Saturday, 26 May 2018

Royal Tourists in Rotorua 1970-

20th Century Royals

20th March 1970.While on tour in NZ with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Princess Anne arrived for an unofficial visit to Rotorua, a few days holiday at Moose Lodge. The Queen’s Press Secretary accompanied them and took many photographs of Prince Charles and Princess Anne, in and around Moose Lodge.  Prince Charles was whisked away by R.N.Z.A.F Iroquois, for a trip to Taupo fishing and Princess Anne mostly just relaxed at the Lodge, although she did go riding at Te Ngae.  Photographs published in the Daily Post 20/3/1970 pg. 1.

Photograph by Jack Lang, published in the Daily Post 20 March 1970.

5th February 1974. The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles stayed at the International Hotel, attended a Maori Concert at the Soundshell and they went on a walkabout at the Memorial Park (lakefront) prior to a civic welcome at the Memorial Gates.  

The lakefront was crowded with people, some just there to see the Royals; others however were there to showcase Rotorua’s attractions.  A wood-chopping event for both men and women; A display from the Rotorua Spinners Club; a shearing performance by Mr Ivan Bowen; a Rhythmic Gymnastics display by Rotorua school children; a display of Rainbow and Brown trout in a swimming pool from the Ngongotaha Trout Hatchery; patients from Queen Elizabeth Hospital waited for the Royal party to reach the hospital, and more… “Prince Charles won the hearts of many when he chatted and laughed his way through the crowds of people, young and old, at the lakefront”.  In Daily Post 7 February 1974 p.4-5.

25th February 1977.  The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh came back to Rotorua, this time without Prince Charles. On the walkabout, at the Lake front,  the couple were treated to another display of Rotorua’s finest; a Screen Printer showing off his techniques; a Greenstone Sculptor (Mr D. Salt) ; P Class Yachts with their young sailors in attendance; a Dog Obedience demonstration ; Children & Staff of the Cerebral Palsy Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital ready to meet The Queen and H.R.H (assisted by the Mayor, Ray Woolliams) planted a commemorative English Oak tree nearby in a garden especially constructed by Mr. J. Dowie. 

  A civic luncheon was arranged with a limited guest list for the couple at The International Hotel.  Chef had prepared a fruit cocktail, a choice of main, trout or lamb, a sweet course and coffee.  In Daily Post, 25th February 1977, p. 1 & 3.

6th April 1981. Prince Charles arrived in the afternoon and stayed at the International Hotel that night. He officially opened the Pulp & Paper Conference, held in a marquee on the shores of Lake Tarawera, at Kotukutuku Bay on the evening of his arrival and was invited to stay for the hangi and Maori Concert.   The next day, as he left, the royal car did a slow drive along Te Ngae Road, with a short detour through the Redwood Masonic Village on his way to the airport.

10th – 12th April 1985. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester arrived at Rotorua Airport where Mayor Keaney and Mrs Keaney, Mr P. Tapsell (Minister of Internal Affairs) and Mrs Tapsell greeted them. The couple were to attend a Civic Lunch at the Hyatt Kingsgate, on the way the official car slowed to wave at the group of 200 children from Lynmore Primary School.  The couple stayed at the International Hotel, unfortunately on their arrival a 49 yr. old man threw toilet rolls at the car, he was arrested and moved away very quickly. 

The Duke and Duchess received a ceremonial welcome at the NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute, where Guide Bubbles showed them around.  The Duke was presented with a traditional carving chisel and taiaha, and the Duchess was given a kiwi feather and flax evening bag. Before leaving Whakarewarewa the Duchess was presented with flowers from Miss A. Wickliffe.

30th October 1995. The Queen and Prince Philip arrived for a three day visit to Taupo and Rotorua, their base for this visit was Huka Lodge.  Prince Philip in his capacity as patron of the WWF, along with Chris Laidlaw, visited the Mokoia Island Stitch Bird breeding programme. The party was received by a Maori welcome of over 100 elders belonging to the various sub-tribes around the Lake area, and members of the Mokoia Island Trust and students from Rotorua Lakes High School and Western Heights High School.  

