Showing posts from 2020

Bake as usual: the Edmonds "Sure to rise" cookery book

2020 has had a baking theme. When Aotearoa New Zealand began the nation-wide lockdown at COVID-19 Alert Level 4 in March there was a shortage of flour as panic buyers raided the supermarkets and home baking became a focus of comfort and calm.The Edmonds cookbook might have been dusted off the top shelf for some of the kiwi classics, essential eating at a time of personal and global stress. Sometimes only bacon and egg pie will do.Take a look at your family copy – you might have an Antiques Road Show moment. There are only two known surviving copies of the first edition, the ‘Sure to Rise Cookery Book’ (1909) - which Thomas Edmonds produced to promote the use of his baking powder with his promise of success, “sure to rise”. He should be recognised as one of Aotearoa’s pioneering marketers in the development of the cook book with his product.It is unlikely you will have a rare edition as the Edmonds book is recognised as Aotearoa’s fastest selling book – with over 200,000 copies sold in…

Early Auckland coroner’s inquests

Authors note: This blog post contains medical details relating to the deaths of individuals. Some of the terminology used is out-dated and the subject could be sensitive for some readers. Some reports have been redacted to ensure respect is given to the victims.
One day while working the desk at Research Central, I mentioned to a colleague that I am fascinated by anything related to medical history (which might explain two of my previous blog posts about nursing and midwifery...). She quickly said “Oh, you’d like this book then!” and showed me ‘Touching on Deaths: A medical history of early Auckland based on the first 384 inquests’ by Laurie Gluckman. I was immediately hooked! This blog post will delve into the history of coronial practices in Auckland and will highlight a few of the more curious cases.  The first chapters in the book examine the history of early Auckland Pākehā settlement, how the city developed, housing, roading and public health. The picture it paints is grim; fille…

Food for thought - an audio feast

Enjoy a feast of audio content from Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections and beyond. The Food for thought exhibition runs from 28 September 2020 – 31 January 2021 at Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, the Central City Library. Including rare books, manuscripts, menus, posters and oral histories, the exhibition celebrates the role food plays in family, belonging and culture.

Curators chatTake a walk around the gallery with exhibition curators Elspeth Orwin and Harriet Rogers. Listen to the track here.
Sue Gee on Jack Chong's New Look Cook BookOne of the books on display in the exhibition is 'Jack Chong's New Look Cook Book : Exciting new ways to cook Chinese and Kiwi food'. Sue Berman caught up with Sue Gee for a chat about the family food story and ingredients that culminated in her father's recipe book being produced to compliment his special marinades.Listen to the track here.
Kiribati to AotearoaIn this track Sue Berman talks with Teri Taukoriri about growing up in Kiribati a…

Pukekiwiriki Pā Historic Reserve

During the Auckland Heritage Festival 2020 we've been sharing hidden histories of Auckland places written by Auckland Council Heritage Unit staff. Myfanwy Eaves is a Senior Specialist Archaeology and has been working with mana whenua and the Papakura Local Board on a project to improve access to Pukekiwiriki Pā.Pukekiwiriki Pā has recently seen some improvements in access and these are open to all from September 2020. Mana whenua have strong cultural, traditional, and historic links with Pukekiwiriki Pā, its associated harbour, wetlands and inland waterways, including rivers, streams and springs.There is a long occupation history for Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau where cultural heritage sites were the places and settlements of ancestors. Pukekiwiriki Pā is one such significant site. The pā is a taonga that is significant and closely linked to the identities of the mana whenua. Pukekiwiriki Pā is co‐governed with six mana whenua groups and the Papakura Local Board, as the Pukekiwiriki P…

Doctors’ Houses, 84-86 Symonds Street, Auckland Central

There are about 2500 places in the Auckland region which are scheduled as historic heritage places. Quite a few of these places have an association with medicine and health and several of those places are on Symonds Street. Symonds Street was a popular spot with medical practitioners due to its proximity to Auckland Hospital. 
The Doctors’ Houses at 84-86 Symonds Street may look like one building now, but they were originally two houses, both belonging to doctors.

