has been well received.  Her skills and contribution have increased over time, and her input is very valuable to us.  I also thanked the interpreters and support people attending for their invaluable service, and our wonderful and loyal driver, Graeme, for all his support.

Everyone had a great time. Of special note of attendance was Maisie, our oldest member, who lives in a retirement home.  It was lovely to have her join us.

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. We look forward to our first group meeting in the new year, which is in the last week of February.

David Wilson, Chairperson
Taringa Turi Kāpō Rōpū
DeafBlind Association New Zealand

Visit to a BIG library

On 26 September our group visited Tūranga, the new 5-storey city library in Cathedral Square which was opened just a year ago on 12 October 2018 at the cost of $92.7 million. It’s the most modern public library in the southern hemisphere and the largest in the South Island.  The entrance has the huge 7-metre interactive Discovery Wall, which has thousands of current and historic photos and videos. Members enjoyed touching these.  The building has hearing loop technology. We were taken through all the levels and saw the LEGO play area, the slide within a ‘tree’, the recording studio, the computer/printers rooms, and of course the books, including some Braille children’s books.  Climbing to the top-floor balcony, we had an amazing view over the city.   At the end of the tour we had afternoon tea in the café.

Next month Dave Wilson and Kaye Ellison will talk on their trip in August to Australia for the 17th Deafblind International World Conference.

Good stories at the 22 August gathering

Petronella told some good stories and had us all spellbound. She spent two months in Europe, visiting eight countries, sleeping in twenty different beds, and travelling by canal boat, camel, mountain gondolas, buses, trains, and planes. She loved the architecture. She visited Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam, where she also visited her parents’ childhood homes before they emigrated to New Zealand.

Annette thanked Petronella and gave her a bunch of roses and spring flowers.

Next month, 26 September, we’re going to the library. Those requiring transport please ring Petronella on 03 375 4300 by Monday 23 September.

Week-long celebration of Helen Keller’s birthday 

Kaye Ellison and member pointing to cake and smiling
Kaye Ellison, Deafblind Coordinator for Blind Foundation, with member, pointing to Helen Keller cake
Posted and books on table in Papanui Library, with truffles and balloons
Helen Keller Happy Birthday display in Papanui Library

Deafblind artist with his sketches on postcards

Deafblind member with iSign interpreter, talking about his Bowls medals
Canterbury man telling about his Bowls medals

Bowler and artist around table of snacks and balloons. They're talking with iSign interpreters. Kaye Ellison looking on.
Bowler and artist with iSign interpreters
Bowler leaning across the table to show Dave his medals.
Bowler showing his medals to Dave Wilson, Chair of Deafblind Association board
Dave is asking a question and pointing to medals
Dave asking a question about the bowler’s medals

Thursday 25th July – Monthly Meeting

Our next meeting is on Thursday 25 July at 1p.m. in the Meeting Room of the Blind Foundation, 96 Bristol Street, Christchurch.  “Surprise” is the topic!!

Those requiring transport please ring Petronella on 03 375 4300 by Monday 22 July.

Helen Keller Day celebrated the week of 24 June

The Papanui Library hosted a Helen Keller display all week. We cut the cake on Helen Keller’s birthday, the 27th, after which we joined staff at the Blind Foundation office and kept the celebration right on going!

Thursday 23rd May – Monthly Meeting

The next Deafblind Canterbury support group meeting will be held at the Blind Foundation, 96 Bristol Street, Christchurch, on Thursday 23rd May at 1 pm. Interpreters and afternoon tea will be supplied. We will be talking about how we will celebrate Helen Keller Day on June 27th, and a interpreter will tell us what it was like interpreting on TV and the environment surroundings.

Thursday 25 October – Monthly Meeting

Our next meeting is at 1pm in the meeting room at Blind Foundation, 96 Bristol Street, Christchurch. Those needing transport, please ring Petronella by Monday 22 October.

On the agenda:

  • Arranging the Xmas party November
  • Update on the Blind Foundation’s planning for next year’s outings
  • A group survey

Looking forward to see you there!

Thursday 27 September – Multi-sensory Experience

This Thursday the Canterbury Deafblind support group will be attending the multi-sensory touch and smell environment at the Pioneer Recreation and Sports Centre. We plan to meet at 1pm and have a get-together coffee and catch-up. On the agenda will be the Christmas party to be held in November. We hold the party in November because December is far too busy for everyone to attend. Hope to see you all this Thursday. Of course, our good friends and interpreters will be there to make our connections.

Thursday 24 May – Monthly Meeting

The next monthly meeting is Thursday, May 24, 1pm at the offices of the BLIND FOUNDATION, 96 BRISTOL STREET, CHRISTCHURCH . We have  a presentation by Michael Begg from community energy action Charity Trust to talk to us on his role regarding energy advice and education . This includes information about curtain bank insulation , community project management earthquake help ,and energy efficiency products in homes . We’re all curious to know what “curtain bank insulation” is!

Friday, 1 May – Update

On 24 May the Canterbury DeafBlind Supporters Group met at the Blind Foundation and had a very interesting talk from Michael Begg, from the Community Energy Action Group which is a 25year old charity.  Last year the group assisted over 900 homes improve their energy efficiency.  Their main efforts are providing a curtains from donations and assisting with power pricing, both indifferent companies and in suitable plans for each family.

The second advice given is regarding house warmth which is a 3 step programme.  Firstly insulation where old systems should be checked, and where Government is bringing in new laws next June.  The second step is ventilation and Michael gave much information on the science of airing houses and the value of different heating systems, which is the third step in everyone living in the best healthy environment.

Members asked many questions and this talk was very much appreciated.  Discussions continued after the speaker left, and over afternoon tea.