Home' Christchurch Mail : September 27th 2012 Contents 11
CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, SEPTEMBER 27, 2012
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Penpals mark 50-year milestone
By MAT KERMEEN
A WORLD AWAY: Rae Horn shows
Barbara Pope the box where she
receives her letters from the US.
THE WORD penpal might seem
almost extinct, but not to Christ-
church woman Rae Horn and Bar-
bara Pope of Jackson, Missouri, in
the United States.
The pair have been writing let-
ters backwards and forwards
since 1952 and Barbara and her
husband are currently in Christ-
church to celebrate 50 years of
We do send the odd email but
posting a letter each once a month
is standard, unless of course
there's some more news, then we
will send another,'' Mrs Horn said.
Despite their 50-year friend-
ship, the pair have only talked by
telephone half a dozen times.
We get too excited over the
phone, we forget what we were
going to talk to each other about,''
Mrs Rae said.
This is the second visit to
Christchurch for Mrs Pope and
her husband, John, who have hos-
ted Rae and her husband, Neville,
in Missouri four times.
When the pair started writing,
both were pregnant with their
third child and living on farms,
but the similarities do not stop
Our lives have been in parallel
-- kids, grandkids, we even both
moved off the farms around the
same time,'' Mrs Pope said.
The pair's bond had brought
their families together, and their
children all know each other.
Some had spent time together in
the US and New Zealand.
Their association came about
when Mrs Rae, then living near
Oxford, made a split-second
decision to approach a woman
who had been speaking at a Fed-
erated Farmers meeting at the
Oxford Town Hall.
The woman was handing out
letters from prospective pen pals
and the one that Mrs Rae opened
was from Barbara Pope.
Rae and Neville plan to show
the Pope's around for the next
three weeks, but the letter writing
is set to continue for many years
Green CBD blueprint plan
suits Grammar's goals
SAVING HERITAGE: Principal Paul Kennedy stands in front of the school's
heritage building that will be converted to house science, music and arts
By MAT KERMEEN
A RECOVERING primary
school is excited about being
situated within one block of the
proposed CBD blueprint design.
Cathedral Grammar is one of
the few schools within the four
avenues, and the blueprint will
affect its future. Principal Paul
Kennedy is determined any
change will be positive.
Like most in the CBD, the
school, founded in 1881, was
hammered by earthquake dam-
age. Up to 85 per cent of class-
room space was either destroyed
or made uninhabitable and the
school's role shrank as residents
fled the central city.
The school, rocked to the core,
is now fighting back and Mr
Kennedy believes it is in a
If you didn't see our situation
as an opportunity then you
would just sink into depression.''
He believes the school and the
blueprint complement each
other perfectly, with the green
theme of the blueprint fitting
nicely with the school.
We can also bring some his-
tory to an area which is set for a
dramatic change, made up of
mostly modern landscape.''
The school has already spent
a substantial amount repairing
one heritage building which is
now used as classrooms for year
4 to 8 boys and learning support
Work is scheduled for a heri-
tage building that will house
new science blocks, music and
The school roll has recovered
to what Mr Kennedy described
as a comfortable level just under
The school is confident it will
experience more growth as the
new CBD becomes reality.
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