The Queen and Prince Philip went on a private visit to the NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute and then on to Whakarewarewa. The Royal cars were then to take a slow drive to the Rotorua airport.

17th March 2007. Prince Andrew represented the Queen, at a special ceremony, at Papaiouru Marae Ohinemutu, to formally recognise Haane Maanahi for bravery at Takrouna Ridge in North Africa. A gift of a sword, from King George VI’s collection and an altar cloth for St Faiths Church, were presented. 

After this he visited the 28th Maori Battalion exhibition at Rotorua Museum, then went on to Mokoia Island where he released a Kiwi, named after his eldest daughter, Beatrice.

With thanks to the Don Stafford Collection and the Daily Post for the information.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Royal Tours of Rotorua 1930s-1960s

Royal Sightseers drawn to Rotorua. 

H.R.H Duke of Gloucester, Prince Henry 21st Dec-24th Dec 1934. Stayed at the Grand Hotel.

HRH visited at the beginning of the Rotorua Carnival. The festivities laid on for his visit included a Provincial Ball at the Ritz Hall, Maori reception at Arawa Park, Civic Reception at the Town Square, Carnival Ball at the Ritz Hall, an Open Air Maori concert at the Town Square, A Maori Concert by Guide Rangi’s party at the Peerless Hall and sightseeing during which he visited Whakarewarewa guided by Guide Rangi & Guide Bella and Mita Taupopoki.

He also went trout fishing at Awahou where he caught 9 “well-conditioned fighting trout
The Prince attended the ‘Maori Consecration Service at St Faith’s’ Bishop of Aotearoa, Rev. Bennett presiding.

On his final night in Rotorua he and his entourage stayed on the special train laid on for his visit as they were leaving Rotorua at 4:00 am. for Auckland.

Sir George Grey Special Collections,
Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19341226-35-1

Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh,  2 January  1954
On a five day visit to Rotorua, the Queen stayed at Moose Lodge which had been prepared by the owner Noel Cole, for their exclusive use.

Maori reception at Arawa Park the Queen addressed the crowd with a speech thanking them for their loyalty to the Crown.
Excerpt from Te Ao Hou, Summer 1954 pg. 9
“I have long looked forward to this, my first full meeting with the Maori people in their own homeland, for I have heard much of your proud traditions and that deep abiding loyalty which you have so often demonstrated in peace and in war” 

They attended a Civic Reception at Motutara Golf Course, in the Government Gardens, where an estimated crowd of 40,000 waited, this was four times the usual Rotorua population.

The Queen attended the service at St John’s Presbyterian Church on Sunday morning. 
Visiting the Rotorua Aerodrome with Prime Minister Sidney Holland – the Queen talked to the staff at James Aviation Ltd. NZ Herald 

Guide Rangi showed them around Whakarewarewa – The Pohutu Geyser (eventually), the Model Pa was showcased and the Penny Divers waited eagerly for the Royal couple to arrive at the Puarenga Stream. View the video of Guide Rangi and the Queen here

Duke planned to enjoy swimming, boating, water-skiing and fishing while at Moose Lodge.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip walking in to a Maori welcoming ceremony, Rotorua.
Ref: WA-34240-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23528614

1956: Duke of Edinburgh came for a brief visit, arriving in the new NAC Heron, Mako Aircraft, then he was driven to Kawerau where he was scheduled to visit the Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill.  

On leaving the Rotorua Aerodrome, the cars drove slowly down Whaka Road, turned down Ti Street, along Wairoa Road. Crowds two deep lined the road. School children cheering and waving as the Duke passed by.

There was slight confusion when the Royal Car arrived at the aerodrome the next day as the Duke had driven himself from Wairakei, the photographers were lined up on the passenger side only to find an empty seat!. 

June 1966: Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Mother flew in to Rotorua Aerodrome on a DC8 the largest aircraft to land at the new airport and thence by car to her official engagement that day at the Sportsdrome for the Official Welcome. She then had lunch at the Grand Hotel before flying on to Hamilton.

