Friday, 30 November 2018

The Bay's Culture-crossing Traders

The Bay’s first Pakeha-Maori (white men gone native), were fully assimilated by their host tribes. A mix of fugitive convicts and sailors, they lived as Maori and were treated as Maori. From the late 1820s, a number of young adventurers began arriving in the Bay as independent traders or as agents for Sydney trading houses like Montifiore and Co. Landed on the beaches at Tauranga, Maketu, Matata, Whakatane and Te Kaha with a small mountain of trade goods, they quickly learned to honour Maori customs in the interests of security and profit.

A challenge outside Maketu Pa. Trader Pakeha-Maori showed respect to local rangatira (chiefs), tohunga (priests) and honoured many aspects of tikanga Maori (Maori law).
Image courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library (Robley, Horatio Gordon, 1840-1930 :Tattooed gate, Maketu. Ref: B-139-016. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23136104)
The traders’ stores were immediately placed under ritual tapu by local rangatira and typically comprised: cases of muskets, colonial pipes and ironmongery including cutting and stabbing weapons of iron and steel, barrels of gunpowder and rum, sheets of lead for bullet making, bales of blankets and clothing, and numerous baskets of tobacco. These goods were exchanged for large bales of dressed flax, vast quantities of long life provisions, particularly potatoes, pumpkins and Indian corn and droves of pigs, which were killed, salted and casked aboard visiting Sydney and Hobart trading or whaling vessels.

While the traders retained basic European values and never fully capitulated as Maori, most married wahine rangatira (chieftainesses), become fluent in te reo and learned to understand and honour tikanga Maori (Maori law). Over time, the traders became irrevocably changed by their culture crossing experiences. European newcomers, recognizing their ‘otherness’ referred to them too as Pakeha-Maori and some modern historians have termed them ‘a third kind of New Zealander.’

Phillip (Hans) Tapsell in on old age.
A Maketu based trader Pakeha-Maori, Tapsell was noted for his courage and adaptability.
Image courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library (Phillip Tapsell. Ref: 1/2-005486-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23124135)
Trader Pakeha-Maori founded families well known in Tauranga today. Otumoetai Pa was the permanent base for Tauranga’s first trader James Farrow (1829) and our best known trader John Lees Faulkner (1839). The French traders at Tauranga were Pierre Potier (1840), Emile Borel (1842) and Louis Bidois (1844).  Other Bay trader Pakeha-Maori of note included Phillip (Hans) Tapsell at Maketu (1830), Thomas Taylor at Whakatane (1832) and the chevalier Captain Peter Dillon at Maungatapu Pa (1835).

Bentley, Trevor. Pakeha-Maori: The Extraordinary Story of the Europeans Who Lived as Maori in Early New Zealand. Auckland, Penguin, 1999.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Slipper Bed Pan

In the past, bedpans were made from pewter, ceramics, metal and more recently cardboard. George Washington, who died in 1799, used one made from pewter in his later years.

When I was a student nurse at Tauranga Hospital in 1963, I was browsing in a second hand goods shop on Cameron Road, and noticed an old porcelain slipper bed pan. The instructions on the back wall of the pan were:
The Slipper should be passed under
the Patient in front between the legs.
If a flannel cap is made for the
blade fastened by strings under
the handle considerable comfort
will be afforded.
An auction was in progress in the shop, and the lady next to me (who I did not know) shouted to the auctioneer, that I wanted the pan. He auctioned it next. Despite not believing I had bid, the slipper bedpan became mine. It cost two shillings and sixpence. Rather than be seen carrying an old bedpan along Cameron Road to the Nurses’ Home, I asked for it to be wrapped.

Later I discovered slipper bedpans were common in the 1920s and 30s. They were most useful for patients who found it difficult to move. Rather than being called a slipper pan, it was sometimes referred to as a fracture pan.

When I tried to give the pan away, no-one wanted it. It became a flower vase in my room in the Nurses’ Home, and it overflowed with blooms. A friend thought he purchased one bunch of flowers, and discovered he’d bought ten. At the Nurses’ Dance, the band played ‘Pennies From Heaven,’ while the pan was passed around for donations. £2.10/- was collected for the Student Nurses Association.

