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Author: Sarah Jarvis

Seventh Heaven

Fifty years ago, Christchurch businessman Graham Bernie fell in love with two beauties. One was a woman called Lynn Small. The other was a 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible. He married one and forty years later bought the other.



“It takes pride of place,” he says proudly of the full-sized American-made scarlet classic housed in his five-car Fendalton garage. Originally from the West Coast, Graham first met Lynn in Christchurch when he was 20. “She was living next to a friend of mine,” he smiles.

Desperately wanting to court Lynn, he soon realised he wasn’t the only man vying for her attention. “An older friend of mine had bought a yellow 1968 Ford Galaxie convertible and offered to take her for a ride. “Who could resist?” he laughs. When the friend arrived to pick Lynn up, he got Graham as well. “I made him take me!”

Sitting in the back beside the woman who was to become his wife and mother of his two sons, Graham said he was in “seventh heaven”. “We rode out to New Brighton when there was shopping on a Saturday… I thought it was the nicest car I had seen in my life.” A leather goods salesman, Graham says he thought he would never own a car like it. “It was the size of a small house. To own one was an impossible dream – a pure fantasy.”



At age 25, Graham became a car dealer and the rest is history. He enthusiastically started up a small car company in Moorhouse Avenue and went on to achieve success importing cars out of Japan. Cars have always been a passion. “I think it was every boy’s dream.”

Chatting from his luxury home in Heathfield Avenue, the developer and international car broker explains he bought his Ford Galaxie 500 from Turners in Christchurch 10 years ago. “I had been looking for years and finally saw the exact same model advertised for auction at Turners. I knew I had to buy it, so I did,” he says.

Lynn didn’t feel the same way. “She initially thought I was a nutcase. I think she’s been in it three times over the past 10 years. The memories are probably better than the reality,” he laughs. However, there were no regrets, Graham smiles. “And I’ll never sell it.” With a 590 cubic inch engine, the Ford Galaxie has only ever been driven by his two sons, with only 2000 miles being added (now with 38,000 on the clock).

This November is a milestone for the couple, who will celebrate 50 years of marriage. “If the house burnt down it would be the first thing taken out,” he says of the car. “After my wife,” he adds.


Engelbert Humperdinck

A Sultry Swooner: Engelbert Humperdinck

Best known as a contemporary romantic balladeer, Engelbert Humperdinck’s passion for life and music appears endless.


Engelbert Humperdinck


The 82-year-old legendary entertainer is returning to Christchurch on March 2 with his The Man I Want To Be Tour and says he loved visiting New Zealand. “It’s very near and dear to me. I love New Zealand. I’m not just saying that because I’m coming there… I love it mainly because they love my music.”

First released 52 years ago on Engelbert’s Release Me album, Ten Guitars is considered by many as the unofficial anthem of New Zealand. Engelbert was delighted how popular the song became. “It’s massive over there. When I’m there I have to sing it a couple of times. I sing it once (myself) and then the audience sings it.”

With over half of a century in the musical business, the father of four and grandfather of eight says he has no plans to stop. “I’m not ready to sit in front of the fire place and put my knees up and keep watching TV. No, no, no.
“I’m still very active and my stage performance is very active… it’s almost like it used to be in the years gone by.”


Engelbert says people “are usually surprised at the way I move on stage”. “To be honest I don’t feel (and people tell me) I don’t look my age, thank God. I’m still moving and dancing around on stage – it’s no problem for me.”
Described often in the media as a “sultry swooner”, Engelbert has had his fair share of female attention when on stage but says “that was a thing of the past”.

Asked if he still has underwear thrown at him, he replied “No. Occasionally somebody might do it to get attention it’s a thing of the past and I’m glad because none of those panties fit me,” he laughs. He puts his agility and good health down to exercise and losing 31lbs. “I’ve just finished doing a TV special in Hawaii (which is going to be released pretty soon) and I thought ‘I must look how I used to in the old days’ so I went on a strict diet and slimmed down.”


