Friday, 28 March 2014

Sounds historical

The heritage music collections at Auckland Libraries include a range of material, including cassettes, LPs, CDs, music scores and manuscript sheet music. The music collections cover a large range of genres and are continually expanding.

Ref: Items from Sir George Grey Special Collections music collections, clockwise from top left:  Shocking Pinks (self-titled) CD, Ardijah 'Take a chance' CD, New Zealand poets read their work LP, Freebase 'Raw: live at Cause Celebre' cassette
Auckland Libraries' music collections are of historic interest and relate to the development of New Zealand music. In November last year, the original manuscripts of God Defend New Zealand, held at Sir George Grey Special Collections, received national recognition with inscription on the UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand register of documentary heritage.

Older forms of media, sometimes out-dated, hard to track down, unpopular or difficult to purchase, are also part of the collection. Since many of the resources as are on older formats, equipment for listening to or watching material is made available. The Sir George Grey Special Collections recently upgraded the audio-visual equipment in the reading room, including the facilities to watch DVDs and listen to music. Due to the temperature controlled environment in heritage collections and careful handling, the items themselves are generally in very good condition.

Ref: Items from Sir George Grey Special Collections music collection, clockwise from top: Douglas Lilburn 'Instrumental music 1945-1957' LP, 'Cook Islands Musical Spectacular' cassette, Stereobus 'Brand new' CD
People researching New Zealand music may find additional useful material in Auckland Libraries' manuscript, newspaper, magazine, ephemera and printed collections. Also, material for researching Māori music is available in the Te Kohinga Matua collection at the Central Auckland Research Centre. Items in the music collection can be searched for on the Auckland Libraries catalogue

Author: Zoë Colling, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Pasifika Churches in South Auckland

The church forms an important part of the life of many Pasifika communities. Over recent decades the streetscapes in many parts of South Auckland have been enhanced by the addition of large new churches serving Pacific Island congregations.

Some of these churches make striking architectural statements. For instance, in the Ormiston Road Tongan Methodist Church, architect George Moala used both traditional Tongan forms and traditional materials such as coconut fibre. Expert Tongan craftsmen were brought in to help with the work. The church was opened in June 1990.

Ref: Footprints 03324, interior, Tongan Methodist Church, Otara, 1990, photograph reproduced by permission of Fairfax Media, South Auckland Research Centre
Almost all of the mainstream and many of the smaller denominations are represented by thriving Pacific Island congregations. Some South Auckland churches hold their Sunday services in 3 or 4 different languages.

Ref: Footprints 03313, New home for church, Otara, 1990, photograph reproduced by permission of Fairfax Media, South Auckland Research Centre
Some people may find the names of some denominations unfamiliar, as exemplified by the photograph below:

Ref: Footprints 01634, Ekelesia F’apototoga Kerisiano Amerika Samoa (Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa)  Wiri, 1985, photograph reproduced by permission of Fairfax Media, South Auckland Research Centre
At least two national churches run their affairs in full partnership with their Pacific Island members. Since 1992 the Anglican Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand has had 3 equal partners: Tikanga Pakeha, Tikanga Māori and Tikanga Pasefika. In July 2013 the Pacific Islanders Presbyterian Church (PIPC) of New Zealand became an autonomous and equal partner within the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Another kind of partnership has been demonstrated by the Manukau Pacific Islanders Presbyterian Church. In 1992 this bought the buildings of the former Orphan Home (aka St John’s) in Wyllie Road, Papatoetoe. The church has since established an auditorium and built a manse in the grounds, but otherwise left the old heritage buildings intact.

Ref: Footprints 02142, Former Orphan Home, Papatoetoe, 2005, photograph reproduced by courtesy of Papatoetoe Historical Society, South Auckland Research Centre
Want to find out more about our Pasifika churches? There are occasional articles in the local press, and some congregations maintain their own websites. Unfortunately, few have yet had time to publish their stories. One exception comes from 'Mangere: the History of the Mangere Pacific Islanders Presbyterian Church: The First 35 Years' (2007), which can be accessed through Auckland Libraries.

