Thursday, 28 December 2017

Rotorua: Summer of STEAM : Biking and Cycling of Times Past

Cycling in Rotorua c.1898 & Today

Rotorua has long been a mecca for the keen cyclist, as early as 1898 Rotorua had a Cyclist's Club and in 1899 a Lady Cyclist's Club.

The following is an excerpt from a news article entitled "An ungallant Town Board" :

"in Strictly reserving the footpaths of the Town to pedestrians ...these callous Boardmen would not listen to the voice of the charmer (who in this case was the Hon. Secretary of the Lady Cyclists Club) charmed she ever so wisely, but turned a deaf ear to all her supplications...the letter placed before the board asked on behalf of lady bikists that they should reconsider it's decision...and allow the fairer sex to use same" As reported in the Thames Star of 8 April 1899. Click here to read the Full Article

The following rendition of a Lady Cyclist is from 1897 and was published in the Christchurch Star.
Papers Past : Advertisements, Column 2, Star, Issue 5793, 10 February 1897

In 1898 the Bellvue House on Fenton Street, advertised their location to be most suitable for cyclists.

With thanks to Papers Past for this advertisement.
New Zealand Herald, 5 November 1898.
The advertisement does not make mention of the condition of the roads in the town however!  These were in construction from c.1890 and the Town Board had also "resolved that notice board printed on calico be erected , warning in English and Maori against 'leading, riding or driving horses, or any animal, along the footpaths. The police were to be asked to prosecute anyone infringing this by-law.' in Gold and geysers by Phil Andrews p.85

"In February 1898 an epic decision was made by the Town Board to lay down bicycle tracks beside the footpaths - the first such scheme in NZ." in The Founding Years by Don Stafford p.317.

Today in Rotorua we have a similar situation with bicycle paths, some of which are shared with pedestrians on the CyWay.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Rotorua Summer of STEAM Post #2 Book Review of Phil Andrews 'Gold and Geysers'

Camille Malfroy 

Jean Michel Camille Malfroy, Photograph by Alison Leigh for Kete Rotorua

Gold and Geysers: the remarkable Mr Malfroy by Philip Andrews.
Available to read from the New Zealand Heritage Collection. 993.423z MAL

Mr Jean Michel Camille Malfroy, known in Rotorua as Camille Malfroy.

Phil Andrews writes a fascinating story on the life of Mr Malfroy, for whom Malfroy Road was named.  
A Gold prospector, Gold Mining Company owner, Ingenious Engineer and Geyser Engineer.

In Phil’s introduction he records for us a snapshot of the popular and well like man who moved to NZ from the Australian gold fields in c1863. Phil covers Malfroy’s early life in the region of the Ross goldfields before moving to Rotorua just days after the Tarawera Eruption.  He becomes an integral part of the Rotorua community and was responsible for building up the Government Gardens and township where it is today. 

Malfroy’s Geysers are no longer geysers but the site can still be seen in the Government Gardens today.
Photograph by Alison Leigh for Kete Rotorua 
The photograph below was taken c.1919 by Frederick George Radcliffe.
Malfroy Geyser, Rotorua. Ref: 1/2-006566-F.
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23145912

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Christmas in Rotorua a special time of year

Rotorua Library loves being in the Parades

Rotorua Library's first ever Santa Parade entry was our NEW Mobile Library Bus in the 1988 Parade with a big red Christmas ribbon around it's middle.

Then in the Rotorua Public Library Centennial year of 1989, staff members, Joanne & Mary Ellen volunteered to stand on the float as pictured below.

Christmas parade 1989 our Centennial Year
Rotorua Library then had a break from the parade scene until 1999 when our next NEW Mobile Library Bus was entered.  For the year 2000 the library borrowed a bus from a staff member (Lea-Ann Carter) which was decorated and ably assisted by more staff and a few of the children of Library staff and hangers on. The photograph below was taken just before heading around to Rangiuru Street to take a place in the long line of floats.

Christmas Parade in 2000
In 2001 Fletcher Tuatara made an appearance in his egg...which duly hatched in the Library...
Tractor driven by Staff Member Brent, Christmas 2001
Once Fletcher was 'born' he made a number of appearances in the Library and at some local schools. For the 2003 Santa Parade, Fletcher along with his (food) caterpillars joined the fun.

Fletcher and the caterpillars, Christmas Parade 2003
In the 2004 Santa Parade, Fletcher went along with some cute Fairy Tale Characters.
Fairy princess, Puss n Boots, Little Boy Blue and Pinocchio, Christmas Parade 2004
Rotorua Library had a year off to plan another fabulous Christmas themed float, with little angels of Library Staff and one or two staff as well.

