Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Painting of St Peter's Anglican Church by Ella Thompson

St Peter's Anglican Church by Ella Thompson
Photograph by Brett Payne

This painting of Katikati's St Peter's Anglican Church was done by Ella Thompson in 1984.  Missing for a while, it was rediscovered by Don Wallis in the ceiling of the church building. It had to be cut into two pieces to be removed, but was restored and has been on display in the Katikati Heritage Museum since it opened in 2000.  Although often described as a mural, this is not strictly accurate since it was painted on a large canvas rather than directly onto a permanent surface.

Painting of  on display at the Katikati Keritage Museum, June 2014
Photograph by Brett Payne

Friday, 25 July 2014

Early Settlement at Mount Maunganui

Mt. Maunganui, Tauranga (No. 17)
Postcard image from collection of Justine Neal
The earliest settlers of the narrow spit of land where today's bustling township stands were the people of the Ngamarama, followed by the Ngati Ranginui and lastly the Ngai Te Rangi, whose pa built on Mauao was impregnable until a successful attack by Ngapuhi in 1818. By 1830 visitors to the area found Mauao uninhabited and the surrounding land an almost deserted area of scrub and sandhills.

Tauranga. From Mt. Maunganui (Tourist Series. 249.)
Postcard image from collection of Justine Neal
In 1864 the first pilot house was built on the slopes of Mauao with a replacement cottage being built in 1874. Although it was a favourite spot for picnics and outings for the Tauranga settlers, permanent settlement of the area started slowly with people from Tauranga and Rotorua buying land and building holiday baches near the foot of Mauao on the sandhills. Many of these people later became residents.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Wood Rose, Dactylanthus taylorii

Specimens of Wood Rose, Dactylanthus taylorii
Katikati Heritage Museum collection, Photograph by Brett Payne
Tucked away in a dark corner of the Katikati Heritage Museum, volunteer Sue Sisley came across a case containing some strangely shaped pieces of wood with an intriguing label identifying them as Wood Roses, aka Dactylanthus taylorii.

Dactylanthus taylorii, as described by Hooker in 1859
Actually Dactylanthus taylorii is something of a misnomer, as all traces of this unusual parasitic plant have long since disappeared.  Otherwise known as pua o te reinga or Flower of Hades, it is endemic to New Zealand, having been first discovered and described from around the headwaters of the Whangaehu River on the slopes of Mount Raupehu by Reverend R. Taylor on 18 March 1845.

Short-tailed bat feeding on flowers of Dactylanthus taylori
(Click for short video)
The tuber attaches itself to the roots of a range of about 30 native hardwood trees and shrubs, from which it derives its nutrients, and in response, the host roots mould themselves into the characteristic shape of a fluted wooden rose.  It has no green leaves, but real flowering stalks protrude above the surface, and the inflorescences, filled with sweet-smelling nectar, are pollinated by short-tailed bats, rats and mice.

Dactylanthus taylorii covered with moss and protected by wire mesh cage, Whirinaki Forest, Te Urewera
Photograph by Brett Payne
In the past the large tubers were dug up, then boiled for several hours to soften the warty growth, which was carefully scraped off to reveal the "flowers."  They were then commonly dried and varnished.  Although formerly found throughout the North Island and northern South Island, there are now likely to be less than a few thousand left.  D. taylorii is listed as "Threatened - Nationally Vulnerable" by the Department of Conservation and ranked as high priority for conservation.  Collection is no longer permitted, and protection measures include both pest control and enclosure in wire mesh cages.

Specimens of Wood Rose, Dactylanthus taylorii
Private collection, Photograph by Brett Payne
The museum's former owner Nancy Merriman has revealed that the family used to visit Pyes Pa in the 1960s, where they found the two smaller ones, while the largest originated from the Goodwin Collection.  Further discussion with volunteers while this item was being photographed and packed for temporary storage turned up two further specimens in a private collection, gifted in the Taumarunui area during the 1970s.


Hooker, J.D. (1859) On a new Genus of Balanophoreae from New Zealand, and Two Species of Balanophora, Transactions of the Linnaean Society, Volume 22, p.425-428, from Botanicus

Hill, H. (1926) Dactylanthus taylori, Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, Vol 56, p. 87-90, pl. 14-17.