Rotorua Photo News, 4th June 1966. This photo appeared on the back cover.
With thanks to the Don Stafford Collection and Papers Past for the above information and DigitalNZ for the images.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Royal Tourists 1870-1920

H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred, our first Rotorua Tourist

14th to 18th December 1870, H.R.H Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred along with the NZ Governor was our first documented Royal Visitor.

His itinerary included camping on Pukeroa Hill under guard of Captain Gascoigne and ‘the Native Contingent’ while at Ohinemutu he presented a statue of the Queen.  

On the 24th April 1883 this same statue was in the newspapers throughout NZ ,  the article printed reads as follows:  “An event affording considerable amusement and consternation occurred ‘here’ (Ohinemutu) on Saturday. The statue of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria lately presented, was being placed in position in Tamatekapua, when a cart arrived with an escort of police, who took possession of the illustrious figure, carrying it off to the lock-up to keep company with the Maori deity Matutonga, whose term of imprisonment has not yet expired. We are at loss to account for the proceeding.”

'Sir George Grey Special Collections, 
Auckland Libraries, 755-Album-17-52'
Photograph courtesy of Kete Rotorua, taken 2018

Photograph on the left "Showing a statue of Queen Victoria, overlooking Lake Rotorua, from Ohinemutu. This bust of Queen Victoria was presented by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, to Maori at Ohinemutu when he visited Rotorua in 1870" 

This has been restored and sits in a different position close to Tama te Kapua, currently without the the bust of Queen Victoria which also needs restoration. 

While Prince Alfred was here, he rode to Lake Tarawera, where he stayed with Rev. Spencer at Te Mu Mission Station.  On the way there he stopped at Whakarewarewa, and the next day his party rode to Rotomahana where some of his party swam in Te Tarata (the White Terrace) and visited Otukapuarangi (the Pink Terrace.)  They camped at Rotomahana and visited the Geyser Ngatapu and Mud Springs at Rotokanapu [1] returning to Te Mu for the night and Rev. Spencer conducted Divine Service on the shores of Lake Tarawera that Sunday morning, after which the Prince and his party returned to Ohinemutu staying a further 2 nights before going back to Maketu to re-join his ship. 

[1] More correctly known as Rotokanapanapa 

1880s, New Zealand, by Burton Brothers studio, Alfred Burton.
Te Papa (C.010647)

13th June to 15th June 1901 “Prince George and Princess Mary, Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, visited New Zealand as part of a world tour to pay tribute to the service given by the Empire nations during the Boer War. 
Originally the tour was intended to be undertaken by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, however the death of Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901 meant that he was now required to plan his own coronation for 1902. Consequently his son, Prince George, was consigned to undertake the voyage instead. The royal couple arrived in Auckland on 11 June…”  

This booklet detailing the progress of the tour was issued as an official souvenir and illustrates their visits to Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Lyttelton and Dunedin. This booklet was one of many souvenirs collected by Frank David Thomson, a career public servant and statesman from 1901 to 1934.

The Royal Visit is documented in all the major newspapers of the day. During their brief stay The Duchess officially opened the new ‘Cornwall Baths’ the ‘Duchess Bath’ named after her. The bath was ornately decorated in the Tuscan Style and fitted with electric light. It was furnished specifically for the Royal Visit with “turquoise silk hangings, softly cushioned chairs and chesterfields, great cheval glasses, dainty fittings, rose shaded lights and velvet carpets” Evening Post, Ladies Column, 22 June 1901.

In addition to this the Royal couple visited Ohinemutu, Tikitere, Whakarewarewa where Guide Sophia personally guided the Duchess who was very appreciative and on the way back to their coach stayed to watch children dive for pennies off the bridge.

From the collection of tourist postcards owned by C. Jeffery, on Kete Rotorua.

1920 The Prince of Wales was at Arawa Park – Maori Reception Camp ; Ohinemutu ; Whakarewarewa where Pohutu refused to play ; Stayed at the Grand Hotel, while there the Prince and Guards exited via the back gate and went across to the Merry-go-round, set up on a vacant section, where the Prince rode a horse and then went back to the hotel with little or no fanfare. Later he bathed in the ‘Duchess Bath’ opened by his mother in 1901.

