After 23 years, the official healer of New Zealand, the only designated healer in the world, was expelled from the country. Ian Brackenberry Chanel, 88, of English descent, was hired by Christchurch City Council to promote the city through “wizard-like and other wizard-like works” after he became known in the city through “witchcraft” and public entertainment shortly after His arrival in New Zealand in 1976. But when the council tried to stop him – according to the Guardian – popular protest erupted and then, in 1982, the Art Gallery of New Zealand Directors Association began calling it a work of living art, then Prime Minister Mike Moore asked him to consider becoming a A magician for New Zealand with a salary of 16 thousand dollars a year.
He has since performed in Brackenbury, danced in the rain in New Zealand and Australia during droughts, and received accolades but also criticized for some unfortunate jokes about women. “I love women, I always forgive them, I’ve never hit a woman yet. The first thing is to never hit a woman because she bruises very easily and she’ll tell neighbors and friends…and then you’ll be in trouble,” he said last April on PBS.
The Council has now informed him of the expiry of the contract with a letter thanking him for his services. Spokesman Lynn McClelland said the wizard would be “forever a part of Christchurch’s history”.
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