Scarrow, Eion (1993) Newspaper clipping about Dactylanthus taylorii, from the New Zealand Herald, 1 December 1993 (Courtesy of Peter Martin)

Ecroyd, Chris E. (1996) The ecology of Dactylanthus taylorii and threats to its survival, New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 20 (1): 81-200.

La Cock, G.D., Holzapfel, S., King, D. & Singers, N. (2005) Dactylanthus taylorii recovery plan, 2004-2014, Threatened Species Recovery Plan 56, Department of Conservation

Anon (2007) Dactylanthus taylorii fact sheet, August 2007, Department of Conservation

Dactylanthus taylorii, from Wikipedia

Native Plants: Dactylanthus, by Department of Conservation

Photographs of Dactylanthus by Rod Morris.

Matt McGlone. Evolution of plants and animals - Ecological influences, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 8-Jul-13

Dactylanthus taylorii, Photographs from the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network

Friday, 18 July 2014

Crabbe's Store

Bay of Plenty Times building, cnr 6th Ave/Cameron Rd
Photo courtesy of Fiona Kean
There used to be a really important store where this building is now on the corner of 6th Ave and Cameron Road.

Crabbe's Store, cnr 6th Ave/Cameron Rd
Photo courtesy of the Tauranga Heritage Collection
Crabbe’s Store sold lots of different things to people who lived around here. There were jars filled with lollies for kids. I would like to buy my lollies from this store.

Hillsdene/Crabbe's Store, Tauranga Boys' College, Cameron Rd
Photo courtesy of Fiona Kean
It is really good that they moved the Store and didn’t get rid of it. It is now at the Boys’ College.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Bottles by T.H. Hall, Cordial Manufacturer of Tauranga

T.H. Hall, Tauranga, clear glass codd-necked aerated water bottle and brown glass bottles
Katikati Heritage Museum collection
As regular readers of the Society's blog will have learnt last week, Katikati Heritage Museum's collection is going into temporary storage, in preparation for its eventual relocation in a new home, the former Katikati Fire Station. Over the next few weeks, the Society will have the privilege of featuring images of a small selection of items from the collection.  I am grateful to the Western Bay of Plenty District Council and the museum's manager, Paula Gaelic, and trustees for the opportunity to reproduce these photographs.

Bottle collection, displayed hanging in the Katikati Heritage Museum
The museum has a collection of several thousand bottles, many of which were previously displayed hanging on rails around both the ground floor and upper level of the museum.

T.H. Hall, Tauranga soda syphons
Katikati Heritage Museum collection
Among these are several examples from the firm of cordial manufacturer T.H. Hall, well known in Tauranga during the first half of the twentieth century.  Specimens include soda siphons, stoneware and brown glass ginger beer bottles, Codd-necked aerated water bottles and clear glass cordial bottles.

T.H. Hall, Tauranga, stoneware ink and ginger beer bottles
Ink bottle at left by Joseph Bourne, Denby Pottery (of Derbyshire, England)
Katikati Heritage Museum collection
In a previous article on this blog Jean Bennett wrote about the cordial manufacturer T.H. Hall who operated a business on a one acre section in Grey Street from around 1904 until his death in 1940.  Although owned by Innes Tartan Ltd, production continued under this name until 1972, when it moved to a new factory in Rotorua.

T.H. Hall, Tauranga, clear glass cordial bottles
Katikati Heritage Museum collection
All photographs by Brett Payne

Friday, 11 July 2014

A Snapshot of Tauranga

Construction of Cliff Road Apartments
Image courtesy of the Tauranga Heritage Collection
Two years ago the Tauranga Heritage Collection began digitizing a selection of over 2000 photographic slides taken during the 1960s by Robert Gale. The Gale family moved to Tauranga at the beginning of that decade and Robert taught at Merivale School for several years.

Tauranga’s Town Hall in all its glory
Image courtesy of the Tauranga Heritage Collection
Photography was his hobby and obsession, and he was a keen member of the Tauranga Photographic Society. He is remembered as the man who cycled from his home in Fourth Avenue to capture people, places and events around Tauranga.

Tauranga’s Courthouse before the makeover
Image courtesy of the Tauranga Heritage Collection
Fast forward to a month ago. Another collection of Gale slides have come to light thanks to the keen eye of Historical Society member and photography legend, Alf Rendell, who, when given the slides recognized their historical value. They too are being digitized.

