The Wizard of Christchurch Returns To Help Out 2011

Christchurch Cheered by Wizard.
How neat it is – a Kiwi expression meaning ‘cool’ – to see the wizard of Christchurch, a man dedicated to bringing cheer and goodwill to all men, back in Christchurch again. He looks as if he is on top of the world, as if he has found the elixir of life whilst he has been in hiding.

We have missed you.

Tonight, 28th February, 2011, we were entertained by the Wizard of Christchurch who appeared on the programme ‘Close-Up’ . This is a regular programme run by Channel One TVNZ, and presented by Mark Sainsbury.

Tonight’s show was good fun – a timely little input about entertainers and entertainment, which is just what we all need right now. We also had some stuff on the Oscars, which spotlighted the fact that the creator of this year’s winning movie, starring Colin Firth, lived in New Zealand and has a son here. This also was pretty cheering and inspiring news for Kiwi people.

I’m sure everyone in New Zealand has been affected by the Christchurch earthquake. I have felt enormously saddened by the devastation of Christchurch, and the loss of lives down there, even though I live at Orewa Beach, miles away in the North Island. This does not make us immune to disaster, though: Rangitoto Island, an active volcano, sits only a few miles out in the harbour we call the Hauraki Gulf, and this island could blow up at any time. Or we could get a massive tidal wave, a tsunami, which could devastate all the well-populated coastal areas up this way.

Everywhere about Auckland in the past week, you can sense a despondency, a feeling of deep sadness, because we all feel for Cantabrians who are suffering huge losses right at this moment. People have lost loved ones, their homes, their jobs, their familiar shops and city icons. To all people in Christchurch, we wish the best for you.
And who do you think has turned up in Christchurch, to entertain people, and lighten their load?
Yes, the famous Wizard of Christchurch, who has been around since the early 1970’s, has come back to cheer up Cantabrians.
The Christchurch Wizard Ian Blackenbury has returned to Christchurch from Oamaru, where he went to live near his aged mother.
His message of hope for Cantabrians is
HAVE FUN AND DON’T WORRY. Try to forget the calamity and enjoy yourself. No use in worrying, he says.
He wants to magic up some magic lollies which will be labelled “Magic Lolly”. This magic lolly will give you good dreams and magic away those wicked earthquakes, he says. Just the thing for children, at night, when they are being read their favourite story from their favourite book, I can imagine. Follow the lolly with a stick of celery, maybe……or a raw carrot………

Anyway, I have just opened up my Mobil “Illustrated Guide to New Zealand”, by Jeremy and Diana Pope, and there, on page 114, I find a photo of the Wizard himself, performing on his podium in Cathedral Square. This book was first published in 1982> The Mobil ‘Illustrated Guide to New Zealand was immensely popular: The 1982 edition was followed by reprints in 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1989. It is published by Heinemann Reed, a division of Octopus Publishing, Birkenhead, Auckland. I reckon this photo was probably taken sometime in the 1970’s.

The wizard is pictured facing the Cathedral, and has a large crowd before him. This captive audience is seated on the steps, with rows of people standing behind on the upper steps. He is dressed in his black Wizard attire and tails, complete with his tall Wizard hat, right arm held up and finger pointing to the sky. The caption under the photo reads:

‘THE WIZARD’ A local character, now a national institution, on his podium in the Square.


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