Showing posts from October, 2022

What do you know about that, now? The rock, the Rona and the parrot

The dark night of Monday 26 June 1922 was Auckland’s night to remember. However, our local hazard was not a drifting iceberg, but Flat Rock near Kawau Island in the Hauraki Gulf. The Colonial Sugar Refining Company’s steamer Rona had arrived from Fiji with 7000 tons of sugar and 600 tons of molasses and was heading towards the Rangitoto channel preparing to offload at Chelsea Sugar Refinery. The crew of the Rona had sailed this route many times before. The lookout reported they were approaching Flat Rock beacon, but the ship always passed close to it. However, this time the mate at the wheel was trying to avoid an oncoming trawler and steered too close to the shoal running out south-westwards from the rock. The ship ran aground on Flat Rock approximately 30 feet from the Flat Rock beacon. You can see how close the bow of the ship was to the beacon in the following dramatic photos published by the Auckland Weekly News. Image: Auckland Weekly News. Flat Rock beacon dead ahead, 6

Local election advertising through Auckland’s history

Most readers will have received their voting papers for the current local elections, and everybody will surely have seen the masses of leaflets, hoardings and newspaper or social media ads from the various candidates. Electoral communication is one of the fundamental tools which allow voters to navigate the intense competition between ambitious candidates – but it wasn’t always this way. At the first local election in Auckland, for the brand-new Borough of Auckland in 1851, the soldiers in the Fencible settlements voted for their officers and the civilians voted for their neighbours. In the Epsom East ward, the farmer Joseph Newman defeated another settler, James Williamson, by four votes to one. In the second election, a year later, the novelty value had disappeared: six wards out of 14 had only one candidate to choose from. And seven had none at all. Image: A personal message from Robbie's Team of United Independents. From:  Elections - Local Government 1958-1962 . Ephemera Colle