His daily routine consists of half an hour on the treadmill in the morning as well as hitting the gym. “I think you should respect your body because without your body working correctly, you have no life.” The veteran singer entered the world as Arnold George Dorsey. He was born and grew up in Madras, India, as the youngest of 10 children. His family moved to Leicester, England where his music career began.

During his career he has generated sales in excess of 140 million records, including 64 gold albums and 23 platinum, four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe, and stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Las Vegas Walk of Fame.  He has performed for the Queen four times and many dignitaries around the world. He put out his latest studio album, The Man I Want To Be in November last year with two notable covers from Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.

Engelbert says he likes to keep up-to-date in today’s music world. “I listen to programmes like The Voice and other talent shows. I listen to the music because the people that are singing it are usually singing what is happening in today’s world… so I keep up with my musical learning in that respect.”

On his New Zealand tour he will be showcasing new music as well as original hits including Quando Quando Quando, Release Me, A Man Without Love, The Last Waltz and Am I That Easy To Forget. He says his latest album was also a love letter to his, wife of 52 years Patricia Healy, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.


A strong believer in holistic and eastern medicine, Engelbert says she now has round the clock care at their California home but continues to fight the disease. “She does understand what you are talking about although she can’t reciprocate.”

He says her treatment consists of holistic medicine and acupuncture. “Actually you know she’s making progress… very slow… and one has to be patient and keep the prayers coming in. Eastern medicine seems to be taking an effect on her which is good.”
With a long career in the music industry, Engelbert says he’s had a few regrets – the biggest being a choice in management. “I’ve made some bad decisions in my career… for instance management, which has hindered me in my career.”

With his eyes firmly on the future, Engelebert has a message for his Christchurch fans. “You can tell them I’m happy to be coming back to their wonderful country and I hope the people who come and see my show enjoy the programme I am bringing them.”



Bryan Adams

Q&A: Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams is returning to New Zealand in March 2019 to play concerts in Auckland and Wellington before being joined by Dave Dobbyn and the Jordan Luck Band to perform in Nelson and Christchurch.


Bryan Adams


We catch up with the ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It for You’ hitmaker ahead of his trip down under.


How many times have you visited New Zealand and what is your impression of our country?
I’ve been at least half a dozen times, all for gigs. My impression of NZ is much like everyone else in the world, this is where we need to go if there is a third world war. It’s safe, there is a strong environmental movement and you’re almost as nice as us Canadians.


What can we expect from your new album, Shine A Light?
It’s a collection of songs I wrote while not working on the Broadway musical “Pretty Woman: The Musical”. ‘Shine A Light’, the lead single, was co-written (on email) with my new friend Ed Sheeran, plus I have a duet with….


Jennifer Lopez! What is she like to work with after your duet ‘That’s How Strong Our Love Is’?
Yes… Jennifer sounds amazing on the song; I think everyone will be surprised how well we sing together. I’m delighted we were able to fit it into our busy schedules.


Your music spans over four decades with a host of feel-good hits. What is your favourite and why?
I like all the songs everyone else likes. It’s easy to go on tour these days, everyone sings them for me. So honestly it would be hard to choose one song out of them all. ‘Summer of 69’ has turned into this global hit at parties and in karaoke. It’s funny because when it was released it hardly did anything. I think that’s true of many of my songs, they’ve been sleepers.


You’ve done a lot of humanitarian work and given back to many disadvantaged people through The Bryan Adams Foundation. Is there any particular project that you’ve supported that stands out for you?
For sure. In 2013, I did a photography book and exhibition featuring wounded soldiers, “Wounded – The Legacy of War”.


Out of all the artists and musicians you have worked with, who has had the biggest impact on your music career?
Tina Turner helped me back in the mid-80s by taking me to Europe. We sang every night and ripped the place apart. Was truly the most fun.


