On 20 March, at Christ Church, Oxford, Christopher Godley (Lord Kilbracken) presented a copy of Godley Gifts, to the college’s library, where it will be housed alongside the manuscript material of Alice in Wonderland.

Alice was written at Christ Church by one of its ‘dons’, for the daughter of the then Dean of Christ Church. Seadrift (New Zealand’s first illustrated children’s story and star of the Godley Gifts’ bookset publication) was written in Canterbury by one of its officers, for the son of the then ‘governor’ of Canterbury and ‘Christ Church’, New Zealand.

Main photo – Standing: Dorothee Jansen, Haydn Rawstron, HE Derek Leask, Sir Anthony Acland, The Lord Kilbraken, The Very Rev. Dr. Christopher Lewis, Rhona Lewis. Seated: Lady Acland, Patricia Stevenson, Mary Weston, Jenifer Roberts, Lady Kilbracken

The presentation took place in the college’s magnificent rococo Upper Library and was hosted by The Very Revd. Christopher Lewis, Dean of Christ Church, and his wife, Rhona, after which the guests dined in the college’s Tudor-period dining hall.

The principal guests were: Lord and Lady Kilbracken; His Excellency NZ High Commissioner Derek Leask and partner, Patricia Stevenson; Sir Anthony Acland, former British Ambassador to Washington and an Honorary Student of Christ Church, and Lady Acland; Cantabrian Mrs Mary Weston, daughter of the late Major-General Sir Howard Kippenberger, Mrs Jenifer Roberts, descendent and biographer of Seadrift’s author and watercolourist, James Edward FitzGerald, and Haydn Rawstron and his wife Dorothee Janson.

Canterbury’s founder, John Robert Godley, attended Christ Church Oxford as an under-graduate, from 1832 to 1835 and proposed the name of Christchurch in New Zealand after his Oxford college, in 1848.

Tom Tower, Christ Church, Oxford