Tauranga’s Town Clock and a view of Spring Street
Image courtesy of the Tauranga Heritage Collection
Here is selection of these slides which provide a tiny glimpse into the amazing photographic record Robert Gale created of Tauranga in the 1960s.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Katikati Heritage Museum collection goes into hibernation

ITEMISED: Volunteer Lorraine Hunt with the next item for museum manager Paula Gaelic to log in before being wrapped and packed into boxes.
Boxes have replaced tables and chairs in the Museum Cafe as every item in the Katikati Heritage Museum collection is being packed up ready for storage until a new home is found. After 14 years the community museum closed its doors on May 14. Western Bay of Plenty District Council reached agreement with the museum’s Charitable Trust to hold the collection in storage until a suitable location can be found in the future. Museum manager Paula Gaelic, who has been employed by Council, says she refers to the packdown as ‘relocation hibernation’. “When we re-emerge hopefully our first exhibitions will be called The Dreamtime,” she says.

WHIZZ: Volunteer Robert Hubble cleans artefacts in the museum collection.
The many volunteers involved with the museum prior to its closure have returned to help with the packdown. This involves each item being cleaned, numbered, photographed, wrapped in tissue paper, bubble wrapped and rolled in cardboard, when necessary, before being packed into boxes. The number of each item corresponds with each photo, which is downloaded onto a database where it is detailed and catalogued. The photo is double checked for clarity and that it corresponds with the item’s number, which is also written on the outside of the box, before it is closed up. Every item is wrapped in tissue paper regardless of what it is, Paula says. If the photo is not clear enough the item is taken out of the box and re-photographed.

ACTION: Photo historian Brett Payne has been contracted to photograph every item in the Katikati Heritage Museum collection.
Photo historian Brett Payne has been contracted by Council to carry out the photography work. Brett had volunteered previously to help with the Tauranga Heritage Collection for three years where they trained him in photographing and cataloguing their collection. Brett spoke at the History Day at the Katikati museum last year. A geologist by trade, Brett’s passion is old photographs, the photographers who took them, the equipment and technologies they used, the people and scenes in the photos, and the stories behind them. The Katikati collection is proving interesting.  Brett says there are a wide variety of items to be photographed, more than he expected and having visited. “This is not a conventional museum - it’s a community museum so you have to expect that.”

DELICATE: Volunteers carefully wrap items in tissue paper, before being bubble-wrapped and put into boxes.
The packdown system sees six volunteers working on large tables. Every knife, fork, spoon, butter pat, possum—everything is being wrapped carefully, catalogued and packed. “Nothing gets thrown out,” Paula says. She believes the volunteers are seeing how well the collection is being looked after, which has been good for their morale. “It’s been really good and it’s bringing us (the museum) in line. For the first time we will know what we’ve got in the collection. “Council is doing it properly.” Items from the museum shop are being sold at heavily discounted prices for two days only, yesterday and today.

Reproduced from The Katikati Advertiser, 12 June 2014
by kind permission of editor, Christine Steel

Monday, 7 July 2014

July Meeting - Captain AD Blair & the Q ships in World War 1 presented by Harley Couper

AD Blair with Clan Line
Image courtesy of Harley Couper
Harley described the life of Otago born Andrew Dougall Blair, born 1872 into a thriving and growing Dunedin but becoming a merchant seaman after 4 years of indentured service. AD Blair was already a captain in his late 20s when he saw the Lusitania launched and by the outbreak of the first world war was already captaining ships in the middle east. Caught up in regional conflicts he was one of the last to be awarded the Fourth Order of Medjidie in 1912  for assisting the Ottomon Empire to put down a rebellion. That same year he was caught by the Italians running guns for the Ottomans after the collapse of their Navy.

Helgoland Q17
Image courtesy of Harley Couper
With the outbreak of war in 1914 Blair joined the Royal Naval Reserves and was commissioned as Lieutenant. He was placed in charge of fleet of trawlers hunting submarines for 18 months before being transferred into Special Service and trained to command of an experimental approach to submarines – the  Q-ship. Blair’s first command was supported by sub-lieutenant W.E. Sanders who later won the VC  and the two men corresponded by letter before Sanders was killed in action. Blair and Sanders engaged three submarines while becalmed and without steerage, an account recounted in detail.