You turn 60 this year… how will you celebrate?
I’m not sure yet, probably underneath a bed sheet somewhere, or out trying to learn how to surf (my life-long ambition).


What does the future hold for Bryan Adams?
Other than international surfer extraordinaire? I’m just loving my daughters and trying to master the art of growing tomatoes.

You can add published winning photographer to the list of your multi-talents. What is your favourite subject/topic to photograph?
People, I love interesting characters. I have a book coming this year called ‘Homeless’ on people living on the streets of London.
See you soon NZ.



Seeking stories

Seeking stories

With a rising suicide rate in New Zealand, two Christchurch women are writing a book on the highly emotional subject in the hope of raising awareness about the issue.


Seeking stories


Jan England and Sheryn Gillard Glass are looking for people to share their stories with them so they can publish a book on suicide – a subject which is too often associated with feelings of shame and stigma. “We are hoping by sharing the stories of those who have had to deal with the loss of a loved one [to suicide] it may help others who find themselves in the same situation,” Jan says. A retired solicitor, Sheryn says they would also like to hear from people who survived a suicide attempt. “It’s such an emotional subject but one that needs to be talked about.”


We are hoping this book will raise awareness around suicide


In August, Chief Coroner, Judge Deborah Marshall released the annual provisional suicide statistics showing 668 people died by suicide in New Zealand in 2017/18. It was the highest number of deaths since the statistics were first recorded in 2007/08. Navigating the tragedy of loss is familiar to both women who have known someone who has taken their own life. “It is such a shock,” says Jan, a casual retirement village manager.  Jan and Sheryn co-authored their first book Adoption New Zealand in 2002. The book came about after the law changed and the women got talking about the number of adoptions and the trials and tribulations people faced. “It was such a shame their stories weren’t being told – so we decided to tell them,” Sheryn says.


Seeking stories

Friends for nearly 50 years, Sheryn says it was always their intention to keep writing. “We originally wanted to write a series of books but time went by and somewhere along the line we became grandmothers…”  It took three years to compile Adoption New Zealand but they are confident this one will be done in less time. “We know what we are doing this time,” Sheryn smiles. The women say the reaction to their first book was wonderful and they were honoured to be a part of some amazing stories. “Everyone has a story to tell,” Jan says.
Jan and Sheryn are now actively looking for people to feature in the suicide book. New Zealand has criminal laws governing what can and can’t be said when it comes to reporting suicide. Sheryn says they are aware of the law and will adhere to it. “We are hoping this book will raise awareness around suicide and the impact it has on people who are left to deal with the loss,” she says.


“We also would love to hear from those who have survived an attempt on their lives and how they got through it.”
If you would like to be involved please phone Jan on 03 352 1527 or phone Sheryn on 021 355 109.


funny man

A funny favourite: Q&A with Jeremy Corbett + Win with Metropol

New Zealand funny man Jeremy Corbett is coming to the city with his 7 Days Live show at the Horncastle Arena on December 11. We caught up with the man himself ahead of his visit.


funny man



What is your favourite part about your line of work? Your least favourite? Why?

The variety of nonsense and people and getting to talk stupidity with talented comedians and TV hosts is pretty much a dream.
I’m not a fan of writing new material. It’s the hardest part. Every idea I start on I feel has been done better or done to death. I think that’s why I like the adlib stuff… you don’t get to think about it, just say it and it’s out there.


If you had one message to give to your fans what would it be?

I appreciate you!


What is one of your more embarrassing memories from childhood?

Being in a band. We started at Boys’ High School. After we did okay at a talent quest we performed a lunch time concert for the Girls’ High School. Things went very wrong. They threw their lunch at us. Nothing scares me on stage any more.


What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?

When I proposed to my wife I bought a dozen $2 rings from the cheap shop. She accepted and took two of them. I was $4 down. Wasn’t expecting that but turned out to be a great investment.
Worst was a one year gym membership. I went twice. By my calculations each visit cost me about $500.


