Tuesday, 30 July 2013

What's on in August

New Zealand's Family History Fair
Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th August
at Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau, Auckland
Free entry to the Exhibition Hall (List of Exhibitors)
98 seminars and 26 speakers (including 6 international) over three days.
Friday 2 August 1:30pm - 7pm, Saturday and Sunday 3 and 4 August 10am - 5pm
Cost: $5 per seminar or 5 for $20. Tickets on sale at the Fair from Friday 2nd August 1:30pm on a first come first served basis.
A wealth of topics covered, including: BDM Online, Genealogy Master Class, Research Methodology, Standards of proof, Beginners guide to Whakapapa research, Papers Past: The Art of Search, Digitising your family history, Family Photos, Photoshop Your Images, Scrapbooking your Genealogy, Facebook for Genealogists, DNA basics, WW100, Military Personnel Records, Finding Richard III.

Monthly Meeting and Talk - 'A few of my favourite things' by Stephanie Smith
Sunday 4th August 2.00 p.m.
in the Okahukura Room, first floor, Tauranga Library (please note change of venue).
by Stephanie Smith, Specialist Information Librarian in Research Collections, Tauranga Library, shows off some of her favourites from the library's archives and rare books collections. No raindrops, no roses, no whiskers, no kittens - just some fascinating items, including some you might not expect to find in a library. (Stephanie notes: If you went to the Friends of the Libraries' July 2013 meeting, you can miss this one.)

History Day - Katikati
Saturday 24th August, 10am - 3pm
at The Katikati Heritage Museum, 3 Wharawhara Road (cnr SH2), Katikati
Exhibitions, photos and working models of the early logging industry in Katikati ... plus:
- Brett Payne (Photo-Sleuth) will talk about How to extract critical historical information from old photographs
- Max Avery will discuss his research on Arthur Honeyfield including his involvement in past Harbour Boards
- The future for the Katikati Heritage Museum by Paula Gaelic
- A guided walk around Waterford, Katikati’s Historical Precinct by Rosalie Smith and Joan Boggiss
- A magic lantern show at the Katikati Heritage Museum
Cost: $25
Booking essential - To reserve a place email events@westernbay.govt.nz
Courtesy of Kathy Webb, Team Leader Community and Cultural Development, Western Bay of Plenty District Council

If you know of an event of significance to Tauranga/Bay of Plenty history that will take place in the next few months, please email me and I'll add it to this list. 

Friday, 26 July 2013

The Case of the Empty Sleeve, Major Colvile of the 43rd Regiment

Major Colvile, 43rd Regiment, c.1865 (1)

Unlike the military names Cameron, Greer, Grey, Hamilton, Harington, Durham, Monmouth which have been memorialized in Tauranga's streets, that of Major Fiennes Middleton Colvile of the 43rd Imperial Regiment will be less familiar to most local residents.  Colvile arrived with the Tauranga Expedition in early 1864 from India, and was sent with a detachment of troops to Maketu, where he set up camp in and fortified the old, abandoned Pukemaire Pa (which still carries the alternative name of Fort Colvile).   Consequently he was not present for the "Gate Pah affair," but returned to take an active role in the storming of the rifle pits at Te Ranga on 21 June. (2)

Colonel Colvile, 43rd Regiment, c.1872 (3)
The 43rd was then posted to Taranaki as part of Cameron's plan to reopen the coastal route.  In October 1865 Colvile, by then a Colonel, was wounded during an attack near Warea, receiving a "gun-shot wound in the thigh, with bone fracture."  The nature of his injuries meant that he saw no further active service in New Zealand, returning to England with the regiment in March the following year.  Colvile subsequently commanded the 43rd regiment until 1875, the 53rd Brigade Depot until 1881, when he "retired" with the rank of Major-General, the Welsh Border infantry Volunteer Brigade between 1889 and 1892, and finally the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry from 1913.  General Sir Fiennes M. Colvile, K.C.B., died in 1917, aged 84.