Christmas Angels, Christmas Parade 2006

Rotorua Library Staff 2009
Christmas is always a good excuse for a bit of fun!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Rotorua Celebrations c1903-1940

Rotorua Carnival Week 

The inaugural Carnival Week - Christmas Eve to New Year's Eve was 1903

The first ever carnival was held from 24th February of 1903 for 1 week.  Visitors from Auckland and all the surrounding districts were in Rotorua for the commencement of the 1st Annual Rotorua Carnival... Read about the opening of the carnival, how many attended the event and the parades which included canoes. The highlights of the carnival were the Maori events which included a war canoe race.
Source: "Papers Past" Auckland Star, 24 February 1903 pg. 5

February 1907 – Don Stafford recorded the following letter from the Rotorua Carnival Committee of 1907 in his "Events folder 1870-1929".
The Parade entrants in this order:
The Marshall on horseback 
Mounted Police
The Darktown Band
Sir J.G. Ellis (The Official)
Maori best dressed teams
- in between each team a mounted maori on a painted horse
Mud Card & Mud Man
Rotorua Volunteer Fire Brigade
Decorated Vehicles
Ambulance Cart, Horse and Barrels
Salvage Corp. 2 men and cart.
Poster and Advertising costumes
Poi Dancers 
Rotorua Brass Band
School Cadets
Vehicle with Miss Lundon's Maypole Dancers
The Bullock
Maori War Party led by a painted horse
The Oddfellows
Children in gala costume
Decorated Prams
Decorated Bicycles 
Motor Cars
Corbett's Exhibition on a cart
Clowns and Funny Men scattered right through.
The Committee consisted of the following: D. Gardner, Lawrence Birks, F.A. Bennett, R.B.T. Miller, W.E. Bennett, Charles Clarke, C.W. Grove, Thornton Walker, J.W. McLean and A.F. Ellis.

 In 1908 the Carnival was expanded due to its popularity with locals and tourists. It was held 19th Feb 1908-18th March 1908 with many events.

Beyond this date there is no mention of the Carnival again until 1928-29 when it was a week-long event held 24th December to 1st January. Culminating with a New Year’s Eve Dance at the Majestic Ball Room, the band was Epi Shalfoon and his Melody Boys.  

The organisers from this time on were members of the Rotorua Borough Council. Advancement Committee.

In 1930 Rotorua opened its ‘Boxing Day carnival programme preceded by 22 earthquakes said to be ‘’more noise than shake’’ Papers Past, Northern Advocate, 27th December 1930 pg. 7

Carnival Week c.1933
From : Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19330111-43-1
In 1931 a Rodeo was held at Cochrane Park near the Ohau Channel. An advert in the New Zealand Herald listed the following attractions: “Steer Riding, Speed Boat races, Aquaplaning, Maori Entertainments and Water Sports”

In 1932 there was a “King Carnival” who opened the Carnival Week at the Town Square, which was illuminated by coloured lights. There followed a welcome of King Carnival and his suite by Mayor Mr T. Jackson.

By 1934 it was decided that a full time staff member would be required to run the event and Mr W. Lints of Wanganui was appointed, he subsequently resigned in 1935. This did not deter Council from organising the next one via the town’s information centre staff.

In 1941 the carnival was cancelled due to the circumstances (WW2) & in 1943 when there was a fuel shortage (again due to WW2). 

In the Auckland Star, 3 January 1942, p.3 it was reported that “The weather joined forces with wartime restrictions to dampen the carnival spirit” and “for years the number of visitors to the New Year Carnival had been estimated at 15,000. Many old residents were of the opinion that there were fewer visitors than on any occasion since the first carnival was held about 18 years ago”

With thanks to the Don Stafford Collection and Papers Past for the information above.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Rotorua Library joins the technology train

Rotorua Library, into the 21st Century.

Our Technology time line.

LARRI (Library Automated Recording and Retrieving of Information) our first ever computer, 1987

followed by DYNIX in 1991, HORIZON in 2002, KOTUI, our current one 2015.

September 1999 - CD-Rom Collection for customers launched.

1st Website - 2002, new updated Website April 2006.

Our Website 2006, screen capture on Wayback Machine

November 2004 - New collection for children, DVD's for hire.

January 2006 - Scan to email service via the Library Photocopier.

September 2007 - our BEBO page was launched.

February 2009 - Automated Returns Slot.

Teenzone's first attempt at making a movie! the movie was made in 5 scenes and posted to YouTube during the 2011/12 Summer School Holidays.

Our new website 2014, screen capture on Wayback Machine
eBook and eAudio - September 2012

"eBOOKS available FREE to our library members.
We have 880 titles available—children’s, teens and adults, but this will increase regularly. eAUDIOBOOKS,were also available at this time.

Providers : Bolinda - Borrow Box App becomes available in February 2013.

                  Wheelers -

Kete Rotorua, 2012 : online Archive for Photo's, Newsletters, Video, Memories of Rotorua.

Monitor system for paying fees & fines online - March 2014.

Social Media : Facebook c.2011, Twitter c.2012, Pinterest c.2014 & and Instagram 2017.

Our New Online Catalogue 2015.

Press Display - 2013. The world's Newspapers online and free for customers through the Library Catalogue website.