AD Blair during WW1
Image courtesy of Harley Couper
After the War Blair worked as Naval Transport Officer in Cologne during the occupation of the Rhineland before returning to the Merchant Service in the Middle East. He lived an interesting life, meeting Arab Sultans and owning a pet lion. He died in March 1955.

Many thanks to Harley Couper for giving us a fascinating and extremely well presented account of his research, a much fuller version of which is presented on the Tauranga Memories kete.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

June Meeting - Hannibal Marks by Vivien Edwards

Hannibal Marks
Image courtesy of John Marks
At the Mission Cemetery in Tauranga lies Hannibal Marks, harbourmaster and pilot at Tauranga from 1874-1879 who drowned in Tauranga Harbour on 16 August 1879 along with his son, also named Hannibal. The BOP Times story is that Marks went to help two young men racing yachts singlehanded in foul weather. One yacht hit the pilot boat and damaged its rudder, resulting in losing control of the vessel. A sudden squall hitting the sail capsized it. Marks’ other son Pascoe and his brother-in-law survived.

It was the final tragedy in a life coloured with both triumphs and disappointments. Marks arrived in New Zealand in 1841 when the ship Regina was wrecked at New Plymouth. He married Mary Jane Vercoe. Not all their 12 children survived.

Marks honed his seafaring skills in coastal traders on the North Island’s west coast. At Manukau he was mate and coxswain on the Government cutter Maori, which provided a ferry service between Onehunga and Waiuku, but arguments over the vessel’s maintenance led to dismissal due to ‘insolence and insubordination.’ His time as first pilot in Manukau Harbour was cut short after a few months. The Provincial Government delayed deciding how much to spend on buoys and beacons and a pilot boat, and there were expectations a small boat could safely escort ships over Manukau bar.

However, Marks seamanship skills were recognised, and his career highlight was as commander of the gunboats Caroline and Sandfly. During the Maori war he delivered despatches between the British men o’ war ships and Governor Grey; embarked and disembarked troops and marines and enforced naval blockades in the Firth of Thames, then at Tauranga. He was highly praised by Sir George Grey and newspapers of the day, but just before the Battle of Gate Pa while transporting soldiers and marines to Tauranga Marks had a fatal accident on board the Sandfly. A William Todman rolled off his baggage and fell through the decklight on to the engine. He was buried on Mercury Island.

Marks’ gunboat career ended after the Australian explorer Francis Cadell, in charge of steam service on the Waikato River, asserted his authority over Mark’s crew and eventually dismissed Marks. A Commission of Inquiry later found Marks should not have lost his command, but by then the Government had sold the Sandfly.

There were 41 signatures of recommendation attached to Marks’ application to become harbourmaster and pilot at Tauranga. The Rowena was already operating between Auckland and Tauranga, and during Marks’ time the Staffa started a service to Opotiki. A steam service was started up to Katikati (some time after Vesey Stewarts’ first settlers arrived), and Union Steamship Company ships from down south began calling. With a large number of small vessels also using the port, Tauranga Wharf had to be extended and Victoria Wharf was built. After the Nellie hit Astrolabe Reef it was wrecked on Motiti Island. The Taranaki was wrecked on Karewa Island and the Taupo ran aground on Stoney Point Reef. There were several drownings in the harbour.

The grave of Hannibal Marks
Photo courtesy of Viven Edwards

Marks was criticised several times by E.M. Edgcumbe, chairman of the Town Board and BOP Times editor, for laziness in staking the harbour and rivers. Edgcumbe challenged Marks’ competence in supplying Sir John Coode, who inspected the harbour, with data he required and there were issues over buoy placement after the Taupo ran aground. Following accusations of procrastination and persistent idleness, Marks’ son Pascoe physically assaulted Edgcumbe on Tauranga Wharf.

After the drowning, Marks’ funeral was held in the Tauranga Hotel. The BOP Times reported the cortege as very large, including nearly all the town’s residents. Pallbearers wore full Masonic regalia and Marks’ Masonic apron draped his coffin. Marks’ son Hannibal’s body was recovered two weeks later.

Many thanks to Vivien Edwards who gave this talk at our June meeting.