The ivy-covered building on the left, at 84 Symonds Street, was once the home and consulting rooms of Dr Eily Elaine Gurr (1896–1996), a medical practitioner with an interest in maternal and infant health. Gurr trained in obstetrics overseas (including at the renowned Rotunda Hospital, a maternity hospital in Dublin) and then established antenatal clinics throughout New Zealand with the Department of Health. She also oversaw the training of Plunket and St Helens Hospital (public maternity hospital) nurses. Gurr set up a genera…

Doctor’s Houses, 25-29 Symonds Street, Auckland Central

It’s Auckland Heritage Festival from 26 September to 11 October 2020. During the Festival we will share some hidden histories about Auckland places written by Auckland Council Heritage Unit staff.

Marguerite Hill is the Heritage Researcher in council’s Heritage Unit and has an interest in health history.

There are about 2500 places in the Auckland region which are scheduled as historic heritage places. Quite a few of these places are associated with medicine and health and several of those places are on Symonds Street. Symonds Street was a popular spot with medical practitioners due to its proximity to Auckland Hospital.

You might walk past this building every morning or pop in there for your lunch, but did you know the history of the Doctors’ Houses at 25-29 Symonds Street?

Ellen and John had two daughters and four sons. Their eldest son, John, known as Jack, took over running the Waitemata Hotel from John senior. Arthur died during the First World War, while Frederick Charles was a d…

The many lives of E. Mervyn Taylor’s mural Te Ika-a-Maui

The NZ Post Office commissioned Te Ika-a-Maui in 1961 as part of a nationwide celebration of the new Commonwealth Pacific Telephone Cable (COMPAC) - which was going to triple the country’s capacity for international calls. A cable terminal was built in Akoranga Drive, Northcote. Te Ika-a-Maui was installed in the foyer and open for the public to view. A COMPAC press release stated “Being in ceramic tile, the mural which is one of Mervyn Taylor’s outstanding works, will be assured of the permanency it undoubtedly deserves.” The mural appeared in newspapers around the country, and in the souvenir booklet Voices Through The Deep, which noted it was the focal point of the terminal’s entrance vestibule. E. Mervyn Taylor felt there was an analogy between the ‘fishing up’ of the North Island by Māui, and its modern counterpart, this new cable that would draw New Zealand out of the Pacific into the telephone systems of the world. However, the permanency forecast in the press release did not e…

The hula-hoop – coming full circle

Who would have thought something like a simple plastic hoop could provide so much fun and have such an interesting history?

Did you know that the ancient Greeks were known to have used grapevine hoops as exercise equipment to tone up the waist? And as far back as 3000 BC, Egyptians commonly used materials such as reeds and rattan to work into circular shapes or hoops. They would roll the hoop along the ground with a stick, or throw it up in the air or rotate it around the waist - just as we do now.

The hoop was used not only for fun, exercise and education, but also for religious and artistic purposes. The Lakota people added extra religious significance to the hoop by viewing it as representing the circle of life. Out of this they developed the hoop dance, a sort of story-telling dance incorporating as many as thirty hoops used as props to embody different elements from the story.

The hoop’s popularity continued through time and across continents. We can see from the well known Breug…

Early record of Auckland democracy

The Auckland Library Heritage Trust has recently acquired a printed, annotated burgess roll for the City of Auckland for 1887 to 1888 that is believed to be unique. They have kindly lent it to Auckland Libraries where it is currently on display in the Heritage Collections reading room at Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, the Central City Library. Stamped ‘Mayor’s Office’ in gilt on the binding, the roll is preceded by a manuscript list of 32 alterations authorised by council between May 1887 and April 1888. In most instances these correspond to amendments in the six individual ward rolls within the volume. No copy of this roll is held by the National Library or the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, nor by any other Auckland research library. Auckland Libraries, Council Archives and Auckland War Memorial Museum have the most comprehensive collections of rolls, though wards are missing for some years in what has survived. Council Archives’ rolls cover 1872 to 1899 (series ACC 396).

Of most …