On Sunday 03 November 2002 01:23 pm, you wrote: > --- Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > > As instructed, I googled, but found absolutely > > nothing about Asia in Ill > > Bethisad. For shame, you eurocentrists!! Or did I > > miss something? > > Don't blame us! It only cos _you_ haven't taken up the > banner of the Japanese Empire, or the Hawaiian > Kingdom, or any of the other juicy possibilities > awaiting the intrepid explorer in IB's SE Asia! This is the transcript of someone else's attempt to do an Ill Bethisad for New Zealand, based on the premise that the early Portuguese explorers convinced their kings and queens to colonize New Zealand. It was printed as an article in the Christchurch Press, from which I nabbed it. Maybe I should take you up on this offer? Reserve a spot in Ill Bethisad for me, if so! Portugal in Australasia. Portugal as the colonizer of the island of New Guinea. Portugal as the colonizer of the South Pacific islands! Wesley Parish P.S. have any of the Portuguese texts from the age of discovery every been transcribed and placed onto the net? It would help on a number of accounts if any were, because the local University Library has F*ck all! // Legacy of a visionary colonial past If Christchurch had been settled by the Portuguese, it would perhaps be a much more liveable city today, muses architect ROGER BUCK. In 1655, soon after the annexation of New Zealand by Captain Vasco de Sosa y Morales, the first of the Portuguese settlers arrived, and established a series of settlements across what we know know as the Canterbury Plains. After some trial and error, using rivers up and down the coast, and more than a few disasters, the main port was eventually located in the estuary of two rivers which converged at this point. In due course, a breakwater was built out into the bay, and a programme of dredging began. Some parts of the flat land around the new port were drained and built on, and a bustling and prosperous community soon developed. The main source of this prosperity were fishing, and trade. Vineyards, orchards, and market gardens on the lower slopes of the nearby hills also provided work, but otherwise these steep hills remained undisturbed. The buildings were mainly made of sun-baked bricks, using material obtained from the hills. This was used for houses, warehouses, and some of the commercial buildings. A source of rock was found nearby, and larger or more important buildings were made of this stone. The brisk buildings were plastered and limewashed for protection. This construction provided draught-free buildings that were warm in winter and cool in summer. The main harbour settlement was on the north bank of the river which ran along the base of the hills. It comprised wharves and a commercial area along the riverbank, with housing grouped around the perimeter. The settlement had a sqare, or piazza, which was colonnaded, with the wharves of one side. Two fishing ports were also established. One was in the area now called Redcliffs, where the tidal inlet was dredged to form a sheltered bay. The rest of the wetland was drained for housing and other buildings. The other fishing port, for small boats, was developed on drained land on the south side of the river entering the north part of the Estuary. Each of these communities was built to be compact, and was centered on a market square, around which were the church - by far the most important building - and civic and commercial buildings. Each of these villages was quite separate from the other communities, and commuting between them was mostly done by boat. The city that the harbour served was established some distance inland, among the farmland, and straddled one of the rivers. In the tradition of the times, it was organized so that it replicated the towns and cities the settlers had left behind them, in Portugal. The architecture was simple but elegant. Because the land was flat, a network of canals was built for horse-drawn commercial traffic, but today this use has dwindled, and they have been replaced by pelasure craft, which visitors love. In essence, the city was a large version of the harbour villages. The main differences were the grand avenues which led the eye to the Cathedral and civic buildings, and the tree-lined boulevards, one of which traced the course of the river. As the years passed, the buildings became grander, with monuments and statuary abounding. Large tracts of land were set aside around the city for use as parkland. Many trees were planted to provide shelter from the prevailing winds. This parkland was also threaded through and around the housing, and into the centre of the city. This was possible because most of the houses were grouped tightly together, although in places they also lined the streets and roads which radiated out from the city. Wealthy families lived in large, centrally located houses, usually built around an internal courtyard, so that they could be close to their places of business, or they had estates beyond the city fringe and enjoyed a rural life. On the hills to the south and east vineyards spread up the slopes, with olive groves above them. Although goats were a problem, the land above the cultivated areas was encouraged to regenerate, providing the city with a forested backdrop. At the turn of the century, construction of a rail network was begun. Eventually it connected the peripheral communities with the city, and within the city, the city managers commissioned a tram service. With the advent of buses, a network of routes was developed that linked the communities together, and filled in most of the gaps. We are fortunate that despite the growth of population and the peaceful transition to British colonial rule, all these essential elemants remain intact today. The Cathedral has been well cared for, and such is the pride of the people in their heritage that all important buildings still remain as reminders of an enterprising past, and as memorials to remarkable achievements. Their is no doubt that the cohesiveness of our community owes much to this tangible evidence of progress and continuity. When, in recent years, it became apparent to the city authorities that a surge in commercial building activity was likely to occur, they had the foresight to encourage the building to take place a short distance away from the old city centre, so that it would remain intact and undisturbed. An area to the east was chosen which was within easy walking distance of the Cathedral precinct, and which adjoined one of the parks and the railway system. Visionary planning, and an innate desire to maintain the high quality and liveability of the rest of the city has led to the buildings and the surrounding environment being designed to very high standards. We must consider ourselves fortunate to have avoided the wholesale demolition, and the crass and superficial developments that have dehumanised so many other cities. Because the traditional, compact form of the city has remained and it is so accessible and pleasant, the centralcity streets teem with life for much of the day and night, and the transportsystem is cheap, safe, and convenient. We also have our local piazzas, contained and defined in contrast by the surrounding narrow streets, where we can gather in the summer evenings and enjoy the bars and cafes and watch the world go by. Although there are benefits that lie beyond our city's atmosphere and we are all more wealthy, our city costs much less to look after than others that have been allowed to sprawl. As individuals and families, our housing and travel costs are lower too. We are also more healthy. With fewer cars on the road, we have fewer injuries and deaths, and less pollution. More walking and cycling mean more exercise, and we behave as a community, not just a collection of individuals. Physically, materially, and intellectually we all win. It is hard to find a downside. // > > It should be noted that in the "Minor Countries" > section, there are a few hints at what awaits the bold > traveller in that undiscovered country. > > Padraic. > > > ===== > il dunar-li c' argeont ayn politig; > celist il pozponer le mbutheor ayn backun gras. > > __________________________________________________ > Do you Yahoo!? > Y! Web Hosting - Let the expert host your web site > http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ -- Mau e ki, "He aha te mea nui?" You ask, "What is the most important thing?" Maku e ki, "He tangata, he tangata, he tangata." I reply, "It is people, it is people, it is people."