But the pan met an untimely end. Recorded with an article ‘Pan Antics’ in Tauranga Hospital’s magazine Suture Line 1963-64, is the death notice:
BEDPAN-SLIPPER – On October 31st 1963, at 2.10 pm. (By accident). Beloved pal of Pan Anne, and famed member of the Nursing Organisation. Funeral service will be held tomorrow, 10 am in Room 107. Procession then leaving for the Rubbish Bin, Ground Floor, Wing 3. (Clean rubbish only by request, or donation to the Student Nurses’ Association). TILL DEATH DO US PART.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Tuhua - Mayor Island

Taken from Tuhua Mayor Island, Postcard by G.K.Prebble, 1971. Collection of Justine Neal
Tuhua is a volcanic island lying 20 miles off the coast of Tauranga and those of you who have been lucky enough to visit this magical place will have your own special memories of it. In 1884 the surveyor Eric C Goldsmith visited the island and reported as follows:
The island has grand coastal scenery with majestic arches and rough caves of basaltic rock. There remains some thermal activity in the form of small hot springs and there is also a large crater five miles in circumference. Being very broken and badly watered the island is not suitable for settlement. The water in the two small lakes in the crater, which are difficult of access, is doubtful. There are no streams of any description. The climate is very pleasant with no frost experienced and ideal for growing fruit.
Goldsmith found bananas, apples, peaches, grapes, figs, raspberries, strawberries and cape gooseberries growing at various points on the island. Tobacco also grew well and before the turn of the century the Maori inhabitants had fine specimens of it growing. Situated on every commanding point or hill, pa sites or the remains of pa sites were scattered all over the island and Goldsmith recorded there could have been large populations in the past. When he visited in 1884 there were only three men, four women and two little girls living on the island. Various epidemics of disease ravaged the Maori population prior to the 19th century so that as far back as 1835 only 170 people remained on the island and finally its villages were deserted altogether as permanent places of residence. Not all deaths on the island were disease related as previous inhabitants had seen their share of strife and violence.

Greetings - Tairua. Postcard by unknown publisher, 2131. Collection of Justine Neal
The stock on the island consisted of one horse, pigs, fowls and pea fowls. Bird life was plentiful with kereru, ruru, tui, korimako and piwakawaka all to be heard in the bush. The pohutukawa forest in the crater supported a population of kaka. Goldsmith described the vegetation on the outer slopes as common fern, tutu, very thick ti-tree, koromiko and a little grass. The few clumps of trees consist of pohutukawa, mapou, manuka, rewarewa akeake, whau and a few puriri.

Goldsmith wrote that fishing of the island was very good with an abundance of hapuka, kokire, maumau, schnapper, kahawai and terekikihi. There is also koura, crabs and shellfish. Mako is caught off shore but Goldsmith was not able to catch any during his stay and the local Maori told him they were getting very scarce. Near the centre of Opo Bay where Goldsmith and his party camped they found two weather boarded sheds. These had been built eight years earlier by the locals to form a whaling station, the kauri timber used in construction having been brought from Tairua by cutter. They purchased whale boats and all the necessary gear but owing to lack of whales the venture turned out a failure.

Mayor Island, Tauranga, Postcard by Mirrielees, undated, No 19. Collection of Justine Neal
Opo Bay is the centre of activity on the island and even in Goldsmith’s day was providing a haven for cutters as it did for Maori canoes ages before. In the south west corner of Opo Bay was Te Panui pa where Goldsmith found the nine remaining Maori who were living on the island when he arrived. On the flat on the south side there were cultivations of about 25 acres. Here potatoes, kumara and corn were growing. There were also strawberries and raspberries. Goldsmith noted that this pa was in a very strong position particularly from the  seaward side. It was accessible only by climbing perpendicular cliffs. The inhabitants had rigged a rough ladder, well concealed, with which to descend to the beach where their canoes could be hidden in the undergrowth.

At the head of one of the wooded glens running inland from the bay was one of the few springs to be found. It was not a good one, the water dripping slowly from the rock into a small hole made to receive it. The water had to be dipped up cup by cup and during Goldsmith’s stay when the water was only used for drinking and cooking, this meagre supply was nearly exhausted.

Friday, 16 November 2018

The Dining Room Curtains in Brain-Watkins House


Since my early teenage years I have been fascinated by beautiful needlework, inspired by the legacy of embroidery executed by both my mother and grandmother. In the days when the Brain ladies and my forebears were stitching, there was very little choice of fabric or embroidery thread in the local haberdashery stores, and most needlewomen imported parcels of white linen ‘scraps’ from Ireland as their only option. The wonderful variety of fabrics and threads available today began to drift into the shops in the mid-50s.

