Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Business in Rotorua : a Then & Now project

From : Rotorua Public Relations Office, Tourist Guide c1969

Business in Rotorua
The Old Grand

This was Rotorua’s old picture theatre. It was also used as stables, a cabaret, a skating rink and a furniture store.
Robert Harris Café

1205 Tutanekai Street
Durrants Super Value

(Located at the north end of Tutanekai Street)

First major supermarket in Rotorua.
Do you have a memory about this business? Come in and tell us your story.
Arawa Wine & Food

(106 Tutanekai Street)

Atticus Finch

(1106 Tutanekai Street - Dwyer Building)
The Palace Hotel

Originally at Ohinemutu (corner of Lake Road & Ranolf Street)

It was moved to the corner of Tutanekai and Arawa Streets
Do you have a memory about this business? Come in and tell us your story.
Sheaf’s Pharmacy

(272 Tutanekai Street)
Proprietor Douglas E. Sheaf, operated from 1928 to 2003. Following the closure of Sheaf’s, this location housed McKenzie Fashions (closed in 2015).
Jubilee Café Deli

(1202 Tutanekai Street – Jubilee Building)
C. A. Clark and Sons
(located on Tutanekai Street)
An aerated drink factory, that was located on Tutanekai Street for 66 years.
Do you have a memory about this business? Come in and tell us your story.
Café Royal

(48a Pukuatua Street)

Do you have a memory about this business? Come in and tell us your story
Odeon Theatre

(1132 Tutanekai Street)
Built on the site of the old St James Theatre. The Odeon was originally to be named the ‘new’ St James Theatre.
It opened on 21st March 1966 and closed 23rd September 1993. Owned and operated by Rotorua Civic Theatres Ltd, c1940…

"Incorporated in the Odeon Theatre building are 8 shops, originally the idea was to create a ladies shopping  area with such shops as clothing, chemist, hairdresser, and cake retail" Excerpt from Daily Post. 18 March 1966
Destiny Church
Arjays Maternity Wear

(68 Hinemoa Street)
This shop was located next to Wickett’s Drapers.
Do you have a memory about this business? Come in and tell us your story.
The Kensington

(Fenton Street)
An eatery
Do you have a memory about this business? Come in and tell us your story.
Rotorua Printers

(47 Haupapa Street)
Opposite Bryce’s Buildings where it was in c1940. The Commercial Printing Dept. moving to this site by 1957 and here it stayed until 2006.
Lakes Prime Care Radiology
RM Transport & NZ Rail/Road Services. (Northwest corner of Hinemoa and Tutanekai Streets

Royal Court Apartments

(Hinemoa Street)

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Rotorua Then & Now

Rotorua Business from Yesteryear

In Rotorua the first businesses were the Hotels and Guest Houses and of course the Comet Store on Lake Road.  From humble beginnings with some 44 Europeans and 3,294 Maori in c.1874 (Census Tables from "The Founding Years in Rotorua by Don Stafford. p.422-423.) 

Rotorua became a tourist mecca of Royalty and the Nobility which local Maori were quick to welcome. Then came the Tarawera Eruption in 1886 which slowed the tide of tourists, but only temporarily as recorded in Don Stafford's 'The Founding Years of Rotorua' ---- "Three years later, after the Tarawera Eruption, the industry was still strong enough for the Tauranga people to oppose the Cambridge-Oxford route to Rotorua... thus bypassing the Tauranga to Rotorua route" 

By 1894 when the Railway arrived in Rotorua the tourist traffic was back to normal and from here on the town grew, and grew... !

Timber mills were a very popular money making venture. The first mill's were in the centre of town! The Steele's mill was on the corner of Tutanekai and Eruera Streets and went all the way back to Amohia Street. 

Excerpt from the Cyclopedia of NZ via NZETC online : 
"STEELE BROTHERS (Duncan William Steele, George Steele, Walter Steele, and Alfred Steele), Sawmillers and Building Contractors.
This business was established in 1888. The premises, erected on Government leasehold sections, include a drying shed capable of storing 200,000 feet of timber, shop, workshop, an eight roomed residence, and a large hall—the Rotorua Assembly Hall—the largest and best outside of any large city in New Zealand".

Published by Braynart Group as part of Rotorua’s Centennial Celebrations. Photographs for the calendar were supplied by the Rotorua Museum.

Excerpt from "The Founding Years in Rotorua" by Don Stafford.
Kusabs Brothers 
Owners of the Mountain Rimu Co. Mill at Mamaku was a successful business from the late 1880s.
"In July 1895 the Kusabs Brothers opened a timber yard on the north side of Amohau Street, between Fenton and Hinemaru Streets... the block owned by the Kusabs Brothers at Mamaku consisted of 2000 acres of heavily timbered land, the major species being Rimu, Totara, Hinau, Tawa and Tanekaha." 

Jump forward a few years :),  here are some of the ones Library staff who were brought up in Rotorua remember. 

Photograph by Alison Leigh
Add your memories to our interactive site Kete Rotorua

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Book Review : Rainbow and Fairy Springs by S & D Cole.

Rotorua's two well known Springs

Cole, S., Cole, D. (1985?). Rainbow and Fairy Springs.  Rotorua: Rainbow and Fairy Springs.

A short 24 page publication that includes a brief history and highlights the different areas of the park. It was interesting to note that the park was opened to the public in 1928, but had admitted visitors, possibly as early as 1898. Reading about the trout, kiwi, native birds and native forest brought more of an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into maintenance and care of the enclosures and to furthering public education about the species in the park. It’s a brief and informative read with plenty of images.

Postcard of Rotorua's Fairy Springs from the collection of Colleen Jeffrey.
Photo by Cherie Priest at Rainbow Springs c.1988.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Book Review : Rotorua Trout Fishing Guide

Rotorua, a Trout Fishing Destination.

Rotorua Trout Fishing Guide / Rotorua Anglers Association c.2000

A guide to many trout fishing venues in the Rotorua and Bay of Plenty area. It is mainly for the inexperienced or beginner, but experts may find something of value in these pages.

Members of the Rotorua Anglers Association have generously shared their experience, tips & advice, local knowledge, fishing techniques and photographs.

I do not fish, but found some of the history on the Rotorua Lakes Fishery and the Ngongotaha Hatchery an interesting read. I especially liked the, “Anglers Prayer.”

The Angler’s Prayer
Lord suffer me to catch a fish
So big that even I
When telling of it afterwards
Should have no need to lie….

From : Papers Past, Auckland Star 30 January 1923, pg. 5