Tech Tuesday - February - March 2015
Free workshops to show customers how to use the ebook collection.

SteppingUp: May 2015- 
Stepping UP is an initiative of the 2020 Communications Trust, a not-for profit community trust established by the Wellington City Council in 1996 to promote digital literacy, initially for Wellington citizens, but in the year 2000 the Trust expanded its scope to all New Zealanders.

Courses are run every Tuesday in the Library, bookings essential.
Press Reader - July 2016. The new improved Online Newspapers of the world. Available free through the Library Catalogue website.

Zinio - Dec 2016 becomes RBDigital - June 2017 - Magazines online free, for Library Customers, through the Rotorua Library Website.

BookMyne APP - May 2017 

Searching the Library catalogue, made easy & fast.
Te Waka Pounamu - April 2017

The Mobile Learning Centre, a Mercedes Sprinter van, is fitted with digital equipment and will be used as part of the library's mobile services. Purchase of the van was made possible by a donation from the Friends of the Rotorua Library.

Our Website Today 2017 available 2017
Access thousands of courses by expert teachers covering business, technology and creative fields that can help you pursue personal and professional goals. is an online learning site that hosts a constantly growing library of over 5,000 courses that include over 130,000 videos. Courses cover a variety of topics (including business, design, web development and multimedia skills) and software (Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite and open source applications) that can help you pursue personal and professional goals. These courses are delivered by expert instructors and feature searchable transcripts that make it easy to find quick answers to questions. They also feature Learning Paths and Certificates of Completion.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Rotorua Library with help from our Friends

Friends of the Rotorua Public Library

Also Known as 'Friends of the Rotorua District Library'


The Friends of the Rotorua District Library have been in existence since 1998 and have done great things for the Library and greater Rotorua community by fund raising Bookfairs, helping with Author visits.

From Phyl Sturmfels Scrapbook of the Friends Book Fairs at the Sportsdrome
The Friends now have a permanent book stall at Kuirau Park and it is run by them every 1st & 3rd Saturday's of the month at the same time as the Kuirau Park market (a Rotary initiative). The building they use was once a Tea kiosk, an Aquarium and ablution block.

The money they have raised has paid for a number of Children's Library events where Storytellers have come from Rotorua talent and also from other NZ places. The Friends had a lounge area in the Library which was created when the Library expanded in 2009.

Friends of the Library Lounge 2009

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Rotorua Library on the road

Rotorua Library launch of our first Mobile Library service. 

Our 1st Mobile, ably staffed by Judy Thompson 1985-1991
Our Mobile Librarians : Judy Thompson 1985-1991, Lisa Figgins and Su Potter job shared 1991-1994 , Kay McGregor 1994-1995, Brent McKenna 1996-2004, Rose Foley 2004-2008 and Leigh Taylor 2008-2015.

As well as full time driver/librarians for the service we also were helped by a number of relief drivers, Peter Mellor, Susan Palmer, Belinda Strickland, Marilyn Wood, Kay McGregor, Tracey Anderson, Dean Phillips, Brian Stewart, Andy Gilbert, Lindsay Robertson and Mike Smith.

Christmas Parade 1988

Our NEW Mobile LIBRUS July 1999
This map shows some of the Mobile Stops, c. 1998. Published by Rotorua District Council.

New Paint Job 2011, Design by Sue Heke

Look out for our friendly staff
Rotorua Library Mobile Timetable

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Rotorua Library is moving forward

Rotorua Library, but first a look into the past. 

It all began in 1889 when a few like minded citizens decided the town needed a library.


In March 1889 some 15 residents met in an old building next to Mrs Morrison’s Hotel at Ohinemutu to establish a Public Reading Room with home and colonial newspapers, periodicals, etc in which members could also play chess and draughts.
·        Committee of 12 was chosen with Dr Ginders elected as president. (see the document below) consisting of 3 Storekeepers, 2 Boarding House Proprietors, 1 Architect, 1 Saddler, 1 Surveyor, 1 Coach Driver, 1 Native Agent, 1 Teacher & 1 Carpenter.
·        Subscriptions were set at £1 per annum ($175) and visitors were to be allowed to use the Reading Room free of charge.
·        £25 ($4384) was donated by those present together with books and periodicals.
The Chairman of the Town Board lent the new library the use of the old building which had been first the Comet store and later a school. The District Superintendent of Native Schools let them use the desks and forms from the old schoolhouse and they obtained a kerosene lamp and a stove.

·        It opened to the public on 10 April 1889 with 335 volumes and 12 periodicals. A ladies’ reading room was also set up.
·        Hours were 11 am to 4 pm and 6-10 pm except that it would close at 9 pm on Sundays.
·        There was an honorary librarian, a Mr H. McFadgen (Saddler), but it probably wasn’t supervised as in December 1889 access was limited to subscription members only as many newspapers and periodicals had disappeared from the Reading Room.

