Home Sports New Zealand official Christchurch magician fired. It had been in service for 23 years

New Zealand official Christchurch magician fired. It had been in service for 23 years

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Canberra, October 15, 2021 – Stop to the official magician, after a long meeting the administration of Christchurch decided that in 2021 it was time to give up to the spells of the 88-year-old Ian Brackenbury Channell, the town’s official sorcerer for 23 years in New Zealand.

A peculiar state post: the magician was in charge of providing “acts of witchcraft” and promote the city. For her magic services Channell took an annual salary of about 9,700 euros, cashing in over 317 thousand euros in his entire career. But that’s not enough he also got it a privileged tax status, tax free.

It must have seemed incredible that the third largest city in New Zealand had a sorcerer, and perhaps someone in the administration noticed it, so the decision, and with a very simple and disarming explanation: “We opted for a more modern and diversified “.

Channell, who is already preparing a spell against the municipality, did not take it well: “They are a bunch of bureaucrats who have no imagination.” The magician interviewed by the New Zealand website Stuff, said that “he no longer perceives the vibrations of the city”.

The magician though he has no intention of putting away the magic wand and he will continue in his work: “I will appear around the city, I will speak to the public. They will have to kill me to stop me.” However, he can console himself with the fact that losing his job will not cause him to lose his “The Wizard” professional qualification license.

Seriously Channell it was a tourist attraction in Christchurch, where he performed in rain dances, and importing his magic throughout the country in case of lasting drought.

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But his is a glorious story, full of accolades: in 1982 it was declared a living work of art by the New Zealand Art Gallery Directors Association. Then in 2009 he was placed on Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honors list.

He also made himself felt after the terrible earthquakes in Canterbury in 2011, when he became one of the leaders of the protests against the demolition of historic buildings.

But there is also one aspect of Channell that is heavily criticized, particularly for his unhappy advice on women, suggesting, for example, “never hit a woman because they bruise too easily”.

Londoner by birth, Channell studied sociology and psychology at the University of Leeds. He moved to Australia where he taught sociology at New South Wales University. Then in the early 70’s here he was in Christchurch. There he became a permanent presence in the town square where, dressed in a long cloak and a pointed hat, he spoke to the crowd while standing on a ladder.

His fame increased when they tried to arrest him and became the darling of the citizens, who protested. The solution was to transform the square into a space for public speaking, as seen in large European cities. It was Prime Minister Mike Moore in 1990 who had the intuition to transform him into the official wizard of New Zealand.

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