Brain-Watkins House has a splendid collection of needlework stitched by the women of the family. Many of their pieces would have taken many hours to complete, and are fine examples of their craft. There is some debate about when electricity came to Tauranga; it is suggested that it was between 1915 and 1917. Those ladies would have few amusements without radio or television, and needlework would have occupied some of their free time.

I have been amused by the crocheting on either side of the drop curtains in the lounge/dining room. There are four unlined curtains, each with a drop of 2.9 metres, using fabric thought to be rayon acetate. This was available during the Second World War to replace silk which was commandeered for the manufacture of parachutes. The acetate was strong and withstood the light, the brightly coloured ones in the dining room were probably hung in the 1940s. Each side of the curtain has been continuously crocheted with loops with two centimetres spaces.

In my opinion they add nothing to the aesthetic appearance of the curtains, the work is only noticeable to most people when pointed out to them. Had the ladies run out of materials to embroider, and were they looking for a task to fill the hours? Of course we will never know, but it seems a shame to have spent so much time on a project that is seldom appreciated.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Obituary: Dave Page, 1932-2018

Dave Page was born in 1932 into a family deeply affected by the depression. His father was unemployed and his mother resented lining up to accept food parcels. Unsurprisingly Dave developed a great sympathy for the working man. Eventually his father found work and Dave had a happy childhood, inheriting a love of reading from his parents. He attended Palmerston North Boys’ High, where he was in the 1st XV and enjoyed the rugby clashes with other schools. While still at school Dave mowed lawns and took paid work in a honey factory, then later at the Longburn freezing works in the holidays to help fund his university education.

He was the first in his family to go to university, majoring in geography and again playing rugby. One Sunday he was missing from practice and this was so out of character that his coach went to his flat to find out why. Dave’s flat-mates thought that he was just asleep but, when the coach investigated, he found that Dave was in a coma and suffering from meningitis. He was rushed to hospital and survived, thanks his coach's vigilance. While at teachers’ college he met Louise Blyth; they were married in 1956 and had a son Rob and a daughter Jessica.

Dave began his teaching career at Tauranga High School, then moved to Kurow and later to Opunake. His first position as principal was at Reporoa College and then spent 15 years at Foxton. Dave was an excellent teacher, working long hours, coaching rugby and taking a keen interest in other school sporting activities. He was also a keen supporter of a good education for Maori children. Dave was also involved in Lions’ Clubs and enjoyed playing golf, bridge and crib. The family enjoyed many camping holidays together, first in tents and later in a caravan.

In 1985 Dave took part in a teacher exchange programme and taught in a tough comprehensive school in Alloa, Scotland, where he was an assistant teacher. While there he and Louise saw travelled throughout the United Kingdom. Dave decided to retire in 1993 at the age of 61, wanting to spend more time with Louise at their home in Waihi, having previously lived all their married life in education houses. They made many friends there and their time was spent building, gardening, tramping and travelling.

In 2004 Louise died and Dave faced a couple of bleak and lonely years. In 2006 he found solace and affection with Ursula whose husband had died at about the same time as Louise. They enjoyed several trips to Europe and the couple established a great life in Tauranga where Dave soon joined the Historical Society, served on the committee from 2009 to 2013, providing thoughtful and helpful advice and assistance to many aspects of the Society. He also published an article on the Society's blog on the Waihi Golf Club, about which he had written a history, Centennial History Waihi Golf Club 1906-2006. He guided at Brain Watkins House for many years.

About a year ago Dave was diagnosed with a brain tumour and spent his last months at Althorp. He died last Thursday, aged 86.

Many thanks to Peg Cummins for providing notes for this obituary.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Joy Drayton

This story by Peg Cummins was taken from an interview with Joy Drayton conducted about ten years ago. Joy was Prinicpal of Tauranga Girls’ College from 1959 until about 1981. She was the recipient of many honours the last being when she was made Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009. Joy added Te Reo to the College curriculum, the first state school in New Zealand to do so. At various times she was on the executives of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and the National Council of Women, Chairperson of the BOP Women’s Refuge and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Waikato. Joy Drayton died in Tauranga in 2012 aged 96.

