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Wanted: Russley Hotel Memories

Wanted: Russley Hotel Memories

March 14, 2008
The Russley Village
Media Release - For immediate Release

Before ‘The Russley’ receives a new lease of life, its owners want to capture the memories of those people who contributed to its iconic status.

Renowned Canterbury author and historian Colin Amodeo will pen The Russley Story, as construction begins on the hotel’s redevelopment. The Russley will be transformed into a prestigious village complex for senior citizens.

The redevelopment is being undertaken by The Russley Village Limited, a joint venture between well known local Antony Gough and Retirement Assets Limited.

Mr Amodeo has written historical accounts of the Sumner Lifeboat and Lyttelton Engineering, and a biography on Christchurch entrepreneur Mike Pero.

“There will be people out there with yarns that go beyond the usual over-the-bar chit-chat,” says Mr Amodeo. “They may have had encounters, or been part of tours, with great sporting teams like the All Blacks or Crusaders, or musical and cultural icons like U2 and Sir Elton John.”

Mr Amodeo says with such a long presence in Christchurch there is also likely to be sports teams who made the Russley their annual base for golf or softball tournaments.

“Some of the best anecdotes will even come from kitchen or housekeeping staff who would know the intricate details of even the most celebrated guests,” Mr Amodeo says.

Mr Gough says many Cantabrians have had one encounter or another with the Russley Hotel. “Unfortunately the walls can’t talk, which is why we need people to speak up and share their memories,” Mr Gough says.

“For some people it has been a wedding venue, for others a honeymoon destination. Then there have been plenty of conventions, Christmas parties and functions at the Skyline and Sportman's Bar.”

“We know the importance of retaining heritage in Christchurch. Hence the reason we are ensuring this is a new chapter in the life of ‘The Russley’ by retaining much its charm and memories.”

The Russley Story is due to be released in late June when the construction of the village’s first show homes is complete. The name of the book is yet to be determined.

The Russley Village will comprise of a range of apartments and villas and a large village green precinct in keeping with its ‘Garden City’ location.

The centrepiece of the development will be a community centre “The Russley Homestead” which will feature historical photos of the hotel and if possible, incorporate some existing hotel fixtures into the design.

-- ENDS –

© Scoop Media

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