Wars and Street Names

Miranda and Esk Streets, c.1956-7
Image © and courtesy of Tauranga City Libraries Ref. 07-391
War always leaves its mark on a landscape, one way or another.  The remnants of the trenches of Gate Pā and Te Ranga were long ago filled in, but the memories remain – in the stories, the monuments and carvings, the Mission Cemetery, and also in the names of Tauranga streets. The battle of Gate Pā on 29 April 1864 was so significant to the area that a number of current names recall it. Devonport Road is named after the naval base in England, because the Naval Brigade which took part in the battle was camped nearby. Durham Street takes its name from the 68th Durham Light Infantry and Monmouth Street from the 43rd Monmouth Light Infantry. Several streets are named after vessels which brought the troops into Tauranga in 1864: Esk Street, Harrier Street, Miranda Street.

Henry Harpur Greer
Image © and courtesy of Tauranga City Libraries Ref. 03-143
But most are named after people. The unusual width of Cameron Road – which later provided lush grass verges for the town cows to graze – was to accommodate the troops led by General Duncan Alexander Cameron (1808-1888) as they marched from their camp at the Domain south to Gate Pā. Greerton Road was named after Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Harpur Greer (1821-1886). Hamilton Street and Harington Street (Harington with one ‘r’) were both named after officers who took part in the battle. Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton (1820-1864) of the 43rd Monmouths was killed by being shot in the head while standing on the parapet urging his men to advance. Colonel Philip Harington was in command of the 1st Waikato Militia. He survived the battle to be granted land on Cambridge Road which he named Kelston.  Manley Grove and Mitchell Street are named after the two Victoria Cross winners at Gate Pā, Surgeon-General William George Nicholas Manley (1831-1901) and Samuel Mitchell (1841-1894). Of the officers who dined at the mission house with the Rev. Alfred Nesbit Brown and his wife on the 28th, Manley was the only one to survive the battle.

Much could be said, especially when considering street names deriving from Gate Pā, about the imposition of Pakeha names on Māori landscapes, and the politics of conquest. This topic is beyond the scope of these notes. But for interested readers, it was eloquently covered by Dr Giselle Byrnes in her article "'A dead sheet covered with meaningless words?' Place Names and the Cultural Colonization of Tauranga," which appeared in the New Zealand Journal of History in 2002 (Volume 36 no 1 - PDF).

H.M.S. Achilles Reception, early 1940
Image © and courtesy of Tauranga City Libraries Ref. 99-301
The land wars are not the only conflict to be remembered in our street names. Victory Street in Welcome Bay recalls Nelson’s flagship at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and Dunkirk Street was named in the 1950s to commemorate the dramatic evacuation of British troops from the French coastal town in 1940. Both of these names emphasise our colonial past and the ties which bound us to the United Kingdom.  Some names more directly linked to New Zealand’s own prowess in the wars of the twentieth century are Achilles Crescent, after the cruiser HMS (later HMSNZ) Achilles which in December 1939 was the first New Zealand unit to fire a shot in anger in World War II and also the first New Zealand warship ever to take part in a naval battle. Anzac Street, also named in the 1950s, commemorates the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps of World War I. Maleme Street is named after a town in Crete. During World War II it had an airfield which the Germans captured in May 1941, which gave them a major tactical advantage.

Bernard Freyberg speaking in the Tauranga Town Hall, 1948
Image © and courtesy of Tauranga City Libraries Ref. 99-832
Sir Bernard Freyberg (1889-1963) had not one but two streets named after him, which seems appropriate as he was such a notable participant in both world wars. In World War I as a young man he was awarded the DSO twice and was mentioned in despatches five times, and during World War II he commanded the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force and the New Zealand Division. The two streets are Bernard Street off Fifteenth Avenue and Freyberg Street in Otumoetai.

Bellamy, A. C., ed., Tauranga 1882-1982. Tauranga : Tauranga City Council, 1982.
McCauley, Debbie (2012-2014) Tauranga Names Resulting from the Battle of Gate Pā, Tauranga Memories Kete
McCauley, Debbie (2013-2014) Battle of Gate Pā: British, Tauranga Memories Kete
The battle: days 1-3 - The Battle for Crete, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, updated 6-Mar-2014
McGibbon, Ian (2013) Freyberg, Bernard Cyril, from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 25-Sep-2013
Battle of the River Plate, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, updated 20-Dec-2012
Byrnes, Giselle (2002) 'A dead sheet covered with meaningless words?' Place Names and the Cultural Colonization of Tauranga, New Zealand Journal of History, 36, 1.