Wednesday, 30 April 2014

On this day in 1848

Hori Kingi Tupaea, Watercolour attributed to Henry Harpur Greer
Image courtesy of Tauranga Library
On 30 April 1848 Chief Hori Kingi Tupaea (c1800-1881), principal chief of the Ngaiterangi, was baptised by Archdeacon Brown at Otumoetai.


Dates from list compiled by Jinty Rorke for Tauranga 1882-1982, The Centennial of Gazetting Tauranga as a Borough, (ed. A.C. Bellamy), published in 1982 by the Tauranga City Council

Tauranga Memories Kete, Tauranga Library

Friday, 25 April 2014

Hairpin Crochet

Hairpin crochet is worked on a very strong steel fork resembling a hairpin, and a crochet hook. With the help of these forks, lace, fringes, fancy trimmings and a host of other small items can be made in a quite unique style.

The work is begun with a very loose chain stitch. The thread is wrapped around one side of the pin, and a double crochet stitch secures it. Subsequently the thread is wound around the opposite side of the pin, and again secured with another double crochet stitch, and so on until the required length is reached.

If the target length is longer than the pin can hold, then the work is slipped off the pin, and the last three or four stitches returned to the pin and the work continued.. As with all needlework, the size of the pin and the weight of the thread determine the final result.

There is only one example of this medium in the Brain-Watkins collection, but it is an important reminder of what has become an almost unknown craft. It is a blue doily of reasonably coarse thread, and now much faded.

Monday, 21 April 2014

On this day in 1864

General Cameron with fellow officers of the Colonial Defence Force
Image courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library
On the 21st April 1864 General Cameron arrived in Tauranga.


Dates from list compiled by Jinty Rorke for Tauranga 1882-1982, The Centennial of Gazetting Tauranga as a Borough, (ed. A.C. Bellamy), published in 1982 by the Tauranga City Council

General Duncan Alexander Cameron with a group of soldiers of the Colonial Defence Force. Ref: PAColl-3396-1. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

On this day in 1948

On 19th April 1948 NZ NAC Lockheed Electra ZK-AGJ "Kahu" (Commander A.C. Harris, First Officer G.E. Bruce) crashed while on landing approach at Tauranga aerodrome in a thunderstorm en route Gisborne-Auckland (Mangere) and when caught in a downdraft.

There were no casualties although the plane was badly damaged and later scrapped. The mail was retrieved and flown to Auckland on 20 April.


Dates from list compiled by Jinty Rorke for Tauranga 1882-1982, The Centennial of Gazetting Tauranga as a Borough, (ed. A.C. Bellamy), published in 1982 by the Tauranga City Council

Photographs courtesy of Tauranga Memories Kete, Tauranga Library

Selections from the Ed Coates' Civil Aircraft Photograph Collection

Air Mails of New Zealand

Friday, 18 April 2014

Summer days and soft drink

by Jean Bennett for the Tauranga Heritage Collection

Everyone appreciates a thirst-quenching drink on a hot day. In the early days of Tauranga, Spring Street held a pump and trough that drew water from a natural spring. It provided a cooling drink for travellers, horses and the occasional roaming cattle. It was also the ideal place to site a cordial factory to utilise the clear water.

TH Hall ginger beer bottle

Charles Clarke, a Mayor of Tauranga for five years, founded an aerated water and cordial factory around 1880. James Campny bought the business in 1901 and improved the factory buildings and equipment. In 1902, the firm was sold to partners Amos and Hall who named it the Tauranga Cordial Factory. When Amos left the business, the bottles were labelled T.H. Hall and are now collector’s items.

Innes Tartin label

The company expanded in the 1930s and moved further down Grey Street to a larger building. Innes Tartan Limited later purchased the firm and expanded throughout the Bay of Plenty. The wooden crates that held the soft drink bottles were stamped with a colourful tartan emblem. The business continued to produce cordial drinks in Tauranga until 1972 when a new factory was built in Rotorua and production moved there.

The Tauranga Heritage Collection holds a bronze-coloured glass bottle embossed: Hall’s Stone Ginger Beer Tauranga. No doubt the ginger beer was enjoyed by the person who emptied the contents so long ago, then returned the bottle to the shop for a cash refund.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

May 2014 Newsletter

May 2014 Newsletter


6 April –Archaeology of the Tauranga Hotel site presented by Brigid Gallagher – a former member of TV’s Time Team

4 May - (at the Art Gallery) Penny Jackson – Tauranga Artists

8 June - Hannibal Marks, Tauranga’s first Harbour Master presented by Vivien Edwards, local historian and writer and one of our Society members. Note: this is the second Sunday to avoid Queens Birthday weekend.

