Showing posts from November, 2012

Children's Home & Orphanages in Hawkes Bay

A book about the children who lived in children's institutions in Hawkes Bay has been written by Dr Kay Morris Matthews, an acclaimed academic historian and author. It will be launched on 22 November by John McKinnon, a Hastings resident who grew up in France House, a home in the Esk Valley for teenage boys.

Entitled entitled 'Who Cared? Childhoods within Hawke’s Bay Children’s Homes and Orphanages 1892-1988', the books covers the experiences of thousands of youngsters who were orphaned, illegitimate, abandoned or destitute.

2nd Battle of El Alamein

Sixty years ago, the 2nd Battle of El Alamein, the battle that turned the war towards the allies' favour, was fought in North Africa. Recent commemorations saw New Zealand veterans invited to the El Alamein Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Egypt to remember New Zealand and allied forces; fortunately many of their stories now live on in the written and oral histories.

George Mackay from Westport fought at Tripoli and in The Desert Rd  recounts the thoughts that go through one’s mind leading up to battle. “You don’t know what to expect.. . It’s an uncanny moment, zero hour. Everything’s going through your mind, whether you’ll survive, whether you’re going to get killed, blown up or shot at, or anything like that. What’s going to happen? What’s it going to be like? You don’t know. All those things are going through your mind and then finally its zero hour and the shelling starts. Then you’re waiting for the Germans to retaliate with their shells.  That’s what it’s all about. You…

Virtual village

In May 2012 the work of students from Bruce McLaren Intermediate School brought local life to the walls of the West Auckland Research Centre through the 'It takes a village: photo voice' exhibition (see post on 25 May 2012 if you want to read more about the exhibition).

Today it is back in a new form as avirtual experience of the original physical exhibition. This gives it the potential for reaching a regional, national and even international audience!

Village residents and students are pleased that then are now able to send friends and family a link to the exhibition which highlights the work of the students.

Each village link includes stunning portraits and narratives reflections of the conversations captured between students and older residents. Read more about the project. 

There is already a link in place from the Chinese Digital Community website and in the future there are plans to add oral history sound extracts from interviews with the Chinese residents of Wilsh…

The Perils of Constipation – Part 2

'The Golden Age of Purgation' display at the Central Auckland Research Centre has produced many comments from our customers, who remember how the fear of constipation ruled their childhoods. As New Zealand author Ruth Park has said of her depression-era upbringing: “children suffered most.”

An article in the Otago Witness (Ref: Otago Witness, 21/10/1908) professed that constipation aggravated psychopathic states. “This is true in epilepsy, hysteria, alcoholism, melancholia, and even in organic mental diseases it is the rule.”

Waikumete Cemetery

It’s dead good Waikumete Cemetery in Glen Eden is one of the most significant heritage places managed by Auckland Council. At 108 ha, it is New Zealand’s largest cemetery, the second largest in the southern hemisphere, and the resting place of over 60,000 people, some of whom played an important role in our history. The cemetery is just one of the many heritage assets owned or managed by Auckland Council on behalf of the community.

The cemetery opened in 1886 as a replacement for the overcrowded Symonds Street Cemetery. It was laid out by denomination and contains many historic graves and memorials of heritage significance. It includes a children’s section, soldiers’ cemetery, large lawn cemetery, Māori urupa, mass grave of over 1000 flu victims from 1918, and a memorial to the 1979 Mt. Erebus Air Disaster. The cemetery also contains a notable group of mausoleums and the historic Faith-in-the-Oaks Chapel (1886), Sexton’s House (1886) and crematorium.

Molasses, Alas, The Sideways Platypus

Recently a customer was searching through old letterbooks in the Chelsea Archives at Birkenhead Library. Tissue thin pages, eye-watering  italic script, crumbling pages, circa 1889 – that sort of thing.

He was hoping to find reference to his grandfather. Instead he found curious little notes. Which would be fine, except they seem to be nonsense:

Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibition

Fresh from a tour around the United States, the exhibition 'Who Shot Rock & Roll' opens at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki tomorrow, 10 November 2012 and runs until 3 March 2013.

The exhibition organised by the Brooklyn Museum and curated by photographic historian and author Gail Buckland, is a photographic history covering 1955 to the present. It is ground breaking from the perspective that it is the first museum exhibition to acknowledge photographers for their collaborative and creative role in the history of popular music.

Kete New Plymouth hits a milestone

During October the 10,000th item was added to Kete New Plymouth, the Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa (APNK) hosted online repository.

The site uses the Kete software - an open source, web based program. Find out more about Kete.

Since its beginnings, Kete New Plymouth has grown into a healthy and popular digital archive. The site is an online taonga for the people of today as well as those in the future. It is focused on Taranaki and its people and includes contemporary and historical stories, images, videos and audio.

Lilburn Research Fellowship

The Lilburn Trust, in association with the Alexander Turnbull Library, is open to receive applications for the inaugural Lilburn Research Fellowship, which was established this year.

The aim of the fellowship, is to encourage scholarly research leading to publication on some aspect of New Zealand and music, using the resources of the Archive of New Zealand Music (part of the ATL Manuscripts Collection) and the wider published and unpublished collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library.

Highland Games

The Hororata Highland Games are back again this year and will take place on the 10 November in the small Canterbury town.

The games will be traditional with a unique Kiwi twist. Highlights will include: highland dancing, solo piping and drumming, pipe bands, heavy (strongmen/women) events including caber tossing, hammer throw, sheep shearing demonstrations, scurry racing, a dedicated children’s glen, and the very popular tug-o-war. The Taste of Scotland section is a new edition to the games and will include traditional Scottish fare, cooking demonstrations, whisky tasting and much more.

The games were set up by the Hororata Community Trust to help support community activities and rebuild the town after the September 2010 Christchurch earthquake. Find out more.

Tramping huts book

'Shelter from the Storm: the story of New Zealand’s backcountry huts' - the latest book from Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown and Geoff Spearpoint covers nearly 200 years of unique New Zealand architectural history. The book documents the history of the network of over 1,000 working and recreational huts that are located deep within New Zealand’s mountains and forests, and profiles 90 of the most emblematic.

The Golden Age of Purgation

Constipation was an obsession in the early 20th century. It was thought to pollute the blood and in turn cause everything from bad breath to liver failure, madness or syphilis.

In books such as “The Conquest of Constipation” doctors warned that the contents of the colon created “sewer-like blood” leading to 90 percent of disease.

“How can I emphasise enough the importance of bowels in those days?” wrote New Zealand author Ruth Park. As a child in Te Kuiti she was forced to drink castor oil every day. “It was given to me in orange juice on the top of which it floated in a viscid greenish layer. I wanted to throw up before I drank it.”