 VICTORIA INSTITUTE was opened in November 1898
·        Miss Emma Coppell (or Coppel) was appointed caretaker and librarian at £10 per annum ($1571) Note this is £2 a year less than the cleaner was paid in 1890 and £5 less than the custodian in 1891
Description of Victoria Institute in about 1907
·        Set back from Arawa Street and next to the Maori Land Court.
·        The Library and museum was on one side of the building and on the other side was the Institute’s reception and cloakroom and an office for the Town Clerk.
·        The Library had about 1300 volumes at this time.

Municipal Building on corner Arawa and Fenton Streets 
·        New Library in Municipal Building was opened on 14 October 1940 though the children’s books were not shifted to the new library until February 1941.
The Library officially went free (except for light fiction and magazines) on the 17 February 1941 
·        Branch Library in Brookland Road, Western Heights opened on 12 May 1969. It closed in July 1981.

In July 1970 the library moved for 6 months to temporary larger premises in the Masonic Building. It was there for 21 years.
·        Throughout the 1970s and 80s there was increased recognition that the Library was not adequate and needed expanding and upgrading.
·        February 1972 the NZ Library Association Conference was held in Rotorua (and 2001 and 2007).
·        1973 Miss Lesley Armstrong (Miss A) took over as Librarian.

Our 100 Year Celebration cake, enjoyed by staff & customers.

With thanks to the Don Stafford Collection and late staff member Mary Ellen Wilson, Reference Librarian, for the information and copy of the Library founding document. 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Rotorua Arts : Music Appreciation Group 1946-

Rotorua : All Things Musical

In 1946 a Musicians Society existed and Mrs Sheaf was involved with that, she was nominated as a committee member of the Community Arts Centre formed in October of 1946, a provisional committee that also included the following people: Mr H. Taylor of the Operatic & Dramatic Society; Mr S.A. Cooper of the Drama League; Mrs H.E. Davis of the Women’s Club; Mrs G. Cruikshank of the NZ Education Institute; Mr L.H. Thompson from Rotorua High School and Mr Kusabs from the Rotorua Advancement Committee.

In 1946 a Rotorua Music Appreciation Group was formed by Mr James (Jim) Healy, an avid classical music fan who had just recently moved to Rotorua to work for the D.S.I.R. as the Government Volcanologist.  He became the founder Chairman of the Community Arts Council and was also the Record & Concert Reviewer for the Daily Post from 1952-1988.
Excerpt from Weekender 11th March 1988

In his role as reviewer, Mr Healy met with most of the visiting musicians… his first review was of the Tancibudek-Kriegel Trio, the trio consisted of Czechoslovakians  Mrs Tancibudek played the piano and Mr Tancibudek who played the Oboe and Mr Kriegel  a violinist from Austria. The trio had unbeknown to Mr Healy as Mr Kriegel had brought his own accompanist, he is reported to have said “he could not stand the Tancibudek woman” … Rotorua attracted some very good musicians including the Pascal Quartet … the Music Federation had preconceptions of what music would suit Rotorua’s provincial audience which did restrict the range of concerts’

Mr Healy said that “up 70 people came along to the Music Appreciation Group’s monthly meetings to listen to classical music records” however once records became more available to numbers dwindled, this group became the Rotorua Chamber Music Society in 1955, this later became the Rotorua Music Federation in 1980.’ 

Mr Healy also reviewed records for Rotorua’s first record shop in c.1962 (possibly Wiseman’s or Begg’s), he reviewed around 4000 records and he amassed a huge collection which ‘lined two walls of his home’.

With Thanks to the Don Stafford Collection Biography and Arts Folders for the above information.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Rotorua Maori Choir c.1936 and the Rotorua Maori Musical Society c.1940

Music in Rotorua from the 1920's-1940's

·         In 1928 a Rotorua Amalgamated Society of Musicians was in existence and performing monthly concerts for locals.

·         In 1936 a Maori Choir Company was formed. 

Excerpt from the Rotorua Morning Post, 9th September 1936

A public company ‘to exploit Maori music, Rotorua Maori Choir Ltd. To which objection was raised when the proposal was placed before the Rotorua Borough Council in July, has been registered in Auckland with a capital of £100, in £1 shares… The objects are stated to be “to promote and develop Maori music, singing and entertainment by the formation of choirs to be properly trained to give concerts and entertainments in New Zealand and abroad; to make gramophone records; and to arrange for the services of a qualified teacher of voice production”.  The subscribers are S.H. Hay, M.H. Hampson, with 13 shares each; E. La Trobe Hill, H. Bertram, R.A. Gardner, F.M. Boord, D.W. Steele, 12 shares each; A. Brown, L.C. Ryan 6 shares each; R. Ratema, L.R. Morrison, 1 share each’

  • Guide Molly along with Deane Waretini, were foundation members of the Rotorua Maori Choir.  The choir was made famous due to Mr Gil Dech, noted pianist and conductor, who ‘superintended the making of gramophone records of the choir’ c.1929,  He was also  'the man who made the Rotorua Maori Choir famous throughout the world through the medium of those gramophone records'.  R.M.P 27.4.1937. The choir was disbanded by the time this article was published.  To read Guide Molly’s Obituary, see Don Stafford’s Biography Folder, page M82. 
·         By mid-1940 a Maori Musical Society was formed ‘to promote and preserve in Rotorua’ by Guide Molly (Mere Te Mauri Meihana) who was a trained singer.