Edward Prince of Wales visiting Rotorua, New Zealand. Creator unknown :Photographs of visit of Prince of Wales to New Zealand. 

Ref: PAColl-9163-05. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22319477
The Duke & Duchess of York 3rd March 1927- Stayed at the Grand Hotel.

Attended a concert put on specially for them in the King’s Theatre, by combined local and visiting tribes, visited Whakarewarewa where they were welcomed by Guide Bella and Mita Taupopoki, Pohutu Geyser played for a full 20 minutes for them (soaped for the purpose), visited the Fairy Spring where the Duchess threw bread to the trout and the Duke knelt down in the mud to see them feed from his hand. The Duke unveiled the new Arawa War Memorial in the Government Gardens.  

Kaumatua in Rotorua during Royal Tour. Ref: 1/2-203405-F.
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23232994

Saturday, 5 May 2018

War Memorials of Rotorua, Pt.2

World War Two and beyond.

Memorial Gardens at Paradise Valley Springs.
See Rotorua Morning Post, 10 Jan 1945 p.5
“Dedicated to Robert Scott Castleton who lost his life on Dec 25th 1943 at Obsonga, Italy. His parents owned the property at the time. On the memorial stone is also the name Blake Scott, a cousin who also gave his life for his country. In the presence of a large gathering of family and friends the ceremony opened with a rendition of Tama Nga Kau Marie by the Maori Choir, followed by three addresses given by his childhood friends. The Rev. A. Panapa performed the dedication ceremony. Ngati Whakaue Chief Tuoro, then spoke of behalf of the Arawa Confederation of Tribes who had gone overseas. The Memorial Stone was then unveiled by Mr I Morrison, President of the Maori Returned Soldiers’ League.”

J-Force – 22 soldiers returned to Rotorua. This included Lieutenant Hinga Grant; Lance Corporals’ Lawrence F. Briggs and Victor Gordon; Gunners’ Stanley S. Cameron and John S. Rowden; Troopers’ Reginald L Cook, Alexander J. Galvin, R. Harris Arthur S Pollock, Paura Maika, Rikihana Rikihana and Roy Treloar; Sergeant Albert Edward Greenland; Signalman K. H. Lewis; Corporal Jack Edward Green; Privates’ Thomas Dinsdale, Errol L. Simonsen, Charles D. Jackson, Stanley H. Knowles and Warrant Officer Thomas W. Worrall who were part of the British Commonwealth Occupational Force when the Japanese surrendered. See Rotorua Post 4.7.1947. .  This is Commemorated on V-J Day.

Te Hokowhitu-A-Tu Memorial Arch at the entrance to Whakarewarewa Village.

Commemorates soldiers of Tuhourangi sub-tribe of the Arawa confederation who had died in the two world wars. Unveiled by Lieutenant-Colonel Fortune in the presence of Prime Minister Fraser.  See "The New Century in Rotorua" by Don Stafford, p.294-295 and Daily Post 24 April 1950, for more information.

“The Anzac Dawn Parade was held at the newly unveiled memorial arch, with Capt. Wi Huata officiating. From there the parade moved off from Arawa Street to the Regent Theatre (Now the Civic Theatre in the Convention Centre Building) where  "...divine service will commence at 10.00am, the march past the Cenotaph will take place at 10.30am. Units will march past in the following order: The Pipe Band, returned women of all services, R.S.A. executive, Citizen's Band, other organisations, and general public..." Excerpt from Daily Post 24/4/1950. 