There are at least five known surviving carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of Colvile taken between c.1865 and 1906.  All five, including the earliest, ostensibly taken by George Hoby of New Plymouth prior to his being severely wounded in the leg at Warea, show him with an empty right sleeve, suggesting the prior loss of his arm at or just below the elbow.  If this interpretation of the portraits is correct, the injury to his arm must have happened prior to his arrival in New Zealand, possibly in India.  However, it seems bizarre and improbable that an officer with only one arm would continue to serve on active duty, let alone participate in the charge of the rifle pits at Te Ranga.  The question of where he did, in fact, lose his arm is a matter for further research.

1. Carte de visite of Major F.M. Colville, 43rd Regiment by George Hoby of New Plymouth, Undated but probably c.1865, Collection of Te Puke Ariki

2. Payne, Brett (2011) Fiennes Middleton Colville and the 43rd Regiment in New Zealand (Parts 1-5), on Photo-Sleuth, 11-13 March to 2011.

3. Carte de visite of Colonel F.M. Colvile, C.B., 43rd Regiment, by Elliott & Fry of 55 Baker St., London W., Undated but probably c.1872, Collection of Michael Hargreave Mawson 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Hotel Oceanside

Hotel Oceanside, Mount Maunganui (Photo courtesy of Alf Rendell)

I never saw the Hotel Oceanside but it used to be where the Coffee Club is now. I think it is weird that they pulled down such an old building to put a café there. There are lots of cafés but only one Hotel Oceanside.

Mount Maunganui (Photo courtesy of Fiona Kean)
Hotel Oceanside, 1952, Advertisement

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Dr William Brown and the Tauranga Golf Club

Dr William Brown

In 2014 the Tauranga Golf Club will celebrate one hundred years on its present site at the Racecourse Reserve.  However its origin goes back a further ten years and owes its existence to one of the more colourful characters to wear the mayoral chains in Tauranga.

Dr William Brown was given a civic welcome when he arrived from Dunedin in November, 1903 to take over the medical practice of Dr Fooks.  As a resident for less than three years this ex-medical missionary and one-time lecturer in surgery at the Otago Medical School made a considerable splash in the small pond of the borough of Tauranga (population about 1000)

In April 1904 Dr Brown, a keen golfer, instigated meetings to discuss and then establish a golf club in Tauranga.  A course of eight or nine holes was laid out from the Domain across to Sulphur Point. (A sixteen hole tournament in 1908 suggests an eight hole round) He presented a cleek (a driving iron, No 1) for competition in July 1904 and was the first captain of the Club.

In May 1905 Dr Brown, who had recently been elected as Surgeon-Captain of the Tauranga Mounted Rifles, proposed and with popular support established a Tauranga branch of the St John Association, with himself as a qualified lecturer.  Among those passing examinations in August 1905 qualifying them “to render first aid to the injured” were two of Joseph Brain's daughters, Alice and Bessie.

In the same month of May 1905 Dr Brown was elected to the office of Mayor of Tauranga and was re-elected in April the following year.  He served on the Board of the Domain Racecourse and the School Committee.  A keen bridge player he established Tauranga's first Bridge Club and at his valedictory civic farewell in June 1906 was thanked not only for his valuable service to the town but for showing bridge players “many wrinkles”

Dr Brown resigned the mayoralty and left Tauranga in June 1906 to visit Britain.  He died in Dunedin in 1916.

(Photo credit: 'Tauranga 1882-1982' The Centennial of Gazetting Tauranga as a Borough, edited by A.C.Bellamy, published by the Tauranga City Council, page 40.)

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Grumpy Mole's Predecessors

View Larger Map
The Grumpy Mole Saloon aka Tauranga Hotel

The next few weeks will see the end of 146 years history on the corner of Harington Street and The Strand when the Grumpy Mole bar and adjacent buildings are demolished.

Three hotels have stood on that site since John Chadwick built the first Tauranga Hotel in 1867 and leased it to Alexander Cook. There was a spacious bar on the ground floor with tap room, commercial room, kitchen, sculleries and pantry, with brick wine cellars at the rear. Upstairs were 15 bedrooms and dressing rooms, water closets, lavatories and a good bath room. On the same floor was a large room 60 feet long divided by folding doors. A tank held five hundred gallons of water above the first floor. Several of the rooms opened onto a balcony with harbour views.

