Friday, 29 January 2016

Annual "Fish out of Water" Competition

Rotorua artists, Fishy Art

As I walk around town at the moment I see colourful,  thought provoking 'fish' in shop doorways, at the I-site and RAVE. This competition never ceases to amaze and amuse me each year, there are wonderful creations by Rotorua Artists, Children and Clubs and I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

Kiri Jarden, past Rotorua Community Arts Officer, organised the 1st "Fish out of Water" community arts project in 2007 and it was such a success the project is now run annually.

The 'blank fish' are provided  by Rotorua Lakes Council, Creative Rotorua, and are decorated by artists, clubs and children. The 'fish' are displayed around the centre of town for approximately 2 months giving locals a chance to see them all and vote for their favourite fish.

In 2007 the Rotorua District Library entered and had a lot of fun decorating "Puka the fish" designed by Sue Heke, and in 2008 Fletcher Fish designed and decorated by Ellie Marshall and Vanessa Fisher.

Puka the fish

Previous years entries can be seen on the Library's Community Online Archive Kete Rotorua

Kete Rotorua is for the whole Rotorua Community to add photographs, histories of Rotorua people and places, artists portfolios and more.  Why not register today and start adding your memories to Rotorua's rich history, including what's happening in Rotorua now in our community for future residents of our great city to enjoy.

Monday, 18 January 2016

School Days are nearly here again

A brief chronological history of Rotorua Schools 

As the new school year approaches, I wonder how many of us knows /or cares how schooling began in Rotorua?  For me school was to be endured, not enjoyed, although some subjects were easy others were a real trial. This has, it seems, been the norm for quite a few in my generation.  I got to thinking today about when formal education began in Rotorua and was a little surprised by what I discovered from Don Stafford's "The Founding Years in Rotorua: a history of events to 1900".

Rotorua's first school was at Ohinemutu in c1867, followed closely by Te Wairoa in 1870 from that time on the schools and education in Rotorua has fluctuated with the ever changing population. The local Maori were keen for their children to learn, so much so, that the Native Schools were Rotorua's first ever schools. 

Here is a time-line of some of our oldest schools as recorded in Don Stafford's books :

Ohinemutu 1867-c1887, then on the current site on Arawa St, from 1887-Present
Te Wairoa 1870 –c1886
Rotoiti : Te Akau  1871
Te Awahou 1877-c1894
Te Taheke  1890-c1892, dismantled and moved to Matawera (Te Ngae) c1896-1926
Mamaku School 1899-Present
Whakarewarewa Native School 1902-Present "Te Kura o te Whakarewarewa
Rotoiti : Waiiti 1904-Present
Mangorewa, Central Rd 1906-1950
Ngongotaha School 1906-Present
Oturoa 1906- c1946-1950
Reporoa Primary School 1923-Present
Lake Rotoma School 1928-Present
Rotorua High School 1929, becomes Rotorua Girls High and Rotorua Boys High c1958
Horohoro School 1930-Present
St Michael’s Convent School 1939-Present
Glenholme Primary School 1945-Present
Lynmore Primary School  1955-Present
Malfroy Primary School 1955-Present
Ngakuru School 1955-Present
Lake Rerewhakaaitu School 1955-Present
Waikite Valley School  1955-Present
Kaharoa School 1956-Present
Rotokawa School  1956-Present
Rotorua Intermediate 1957-Present
Otonga Primary School  1958-Present
Western Heights Primary 1958-Present
Sunset Intermediate 1959-2007

This article was just one of many requesting a High School in Rotorua since c1910

There have been several more schools established in Rotorua since this time including our first total immersion Maori language school. Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata in 1986. 

Rotorua District Library has books published about and by some the schools above as they celebrate their anniversary's, come up to the 2nd Floor, NZ History and Travel section and see what you can find about your old (or current) school.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Book Review : Holiday Seasons by Alison Clarke.

Holiday Seasons : Christmas, New Year and Easter in nineteenth century New Zealand 

by Alison Clarke.

A fascinating look at our traditions and where they came from, different customs in different parts of New Zealand are accounted for when you discover the ethnicity of the early migrants to New Zealand. e.g. "All sorts of Scots came to New Zealand, from country and town, industry and agriculture" Less than 10%  of Scots migrants came from the Highlands but a higher % came from the West Lowlands reflecting which areas of Scotland were most highly populated. Most settled in Otago attracted by the Scottish Free Church colony there. 

"The relative freedom of colonial life allowed migrants, if the wished, to maintain their varied holiday traditions. Local businesses had considerable control over holidays and if enough of them closed on a particular day it became a 'general holiday' " p15.

This book is filled with historic fact and photograph as well as anecdotal evidence from newspapers and diaries of early settlers. Well researched and written for anyone interested in New Zealand's traditional holidays.

Available to borrow from the New Zealand History and Travel section on the 2nd Floor, 993z CLA and from the General Non Fiction section on the 1st Floor 394.26z CLA