Joy Drayton, 1986
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 99-1236
Joy Drayton came to Tauranga to be the second principal of Tauranga Girls’ College. Mrs Wakelin (later Mrs Allo), the first principal resigned after a year and Mrs Drayton was appointed in her place.  In those days the Boys’ and Girls’ College shared a Board of Governors with Otumoetai College but when Otumoetai College opted for a separate Board the other two colleges did the same. At first pupils came from Mount Maunganui as well, until a college was built there. The Girls’ College began in 1957 (on the site of Mowatts’ farm) with about 600 pupils but this number grew rapidly until numbers settled at about 8-900. When Mrs Drayton left the college in 1982 the roll stood at 1162. Now (in 2008) they are around 1600. When the Girls’ College was built it was on the periphery of the town but that did not last for very long. At first Mrs Drayton did not have a car so she would catch the school bus in the mornings but because the school buses left at about 3.30 in the afternoon she had to walk back to town to catch a bus later on. Cameron Road was still in its formative stages in those days and negotiating it was often like walking down a rocky stream bed. There was no trouble in attracting suitable staff to the Girl’s College. Staff was appointed on the basis of “building a good team.” One teacher who stands out in Mrs Drayton’s memory is Mrs Claudia Jarman, the art teacher. She was not an artist herself but was a brilliant art teacher, who believed that everyone had artistic ability and encouraged her pupils to exercise their talents by instilling that feeling in every child. Maths and physics teachers were always difficult to find and for some time girls requiring physics had to go to the Boys’ College for that subject.  The Boys’ College was the first secondary school in the country to have a guidance counsellor and the Girls’ College was the second. There was always a friendly relationship between the Girls’ and Boys’ Colleges.

In the early days Mrs Drayton remembers girls as being provided with an education to make them good wives and mothers. Later, women accessed education because they deserved to be educated, just as men did. The third formers in the early days seemed more like children whereas those from a later generation were more like young people, older in their years. The curriculum was carefully divided into “academic” for the brighter pupils, “commercial” for the less academic and “homecraft” for the rest. These decisions were based on the records that come from the primary schools. Mrs Drayton preferred the girls to have greater choice in what they were able to do and in the early seventies, introduced an “options” scheme. As an example, girls from the academic stream were able to opt for some homecraft if they wished. Some of the more unusual options for the 6th Form girls were golf and horse riding.  And at one time the girls wanted to paint a frieze on the top of the library building. Having given permission the staff then had to take out insurance for those who took part. "Options" was an innovative scheme but, in pre-computer days it was a logistical nightmare which tested the timetabling team to the utmost. Of course, there were basic curriculum requirements to be covered and girls’ wishes were not always able to be catered for but in the main the scheme worked very well. In the early sixties some of the girls did a survey which took in a mile’s circumference of the college to find out what the parents thought about thing and how many children there were at home. They were appalled to find that in a number of cases children as young as two years were being left at home alone. This prompted the college to set up first a play-group and later a fully fledged childcare centre to cater to the needs of the area. This provided the girls with the opportunity to observe the children through one-way glass and also to be involved in their care. There was no problem attracting children to the facility.

Dr Drayton’s efforts in the local community were not confined to the college. At various times she took her place on City and Regional Councils and as Deputy Mayor. She was also a Trustee and is now a director of the Elms Trust. Her doctorate from Waikato University was awarded for her work on behalf of the university and for her services to the community. For a time she was Vice Chancellor of Waikato University. One of her proudest achievements is the city library. In the early days the collection was housed in the old town hall and during heavy rain the building leaked, which was disastrous for the books. Getting proper library built was one of the reasons she sought election to the Council and she had to work hard for it because not all councillors thought a library was important. Traditional sporting fixtures were followed but under her leadership the college branched out on some of their own.  Academic standards of the school were very important and Mrs Drayton was also involved in singing and in dramatic productions. Attending the Girls’ High School’s 50th Anniversary celebrations were a highlight and Mrs Drayton is also invited to all important occasions at the school. One of the pleasures of life now is the contact she has with former staff and ex-pupils. Many of these people keep in touch and no doubt Mrs Drayton finds it gratifying to see what her pupils have done with their education.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Early Photographic Portraits in Tauranga

 Ottewill’s Kinnear-style & Scovill-style wet-plate camera with 4 lenses
Images courtesy of Rob Niederman

On the 12th December 1862 John and Celia Kinder arrived in Tauranga on the ship Julia, for a summer holiday visit with her father Archdeacon Brown and his second wife Christina. Along with their clothing and other daily necessities required for a such a stay of five or six weeks, most likely carried in a steamer trunk, John also brought his photographic equipment. Although he is thought to have gained his skills at wet-plate collodion photography around 1861, early views were taken with a twin-lens stereo camera, and it is likely that he purchased a larger format, full-plate camera similar to those shown in the images above, capable of taking photographs on 8½” × 6½” glass plates, in 1862.

