Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Manurewa's soldiers

Future soldiers

The photograph below was taken on the opening day of Manurewa School, 3 September 1906. This group includes a number of boys who a few years later would see active service during the First World War. Those in the back row are Walter Burton (fourth from left), Bert Ralls (sixth), Ted Mills (eighth), George Coxhead (tenth), Walter Costar (eleventh), Henry Lupton (thirteenth) and Bert McAnnally (furthest right). In the second row are Sam Craig (third from left), Douglas Wood (fourth), Horace Slight (seventh), Jack Freshney (ninth), Laurie Mills (tenth) and Fred Lupton (eleventh). Bert Mills is in the front row (tenth from left).


Walter Costar, Bert McAnnally, Cecil Slight and Douglas Wood would all be killed or die of wounds. Walter’s younger brother, Reginald, absent on the day of the photograph, would also die of wounds.

Between 1914 and 1918 at least 184 men (and one woman) with Manurewa connections enlisted for active service. As many as 167 of them served overseas. Fifty-two did not come back. Relatively few who did come back had escaped either being wounded or contracting a debilitating illness.

Ref: Front cover of Manurewa's soldiers, The photograph is of an artillery unit in training at Trentham Military Camp, 1916. Walter Costar is third from left.

The recently released book, Manurewa’s Soldiers, compiled for the Manurewa RSA, by Bruce Ringer, Team Leader, South Auckland Research Services, tells the stories of these soldiers. It also provides a chronology of significant events during the war, describes civilian life in the township during the war, and lists the cenotaphs and rolls of honour in Alfriston, Wiri and Manurewa itself. It is illustrated extensively with photographs from Auckland Libraries' collections.

Manurewa’s Soldiers has been distributed to all schools in the Manurewa Local Board area. Copies are also available for purchase from the Manurewa RSA. Lending copies can be requested from any branch of Auckland Libraries.

Author: Bruce Ringer, South Auckland Research Centre

Friday, 22 January 2016

In and around Featherston Camp by Sir Alfred Hamish Reed

100 years ago this Sunday, 24 January, the Featherston Military Training Camp officially opened its doors to men from around the country.


As part of our ongoing commitment to the New Zealand’s First World War centenary commemorations Auckland Libraries have recently a digitised a small but important resource for understanding life in New Zealand during the First World War, specifically life in the Featherston Camp.

In and around Featherston Camp  by Sir Alfred Hamish Reed is a small volume written in a calligraphic hand with medieval-style ornate initials and illustrated with photos pasted on.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Auckland Sun: photograph of David Bowie arriving at Auckland International Airport

The Auckland Sun newspaper was established as a tabloid format morning paper in competition with the New Zealand Herald. It was launched on 10 August 1987, but closed less than a year later, the final issue being published on 8 July 1988.

The Sun’s photograph collection was subsequently purchased by the newspaper’s two librarians who used it as the basis of an image bank and news service. The collection was then gifted to a former Sun reporter, who in turn donated it to Auckland Libraries in January 2015. It consists of 23 boxes of black & white and colour prints, and 4 large boxes of original negatives. 

Because of the short life of the newspaper, the collection is essentially restricted to a very limited time period - 1987/8 – but nevertheless covers such important events as the 1987 election and the Labour government, the Stock market crash, and the demolition of His Majesty’s Theatre. It also includes this photograph of the late David Bowie arriving at Auckland International Airport on 26 November 1987.

Ref: Sheryl Campbell, David Bowie arriving at Auckland International Airport, 26 November 1987, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, Accession 1329.

Read a tribute to David Bowie over on our pop culture blog.

Vale, David Bowie.

Author: Keith Giles, Sir George Grey Special Collections

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Culture, entertainment and leisure in Wellsford and nearby locations, Pt 1

When they came to Aotearoa, Tangata whenua brought cultural practices with them. These continued to change and adapt to local circumstances.

Te Ara has a story on Whakairo / Māori carving and its origins. This story states that by 1800 a ‘Serpentine’ (tuare) style developed in the northern regions of Aotearoa (associated with Hokianga, Hauraki, East Cape and Taranaki, and exemplified by Ngāti Whātua carvings).

“The tubular bodies are usually uncarved, but if surface decoration is applied the unaunahi (fish-scales) pattern is the most common, especially in the north... Unaunahi is most prevalent in Te Tai Tokerau (Northland)…”