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Christchurch hits the road with its ‘wizard’

The Ian Brackenbury Channel has been eliminated by Christchurch City Council. The interested party responded by criticizing “a group of bureaucrats who have no imagination”.

After more than thirty years of loyal service, the charming town councilor from Christchurch, New Zealand was forced to step down.

At eighty-eight, Ian Brackenbury Chanel was a celebrity in town and tourists from all over the world came to see him address the crowd in his black dress, long beard, shaggy hair, and hat pointed on his head.

“New Zealand Doctor”

This wizard was in all fights, attacking politicians or leading a fight to prevent an “attack on the soul of the city” when the red telephone booths had to be repainted blue. He was invited to cast spells to influence the outcome of major rugby matches or perform the rain dance in Australia.

“It’s a tough decision to end this contract,” said Lynn McClelland, Christchurch City Council deputy. “The council is grateful to him for his valuable and special contribution to the cultural life of our city, and he will forever be a part of our history.”

The chosen one explained that magic no longer fit the image the South Island’s largest city intends to promote, and that new programs “will increasingly reflect our diverse communities and showcase a vibrant, diverse and modern city.”

Approximately €10,000 per year

British-born Ian Brackenberry, a former RAF pilot and a graduate of the University of Leeds with a double major in psychology and sociology, arrived in Christchurch in 1974.

When he started talking publicly, the city council called for his arrest, but he became so popular that 10 years later he threatened to leave after a spell failed him. Anticipating the impact during a rugby match, the city council asked him to stay.

“It was a welcome change of attitude after years of hostile policies from the council,” he said.

And in 1990, Prime Minister Mike Moore officially called him “The Wizard of New Zealand”. Since 1998, the magician has received 16,000 New Zealand dollars (9,745 euros) annually by the city council for the performance of his duties as a magician. He did not hide his anger after the city council’s decision.

“They’re a bunch of bureaucrats with no imagination,” he told the Stuff news site. “They are not thinking of ways to promote Christchurch abroad.”

according to Watchman, the magician claimed that he would continue to appear in Christchurch, conversing with tourists and locals. The city will be hosting an exhibition in his honor soon.

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