Sculptures of 12 individuals who had, or continue to have, a huge impact on Canterbury’s creative, business, health and sporting life have been installed on campus to celebrate UC’s 150th anniversary this year. They were at the Arts Centre before the earthquakes but have not been out in public since. The 12 were originally chosen by the Local Heroes Trust and sculpted by artist Mark Whyte who studied here at UC. Canterbury Museum have kindly loaned the sculptures to UC for our anniversary (actually for two years).
Most of the Twelve Local Heroes have ties to UC, showing the strong connections between the uni and the city. Half of the local heroes received honorary doctorates from UC, including political, social and local community activist, well-loved historian and writer, Elsie Locke, and father of the electronics and radio-communications industry in Christchurch Angus Tait, who also have buildings named after them.
Four are UC alumni including world-famous writer of magical stories and verse for children and young adults Margaret Mahy, artist, painter and craftsman William Sutton (who also taught here), founder of diabetes research Donald Beaven and, again, Elsie Locke.
You can follow the Twelve Local Heroes trail and read more about the Twelve Local Heroes here.