What fact do you wish you had never learned?

That the universe is infinite. Scared the crap out of me.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?

My folks have a double garage full of old crates, bottles, machinery, skis, fishing gear and detritus. There is a tiny square space that you can fit their car into. Only the driver can go in and even then they can only just squeeze out of the door. It’s a disturbing yet genius piece of engineering.

Who are you inspired by?

People with what seems to be unlimited energy. You know those people who have chased dreams and fulfilled their potential. I hear them talk and get inspired. I tell myself I will go home and start some sort of project, really get things done. My enthusiasm wears off on the way home. I nap instead.

What’s something your brain tries to make you do and you have to will yourself not to do it?

Any sort of manual labour. I win over my brain most of the time.

What’s the most useless talent you have?

I have a time machine. It can only go forward and only at 60 minutes per hour.

What has been your biggest challenge in life and how did you overcome that challenge?

Doing a short stand-up comedy set in Te Reo Māori on live TV. I overcame it with the patience and help of Matai Smith and the awesome crew at The Project.

What ‘old fashioned’ way of doing things is better than how they are done now?


What advice do you have for people who want to get into New Zealand’s entertainment industry?

Turn up on time, be respectful, do what you say you will do, be patient.


Win With Metropol

Tickets to 7 Days Live can be purchased through

Metropol has a double pass to the Christchurch show on December 11. To enter, please visit and click on the competitions you wish to enter. Entries close Monday 3 December and the winner will be contacted the following day.


Caring for colleagues

Caring for colleagues

Christchurch Detective Sergeant Brad Greenstreet beat depression and is now sharing his story and the stories of other colleagues who have encountered tough times. “Mental Health is such an important topic and it’s ok to talk about it,” the 38-year-old says.


Caring for colleagues


Having been in the police force for 13 years, Brad says an accumulation of small things led to his bout of depression last year. When he started talking about it to others he discovered it was far more common than he realised – and certainly nothing to be embarrassed about. “I realised it wasn’t just me and it was ok… I wasn’t crazy,” he smiles. During his career, Brad has attended traumatic traffic accidents, incidents involving serious violence and death. He loves what he does but says the things police officers have to deal with can have a significant impact on someone’s state of wellbeing.

It was only when he started talking about his own experiences he realised how important the topic of mental health was. “It doesn’t have to be one big thing. For me it was an accumulation of a lot of small things.” Brad says he started to think about what he could do to help other cops. He reached out to a number of his colleagues asking them if they would share their personal stories on film. Then, with the help of police photographers, he compiled a series of six videos. “They shared their stories which varied from traumatic incidents on the job to personal life struggles outside of work.

“It was very emotional hearing their stories and what hard times they had gone through and how they got through it.” Brad said he didn’t want the video to solely focus on depression as it was only “one end of the spectrum and there’s a whole lot of other factors at play in someone’s wellbeing”. After the video was created, Brad made it available internally to all New Zealand police staff. From front-counter staff to district commanders he received praise from every level. Unbeknown to Brad he was recently confidentially nominated (and awarded) a Sir Woolf Fisher Police Fellowship for his work. Established last year, this year’s recipients are only the second to ever receive such an award.

Both constabulary and non-constabulary staff from around the country received their awards from Sir Noel Robinson, chairman of the Sir Woolf Fisher Trust, at Police National Headquarters in Wellington last month.  Each fellowship is comprised of funding for international travel for up to six to eight weeks and includes time to holiday and undertake a pre-agreed programme of study. “I’d like to see what police abroad are doing about staff mental health and welfare.”


Working in the Metro Crime Squad, Brad is in a supervisory role with about 10 staff and says their welfare is paramount. He says while the police have dedicated welfare offices and good support networks, it is also important to keep talking about mental health. “It’s about looking after yourself, so we can look after the community.”