Excerpt from Rotorua Morning Post 13th June 1940 
The chief aim of popularising a musical tradition that is both authentic and progressive. At the same time the society will take on interest in legends, history, poetry, and crafts of Maori culture’.  Their first production as a ‘patriotic effort Alfred Hill’s opera “Hinemoa”. It is understood that Mr Hill himself has expressed his willingness to come to New Zealand and conduct the opera’.

Published in the New Zealand Herald 16th October 1940.
Thanks to Papers Past for this article.
Officers of the society were appointed, these being: Patron Mr M.H Hampson; President Mr R. Morrison; Vice-Presidents,  Mr L. Kingi, Mrs M. Anderson, Mr A. Hill ; Secretary Mr P. Munro; Committee, Mr H. Gordon, Mr H. Haupapa, Mrs F. Mitchell, Guide Rangi, Mrs M. Eparauna; Treasurers,  Mr W. Watson and Miss F. Mitchell.

It is unclear how many of the above people performed “Hinemoa”. We know from the R.M.P of 27th April 1937 that Guide Molly did.

The Rotorua Morning Post reported that “Two officials of the Auckland Operatic Society… travelled here especially to hear the Maori Musical Society at a rehearsal of “Hinemoa” which will be performed early in the New Year” and on the 20th December 1940 the R.M.P published the following “Advice has been received by the Maori Musical Society, that Mr. E. Hill, brother of Mr Alfred Hill the composer of “Hinemoa” will produce the opera for the society”

Further articles were published on 4th January 1941, 11th January 1941, 4th February 1941, 18th May 1941 and 23rd October 1941.

With Thanks to the Don Stafford Collection Arts & Biography Folders for the above information.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Rotorua Arts : Music 1890's to 1900's

Rotorua Music & Musicians c.1892-

The Rotorua Brass Band was formed c.1892 and consisted of:  J. Munro, Bandmaster and Clarinet; F. Samson & E.R. Webbe, 1st Cornets; W. Dansey & C. Griffiths, 2nd Cornets; W. Young, 3rd Cornet; C. Clarke,  Alto Horn; J.W. Webber, 1st Tenor Horn; W.A. Williams, 2nd Tenor Horn; T. Samson, Baritone; Joseph Munro, Euphonium and R. Wake, Bombardon.   Information courtesy of Bay of Plenty Times 12th October 1892, pg. 2, see Papers Past to read the full article.

Don Stafford's records show that the first public performance occurred on St Andrew's Day 30th November 1892, and was a Picnic organised by the band members as a fundraising event on Mokoia Island.

This advertisement appeared in the
Hot Lakes Chronicle on 26th February 1896,
the full page can be viewed on Papers Past.
The band changed since it's formation to include men from Ohinemutu and in 1895 men from Whakarewarewa approached J. Munro to join also. Due to the number of Maori members Mr Munro tried to rename it the Arawa Brass Band, however the Town Board objected to this because the donated monies for instruments had come from the towns people for the Rotorua Brass Band. Instead as you can see from the advertisement above the name was changed to "Rotorua Amateur Brass Band.

By the end of 1895 a Maori band was formed, in addition to the regular Rotorua Brass Band and was referred to as the Arawa Brass Band. The photograph below of the Rotorua Maori Brass Band is in Don's words "probably the original group"

This photograph of the 'Rotorua Maori Brass Band' was published in the
Auckland Weekly News on  8th May 1902.
With thanks to the 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries', for the above photograph.
Other Brass Bands were also in existence around 1896-97, the Tuhourangi Brass Band made the news in the Hot Lakes Chronicle of 12th December 1896 and 2nd January 1897.  The Whakarewarewa Brass Band also made an appearance on 22nd December 1897 in Tauranga. Whether these two were one and the same is unclear. 

For further information on our musical past you can read Don Stafford's "Founding Years in Rotorua" and "The New Century in Rotorua". 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Rotorua Arts and Crafts

Rotorua's Art Scene 1980s onward

Te Arawa Collective Artists Trust
Te Arawa Maori Trust, Pukuatua Street designed and painted by Alan Rikihana only finished c1983 - Obliterated by new shops built on that wall story in Daily Post,   26.5.1984, 5.12.1984, 4.1.1985. The top part of the mural can still be seen on the wall of this building, most of which is untenanted. 
Was this Rotorua's first mural on a building? 

Mural on the front walls and ceiling of the Telephone Exchange DP 18.7.1985 also by Alan Rikihana, Jo Rikihana and Wayne Prue.

