Friday, 30 May 2014

Herries Park, The Strand

Herries Park, The Strand, c.1930s
Postcard image from collection of Justine Neal
For many years Sir William Herries was the Parliamentary representative for Tauranga.  When he died on 22 February 1923, he left a bequest to the Tauranga Borough Council. This money was used for the beautifying of Monmouth Domain and the Strand waterfront, the whole area to be called Herries Park.

Herries Memorial Arch, Strand, Tauranga, N.Z. 5659, c.1930s
Postcard image from collection of Justine Neal
By January 1929 the work was practically completed and the park was set off by a substantial stone arch, bearing a tablet to the memory of the late Sir William Herries, with a lily pond and concrete paths at the foot of the arch.

Friday, 23 May 2014


This house was called Westcliffe. It has been owned by many well known people in Tauranga including Mary Humphreys. It is one of the oldest buildings in Tauranga. When we went to the library we couldn't find a photograph of it which is kind of a mystery. It is weird that Mary Humphreys was a photographer but didn't take any photographs of her own house. I think it is about to be knocked down which is really sad. The last person to own it didn't look after it.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Omokoroa History Fest, 7th June 2014

Omokoroa History Fest
Saturday 7 June, 10.00am - 3.30pm
Settlers Hall, Omokoroa Road, Omokoroa

$30 entry, includes lunch and bus trip
Email - to reserve your space or phone 07 579 6510

Take a bus tour of historic sites in Omokoroa. Hear interesting stories and information from knowledgeable speaker.  Meet people who share your interest in things past.


10.00am    Morning tea
10.15am    Welcome – Kathy Webb, Jocelyn Hicks
10.20am    “Omokoroa the Past to the Present” Part 1.  Presented by Colin Pettigrew
10.50am    “Early Whakamarama History” – the Timber Mills. Presented by Ann Mackersey
11.20am    “Omokoroa Baches.” Presented by Colin Pettigrew for Chris Wright
11.40am    “The Harbour –the Life Blood of  Surrounding Communities.” Presented by Vivien Edwards
12.10pm    Lunch
1.30pm    Location Bus Trip Points of Interest
        1.    Omokoroa Country Estate-
        2.    Community Church
        3.    Gerald Crapp Reserve, Gellibrand House Site, Gellibrand Carving, Notices, Crapp Wharf, Wai Huri Pa Site, Walkway
        4.    Wharf, Bird notice, View Barge, Matakana Island, Motuhoa Island, Boy Roel
        5.    Bird Viewing Platform
        6.    Wall Estate, Holyoake,
        7.    Old Road connecting Omokoroa & Plummers’ Point
        8.    Barrett Store (1st Supermarket in the BOP)
        9.    Whakamarama & the Tramway, Railway Station   
        10.    Plummer’s Point early Omokoroa Wharf
        11.    Plummer Homestead - A Land Girl
        12.    Huharua Park
        13.    Ongarahu Pa
        14.    Old Highway
3.30pm    Return to the Settlers’ Hall

Friday, 16 May 2014

Tauranga Digs In

“Nature made Tauranga one of the loveliest places in all the world. It was one of God’s gardens. It is our duty to tend it, care for it, and cultivate it.” Mr F. W. Doidge M.P., The Bay of Plenty Times, 15 February 1944

In the winter and spring of 1943 concern about food shortages led to the launch of the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign.  Communities were encouraged to get growing.  ‘Make every yard of ground yield, beg, buy or borrow a spade and dig for victory’ (Evening Post July 1943). Tauranga residents were keen to do their bit and in August and September of 1943 the Borough Gardner Mr G. C. Mockler planted a ‘Victory Bed’ as part of the Strand Gardens.

Perhaps inspired by the Council’s public support of the campaign local police planted their own gardens in October.
"An example of the “Dig for Victory” effort is to be seen in a vacant section between Park and     Brown Street where Tauranga members of the police force are, in their spare time, growing     vegetables. They have been hard at it for some time and the results of their efforts are now     starting to bear fruit. A large crop of potatoes is well advanced and it will not be long before     they are on the table, along with peas, which are well above ground." - November 1943, The Bay of Plenty Times
Tauranga’s fortunate growing conditions were often praised and throughout 1944 The Bay of Plenty Times reported plentiful harvests of crops including watermelons and tomatoes. Maori on Matakana Island were reported as growing significant quantities of onions and potatoes in an effort to assist in meeting the country’s needs. At the State vegetable gardens, located in Otumoetai, secondary school children were put to work picking plentiful harvests of peas and beans. In town housewives were encouraged to find ways to ‘dress vegetables up anew’ making them more appealing by using cheese and ring moulds.

