Jason Marsden: Making the Hub Hornby multicultural
By Li Huizi
A special Moon Festival carnival event focusing on Chinse culture was held at The Hub Hornby on 12 September. Visitors experienced a fun and meaningful event featuring Chinese folk music, traditional lion dances, children’s performances, riddles, eating mooncakes, and lucky draws among others.
Established in 1978, the Hub Hornby was the second enclosed indoor shopping centre in Christchurch. Senior Centre Manager Jason Marsden said it was great to see so many young families back in the area on 12 September to enjoy a joyous and warm atmosphere, have some quality time together and do something unusual at the event held in the Centre.
“It shows we support and welcome the new Chinese community, and the shopping centre is a part of the community. We want to make sure that everyone in the community feels it,” Marsden told Palmary.
The Moon Festival, or Mid-Autumn Festival is the second largest festival in China after the Chinese New Year. It takes its name from the fact that it is always celebrated in the middle of the autumn season (in the northern hemisphere). At that time of the year the moon is at its r oundest and brightest.
Last year, the Moon Festival carnival was jointly held for the first time by the Hub Hornby and New Zealand Messenger, the largest Chinese-English media in the South Island. This year, the carnival returned on an even grander scale, with more participants and VIPs.
The Hub Hornby has organised various cultural events over the past few years so as to be responsive to customers and embrace a multicultural atmosphere, Marsden said.
It was New Zealand’s first shopping centre to hold a Halloween children’s trick or treat and the Moon Festival celebration. It also held pet shopping nights, where you can bring your pet shopping with you on a particular evening.
Hornby is one of the fastest gr owing areas in the city’s southern district, according to the 2013 census.
Christchurch residents have been naturally moving westward after the deadly earthquake in 2011. Hornby has a lot of industry and business in the area, which is very unique for a shopping centre, Marsden said.
“Many suburban shopping centres really just have residential up to their boundaries. But for us we drew a lot of customers who may not live in the area, but they’re coming here at lunchtime, or coming before work for meetings and afterward to buy items,”he said.
There are multicultural choices of foods and“ everyone is really assured of finding something that they would like,” he said.
Most shopping centres these days are owned by large corporations but the Hub Hornby has about 200 local shareholders. The board is made up of experts with strong property ties or accountancy ties, full of intellectual rigor and experience, Marsden said.
The Hub Hornby won the award of excellence best in category of New Zealand’s Property Industry Awards 2018.
Growing up in New Brighton in east Christchurch, Marsden has been working for the Hub Hornby in west Christchurch since 2001. He studied physics in the University of Canterbury, something really different from the retail sector. His first jobs after graduation included working for
the classified advertising department of the Press newspaper.
Marsden is an avid watch collector. His collection includes not only some famous Swiss luxury watch brands but also a number of vintage Seiko. He will tell us more about his latest collection and his views about the language of watches in our next issue of Palmary.