As well as its commercial functions the hotel provided a room for public meetings, and one such well attended meeting in March 1868 called for the setting up of a Vigilance Committee in cooperation with Constable Sanderson for the purpose of detecting horse thieves because of the ‘continuance of horse stealing’.  One visualises a ‘Wild West’ atmosphere in the town whose population was made up of traders, and discharged soldiers.1

Businesses such as the Bay of Plenty Steam Navigation Company held their general meetings of shareholders at the Hotel.2  The Licensing Committee retained a military majority, chaired by Major Mair, and including Lieut Colonel Harington JP, Dr Nesbitt RM, and Major George and they renewed Alexander Cook’s licence in 1868 for a further year. Trade may not have been doing very well as twice by April 1868 Cook was prepared to sell up his stock in trade and household goods according to advertisements and hand bills of the time.3  In June 1868 Governor Bowen, the Superintendent of the Auckland Province Mr Gillies, and later Sir George Grey met the local population at the hotel, and coroners’ inquests were also held there.

Tauranga Hotel, c.1873-77, by Herbert Deveril
Image courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library
The Licencing Committee granted the licence to William H Bennett in 1871 and the hotel became Bennett’s Tauranga Family and Commercial Hotel. Several meetings were held there in 1872 for the purpose of organising a prospecting party to search for gold in the Kaimai Range.4  It was not only legal activities that occurred as in 1873 a man called Zelman was prosecuted for holding an illegal lottery in the hotel.5  On a happier note were the meetings to organise the St. Patrick’s Day regatta that took place on the harbour for many years.

Alexander Cook regained the licence in 1876.6  By the end of 1877 the four horse coach for Ohinemutu and Taupo left Cook’s Tauranga Hotel on Monday and Thursday mornings. The return fare to Ohinemutu cost ten shillings with a 14 pound luggage allowance.7

In 1879 Chadwick saw a need to extend the premises both along the Strand and up Harington Street bringing the number of bedrooms up to 27, a new billiard room, converting the old billiard room to a dining room and “every requisite of a first class hotel”.8  Alexander Cook held the licence again until John Menzies, formerly of Auckland took it over in July 1879.9

It all came to an end in June 1881 when a fire cleared the whole block of buildings between Harington and Hamilton Streets. Thought to have started in Mr Lee’s store and raging for two hours a chain of buckets were ineffectual in controlling the fire. When the hotel caught the flames spread across Harington Street to Chadwick, RC Jordan and Wrigley’s premises and then to the Mechanics’ Institute. The Government Building had a narrow escape as the sparks and burning material reached across Willow Street. Although the Bay of Plenty Times building burned they hoped to only miss one issue of the paper before publishing again next Saturday. There was no fire brigade at the time or hand pump but  ”the Maoris who are in great force in the town, worked splendidly in trying to save all the goods.” The promptness of Mr Asher, the fire inspector helped save Mr Wrigley’s grain store.10

1. Daily Southern Cross, 24 March 1868
2. New Zealand Herald, 11 April 1868
3. DSC 21 April 1868
4. DSC 19 April 1872
5. NZH 31 December 1873
6. NZH 12 June 1876
7. Bay of Plenty Times, 29 December 1877
8. NZH 23 May 1879
9. Auckland Star, 29 May 1879
10. Evening Post 1 June 1881

Thursday, 11 July 2013

July Meeting: Oliver Macey Quintal by Vivien Edwards

Many thanks to Vivien Edwards who spoke at our July meeting. On seeing Oliver Macey Quintal listed as a Pitcairner on Norfolk Island she recognised the name. In 1878 he was a Tauranga barrister, at the inquiry of the ship Nellie, which hit Astrolabe Reef then foundered on Motiti Island. Soon after he was a passenger on the Taranaki wrecked on Karewa Island.

