Thursday, 24 March 2016

It's Easter!

Easter is an annual Christian Festival of Remembrance 

The word 'Easter' comes from two old pagan spring festivals. The old European pagan festival of 'Ostara' that celebrated new life and Arabian Sun festival of 'Ishtar'. The early Christians took over the festivals and turned the pagan festivals of new life to mean the new life that Jesus gave the world when he rose from the dead. Unlike Christmas, when Jesus's birth is celebrated (although we don't know what time of year Jesus was born!), Easter is celebrated around the same time of year that he was killed. This is because Jesus died at the time of the Jewish Passover festival.
The Passover festival dates from about 4,000 years ago when Jewish people remember that God saved them from slavery in Egypt. Jesus was a Jew and so celebrated the Passover. Passover takes place in the first month of the Jewish New Year (14-15 of the month of Nisan). The Jewish calendar follows the cycle of the moon, so the date changes a bit every year. 

From :

For a look at some Easter traditions around the world:

Some other ideas for Easter: these books are available to borrow today from Rotorua District Library

641.8653 WHI
746.46 WIK
745.5 SEN
Above all enjoy your family times and be safe this Easter

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Book Review : Sarah Mathew Explorer, Journalist and Auckland's 'First Lady" by Tessa Duder

Sarah Mathew, Auckland's 'First Lady' 

A governess, at age 17, a respectable job for any well educated middle-class female!, continues this occupation until the age of 25 when she accepts a proposal of marriage from her cousin Felton. (a common occurrence of the 1800's was for women to marry their first cousin) By this time he had a fledgling career as a surveyor and ambitiously accepts a job in New South Wales thus setting the scene for their life in the Antipodes. 

Tessa Duder ably uses Sarah's writings and diaries of her colonial adventures and sets the scene for a fascinating look at life in 1840 New Zealand where Sarah was to become the only woman ashore for the flag raising ceremony celebrating the birth of Auckland.

Women of this era had it tough, but they survived to become worthy of our notice and admiration, for all they put up with for their husbands and families, they were at the cutting edge of the history we have in our fair land, 

The author adds excerpts from Sarah's diaries, they graphically depict the scenes she encountered in her travels with Felton.

This book is a vivid and accurate account of the life of Sarah Mathew, and all early New Zealand settlers and sojourners.

Available to borrow now from the New Zealand History & Travel section at 993.24z MAT

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Changing Face of Rotorua

Building Boom in Rotorua 

As recorded in the Rotorua Photo News by Michael Burton c1963-1967.

As I look around the Central Business District lately, I see lots of new buildings taking the place of old bungalow houses in Whakaue Street, 'new old' buildings in Pukaki Street and empty sections in Fenton Street. Having lived in Rotorua a looong time, seems like it anyway, these changes seem to be happening rather rapidly, but when I think back to my childhood and "the way we were" Rotorua has never stopped changing. So I thought I would share the following pictures from the Photo News to remind us that Rotorua has always been a forward thinking and vibrant city.

Just nearing completion, published in the Photo News Oct 23rd, 1965

The same Motel, January 2016.

Just before demolition starts, Photograph by Alison Leigh

New "Masonic Lodge" published in Photo News Oct 23rd, 1965
Almost the same view 1987, the Library was housed in this 'Temporary' location from c1972-1991

The 'New' sub-division of  Fenton Park In Apr 07, 1967 edition p91. Mr A. M. Linton presiding.

There are many more examples of 'new builds' throughout the Rotorua Photo News which can be viewed in the Don Stafford Room, 2nd Floor of the Rotorua District Library.