Showing posts from January, 2016

Manurewa's soldiers

Future soldiers The photograph below was taken on the opening day of Manurewa School, 3 September 1906. This group includes a number of boys who a few years later would see active service during the First World War. Those in the back row are Walter Burton (fourth from left), Bert Ralls (sixth), Ted Mills (eighth), George Coxhead (tenth), Walter Costar (eleventh), Henry Lupton (thirteenth) and Bert McAnnally (furthest right). In the second row are Sam Craig (third from left), Douglas Wood (fourth), Horace Slight (seventh), Jack Freshney (ninth), Laurie Mills (tenth) and Fred Lupton (eleventh). Bert Mills is in the front row (tenth from left). Ref: Opening day, Manurewa School, 3 September 1906, photograph reproduced courtesy of Manurewa Historical Society, South Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, Footprints 03723. Walter Costar, Bert McAnnally, Cecil Slight and Douglas Wood would all be killed or die of wounds. Walter’s younger brother, Reginald, absent

In and around Featherston Camp by Sir Alfred Hamish Reed

100 years ago this Sunday, 24 January, the Featherston Military Training Camp officially opened its doors to men from around the country. Ref: Auckland Weekly News, New Zealand's latest training centre for recruits, 10 February 1916, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19160210-43-1. As part of our ongoing commitment to the New Zealand’s First World War centenary commemorations Auckland Libraries have recently a digitised a small but important resource for understanding life in New Zealand during the First World War, specifically life in the Featherston Camp. In and around Featherston Camp  by Sir Alfred Hamish Reed is a small volume written in a calligraphic hand with medieval-style ornate initials and illustrated with photos pasted on. Ref: AH Reed, In and around Featherston Camp, title page, c1917, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZMS 1827.

Using local histories when doing your family history

The old adage about putting flesh on the skeleton used by genealogists reinforces the beauty of using local histories when building a picture of your family. Heritage et al recently blogged about the most recent winners of the J. M. Sherrard award in New Zealand regional and local history . The ultimate award went to Robert Peden for his book, Making sheep country: Mt Peel Station and the transformation of the tussock lands (Auckland University Press, 2011). Writing on early agriculture, “the economic and ecological transformation of New Zealand”, the information on the early high country sheep farmers and the decisions they made about where they, and how they, farmed provides social context to those others farming in nineteenth century New Zealand. Although focussing on Mt Peel station and John Acland’s experience of establishing large-scale sheep farming, what Mr Acland went through could easily provide the background for a family historian’s understanding of how life was for th

The Auckland Sun: photograph of David Bowie arriving at Auckland International Airport

The Auckland Sun newspaper was established as a tabloid format morning paper in competition with the New Zealand Herald. It was launched on 10 August 1987, but closed less than a year later, the final issue being published on 8 July 1988. The Sun’s photograph collection was subsequently purchased by the newspaper’s two librarians who used it as the basis of an image bank and news service. The collection was then gifted to a former Sun reporter, who in turn donated it to Auckland Libraries in January 2015. It consists of 23 boxes of black & white and colour prints, and 4 large boxes of original negatives.  Because of the short life of the newspaper, the collection is essentially restricted to a very limited time period - 1987/8 – but nevertheless covers such important events as the 1987 election and the Labour government, the Stock market crash , and the demolition of His Majesty’s Theatre . It also includes this photograph of the late David Bowie arriving at Auckland Inte

Culture, entertainment and leisure in Wellsford and nearby locations, Pt 1

When they came to Aotearoa, Tangata whenua brought cultural practices with them. These continued to change and adapt to local circumstances. Te Ara has a story on Whakairo / Māori carving and its origins. This story states that by 1800 a ‘Serpentine’ (tuare) style developed in the northern regions of Aotearoa (associated with Hokianga, Hauraki, East Cape and Taranaki, and exemplified by Ngāti Whātua carvings). “The tubular bodies are usually uncarved, but if surface decoration is applied the unaunahi (fish-scales) pattern is the most common, especially in the north... Unaunahi is most prevalent in Te Tai Tokerau (Northland)…” Ref: Auckland Weekly News, A trough shaped curio..., 11 September 1902, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19020911-12-3.