Friday, 28 November 2014

Charlie Haua: A Tauranga Legend

Charlie Haua's Cap
Image courtesy of Tauranga Heritage Collection
This cap, worn by Charles Haua (known as Charlie) is just one of several items in the Tauranga Heritage Collection which belonged to this well known and popular Tauranga resident. The cap is thought to be connected to the Cadet Old Boy’s Rugby Football Club. Charlie was the Club’s first captain and represented the Bay of Plenty in 1929. Later he became a life member of the Tauranga Rugby Association. A talented sportsman he was greatly involved in the local sporting scene; competing in rowing, rugby, hockey, sailing and gymnastics.

Charlie Haua outside his Blacksmith Shop Grey Street, 1965
Image courtesy of Tauranga Heritage Collection
Born in Tauranga in 1903 Charlie attended Tauranga District High School and went on to become one of the towns best known and longest serving blacksmiths. Working for forty-nine years as a smithy, in ‘retirement’ he made thousands of horseshoes for visitors to the Tauranga District Museum and Historic Village. In 1976 he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to the community.

Charlie Haua working his trade at Tauranga Historic Village
Image courtesy of Tauranga Heritage Collection

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Marineland, Moturiki (Leisure Island)

Marineland, Moturiki Island, undated postcard
Image courtesy of Justine Neal
In 1964 a Tauranga entrepreneur put forward the idea to create a large outdoor aquarium on the old quarry site on Moturiki Island. In 1965/66 drilling took place on the old quarry floor, explosives were set and detonated. When the loose material had been excavated there remained a large open shape. This was filled and stocked with dolphins and other marine life and Marineland was established. it was very popular at first but gradually patronage began to decline, possibly because the permanent population of the district at the time was not enough to support it, there was not enough variety in the exhibits and the deaths of several of the dolphins led to  questions about the care of the animals.

Marineland, Moturiki Island, undated postcard
Image courtesy of Justine Neal
By 1981 the steady decline in takings led to its closure and eventual sale.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Tauranga’s Past Captured on Tape

In 1988 James Hartstonge, broadcaster, Village Radio volunteer, and founder of the Tauranga District Museum Oral History Unit, wrote:
Already too much time has elapsed for us to collect invaluable material firsthand, but that is all the more reason to press on and make sure we capture what still remains in the memories of our older citizens.”
The Oral History Unit consisted of a small group of volunteers: James Harstonge, Graham Birkett, Reg Spence and Kel Raine. Other interviewers included Maureen Wood and Gypsy McKenzie. This group did not work in isolation. An advisory panel including Jinty Rorke, E. Morris and Alan Bellamy guided the selection of suitable interviewees. The Unit's primary focus was recording the memories of Tauranga's older residents with the hope of capturing their unique account of the past.

Wynnton Poole as a baby with his father William and grandfather Duncan Poole
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library Ref. 04-065

From late 1988 to 1992 a total of 75 recordings were made - quite an achievement given the small team of volunteers and the amount of time needed to research an interviewee’s life and establish a rapport. Questions asked ranged from what they had eaten for breakfast as a child to their earliest recollections of Tauranga. Often personal stories would emerge. Reverend Wynnton Poole grew up in Tauranga and farmed in the area. When he retired he began a new path as an Anglican minister. In his recording he recalls stories from his childhood that have a uniquely Tauranga flavour.
You know I was an attractive child and the old ladies used to goo over me while I was in my pram. Later as I got a little bigger I became a terrible wanderer and finally my mother thought she had solved the problem. She put a belt on me with a ring at the back and a ring on the clothes line and a long line so I could play around the yard and not escape. I fairly quickly found out that if I removed my pants that I could slip off the belt and I didn’t necessarily stop to put my pants on again.”

The Faulkner family home in Beach Road, Otumoetai with Eric and Connie Faulkner standing at the front door
Image courtesy of Tauranga Heritage Collection

Topics such as local government and the Tauranga Harbour were also of interest. A good example of this is the interview with Eric Faulkner. Mr Faulkner was the great-grandson of trader John Lees Faulkner and was born and raised in Tauranga. His love of the town saw him become involved in local politics serving both as Deputy Mayor and Mayor of Tauranga. In his recording Mr Faulkner discusses the development of the harbour bridge.

The last interview was recorded in 1992 and the Tauranga Library was given copies of the tapes. The originals became part of the Tauranga Heritage Collection and have recently been digitized.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Inside the Shakespeare Hut? The Kiwis and the Bard in WWI

Sons of Empire, Tauranga Public Lecture Series 

Shakespeare Hut, NZ YMCA Centre, London
Inside the Shakespeare Hut? The Kiwis and the Bard in WWI

Dr Mark Houlahan
Wednesday 5 November, 6.30pm
Venue: Tauranga Bongard Centre, Lecture Theatre 104
Bookings essential Email or phone 027 286 7454

The memory of Gallipoli casts a long shadow over our perspective of WWI. Yet if we focus exclusively on grim reports from the front, we settle for an uncomplicated picture of this war. For throughout 1916 New Zealanders round the globe embraced the 300th anniversary commemorations of Shakespeare’s death. In January, 1916, British forces abandoned the Dardanelles after the catastrophic Gallipoli campaign. At home in New Zealand space was found amidst the battle news to celebrate Shakespeare’s anniversary.

About the Presenter
Mark Houlahan is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Waikato and currently President of the Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association (ANZSA). He has published widely on issues of Shakespeare, adaptation and cultural formation.