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Her Maj honours NZ wizard

Christchurch character conjures up Queen's Service Medal

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Her Maj Queen Liz II has seen fit to honour NZ's Ian Brackenbury Channell - who's better known in Christchurch as "The Wizard".

The 76-year-old will henceforth be known as The Wizard QSM after securing a Queen’s Service Medal for services to the community, specifically for donning a black cape and hat, hitting Cathedral Square in Christchurch and "synthesising the ideas of famous philosophers" in a one-man revival of the ancient art of rhetoric.

The Wizard is also known locally for "casting various spells, including one to help the Crusaders rugby team, and trying to avoid being counted on Census night", as NZPA puts it.

A shocked Wizard noted that QSMs normally went to those who've excelled at sports or doers of good works, and admitted: "I would be the last person in the world. I am in shock, I still can't believe it. It's not possible, I am not the right sort of person for it.

"I am not a sportsman, I don't do good works. I am just an entertainer who tries to get new ideas across. So maybe someone who has got ideas has done it [nominated me] because I am really an ideas man."

Nonetheless, the confirmed monarchist expressed his satisfaction at the honour, enthusing: "It's lovely to see an award given for someone who has lived essentially a life of putting as much fun as possible into the world and as much thought as possible."

The Wizard QSM expressed the hope that the recognition would convince people he did not spend his time, when not verbally synthesising philosophical concepts, curdling their milk.

He concluded that the QSM would be a potent addition to his arsenal of spell-casting paraphernalia, although he did not elaborate as to how it might be deployed for the good of New Zealand. ®

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