 Camera, tripod, plate holders, glass plates, portable dark room and chemicals, similar to those probably used by Kinder in 1862-1864 (from Cameras, from Daguerreotypes to Instant Pictures, Brian Coe, 1978)

Over the course of the next two weeks Kinder took a series of at least twelve photographs around the Te Papa peninsula, some in the vicinity of the mission house and chapel, others a little further afield at the Mission Cemetery, Taumatakahawai Pa and Otumoetai. Given that the photographic plates needed to be exposed in the camera immediately after their preparation, and then developed soon after their exposure, he would have needed some kind of portable dark room or tent, as shown above.

Maori girls (Bakehouse), Te Papa, Tauranga, December 1862
Albumen print on white card, Image courtesy of the Hocken Collection Ref. P1922-001-017

His photograph of a group of eight children arranged in front of the bakehouse is a highly competent image from both technical and compositional stand points, particularly for an amateur who was a relative newcomer to these difficult techniques. It also has the distinction of being probably the first photograph taken to include human figures, Maori or Pakeha, in the coastal Bay of Plenty, and is therefore probably as important to Tauranga’s history as the Barrett Sisters daguerreotype (attributed to Lawson Insley, circa 1853) is to that of New Plymouth and Taranaki.

 (Left) Tarapipipi te Waharoa (Wiremu Tamehana), (Right) Rapana and unidentified young man
Te Papa, Tauranga, January 1863
Albumen prints on white card, Images courtesy of The Elms Collection

Between New Year’s Eve and 7th January, Kinder accompanied Archdeacon Brown on a trip over the Kaimais to Patetere in the Waikato (near present day Putaruru and Tirau). For whatever reason – perhaps they went on foot, and the glass plates were heavy – he appears not to have taken his photographic equipment, although he did produce a watercolour painting of Te Wairere (Falls) on their way back. Over the next couple of weeks he returned to his photographic pursuits but on a very different tack. Kinder replaced the single landscape view lens on his camera with a lens board containing four portrait lenses. This arrangement allowed him to produce four separate, smaller images on a single plate, by exposing through each lens successively. At least sixteen such carte de visite format portraits have survived, suggesting that he exposed at least four full-sized plates in this fashion. The first portrait shows Tarapipipi te Waharoa (Wiremu Tamehana) standing in front of Brown’s library, while the second shows Rapana (Laban) and a friend standing in front of Volkner’s cottage, also in the Mission Station grounds. Tarapipipi most likely accompanied Kinder and Brown back from the Waikato, and the two young men acted as guides.

(Left) Hoko Hoko Tutahi (Right) Unidentified young woman, Te Papa, Tauranga, January 1863
Albumen prints on white card, Images courtesy of The Elms Collection

This half-length carte de visite-style portrait shows an older Maori man seated in a chair on the porch of Volkner’s cottage. He is bearded, wears a korowai covering a light-coloured shirt, and holds a book in his right hand. The subject of the portrait is probably Te Tūtahi (Hokohoko Tutahi) (c1810-after 1864), chief of the Maungatapu section of the Ng¬āti Hē hapū (Ngāi Te Rangi) who had signed the Tauranga Treaty of Waitangi sheet in 1840. He was the father of Taiaho Hōri Ngātai (c1832-1912), veteran of Gate Pa and Te Ranga, who later gave accounts of the Battle of Gate Pa to historians James Cowan (1901) and Gilbert Mair (1903). Hokohoko spoke at the peace negotiations following the battles (Te Raupatu o Tauranga Moana). Gifford & Williams (1940) include Hokohoko as one of the “Maori converts.” The young woman seated in the same location is as yet unidentified.
Perhaps originally intended to fill the slots in a family photograph album - cartes de visite of family, friends and the famous became something of a fad in the 1860s – these images, being the first taken of tangata whenua in Tauranga, now form part of an important regional treasure.

This forms part of an ongoing study on Kinder’s photography in the Bay of Plenty. Grateful acknowledgement to Rob Niederman, The Elms, The Tauranga Heritage Collection and the Hocken Library for the opportunity to study items in their collections, and for permission to use these images.