Friday, 30 August 2013

Exploring Katikati

Guest contribution by Kathy Webb, Western Bay of Plenty District Council

Today I learnt more about history than I have learnt in many years. Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s Local History day gave Katikati’s historians the opportunity to tell their stories to an alert and avid audience. The Katikati Heritage Museum hosted a large crowd of people from Rotorua, Tauranga, Te Puke, Omokoroa, Waihi Beach and Katikati, all eager to learn more.

But alongside the local history we also learnt a large amount of technical information about completing research through a wider knowledge of the history of photos. From daguerreotypes to postcards, from cartes de visite to vernacular snapshots; the types of photos that have been long-lasting and those that have been short-lived; and how they can give valuable information and vital clues for sorting through the tangle of family history.

Visiting Waterford, the historical precinct of Katikati led to several stories about local identities, such as Doctor Joe in the 1960s who would take ownership of the whole road by parking in the middle of it, outside the shop where he needed to do his business. Regularly the population of Katikati would accept his ownership and drive around him. Original buildings, as well as the sites of some no longer standing, were identified and described with personal stories to entertain.

Authors talked about their published books and proposed biographies of original identities from the area and we heard about the forward plans for the community-owned Katikati Heritage Museum. The day was finished off with a talk about the logging industry, illustrated with an old-style slide show and a visit to the replica log tram rail complete with ENORMOUS log, now resident at the site of the old log train at the Katikati Heritage Museum.

Many thanks to our presenters:
Brett Payne – Photohistorian and author of Photo-Sleuth
Max Avery – Author and researcher
Paula Gaelic – Manager, Katikati Heritage Museum
Rosalie Smith, Joan Boggiss, Lesley Board – Waterford Historical Precinct – with acknowledgements to Val Baker
Christine Clement – Author and researcher on local history
Warren Geraghty, Dept of Conservation - Logging in the Kaimais.
Sam & Rollo Dunlop – for installing the log train.

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