Finding Quintal’s name at Norfolk raised the question of how a Pitcairner, isolated from the rest of the world except for passing ships, could become a New Zealand barrister?

Macey (as he was called), was born in 1842 to William Quintal and Maria Christian. He was great grandson of both Matthew Quintal and Fletcher Christian. When the Pitcairners relocated to Norfolk Island in 1856 he was 14 years old.

Given to Bishop Selwyn by his family, Macey was to be trained for missionary work in the tropics, but instead he was articled to Outhwaites’ law firm. In 1868 he passed his examination for admission as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court. In 1871 Quintal and Outhwaite handled the estate of Reverend Patteson, Bishop of Melanesia, after his murder in the Solomon Islands.

Quintal played cricket and football. He participated in Auckland society, joining various committees, which included organising citizen’s balls for visiting Governors.

Bay of Plenty Times, 8 July 1876
He set up in Tauranga in 1876. Vesey Stewart’s first settlers were in Katikati. The Tauranga/ Taupo road was open; there was a regular steam service to Auckland on the Rowena, and the Staffa had started a service to Opotiki. Quintal practised with W.B. Hawkins in the old BNZ building in Harington Street, later shifting to McLean then Willow Streets.

Bay of Plenty Times, 1 August 1877
He played for Tauranga Cricket Club: was vestryman for Holy Trinity and secretary for the parishioners’ annual meeting; he served on committees for the 1879 Regatta, the Mechanics’ Institute, the Choral Society, and to form a brass band. He helped welcome the Governor and participated in deputations, promoting Tauranga’s interests to Ministers.

Bay of Plenty Times, 29 September 1877
His court cases included cushions and a sofa stuffed with flax instead of horse hair, and injury to a horse used to erect the Taupo telegraph line. He defended Mrs. Ogden, who strung washing across Anson Street and was hit with her clothes prop by a neighbor. He unsuccessfully defended Mrs. Anne Robertson whose ownership of Ohinemutu Lakes Hotel was challenged by Robert Graham after she purchased the lease from Isaac Wilson. Local Maori forcibly evicted her.

Quintal faced the law himself, charged by William Shaw from ‘Woodlands’ Katikati, with forging and uttering a certain bill of sale with intent to defraud. He had tried to help Shaw and the case was dismissed.

In 1883 he returned to Auckland, but came back to Tauranga periodically to handle land deals. He married Jemima Buffet from Norfolk Island in 1889. They had two children; Laurie Ida and Oliver. Quintal and his family returned to Norfolk Island in 1893 where he chaired the Executive Council and participated in the island’s affairs. He died there 23 February 1922.

[Newspaper images courtesy of Papers Past]

Friday, 5 July 2013

Mr Pillans’ Head

Mounted albatross head, Tauranga Heritage Collection
In 2013 a mounted albatross head may seem like an grotesque wall decoration but in 1890, when this head was gifted to William Soutau Pillans II (1849-1915), it proudly graced his family home.

The albatross head was a present from the famous ornithologist Walter Buller (1838-1906) as thanks for bird illustrations drawn by Pillans. A keen collector of bird specimens Buller is best known for his famous book The History of the Birds of New Zealand first published in the early 1870s.

Buller's Birds  (Avaritia non habet legem), by Liam Barr (Courtesy of the artist)
Exactly how Pillans and Buller crossed paths is not known. Pillans was an adventurer and fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. He took part in an number of expeditions in the South Island and was a member of the first party to cross from Milford Sound to Lake Te Anau.  It is probable that they had similar interests and moved in the same circles.

The head was donated to the collection by Mary Lellman in the 1970s. As the granddaughter of William and Mary Pillans, after whom Tauranga’s Pillans Point is named, Mary recalled that after William’s death the head was removed by her grandmother as she believed that it would bring bad luck.  

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

July Photo Quiz - Tauranga

Where in Tauranga and what is this building?  Post your answers in the form of comments in the space below before Friday 12th July, when all will be revealed.  No fancy prizes, I'm afraid, except the kudos of knowing you got there first.