Author: Bruce Ringer, South Auckland Research Centre

Monday, 24 March 2014

Views of the Pacific

Pasifika at Auckland Libraries is well underway and there is lots you can take part in. To get you in the mood, listen to the Pacific Islands music playlist that has been specially created for this festival.

You can also check out the Pacific resources at Auckland Libraries. This includes a range of heritage collections: online resources, Pacific Island family history resources (Central Auckland Research Centre), Pacific newspapers (South Auckland Research Centre) and reference materials at the research centres .

There are also significant collections in the Sir George Grey Special Collections, including a tapa cloth book collected during Cooks' three voyages to the southern hemisphere. This has now been digitised and can be accessed online and you can read about the project to track down the other Cook tapa cloth books known to exist.

To further celebrate and honour the contribution that Pacific Islands communities make to the cultural mix of peoples in Auckland and New Zealand in general, below is virtual tour around the Pacific through the heritage collections at Auckland Libraries:

Ref: AWNS-19300604-49-1, visit to the Kermadec Islands, 1930, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: AWNS-19330510-31-1, NZ Governor-General's tour of the Pacific Islands including: Tonga, Rarotonga, Samoa and American Samoa, 1933, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: AWNS-19330510-33-1, NZ Governor-General is warmly greeted in Samoa, 1933, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: AWNS-19211208-37-1, Scenes from Fiji, 1921 Sir George Grey Special Collections

Friday, 21 March 2014

Romantics exhibition and Story of the Three Bears

A new exhibition from the Sir George Grey Special Collections entitled 'The Romantics: Jane Austen meets Frankenstein' has recently opened at the Central Library (Level 2) and runs until 22 June. The exhibition of rare books and manuscripts from late 18th to early 19th century covers a time when there was a revolutionary mood in art and literature, and a new emphasis on the imagination and the emotions. Jane Austen and Mary Shelley are some of the well known authors included. Find out more.

Ref: an illustration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein by Lynd Ward
Another author from this time, although he is not included in the exhibition is Robert Southey (1774-1843). He was an English poet of the Romantic school, one of the so-called "Lake Poets", and Poet Laureate for 30 years from 1813 to his death in 1843. "The Story of the Three Bears" (sometimes known as "The Three Bears", "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" or, simply, "Goldilocks") is a fairy tale first recorded by Southey, and published anonymously in a volume of his writings in 1837 titled “The Doctor”. Sir George Grey Special Collections has an edition of this from a slightly later date (1853).

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

From small beginnings: the ASB Polyfest

On 20 October 1976 Hillary College, Otara - now Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate - hosted the first Auckland Secondary Schools’ Māori and Pacific Islands Cultural Festival. Just 6 groups and 40 performers from 4 schools took part (Aorere College, Mangere College, Seddon High School and Hillary College itself).

The annual event was then held at a variety of schools. From 1996 it found a permanent home at the Manukau Sports Bowl in Clover Park. This offered the space to establish stage areas for different cultures: Māori, Cook Island, Niue, Samoa, Tonga. By this time a ‘Diversity’ stage for other cultures had also been added.

The 25th Festival held at the Sports Bowl in March 2001 involved 13,000 performers and 162 groups from 52 schools.

The festival is gathering strength even today. This year’s festival, which is now known in short as the ASB Polyfest, attracted 223 groups from 62 schools.

See below for a small selection of images taken at various festivals over the years  (all images by courtesy of Fairfax Media):

Footprints 00580, Mrs Hoana Rapatina and Prime Minister David Lange, Mangere, 1986, South Auckland Research Centre

Monday, 17 March 2014

Celebrating Samoa

Today marks the start of the Pasifika festival. 'My pride, my treasure, my Samoa / O lo'u mitamitaga, o a'u measina, o lau Samoa' is the title of the new collection of Samoan photos on Historypin. This collection covers both Samoa and American Samoa and was created from the heritage collections at Auckland Libraries. The images are mainly from the late 19th and early 20th century with a selection from the late 1980s and 1990s giving a more contemporary focus.