6 July – Captain AD Blair & the Q ships in World War 1 presented by Harley Couper, a Tauranga City Librarian.

3 August – Images of Tauranga presented by Alf Rendell, long-time local photographer and new member of our Society.

HALL BOOKINGS – Phone Meri Low 544 4048

Sons of Empire - from the Utmost End of the Earth: New Zealand and World War I

In conjunction with the University of Waikato at Tauranga, the Tauranga Historical Society has arranged a lecture series to commence near the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. A variety of military historians from Wellington, Hamilton and the Bay of Plenty will present a series of 8 lectures commencing at 6.30.p.m. on a Wednesday night. All lectures will be held at the Bongard Centre, Cameron Road. The Lotteries Grants Board is funding the lecturers’ expenses with a WW100 grant. Some of these titles have not been finalised.

17 Sept ‘The Monstrous anger of the Guns; poetry, protest & World War 1’ Dr Kirstine Moffat
24 Sept ‘Public Opinion; Tauranga’s concern expressed through letters to the editor’ Fiona Kean
1 Oct ‘Imperial Camel Corps in WW1; from diaries of a BOP camelier’ Stephanie Smith
8 Oct ‘Miners in Khaki; New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company’ Sue Baker-Wilson
15 Oct ‘Trench Warfare; the Western Front’ Dr Damien Fenton
22 Oct ‘The Last Battle; the liberation of Le Quesnoy 4 Nov 1918’ Dr Nathalie Philippe
29 Oct ‘Gallipoli Campaign’ Dr Cliff Simons
5 Nov ‘Inside the Shakespeare Hut; Kiwis and the Bard in WW1’ Dr Mark Houlahan.

JAZZ IN THE GARDEN once again drew a good crowd to hear Marion Arts, singer, guitarist, teacher and all round popular musician. Stalls again raised necessary money to keep the books balanced. Once again the committee thank the members who helped on the day, donated goods for the stalls and supported our annual fundraiser.

In February 2014 the Society was contacted by Sol Kawage, a researcher at the University of Reading in the UK, who is investigating the history of information design in sewing patterns, analysing patterns from different eras, producers and countries to see how they instruct their users and if they have changed over time. She came across the Brain Watkins House collection on the Internet and asked us if her American friend Tom Rieke, who was staying in New Zealand, could come and photograph samples of our pattern collection. On Sunday 23 February, Shirley and Stephanie met Tom at the house and spent an 1.5hr with him, laying out patterns for him to photograph (and having a very agreeable and interesting conversation as well). The majority of patterns were from Australian magazines and dated from the 1930s through to the 1960s. The digital photographs were relayed through to Sol straight away and she was delighted with them, as they were just what she was hoping for. A piece of research which twenty or thirty years ago either wouldn't have happened, or would have taken months, was arranged and accomplished in less than a week, thanks to the Brain Watkins catalogue being on line and the magic of the digital camera.

If there is a coloured sticker on your newsletter it indicates that your 2014 subscription has not been paid. This Historic Review is included in the 2014 sub so please pay or let us know if you do not want to belong any longer. Individuals $35 couples at same address $40. Post cheque to Treasurer, 233 Cameron Rd Tauranga 3110 or bank online 031355 0660053 00 with your initial & surname as an identifier.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Dr Frank Bateson O.B.E.

“I have the opportunity of doing, if God wills, the things I have always wanted to do. By profession I am an accountant, by accident a businessman, but by nature an astronomer.”

Born in October 1909 Dr Frank Bateson O.B.E. was a nationally and internationally renowned astronomer whose achievements included the establishment of the Mt John Observatory in South Canterbury. Often referred to as the father of modern New Zealand astronomy Dr Bateson lived and worked in Tauranga over a period of nearly 40 years.

His connection began in 1952 when he and his wife Doris purchased a holiday home in Greerton. In his book Paradise Beckons, Frank writes that although they were shown the suburb of Otumoetai it was the county town of Greerton that impressed them both. At that time Greerton was largely citrus orchards with very few houses. In 1969, when Frank retired from his job as astronomer in charge of Mt John Observatory, the house in Pooles Road became their home.

It was from this home that Frank established a non-profit company to manage the network of variable star observers. Variable stars were his life’s work having founded the Variable Star Section of the New Zealand Astronomical Society in 1927. More than a million observations of these stars have since been recorded. In 1977 Dr Bateson’s many contributions to astronomy were recognized with an O.B.E and an honorary doctorate from Waikato University.

Dr Bateson passed away in Tauranga 16 April 2007 aged 97.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Pukehinahina Survivor

This article has been reproduced from the May 2014 issue of the Historical Review.

The symbolism and power imbued in a flag gives those flags which have been present at pivotal moments in history considerable importance. 

