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Topsy rules!

Topsy rules!

Topsy Rule received the 2008 Heritage Ambassador Award when the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Helen Clark opened Christchurch’s Beca Heritage Week on Friday.

Mrs Rule, a founding member of the Sumner-Redcliffs Historical Society and Museum, was cited for her unceasing enthusiasm and passion for heritage. She received her award from Christchurch Mayor, Bob Parker.

Both Mrs Rule and her late husband Stan have received the Queens Service Medal for services to the community, “a rare achievement for one family,” says Bob Blyth, of Beca, the major sponsor of Heritage Week. She has also been involved in projects that have seen her accept approximately eight awards from the Hagley/Ferrymead Community Board for her involvement and promotion of heritage, says Mr Blyth.

Opening the Beca Heritage Week at the CoCA Gallery, the Prime Minister announced a series of public events on November 11 to mark the 90th Anniversary of the Armistice (which ended WWI).

In another announcement, the Prime Minister said the historic Queen Mary Hospital at Hanmer will be transferred from the Canterbury District Health Board to the Department of Conservation “to better allow for its preservation”. Queen Mary Hospital was once a military hospital for returning soldier.

The Prime Minister has praised Christchurch’s initiative to celebrate the heritage of the city with its Beca Heritage Week.

Beca Heritage Week is celebrating the post-war decades in Christchurch with the theme: Retrospective: Christchurch Life, Architecture and Design 1940s-1970s

The Great Heritage Debate
James Hay Theatre, Christchurch Town Hall,
Tuesday October 21 7.30 pm
Gold Coin Donation

Christchurch 50s Up Brass Band Annual Variety Concert
The Christchurch Town Hall Auditorium, Kilmore Street
Monday 20 October, 2 pm - 4.10 pm
Adult $19, Child $19, Senior/Student $19

Heritage Light: A Shine on the 60s
Visit the Christchurch Town Hall, Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) gallery, and 65 Cambridge Tce as these inner city icons – all built in the 1960s – come under the spotlight this year for Heritage Week.
Christchurch Town Hall, CoCA Gallery and 65 Cambridge Terrace
17 - 26 October, Daily from 8.30 pm


Topsy Rule is currently the Honorary Secretary of the Sumner-Redcliffs Historical Society and Museum, and along with her late husband Stan Rule was one of the four founding members of the Society in 1977. Two years later the Sumner Museum was established in 1979. Topsy is a well known and highly regarded figure in the Christchurch heritage scene, not only for her work with the Historical Society and Museum but also with the Sumner Lifeboat Institution and the Canterbury Museum.

Topsy’s unceasing enthusiasm and passion for heritage is highlighted by her continuous involvement in Heritage Week since 1994. The Sumner Museum has organised numerous exhibitions and activities over the years that have inspired people to explore the history of this unique area – ranging from local heritage buildings to discovering the trails of our ancestors.

For over 30 years Topsy’s involvement in the Sumner-Redcliffs Historical Society and Museum has ensured the memories of local residents have survived. In the 1980s the Society embarked on an oral history project recording war veterans’ stories – a project well before its time and one that significantly contributes to the history of Sumner, Canterbury and New Zealand.

Topsy is not new to receiving awards for her tremendous service to the community. At a local level Topsy’s involvement and promotion of heritage has been recognised by the Hagley/Ferrymead Community Board where she has accepted approximately eight Heritage Awards since their inception. These have included awards for education, heritage retention, and Pre-1850 heritage. At the 2000 Hagley/Ferrymead Community Board Heritage Awards, Topsy received the Anna Crighton Award for her service to heritage.

Most recently Topsy’s outstanding efforts were recognised when she was named in the 2008 New Year Honours list and awarded the Queens Service Medal for services to the community, particular the Sumner Redcliffs Historical Society. It must be mentioned that Topsy’s husband, Stan Rule, was also awarded a Queens Service Medal for services to the community – a rare achievement for one family, and a testament to the incredible dedication to their community and to the preservation of its heritage.

Outside of heritage Topsy and Stan raised six children, many whom are here tonight, and so in the presence of your family, the heritage community, distinguished guests, and everyone here, we are pleased to award you the 2008 Heritage Ambassador.

Topsy receives the Heritage Ambassador Award and a voucher for dinner for two at Maddison’s restaurant courtesy of the Heritage Christchurch hotel.


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