The Mural on the Police Station by painted by artist Dave Roberts in Daily Post 21 May 1987.
Source - Don Stafford File:  Arts 1984 p. 3 & 14, 1985 p. 1, 16, 24-27. 

Photograph courtesy of Kete Rotorua, taken 21 May 2012.
FestivArt (Rotorua’s Bi-ennial cultural festival)  1st March 1984 featuring the Aramoana Maori Fashion Pageant, performances by NZ Ballet, Gary McCormick and Hammond Gamble and a showing of rare NZ Films. Festival ran for 4 days.  
5th March 1986 held for 2 weeks, see DP 04 Mar 1986
Source: Don Stafford File: Arts, 1986 pg. 4-6.

FestivArt 88 was held on the first weekend of April and ran for one week. Featured entertainment was Royal New Zealand Ballet, Limbs Dance Company, a screening of rare films of Rotorua from the New Zealand Film Archive, the National Golden Clef Awards, Auckland Opera Quartet, an evening with comedian Margo O'Mahoney, Northland Youth Theatre production and Schola Musica. Along with lunch time concerts at St Luke's, evening concerts by Rotorua's top bands at the Band Rotunda and several schools held street festivals in Tutanekai Mall.  See Daily Post 30th March 1988 pg. 26 for full story.

Was there a FestivArt in 1990, if so when was it held and does anyone know when this festival ceased?. Email us at Heritage & Research

   Lakeland Progressive Arts Society  c.1996-2003
Formed April 1996 in Daily Post Weekender, 4 Apr 1996 p. 8 

'New arts society for Bay of Plenty artists'  
A new arts society is being established in Rotorua this month by a collective of artists in the Bay of Plenty. The Lakeland Progressive Art Society is holding it's first general meeting on April 10 in Wohlmann House and organiser Shana Ridell, says "their visual arts group promises to be the most exciting thing that has ever hit the Bay of Plenty for aspiring artists or established professionals. Hopefully it'll be written about one day in the art history textbooks of New Zealand"

Other stories : Weekender 16 Jan 1996 p.4, 28 May 1996,  17 Apr 1998, Weekender 9 Oct 1198, p.4, 25 Nov 1998 p.12 exhibition in Library. Jan 1999 Educational Suppl  pg.3, Apr 1999 p.4, Weekender 6 Apr 2001.
Source: Rotorua Library, Daily Post Index.

Art in the Park 1998- present
An annual event that began with the first, held 14th February 1998.  In DP 14/2/98 p.2, 16 Feb 1998 p.1, 19 Feb 1998 p.1. Source: Rotorua Library, Daily Post Index.
The event is held at the Government Gardens every February.

Excerpt from the Daily Post 14th February 1998, p.2
'Art and music galore at park event' by Abigail Caspari
'There will be arts and music galore at Rotorua's first Art in the Park at Government Gardens from 10 am to 4 pm tomorrow. Member of the Rotorua Community Arts Council and one of the organisers, Joan Minty, said "the idea if the free Art in the Park was first broached a year ago" The aim of the day, which Joan Minty hopes will become an annual event, is to give artists the opportunity to show off their work with several demonstrating their talents. It will also give Rotorua residents the chance to check out some of the city's artistic talent'

R.A.V.E  2002-renamed The Arts Village
Daily Post 29 Nov 1996 p.3, 4 Feb 1997 p.2, 26 Aug 1997 p.1, 28 Aug 1999 p.20, 21 Sep 1999 p.3
18 Mar 2000 p.3, 02 Aug 2000 p. 1, 13 Sep 2000 p.3 Opening 16 Nov 2002 by Steve Chadwick.
Source: Rotorua Library, Daily Post Index.

Excerpt from Daily Post 29th November 1996 p.3
'Arts village for Rotorua' by Toni Skiffington.
'An arts village may be set up in Rotorua and an arts worker employed in the city following the go ahead from the Rotorua District Council to investigate these options'

Wohlmann House becomes the Rotorua Arts Village - 2002.
Photograph courtesy of Kete Rotorua.
Taken December 2012 by Alison Leigh

Friday, 6 October 2017

Rotorua Arts: a brief history 1946-1980

The Beginning for Rotorua Artists 

Rotorua Society of Arts 1946-1980.
Formed by Dr W. S. Wallis in October 1946 – Excerpt from report by Debbie Glasgow for the Community Arts Council, Aut., 1985.

Foundation member’s held meetings in private homes at first to discuss and assess their latest work.  Then in the Occupational Therapy room at Queen Elizabeth Hospital where Dr Wallis was the Medical Superintendent at the time. Exhibitions were held annually and displayed in the old St Luke’s Hall, the Ritz Hall and St John's Hall etc.

They also held outdoor exhibitions on Fenton Street around the P.R.O on wire netting fences.
Art festivals were held 1966, 1967, 1975, 1976 & 1978.

After Doctor Wallis died in 1957, the group held together and continued to stage annual exhibitions until 1980, when they were forced into recess due to a lack of active support.  The collection of 58 paintings, held by the group was gifted to the New Rotorua Art Gallery in the Tudor Towers north wing.