If you or a loved one needs help, contact the Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 to talk to a trained counsellor.


Brighter days ahead

Brighter days ahead

Keeping afloat in Christchurch’s hospitality industry is “tough” and those who have managed to “ride out the storm” should be praised for their dedication to the city says Oxford Group co-owner and hospitality stalwart Max Bremner.


Brighter days ahead
Phil Leslie (L) and Max Bremner (R)


“There are a lot of innovative people here who have put their balls on the line and didn’t take their money out of Christchurch – when a lot did,” he states. While the straight-talker is trying to stay optimistic about the city’s hospitality industry, he says there are many issues which still need addressing, including a lack of decision making, leadership and financial prowess within local government. “We need to have a council that encourages events which benefit our establishments – and preferably ones that are not anti-hospitality.

“Christchurch needs to become a sticky gateway not a slippery gateway. We need to attract those visitors hoping off a plane here into the city and we need to have things here for them to do.” Max says events need to be co-ordinated so that they don’t “empty bars out”.
“Building things like the Margaret Mahy playground and the new library are good but they don’t bring people through our doors. Neither do events like the Night Noodle Markets.” On the positive, he sees Christchurch as “evolving” and looks forward to the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre opening. “I see the worm turning slowly. The new Hoyts complex is marvellous and new eateries like Little High are slowly bringing people back into the city. We just need things to happen faster.”

Some of the businesses he and Oxford Group business partner Darryll Park own include the popular Fat Eddies, Original Sin and Kong establishments on The Terrace and The Bealey on Bealey Avenue. Max, who prefers to work in the background and leave the limelight to Darryll, says he’s relieved The Terrace (formerly The Strip) is finally taking off. He pays tribute to local businessman and fellow hospitality character Antony Gough who he believes helps keep Christchurch ticking. “Hospitality is a hard business to be in and a lot of people come into it wearing rose-coloured spectacles and a lot don’t make it.”

Max jokes he practically “lives” with his accountant who he sees one or two hours a day. “To survive you have to have a business head. It’s no longer about being a chef or publican running a pub.” While he would like to see Christchurch’s rebuild happen a lot faster, he’s still investing, pointing to his latest project, a 39-unit motel beside his purpose built hostel complex All Stars Inn on Bealey Avenue. To be run by All Stars Inn general manager Phil Leslie, the new development is called 24Seven and will open in March next year.

Phil, the former general manager of Base backpackers, backs Max’s enthusiasm for a quicker rebuild. He says the Christchurch City Council needs to get on with building the city’s stadium which will greatly benefit accommodation providers. “It will be a great asset for the city and when major events are on it will mean that every room will be full.”



Fashion’s Rising Star: Georgia Hensley-Smith

From a classroom at the Hagley College School of Fashion to the fashion catwalks of New York and Milan, Christchurch fashion designer Georgia Hensley-Smith is proving you can do anything you set your mind to – even at 18 years of age. “I believe if you have a goal, you can achieve it,” she says.


Georgia Hensley-Smith


“Everything I’ve thought of doing so far has happened, despite any obstacles. If you’re passionate and believe in yourself as well as your abilities, you will succeed!”  Georgia launched her clothing label GEOJ OFFICIAL in 2016 when she was 16 and in her first year of Fashion Studies at Hagley College, admitting she has always known she was destined to have a career in the fashion industry.

Still processing her thoughts from showing her latest collections at the New York and Milan Fashion Week shows, Georgia says the experience taught her a lot. “I had a few customers wanting to buy my garments in New York but I wasn’t allowed to sell them, which was a bit disappointing. But on the positive side, my online platforms and profile gained a lot of attention.” Georgia’s Milan Fashion Week collection featured a beautiful combination of neutral tones, high-quality fabrics and a hint of iridescent magic. Her New York Fashion Week collection was her “boldest yet”, featuring bright and eye-catching print, with tailored pieces.


