Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Memorabilia from the tug Taioma

"Welcome aboard the tug Taioma," signboard from Tauranga District Museum & Historic Village
Courtesy of the Katikati Heritage Collection
Within the Katikati Heritage Museum's collection are many items which fall into the memorabilia category of artefacts, including two pieces which appear to date from the 1970s, when the former harbour tug Taioma was resident at Tauranga's Historic Village and District Museum.

The tug Taioma in Wellington Harbour
Image courtesy of Tyne Tugs and Tug Builders
Built at Aberdeen in 1944, it first saw service with the British Ministry of War Transport as the Empire Jane.  Only three years later it was purchased by the Union Steam Ship Co. of New Zealand Ltd., who renamed it the Taioma.  Among its exploits was an involvement in the attempted rescue of the ill fated inter-island ferry Wahine.

Taioma Donation Box
Courtesy of the Katikati Heritage Collection
In 1978 it was decommissioned and in March 1979 rehoused at the Tauranga District Museum, where a fee of 50c per person was charged for tours.  This was not  sufficient, it appears, "to offset tug maintenance," as is demonstrated by the somewhat simplified model of the Taioma used as a donations box.

Bob Owens speaking in front of the tug ‘Taioma’ 14 April 1979
Courtesy of Tauranga City Library's Tauranga Memories Kete
In 1999 part of the superstructure and most of the fittings were removed, and the Taioma was scuttled off the southern tip of Motiti Island on 19 March as a diving attraction.

Tyne Tugs and Tug Builders
The Taioma Tug, Tauranga Memories Kete

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