The ‘District Horticultural & Beautifying Society’ ran meetings on how to grow vegetables, sharing their knowledge and experience with new gardeners.  However, the Society seemed equally concerned with beautifying Tauranga, encouraging residents to plant flowers and participate in regular flower competitions. This was not out of step with other parts of the country as by 1945 communities were encouraged to ‘brighten the garden with flowers and bulbs for the Boys return”.

The Tauranga Heritage Collection holds a variety of farm and garden tools and agricultural ephemera which was used by local farmers and residents at this time.

Friday, 9 May 2014

The Snark was a Boojum - Street name changes in Tauranga, Part 1

Aerial View of Tauranga, 1937
Image © and courtesy of Tauranga City Libraries Ref. 99-432
A surprising number of Tauranga streets have different names from those they were originally given.

The Avenues

First Avenue was originally just ‘the Avenue’. The numbering of the avenues is said to be the idea of the first Tauranga Town Clerk in the 1880s, J. H. McCaw, who was born in the United States. However, the wholesale changes in the streets now named 12th Avenue to 23rd Avenue were made long after McCaw’s time, in 1956, when:
    Briarley Street/Harvey Street West - became 12th Ave
    Morris Street - became 13th Ave
    Roberts Street - became 14th Ave
    Hunter Street - became 15th Ave
    Wrigley Street - became 16th Ave
    Hospital Street - became 17th Ave
    Pitt Street - became 18th Ave
    Tanner Street - became 19th Ave
    Davidson Street - became 20th Ave
    Macdiarmid Street - became 21st Ave
    Tebbs Road - became 22nd Ave
    Sellars Street - became 23rd Ave.

Aerial View of Tauranga, 1937
Image © and courtesy of Tauranga City Libraries Ref. 04-005

Boojum Street, aka Dunton Drive 

Tauranga City Council decided on a nautical theme for naming new streets in Welcome Bay. Names were chosen to commemorate ships and explorers with New Zealand associations. Accordingly, if you take a walk in the area you can find streets called Endeavour Avenue, Achilles Close, Pamir Place, D’Urville Way and Resolution Drive. Or you can stroll along the unlikely-sounding Dingadee Street, which is also named after a ship. The Dingadee was an Australian vessel, which ran aground during a voyage from Lyttelton to Westport in 1890. 

But you cannot walk along Boojum Street any more. The street is still there, but it has a different name.

The name ‘Boojum’ comes originally from Lewis Carroll’s fantastical long poem, The Hunting of the Snark, in which a preposterous search is undertaken by a boat-load of odd characters for a mysterious being, the Snark, which in the end turns out to be a Boojum. It is not at any time made clear what a Boojum is – or, indeed, a Snark. The main characteristic of the Boojum is to cause its hunters to ‘softly and suddenly vanish away’.

The Boojum which gave its name to the street in Welcome Bay was a steamship. She was built in 1880 in Dumbarton, on the Clyde, by William Denny & Bros, and brought in sections to Port Chalmers, where she was assembled by Morgan & Cable Ltd. She came to an untimely end in 1887 when she went to the rescue of the Northumberland at Napier on 11 May. She turned turtle and was swamped in the breakers, with the loss of four of her five crewmen. Everyone from the Northumberland was saved, though with considerable difficulty. The wreck of the Northumberland was buried for years but reappeared during the 1931 Napier earthquake.

In 1977 the residents of Boojum Street petitioned the Council for a name change. The street became Dunton Street, after George Dunton who had owned land in the area in 1919. Although Dunton is an appropriate name for the street, as it relates to a local family (it also sounds more ‘dignified’ than Boojum), it seems a shame to have lost the memory of the steamship and its gallant crew.

Information from Tauranga 1882-1982, Tauranga: Tauranga City Council, 1982; Press, 17 March 1890 (; and New Zealand Shipwrecks: over 200 years of disasters at sea, Auckland: Hodder Moa, 2007.