Georgia Hensley-Smith


“The pieces are designed to be mixed and matched. Worn together or separately, they will put anyone on the best-dressed list.”
Since her return to Christchurch, she is now concentrating on developing her shoe range and admits she is in talks with some department stores which have expressed interest in carrying her garments and footwear. “I’m really passionate about developing my shoes and have some designs already on the go,” she says.

Georgia is also keen to help showcase local designers and wants to be able to hold local fashion shows where potential clients can collaborate directly with the designers. “I want to be able to help and inspire other young designers and showcase the talent that we have here.”



Art helps charities: TakeHeART

A love of art and a quest to help charitable organisations succeed in a difficult fundraising environment is the motivation behind the first ever TakeHeART fundraising exhibition.




Christchurch woman Jen Duncan is organising the exhibition to be held at the Great Hall at the Arts Centre from November 30 to December 2; with an official opening night on November 29. Jen says the concept behind TakeHeART was to help 10 organisations raise money through selling art on behalf of the artist. On selling their artwork, the artist will receive 65 percent of the total and the nominated charity will receive 25 percent.

“The artists win, the people win and the charities win, so it’s a great result all round,” Jen says. Charities involved are The Cancer Society, Conductive Education, Upside Downs, Riding for the Disabled, Christchurch School of Music, Cystic Fibrosis Canterbury, Ski NZ, The Champion Centre, Mental Health Foundation and the Arts Centre Trust. “After working with small charities and fundraising groups I can see first-hand how hard it can be so I thought why not combine for one big event, benefiting everyone.”

With previous fundraising and marketing experience, Jens says all of the charities and artists are supportive of the exhibition. Local artists include Svetlana Orinko, Ben Reid, Philip Beadle and others. “It’s a great way for everyone to come together (in a prime central location) and showcase the work that charities do and our talented artists.”


Visit for further information on the event or phone Jen on 021 023 07322.


Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern’s milestone year: Q&A with Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just celebrated one year in the country’s top role, so Metropol caught up with her about rolling with the punches, the Christchurch rebuild and the joy of motherhood.

Jacinda Ardern


What has your first year in office taught you?

Patience and gratitude. Everything takes longer than you’d like but every day I am grateful for the opportunity to be doing such important work.

If your daughter Neve went into politics, what advice would you give her?

Long pause… Well, I hope by the time she’s old enough it will be a slightly kinder place! I’d tell her to follow her heart.

How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?

I don’t stress as much as I used to. I still feel enormous pressure to not let people down, but I’ve learned to roll with the punches more than I did. There will always be tough decisions to make and I know I’ll be criticised for some of those, but I’m here to do the best I can and that’s what I’ll continue to do.

If you weren’t in politics what else would you like to do?

Telling stories, in some form. More than likely doing something on behalf of kids too.

The greatest Prime Minister (living or dead) in your opinion is/was….. and why?

Michael Joseph Savage – he left a legacy that lasts to this day in the form of housing and support.

What are your thoughts around the rebuild of Christchurch?

There seems to be a real sense of optimism and excitement in Christchurch at the moment and it’s fantastic to see. We’ve had the opening of the new central library to rave reviews, we’ve been able to confirm funding for the new stadium, the convention centre is underway and we’ve fixed a $70 million budget blowout in the Metro Sports Facility and got that project back on track.
But I know the recovery of a city is about more than just bricks and mortar. It’s about people, so we’ve also prioritised mental health support in Canterbury schools to ensure every child can have access to a mental health worker and we’re reforming EQC and providing more services to speed up getting people’s insurance claims solved.

If you had one wish what would it be?

That everyone has something to do, somewhere to live, someone to love and something to hope for.

You’ve met a lot of celebrities in your role as Prime Minister. Who was your favourite and why?

Honestly? The kids I meet at schools around the country would be my favourites, hands down.

Describe motherhood in one word.