Memorial Gates & Memorial Park

Officially dedicated 26 April 1958 by Archdeacon R. Hodgson, local Rev. A. Salmond and Mayor Murray Linton. The Rotorua Boys High Cadet Battalion also took part in the ceremony. See Rotorua Post 26 April 1958 for details. 
Photo courtesy of Kete Rotorua

Rebuilt and Restored by Rotorua RSA & Rotorua District Council in Daily Post 24 April 1993, pg.1 

       On Arbor Day of 1955 about 40 people, representing various organisations and also those whose sons were killed overseas, planted Rhododendron & Silver Birch trees in the new War Memorial Park.  See Rotorua Morning Post 4th Aug 1955 p.1

Other Memorials at the Lakefront entrance to War Memorial Drive are: These plaques were put in place in 1993. 

The Malayan Emergency 1948-1960. See Rotorua Post 21.5.1955; 24.5.1955; 1.8.1957; 30.10.1959. Rotorua soldiers at least 32 enrolled to fight in Malaya. Which included the following: D. Trueman ; K. McGregor; George Midwood; N.R. Mackay; V. Ratana; F. Eruini; Desmond P Rogers; F. Clarke; R. Te Kiri; A. Williams; M. Curtis; D. Unsworth; P. Morehu; R. Soloman ; G. O’Rourke.

The Korean War 1950-1957. See Rotorua Post 28.7.1950; 29.7.1950; 31.7.1950; 15.6.1951 and 26.1.1953. Approximately 277 soldiers from Rotorua fought in Korea.
We will Remember Them:
One Rotorua soldier, James Martin Conrad Scahill was killed in action 18 Nov 1951.
Men who served and came home : Gerald Beamish-White; George Te Whetu-Hayward; John Henry Knap served his country in both Korea & Malaya.  

The Vietnam War 1963-1975. See Daily Post 6.7.1965; 30.9.1968; 14.2.1969; 20.4.1970; 20.6.1970; 2.11.1970; 8.3.1972; 19.5.1972 and 9.3.1973.  

Lance Corporal Arohanui Len (Ropeta) Ransfield received the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his energetic and cheerful leadership, courage, coolness and tactical skill while injured himself. To read his story see the following book: ‘The complete New Zealand distinguished conduct medal’ compiled by Alan J. Polaschek. c1983. On the 2nd floor Genealogy Reference collection.

On the 8th October 1972 an Olive Tree was donated by the NZ Veterans of the Battle of Crete and planted at the Lake Front just to the left of the Memorial Gates. 

Redwood Memorial Grove.
The Redwoods (Californian Coast Redwood) were planted c.1901 by good-conduct prisoners. This 6 hectare grove was originally 12 hectares. These surviving  trees were dedicated to the Forestry workers who lost their lives in WW1, in 1925. After WW2 an informal dedication in memory of more Forestry workers who also lost their lives occurred in 1947.

In 1969 Mayor A. Murray Linton 'launched a plea for public to donate towards the development of Redwood Park. See Daily Post 5th August 1969 for the full story.  As part of the new Whakarewarewa State Forest Park it was 'opened' in 1975.  The history of the grove has been written about further in Daily Post 27 December 1979.

Burma Star Memorial
Burma Star Assn. Memorial unveiling on VJ Day at the Lake Front War Memorial Drive. In Daily Post Weekender, 11 & 18 August 2004. 

"Shaky steps and silent tears from staunch ex-soldiers marked the final parade of members of the New Zealand branch of the Burma Star Association.” Daily Post 16 August 2004.

William H.(Bill) Dawson & his granddaughter Flight Sergeant Leeanne Hodges
Photograph courtesy of Jane Gilbert. 
In this photo of Mr Dawson he wears the Burma Star Medal along with other medals he earned during his service in British Merchant Navy WW2. He was president of the local Burma Star Assn. for many years.

Sculpture Symposium Theme ‘The Returning Soldier”. Held at the Arts Village Green from 29th November to 12th December 2014. The Sculpture Trail featured all 17 sculptures until 2016. 

This one entitled 'The Ghost Soldier' by Rory McDougall.

Photograph courtesy of Kete Rotorua
Some sculptures were replaced in 2016; you can see the current sculpture trail at Creative Rotorua

You can see photographs of the other sculptures on Kete Rotorua 

With thanks to the Don Stafford Collection, Papers Past, Daily Post and Kete Rotorua for this information.