by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Panpa Bulletin : August 2011
Genuine Goss Limitless press options From 2x1 to 6x2. Heatset to coldset. And for every production requirement and market opportunity in between. No supplier gives you more press and configuration options, interchangeable technologies and imaginative ideas to choose from. www.gossinternational.com Goss International, Unit 16, 35 Dunlop Road, Mulgrave, Victoria 3170, Australia +03.9560.1666 PANPA bulletin generic NP half pg ad.indd 1 7/18/11 2:23 PM www.panpa.org.au All torn down The remains of the historic Press building, critically damaged in Christchurch’s February 22 earthquake, have now gone. Long-time Press reporter KEVIN TUTTY reflects on the end of an era THE first time I set foot in the Press building was 1967. I was still at school and I was there for an interview with the editor at the time, Rolly Cant. I had no idea that visit would define my life for the next 43 years. The interview was for a job as a cadet reporter at the Ashburton office – the first step to my ultimate job, a po- sition in the sports department. Snail mail was still the preferred means of communication in those days and several weeks later I received a letter offering the cadetship. I would have to serve two years in Ashburton and then wait for a va- cancy in the sports department. That came in 1970 and in April that year I walked through the archway at the main doors – a route I was going to take about 9000 times over the next 40 years. But all it took was 12 seconds at 12.51pm on February 22 to close that route forever. When I left the building by the main doors that day, negotiating bricks and stonework that had fallen from the front of the building, and looked back, there was the inevitable feeling that it was my last exit. The building had survived the September 4 and Boxing Day earth- quakes last year but this one, which struck quickly and violently, had shaken the heart out of the building. On the way down from the second floor we paused to help staff who were evacuating from the third and top floors. The stairwell was lined with brick which had fallen, leaving the stairs covered in debris 30cm deep. In subsequent aftershocks, the entire third floor had collapsed leav- ing the building’s owners with one solution: demolition. That grim task started in late July – an NZ$800,000 digger with a 25m reach pulling down the building. Forty years ago, the building was a myriad of offices and corridors. Sub-editors and general reporters worked in a large open area, and as the evenings wore on and deadlines approached, the air grew thicker with cigarette smoke. In those days smoking at desks was still allowed. Eventually smokers were ban- ished to a smokers’ room and finally outside the building. Journalists were a convivial lot and visits to pubs were frequent – usually lunchtime and evening. That’s where contacts with loose lips were cultivated. Some journalists needed a top up drink by mid-afternoon. The two back stairwells leading onto Press Lane allowed those in need to slip out to satisfy their needs. The sports department was the nomad of the building. In 1970 it was housed on the second floor and sports editor Dick Brittenden had the prime spot – the office on the corner of Worcester Street and The Square – which eventually became the editor’s office. The surroundings weren’t salubri- ous. The floor was linoleum and the bottom half of the walls had tongue- and-groove joints – the original decor we suspected. From there, we were promoted to the third floor overlooking Press Lane and the back of the Warners building. In summer the afternoons were stifling and the only relief was to open the windows inviting in the odours from the flues of the fish and chip shop and hamburger bar across the lane. Finally it was back to the second floor to a modernised area with car- pet – luxury. There have been three other shifts of camp since, all on the second floor. Our final resting place was overlook- ing The Square. We scurried from there on February 22 leaving behind cartons of reference books that had been packed ready for a move to new premises on Gloucester Street. Instead we are housed in a port- able office near the airport, 10cm from the ground, in – as we discov- ered in the June shake – a building that flexes like a plastic ruler. This is an abridged version of an article that first ran in The Press. ABOVE: The historic Press building was a Christchurch landmark, but was severely damaged in the February 22 earthquake INSET: End of an era . . . the remains of The Press building comes down | AUGUST 2011 | The PANPA Bulletin