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Wizard says goodbye to Christchurch

Friday 25 Feb 2011 8:39 a.m.

Cathedral Square's Wizard, Ian Brackenbury Channell (NZPA)

Cathedral Square's Wizard, Ian Brackenbury Channell (NZPA)

The iconic Christchurch Wizard is doing a disappearing act from his beloved city for good following Tuesday's devastating 6.3 magnitude quake.

Ian Brackenbury Channell planned to take his 91-year-old mother to Oamaru after nearly four decades entertaining crowds in Cathedral Square as the pointy hat-wearing Wizard, The Marlborough Express reported.

"'I'm very unhappy about what has happened to my lovely Christchurch," he said.

"I'm heartbroken. I love the buildings and the place, but so much of it has gone."

He said repairs to the city were beyond his "wildest powers".

The 78-year-old, who moved to Christchurch from Australia in 1974, said the quake was the last straw and it was time to retire and leave town.

"It's probably the end of an era for me. The town I love so much is gone.'"

Mr Brackenbury Channell said an arson attack on his home in 2003 and a lack of support from the council and tourism operators were also factors in his decision to leave.

NZPA

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