The Union Jack. Tauranga Heritage Collection, 0078/04 
Tauranga’s museum collection holds such a flag which is provenanced to the Battle of Gate Pa in 1864. The Union Jack, recorded as being used by British troops, came into the possession of George Alfred Crabbe who was a member of the 1st Regiment of the Waikato Militia posted to Tauranga. While Crabbe was present at the Battle of Gate Pa the militia remained at the rear of the battle. Later, at the Battle of Te Ranga, Crabbe was engaged in fighting Maori.

George Alfred Crabbe of the 1st Regiment of the Waikato Militia

Crabbe’s son Charles was born in the military camp located in the Domain in 1866. In 1938 The Bay of Plenty Times reported that ‘the town was under martial law at the time and many were the occasions on which the warning gun was fired which meant that all women and children had to be taken to the Monmouth Redoubt for safety’.

Crabbe’s shop and home, 405 Cameron Road. Both buildings have been relocated. The store was removed to Tauranga Boys’ College and the home, ‘Jesmond’ to Pyes Pa.

A few years later the family was to settle in Sixth Avenue where Private Crabbe had been allotted land. Vi Simons, Charles Crabbe’s only daughter, remembers: “After the war they had to stay on for three years. He was granted a section in Opotiki but he wouldn’t accept that because he didn’t want to go down there so he got a section up in Sixth Avenue. He was also granted 15 acres way out in the wop-wops, above McLaren’s Falls. In later years that was sold to the Jensen family.”

In 1877 Crabbe had a grocery and drapery shop built on a section not taken up by another soldier. This shop, on Cameron Road, was to become an important meeting place for the growing community. In 2003 the building was relocated to Tauranga Boys’ College.

Vi Simons, granddaughter of George Crabbe outside her home ‘Jesmond’
When George Crabbe died in 1905 the Union Jack was draped over his casket. The flag remained in the family’s possession until 1969 when Charles Crabbe’s only daughter Vi Simons deposited it with the museum.
“A moth-eaten rag on a worm-eaten pole,
It doesn’t look likely to stir a man’s soul;
‘Tis the deeds that were done ‘neath the moth-eaten rag
When that pole was a staff and the rag was a flag.”
General Sir Edward Bruce Hamley, referring to the Colours of the 43rd Monmouth Light Infantry Regiment.  This regiment fought at Gate Pa.

Friday, 4 April 2014

The Mount Wharf

Pilot Bay, Mt. Maunganui, Tauranga, NZ
S.B 4

The first wharf at the Mount was a stone wharf built by volunteer labour in 1889. A contemporary newspaper describes a visit to the Mount by a working party of 40 in the 'Result' with others crossing under their own steam. Various materials and tools were donated by Tauranga residents and  a winch was installed to haul the boulders into place.It had a concrete decking, concrete steps at the end to make landing and embarking of passengers easier.

Mount Wharf, Tauranga, N.Z. 5661

Although very popular the boulder pier did not remain in service for very long, by 1894 there was a general demand for a bigger and better wharf at Mount Maunganui and on January 17, 1895 the Pilot Bay wharf situated also on Mauao itself, but a little westward of the boulder pier, was opened.

The stone wharf fell into disuse but was to remain as a memorial to the volunteers who built it.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Sunday 6 April - Talk by Brigid Gallagher

April Meeting

Sunday 6 April 2014 - 2.00 pm

Talk by Brigid Gallagher - Digging the Mole

Tauranga Hotel's gone, and a great big slab of new building is going up, but we can still learn about what used to be there.

Don't miss internationally-known archaeologist Brigid Gallagher talking about what she found on the 'Grumpy Mole' - a.k.a. Tauranga Hotel - site. Come to the Society's monthly meeting in the hall, 233 Cameron Road, at 2 pm on Sunday 6 April. New members and guests especially welcome.

Brigid Gallagher is a local archaeologist who is a specialist in heritage and artefact conservation.  After leaving NZ and the Auckland Museum in 1998 she worked in archaeology across the British Isles and parts of Europe.  Following a number of years in the field assessing, evaluating and excavating 5,000 years of history she went back to University in Cardiff to specialise in Conservation for archaeology and museums.  This culminated in roles at the Catal hoyuk research project in Turkey and a position with the 'Time Team'.

Before heading back to NZ in 2008 she was conservation manager for a large archaeological consultancy and responsible for artefact care and conservation from excavations across the Republic of Ireland.

Since the return to NZ, she and her partner Raysan have set up a heritage and production company, MishMish, with have projects that cover archaeological assessment and excavation, analysis and conservation of archaeological and historic sites and artefacts, and interpretation and visualisation projects, the latest of which can be seen at

Since excavating the Tauranga Hotel site she has been excavating at Bethlehem and Katikati.