Other events run by the Rotorua Arts Society:
Arts Ball 1963-1965 in Rotorua Photo News 14th Dec 1963, pg. 37-39 ; 1st August 1964 pg.13-15 & 5th July 1965, pg. 24-25.

Annual Arts Ball in Rotorua Photo News 14th Dec 1963, pg.38
Photographer Michael Burton

Weekend Art Class in Rotorua Photo News, 5th Jul 1969, p.24-25, and Rotorua Arts Society Competition – Winner 27th Sept 1969 pg. 68.

Other Arts & Artists: see Chronological order in Don Stafford’s 'Arts' folder.  
  • Rotorua's first private art gallery; 'Scholes' at Whakarewarewa opened by the Director of the Auckland Art Gallery, Mr Peter Tomery, in Daily Post  23.2.1963 
  • Public Library held art exhibitions also. In Daily Post 13.11.1959 - Italian art & books ;   Daily Post 31.8.1965 - Children's art competition.
  • New art group 'Studio One' formed for those under 26 yrs, in Daily Post 13.4.1966
  • Rotorua Arts & Crafts Club formed, in Daily Post 25.6.1975 p.22
  • Official opening of the new Art Gallery in Tudor Towers, in Daily Post 12.10.1977; John Perry appointed as Curator 5.9.1978. See the Daily Post index on the Rotorua Library online Catalogue.
  • Rotorua District Community Arts Council formed, in Daily Post 6.7.1978           
Sources: Don Stafford File: Arts pg. 1-3, 1946, 1949, 1964 (1 & 4), 1966, 1967(3), 1973 & 1980. Doctor W. S. Wallis - Events 1957(1) and BIO W7-8e which contains his Obituary & articles from Art NZ v.13, 1979, p. 36-39 and v. 22 Summer 1981/2, p.34-35 by M.N. Day.

Daughter:  Mrs Ynys Fraser – NZ Herald 5th June 1987 – exhibition of Dr Wallis’s work at Rotorua Art Gallery.                                                                                                                                                                                     
More information about Dr Wallis can be found in Don Stafford’s Folders - Medical 69; Town 204-5; and War 1945(1).

Rotorua Photo News 1963-1969, Arts Ball.  

Friday, 29 September 2017

Rotorua Beauty Pageants in the 1990s

Miss Rotorua Thermal Land and Miss Rotorua 

All information on this blog post has been published in the Daily Post and full articles can be read at the Rotorua Library.

Miss Rotorua Thermal Land c1979-1997

Miss Rotorua Thermal Land Winner - Tania Warner in Daily Post 28 AUG 1987,  2 photos that are not on the same page, but are in the same issue.

Miss Rotorua Thermal Land Winner - Mrs Deborah Kay (nee Carrington) in Daily Post 16th Aug 1989, 26th Aug 1989. Runner- up Miss Thermal Land – Miss Lisa Figgins (Library Assistant at Rotorua Library)

Miss Rotorua Thermal Land Winner 1992-1994 Miss Rebecca Collie.

The 1993 competition was scrapped due to lack of interest see Daily Post 20 Oct 1993  'Registrations closed today with just one entrant... the committee was left feeling a bit disillusioned.'  see also the Weekender 22 Oct 1993, p.1.

Miss Rotorua Thermal Land Winner - Toni Kelly  'Beauty queen "roped into" competition'  in Daily Post 22.8.1994 p.2  The pageant was held at the Aorangi Peak Restaurant on Saturday 20th August.

Miss Rotorua Thermal Land contest founder [c. 1979-] Topsy Prier retires ‘established the contest to help young ladies develop their personal skills, confidence and deportment and to help promote Rotorua in a positive, professional manner’ Daily Post 12th June 1995 p.1 -  includes photograph with Topsy and the current President of the Miss Thermal Land committee Mrs Myrtle Colebert.

Miss Thermal Land, 1996. Emma Nicholson 'left on a trip to Queenstown yesterday, her prize for winning the previous year's Miss Rotorua Thermal Land competition' in DP 11/3/96 p.2; 13/3/96 p.2; 23/3/1996 p.13; 4/4/96 p.3.

Miss Thermal Land may be canned in Daily Post  4/3/97, 8/4/1997, 18/4/1997 however later that year Miss Lisa Dixon was announced the winner in Daily Post 11/7/1997.