Ref: AWNS-18980909-2-1, bush scene in Apia, 1898, Sir George Grey Special Collectio
These photos capture the timeless essence of what is most important to Samoa; her land and her people and are a good way to mark the start of the Pasifika Festival. They bring together key places and events in Samoa and NZ - from the sliding rocks of Papasea, to the procession of Malietoa’s men on Coronation Day in the late 1800s, to the Bairds Intermediate Samoan group performance at the Otara Festival.

To access the 'My pride, my treasure, my Samoa' collection, go to the Auckland Libraries, Heritage and Research channel/profile page on the Historypin website (you can click on the badge below), scroll down the page and click on the Collections tab and choose the Samoan collection.

Link to AL Heritage & Research content on Historypin

Friday, 14 March 2014

Upper Greys Avenue flats

The Housing NZ flats at 115-139 Grey Avenue (known as the Upper Greys Ave flats) are going to undergo a much needed makeover. The land behind the flats, which is currently being used as a car park, will  be sold off. The other state housing flats nearby at 95-113 Grey Ave (known as the Lower Greys Ave Flats) were upgraded 5 years ago and will also remain in state hands.

 
Ref: Greys Ave showing the two Housing NZ flats, Auckland Council GIS Viewer, March 2014
Prior to the building of both of these blocks of flats, the area around Greys Avenue or Grey Street as it was known them, was home to a Chinese community. It was regarded by some (including the government) as a ‘slum' and  in 1941, the Labour government, with financial backing from the council, started to clear the area, which  made way for the building of both sets of flats.

Ref: 580-2234, architectural model of the multi-storey state flats in Greys Ave 1956-1957, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Round the Bays

Sunday 9th March was the annual Round the Bays  race. This event has been going for over 40 years. The first race was held in 1972 and was initiated by the Auckland Joggers Club. It has grown considerably in popularity over the years into one of the world's largest fun-runs, with a staggering number of nearly 40,000 registered runners.

The course is 8.4km and takes in the stunning views along the Waitemata Harbour from Quay Street in the city to St Heliers Bay - for more information see the course map. This year the funds raised went to Radio Lollipop, Cystic Fibrosis Auckland Branch, The Hearing House, Crohn’s and Colitis New Zealand, Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust, Kidsline and Fairfax First Books.

The waterfront has changed much over the years and some parts more so than others. The selection of heritage images below shows you the views you would have experienced had the fund raising race been held before 1972.
 
Mechanics Bay and Hobson Bay:

Ref: 1-W1309, looking east from the Ferry Buildings down Quay Street East and over Mechanics Bay, 1912, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 1-W1368, looking north east from the Cargen Hotel showing Beach Rd (right foreground) and reclamations in Mechanics Bay (left), 1913, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 1-W1858, showing men breaking down Campbell's Point for the new railway outlet with Quay Street East on the right, 1927, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Monday, 10 March 2014

Spectacles - all the better to see you with

Spectacles, specs, glasses, bin, gegs or gigs, goggles or whatever you call them, are worn by so many people that they are a common sight, if you'll excuse the pun ... Not always worn to aid sight but also as a fashion statement or for other purposes. such as sunglasses or shades to protect the eyes against the sun (a must have with NZ's strong sun) and lorgnettes for viewing the opera.

Other forms of eye wear that are less commonly seen nowadays but were popular in the past include: monocles and pince-nez (glasses worn with a nose clip instead of earpieces).

Glasses can change the way people look, giving them a distinguished air and can accentuate features like hairdos, facial hair and other accessories. Have fun looking through the spectacle of the past that is glasses wearers (that really is the last pun now ... !).

