Te Whare Taonga o Kororareka

Heritage

Bye-bye Big Tree

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Big Tree – it’s an advertisement for benzine. You can only just make out the words on the roof of the wharf shed. They were on the other side too for a few years. This “new” Government wharf  opened in 1927. Several years later Lord Bledisloe, Governor General from 1930 to 35, visited Russell. Bledisloe is remembered for gifting the Waitangi National Trust land, and the Bledisloe Cup, to the nation. He was also known for giving voice to his social conscience – at his own instigation, his salary was reduced by 30 per cent to match cuts in public servants’ salaries during the depression. He promoted  his personal views too, successfully persuading newspapers to print full, unedited coverage of his speeches. According to museum records, while in Russell, he suggested to local authorities and the Harbour Board that the Big Tree advertising spoilt the aspect of such a historic place. It was painted out at once. Simple as that. The ship approaching the wharf here is the “Clansman” and the gun is a  WWI German trench mortar. Marie King, in her 1948 book “Port in the North – A Short History of Russell, New Zealand : Also a Guide to Places of Interest in the Township and in the Bay of Islands” stated that “After the war of 1914-18, when a shipment of captured German guns was brought to New Zealand, Russell applied for and received this German trench mortar as the township’s share of the ‘spoils’.” This gun was apparently still in place on the waterfront in 1948 but has since disappeared. Where did it go? So far, no-one seems to be able to enlighten us. We are...

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Someone to Buttonhole

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Russell Town Council 1956-9 Original photo © Russell Museum This photo shows the members of the Russell Town Council 1956-9 seated outside the entrance to the Russell Library. The room that the library now uses as a workroom was the Town Council room where meetings were held and the town clerk presided. Councillors in this photo are back row, left to right: Fred Gooder, Frank Dender, Merv Wallis, and in the front Huia (Birdie) King, Eric Gilmour and Ernie Tinkler town clerk. All resident in Russell, people with a query or complaint had someone they could readily approach in the street. It was not until 1923 that a town district was formed, when Russell’s population was about 350. Russell became a County Town in 1974 with a Russell Community Council under the Bay of Islands County Council until 1989. With local body amalgamation we had resident representatives on the Kawakawa Community Board. Today, in 2007, Russell is represented by the Eastern Community Board but not by someone who lives in the town. There is no one left to buttonhole. Groups like Russell Ratepayers, Russell Protection Society, Russell 2000, Russell Business Association and many others are therefore very important to make sure our voice is...

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The High Place

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Original photo © Russell Museum Leo White’s Singer car on Maiki hill in 1930. This photo shows Leo White’s little Singer car believed to have been the first car to drive up to the flagstaff on Maiki hill in 1930. Leo worked for the Auckland Weekly News as a photographer and after the war took up aerial photography founding Whites Aviation selling wonderful hand coloured aerial views including the Bay of Islands. Maiki means the high place and the hill continues to be a focus for our town and popular with visitors who gain a greater appreciation of the beauty of the harbour, coast and islands of the Bay. It is a focus for locals on March 11 when dawn Karakia are said, remembering the past history of our bicultural town and praying for its future. Te Maiki te maunga, Kororareka te kainga. Maihi is our hill, Russell our...

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Summer by the Sea

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Original photo © Russell Museum Phyllis Boucher congratulates Charlie Baker Long hot summer days draw locals and visitors to the beach whether Kororareka Bay, Oneroa or Tapeka. Locals too enjoy a swim, particularly our children who learn to swim as naturally as they learn to walk. This photo shows two locals in 1936. Phyllis Boucher was the first person to swim Russell to Paihia in 1929 aged 18. Here she congratulates Charlie Baker aged 15, the first boy to swim from Russell to Paihia and back. The Boucher family of six girls  and a boy grew up half way down Matauwhi Bay Road in a house that was later moved to Te Wahapu (the site of today’s Motel Russell). Charles William Baker sadly was killed aged 21 in an aircraft accident  while on a training  flight out of Ohakea during World War 2. You can see his grave near the olive trees just inside the Christ Church picket fence.  ...

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Summer Bounty

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

Original photo © Russell Museum Percy Kydd with delicious bounty Here is Percy Kydd with the result of a summer dive in the Bay, a photo taken by Warkworth photographer Tudor Collins in the1950s. Percy was one of a family of 12 children whose parents were David Henry Kydd and his wife Bertha nee Hau. David’s mother Matilda had been the widow of George Cook, whaler, so David had Cook half brothers and cousins  who established the shore based whaling station at Whangamumu. In 1911 David and Bertha moved to Russell so their children were able to attend Russell school. Percy himself became  a farm manager for Bay of Islands farm owners.He later moved to Russell working as a builder with Jack Maioha. He died in 1982 aged 66. Fishing, diving and enjoying the beautiful marine environment is a special feature  of a Russell summer for locals and visitors...

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Subdivision

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Heritage | 0 comments

B&W photo postcard by Montagu. Russell no. R141. C. 1920s. From the earliest time the ‘S’ word has been part of Russell.  This old photo postcard shows a metalled track down to Long Beach.  Down below a bathing shed and long drop toilet stand on the foreshore.  In the distance is Wiggin’s small cottage (now replaced by a grandson’s contemporary bach.)  There is no road along the beach. Long Beach has a long history as a place to relax and enjoy sea, sun and sand. Possibly the first horse race in New Zealand was held there in 1839.  Louisa Worsfold, nee Mair, remembers the track to Oneroa was a favourite Sunday walk in the 1880s.  The town’s prisoners, for whom the police could find no other occupation, made the track. The Museum has a survey plan of 1925 when the land was subdivided and a road put in.  Owner was Mrs Anderson and surveyors Hung and Alcock.  T Mandeno Jackson, (local agent OR Neumann of Russell), marketed the sections.  Cost £70 – 10% in 6 months 10% at 12 months and the balance at 6% interest.  Stan Edward’s rate demand of 1952-3 was £3/7/11. Long Beach was also the landing place for people coming from Paroa and bays further out.  Although most were holiday homes, there were a few permanents like Christine Godwin in her creosote bach and Kevin and Val Smith in the 1970s of Adobe Fashions....

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