Beyond 1997 no further information has been found in the Daily Post.  Was this the very last time?
If you were involved or competed after this date please email us at Rotorua Library

Miss Rotorua 1993-1999

In 1993 Maureen Waaka took over the BOP Franchise for the regions beauty pageant, read about it in the Daily Post, 18th March 1993 p.9

Excerpt from Daily Post : 'there has apparently never been a Miss Rotorua represented in the Miss New Zealand contest. Three local girls have been crowned Miss New Zealand but not under the banner of Rotorua. Maureen Kingi was entered as Miss South Seas, Linda Ritchie as Miss Geyserland and Lisa de Montalk as Miss Taupo'

Winner - Miss Rotorua 1993, Tanya Rogers in Daily Post  28/6/93 p.4, 18/3/93 p.9, 21/4/1993 p.4, 20/10/1993 p.7  - Miss BOP  Daily Post  21/8/1993, 20/10/93 p.7 

Winner - Miss Rotorua 1994,  Miss Jane Lines in Daily Post - 27/5/94 p.2, 1/7/1994 p.1, 11/7/1994, 13/8/94 p.7.
Excerpt from the Daily Post, 11th July 1994 p.1
'Seventeen year old Jane Lines is still on "cloud nine" after being crowned Miss Rotorua on Saturday night... Jane becomes the first beauty pageant winner to hold the Miss Rotorua title, rather than represent the Bay of Plenty title.'

Winner - Miss Rotorua 1995 – Lynda Norton, in Daily Post 25/6/1995 p.1, 8/9/95 p.1, 19/9/95 p.3, 20/9/95 p.2
Miss Rotorua Teen – 11/9/1995 p.1
Excerpt from the Daily Post 8th September 1995, p.1
'Miss Rotorua, Lynda Norton, has practised her poise, packed up her pois and now she's ready for the crowning glory of the Kiwi glamour calendar - the Miss New Zealand beauty contest.' 

"Ten vie for beauty title" in the Weekender 27th September 1996.
'The title of the most beautiful will be up for grabs at the Miss Rotorua contest this weekend. Held at the Towers Nite Club... The 10 Miss Rotorua 1996 contenders are : Shareena Soloman, aged 17, Lisa-Marie Dixon, 18, Anne Long, 18, Jane Phillips, 18, Sarah Jackson, 21, Margaret Hawtin 20, Ceri Thomas, 18, Jo-Anne Bird, 18, Amalani Tupou, 18, and Melanie Robson, 19.'

Winner - Miss Rotorua – Ceri Thomas in Daily Post  25/10/96 p. 2 ; 20/3/1997 p.1, 23/1/97 p.1, 27/9/96, 30/9/96 p.1.  Ceri resigned due to other commitments and the runner up Miss Lisa-Marie Dixon took her place.

Winner - Miss Rotorua - Belinda Dunn in Daily Post  17/3/99 p.12, 5/6/99 p.1, 29/1/98 p.2, 7/2/98 p.1, 11/12/1998 p.3, 15/12/98 p.1,
Excerpt from the Weekender, 12 Mar 1999 p.3    'Belinda was crowned Miss North Harbour last year and two weeks later she was competing for Miss New Zealand. She says she "would have preferred to have competed in Miss Rotorua instead of Miss North Harbour, but was too late" ... Belinda who lives in Auckland, says she "promotes Rotorua when speaking to international tourists"... and "wanted to work along side a former Miss New Zealand and organiser of the Miss Rotorua pageant Maureen Waaka"

Miss Dunn seems to have been the last winner of the Miss Rotorua pageant.  Following this the Bay of Plenty heats for the Miss World New Zealand pageant were held in Rotorua on 6th June 1999. 

Excerpt from Daily Post 8th June 1999 p.1. 'Miss Leonie Kerr who was the runner-up for Miss Rotorua in 1998, won the Rotorua section and will go on to compete for Miss World New Zealand in September.   'Miss Teen 13 to 14 age group was Rosie Kininmonth, first runner up was Nadia Hadwin and Paula Duncan was second runner up. All were from Rotorua.' 
'Miss Teen 15 to 16  section was won by Amanda Te Hiko (Opotiki), while first runner up went to Rebecca Bloomfield (Rotorua).'  

Excerpt from the Daily Post 10 June 1999 p. 9.
"Sarah gets her chance - for Napier" by Kelly Blanchard.
'Rotorua's Sarah Hulton has been chosen to represent Napier in the Miss World New Zealand competition. The 18-year-old was selected after appearing as a contestant in the Rotorua heats of Miss World New Zealand on Saturday night in the Convention Centre... according to the rules, Sarah was able to represent Napier even though she lived in Rotorua'

Jumping forward a few years to the next beauty pageant to be held in Rotorua we come back to celebrate Miss Rotorua once more....

Miss Rotorua 2017 - Kharl WiRepa organiser and Miss Rotorua Pageant patent owner.
Miss Rotorua 2017 Winner : Nehsha Moynihan ; Miss Teen Rotorua, Promise Royal ; Miss Te Arawa, Mariana Morrison ; Mrs Rotorua, Stevie Jean Gear.
Nehsha Moynihan will compete in the Mrs Regency International competition. 

You can read all the articles on this year's pageant in the Daily Post online. July 17th, August 5th, 14th, 25th, September 16th, 17th & 19th 2017.

Note : previously the paragraph relating to Miss Rotorua 2017 said "franchise owner was still Maureen Waaka"  Mr WiRepa has given us the correct information.  20/08/2018.