A distinguished air:

Ref: 34-122, Clifton Firth, 1952, Clifton Firth, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Ref: 31-58154, Mr Kemp, 1909, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-56638, Nurse Hyatt, 1909, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-57072, Mr Winstone, no date, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-65752, Mrs Peetree, 1911, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-57759, Mr Wilkinson, 1909, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Monocles:

Ref: NZMS 867-58, James Swan of the Auckland Little Theatre Society, no date, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-57649, an actor & actress in a musical comedy, 1909, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-57648, Mr Laurence Abrahams & Mr Joe King from Max Cohen's Opera Company, 1909, Sir George Grey Special Collections
To accentuate hairdos, accessories and facial hair (obviously the latter is for the men only!):

Ref: 31-56788, Miss McMaster, 1909, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-58135,Mr Jenkins, 1909, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-63012, the Fry family group, 1910, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-WP1145, Mr Les Moses, c. 1920s, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-58250, Mr Nicholls, 1909, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Children and glasses:

Ref: 31-61144, family portrait of the three Gilfillan children, 1910, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-63381, family portrait of the the L A Pitt group, 1910, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Friday, 7 March 2014

Bowling

Since Monday's post was all about keeping fit, it seemed a good idea to keep those motivation levels high and devote Friday's post to bowling. A gentle way of keeping fit but with benefits of all the socialising that goes along with it!

Bowling can also have a heritage component too. Recently the RSA Bowling Club in Onehunga (opened in 1938) was added to the schedule of significant historic heritage places in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. Submissions for this plan closed at the end of last month.

Now for a look back in time at the large number of bowling clubs, which sprung up in the Auckland region over the years, particularly in the first decade of the 20th century. Check out the wonderful array of clothing worn by the Mount Eden and Ponsonby bowlers in 1900. It must have been pretty hard to bowl in those formal outfits!

Grafton/The Domain:

Ref: AWNS-19011031-1-1, Auckland Bowling Club's Grafton Green on opening day, 26 October 1901, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Mount Eden:

Ref: 1-W1220, looking SW from Mount Eden - showing Mount Eden Bowling Green, 1905, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: AWNS-19001012-8-2, opening of the Mount Eden Bowling Green, 6 October 1900, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The "human dynamo": Looking inside the Phil Warren manuscript

Chris Bourke has written a great profile on the AudioCulture website about Auckland entertainment industry entrepreneur and local government politician Phil Warren. Many of the images included in the article are from the Phil Warren manuscript (NZMS 1214), donated to Sir George Grey Special Collections after Warren's death in 2002.

Ref: NZMS 1214, Phil and an unknown friend dining in the early 1960s, Sir George Grey Special Collections.
Born in 1938, Warren came from a family in which music and politics were important - his parents were performers and his grandfather's wife's family were political figures in Auckland. As a teenager, Warren worked for the music retailer Beggs and through a contact at this job he was hired as a travelling salesman.

When he was 18 years old, Warren met with an Australian agent of Clef Records in an attempt to establish a New Zealand branch of the company. The agent was surprised to be met by such a young man but was happy to discover he knew Warren's parents from their light opera days. Soon Warren had secured the New Zealand agency deal and his impressive role in the entertainment industry had begun.

His show business career included importing records, releasing New Zealand musical acts, running a talent agency, organising touring circuits of coffee lounges and dance halls, promoting performances and being a regular judge on television talent shows.

Ref: NZMS 1214, Phil Warren and Billy Bragg in the dressing room of the Galaxy, 1987, Sir George Grey Special Collections.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Keeping fit

Whatever you do to keep fit, it should be fun. There are so many activities to choose from - gymnastics, basketball, lawn bowls, tennis, horse riding and much more!

How about a vintage look at exercise, drawn from the heritage collections at Auckland Libraries, to get you motivated? If glamour is your thing, then tennis seems to be the winner - check out the tennis court by the sea at Piha and the stylish look of the Milne and Choyce model in her tennis outfit. Surely that is inspiration enough to pick up a racket?

Gymnastics:

Ref: 4-8930, a man doing a handstand on rails, no date, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: AWNS-19370310-49-1, gymnastics on the beach, 1937, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Ref: 31-WPSCH76, gymnasts, c. 1920-1939, Sir George Grey Special Collections