Thursday, 18 February 2016

February of Yesteryear in Rotorua: Pt 3

It happened on this day.

The display of events that happened on this day in Rotorua is being added to every day on the 2nd Floor of Rotorua District Library. Keep following the events online with our weekly blog posts. This is the third post in a series of four. If you've missed the previous posts, find them here:


Dates for events are drawn from the works of Don Stafford.


15th February 1985

Moose Lodge becomes luxury resort

Moose Lodge is situated on the shores of Lake Rotoiti.

Dr Frank Rayner bought the land in 1898 and built a hut for weekend fishing trips, hanging stuffed moose heads on the hut’s outside walls. When he died in 1931, his friend Sir Noel Cole bought the land and built Moose Lodge. He and his wife entertained friends, VIPs and even royalty with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip staying in 1953 and Prince Charles and Princess Anne visiting in 1970.

Moose Lodge reopened in February 1985 as a luxury holiday resort after refurbishment and expansion by owners Errol and Noeline Officer.

Want to know more?

Unique lodges of New Zealand by Jill Malcolm
Don Stafford Files: Hotels Vol. 1, 183
Library Files: Buildings
Rotorua Photonews 5th May 1967


16th February 1984

Ex-President Jimmy Carter Visit ends 


The combined Lions Clubs of Middle Districts and Manawatu invited former US president Jimmy Carter to speak at a fundraising event and he eventually accepted, lured by an added fishing trip.

He also spent time fishing in Taupo and visited the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua before leaving New Zealand on the 16th of February 1984.

Want to know more?

Rotorua Daily Post Article: 16th February 1984 available on Microfiche at Rotorua District Library.
The Lions Club of Palmerston North Middle Districts History.


17th February 1896






Want to know more?

Hot Lakes Chronicle 19th February 1896 available on Papers Past


18th February 1960


National Film Unit in Rotorua Filming "The Maori Today".

"The Maori Today" is a short documentary filmed by the National Film Unit in 1960. Much of the footage was shot in Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty. While the perspective was one of pakeha promotionalism, there is some quality footage from this time.

Rotorua footage includes Mr Tiwaka Akatipa using the linotype machine at the Post, Māori students from Girls’ and Boys’ High Schools, St Faith’s Church Youth club, carvings and meeting houses.


Want to know more?

Rotorua Post Article: 18th February 1960 available on Microfiche at Rotorua District Library.
Watch the documentary online at NZ On Screen.


19th February 1940


Foundation Stone of Tutanekai St Police Station Laid


Peter Fraser laid the foundation stone of the "new" Police Station on the north-east corner of Haupapa and Tutanekai Streets in what is now the Pig-n-Whistle Pub on the 19th of February 1940.

Underneath the foundation stone there is a box containing copies of the Public Works Statement, estimates and plans of the building and coins and stamps of the realm.

Want to know more?

For more information on the Tutanekai St building including the meaning behind the Maori designs read:
Policing two peoples: a history of police in the Bay of Plenty by Jinty Rorke.
Kete Rotorua - Pig-n-Whistle Pub
Rotorua Morning Post article: 19th Feb 1940 available on Microfiche at Rotorua District Library.


20th February 1924

Spencer Mausoleum Dedicated


The remains of Reverend Seymour Mills Spencer, his wife Ellen and many of their family are in a family vault at Kariri close to the site of the Mission site Spencer settled in 1845. The Spencers worked among the Tuhourangi iwi during their time at Kariri and later at Te Wairoa where they moved in 1852.

A window in St Faith’s Church, Ohinemutu depicts Rev. Seymour Spencer and the umbrella he was well known to carry and even sleep under.

Want to know more?

Mission to Tarawera: Rev. Seymour Mills & Ellen Stanley Spencer and some of their visitors. Lake Tarawera 1842-1870 by J.M. Scobie.
Te Arawa : a history of the Arawa people by D.M. Stafford.
Kete Rotorua
Papers Past


21st February 1883


Guide Kate Given Award for Bravery


Guide Kate, also known as Kate Middlemass or Keita Rangitukia, was presented the Humane Society Medal in February of 1883. While in a canoe with tourists on Lake Rotomahana in January of 1882, the canoe capsized and Mr Bird from Te Puke went under. Kate dived down and brought him back up to the canoe.

Photograph from Kete Rotorua of Guide Sophia, Guide Kate and an unknown guide.


Want to know more?

The Hot Lakes Guides by John Cresswell
Zealandia's brave: the Royal Humane Societies in New Zealand 1850 to 1998 by John Wills.
A to Js Online
Kete Rotorua


This series of posts is written by Sandra Quinn, Heritage Collections Librarian, Rotorua District Library.