Friday, 26 October 2018

Halloween in Rotorua

Trick or Treating, Jack-o'-Lanterns, haunted attractions, bobbing for apples, candy apples, candy corn are all traditions associated with Halloween. The idea of celebrating Halloween or specifically Trick or Treating begun gaining popularity in New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s. This blog post looks back at how Halloween has been celebrated in Rotorua over the years, and how we are celebrating it in 2018.

1983 - Waterbed World uses Halloween for a sale. Source: The Daily Post, Monday 31 October 1983, p. 4.

1985 - Lymore Primary School teacher Mrs J. Angell with Katie Spence, 6, left, and Johnny Johnson, 6. Source: The Daily Post, Thursday 31 October 1985, p. 1.

1994 - Renee Brierly, 10, the friendly ghost. Source: The Daily Post, Tuesday 1 November 1994, p. 1.

2008 - Halloween Fright Night at the Library, Friday 31 October 2008.

Halloween has not always been a positive affair in Rotorua. In 1995 the Daily Post run with the headline ‘Children ‘hold up’ woman’.  Mrs Merilyn Farrant reported that she opened her door to two youngsters armed with a toy long barreled shotgun and a crow bar.

In 1999, a Lynmore woman reported being terrified by a group pounding on her door demanding lollies. Police reported receiving no complaints but the following year they reported that they received five complaints regarding Halloween trick or treaters and three complaints about young people using fireworks.

Also in 2000 the two Lorraines (they did not want their surnames known) distributed Halloween-Free House signs. In 2002 the Salvation Army also offered Halloween-free signs for a donation.

Salvation Army corps officer Ian Gainsford with one of the Halloween-free signs. Source: The Daily Post, Thursday 31 October 2002, p. 3.

The Blood Bank cleverly cashed in on Halloween in 2001 with ‘Night Bleed’, a special blood bank recruiting drive held on the night following Halloween.

Also in 2001 students from Rotorua’s Seventh Day Adventist Primary School used Halloween to start The Daily Post’s Christmas hamper appeal.

Upcoming family friendly Halloween events

Hell-O-Wheels Halloween Roller Derby Spectacular is on at the Southern Trust Sportsdrome on Saturday 27th October. Doors open 6pm.

On Sunday 28th October between 11am and 3:30pm is the Halloween Pool Party at Rotorua Aquatic Centre. Entry is $7.

More FM is hosting HolloWin on Tuesday 30th October in Jean Batten Square outside Rotorua Library from 3:30pm – 5:00pm. The family event is a free and safe alternative to Trick or Treating.

There is an outdoor movie screening of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events at OGO Rotorua on Friday 2 November. Movie starts 8pm.

Halloween quilt window display at Cottage Flair, 1127 Fenton St.

If you have any photos or memories from past Halloween celebrations, Light Parties in Rotorua please add them to Rotorua Kete, our online community space.

This post was written thanks to The Daily Post.

This post was written by Graeme.

Friday, 19 October 2018

New Zealand Aria

The celebrated New Zealand Aria is on again here in Rotorua next week. The annual competition is being held Thursday 25th and Friday 26th October with the finals night on Saturday 27th October. Many locals will remember it as the Lockwood Aria but the competition’s origins go back 72 years to 1946.

The first annual festival was held by the Rotorua Competitions Society from Friday 10th to Wednesday 15th May 1946. The festival included choirs, dancing, elocution and instrumental acts.

Public notice advertising first annual festival. Source: Rotorua Morning Post, Thursday 9 May 1946, p. 1.

In 1946 the Wellington-based judges were Mr. Hamilton Dickson (music – vocal and instrumental), Mr. Barton Ginger (elocution), and Miss Irene Stone (dancing).

Mr. Barton Ginger said ‘the society is to be congratulated on its initial venture, and I trust it will become an annual attraction in Rotorua.’

The Rotorua Morning Post reported in 1947 that the 2nd annual festival saw approximately 50 per cent, more entries than the previous year. The competition has been going strong ever since. 

Public Notice. Source: The Waikato Independent, Monday 3 February 1947, p. 1. Courtesy of Papers Past.

In 1993 the song section formed its own trust and the Aria part of the competition was held as a separate event. The Lockwood Group, which was formed in Rotorua in 1951 by Dutch immigrants, Johannes La Grouw Snr and Johannes Van Loghem, came on as the principal sponsor and the 48th Annual Festival was branded as the Lockwood Aria. 

1993 Aria winner Patricia Hughes, with Daphne Collins and Deborah Kapohe. Source: The Daily Post, Monday 18 October 1993, p. 1.

In 2007 the Lockwood Aria was rebranded as the New Zealand Aria. The 2007 event featured a performance by then 18 year-old Rotorua-born singer Elizabeth Marvelly.

The 2018 Aria competition is being held at the Rydges Hotel. The finals night is at Destiny Auditorium on Saturday 27th October.

2007 New Zealand Aria. Source: The Daily Post, Saturday 3 November 2007, p. B13.

2018 New Zealand Aria. Source: The Daily Post, Saturday 6 October 2018, Entertainment, p. 2. 

With thanks to Rotorua Morning Post, The Daily Post, and Papers Past for the above information and photos.

This was post was written Graeme. 

Friday, 12 October 2018

A look back to October 1895 in Rotorua.

Rotorua Library c.1895 from the Hot Lakes Chronicle. 

Library and Reading Room, Annual Subscribers Meeting, 11th October 1895 in the Institute.

Report as printed in the Hot Lakes Chronicle 16th October 1895.
“Mr C. Malfroy, president, occupied the chair. Mr Malfroy expressed his regret at seeing so comparatively few present, but at the same time signified his delight in meeting amongst the number so many who had been for many years identified with the town”

There follows a reading of the seventh annual report in which a number of concerns are outlined “Your committee very much regret that during the past year no concerts or other entertainments have been given in aid of the Library funds, nor has there been any material receipts from the sale of publications, both of which sources of revenue have been of great assistance in previous years, and taking this into account as well as general financial depression which necessarily reacts on the Institution they have been unable during the past year to order any new books for the Library. They regret this the more, in view of the constant enquiries made by members on the subject, and would earnestly urge on you the duty of individually endeavouring to secure additional subscribers”

The report goes on to say “during the early part of the year the roof of the building was repaired, and your Committee would return their thanks to the Town Board for bearing a portion of the cost… and an application made to the Government for funding to paint the front of the building and repair window frames was granted.

“The quarter acre section formerly occupied by the Government Agent’s office in Arawa Street., has been granted by the Government as a site for a new Library, free of cost, but it is not yet gazetted. It rests with the members, and the general public of Rotorua as to what steps shall be taken to utilise it”

The income for the year is noted as £79 14s 5p and their expenditure is also £79 14s 5p. So no money is wasted!

Later in the report of Mr Malfroy he records the following “in regard to the new Library site he was pleased to find that the Surveyor-General had seen fit to keep all the Government buildings, so far, on the one block. The site set apart was in his opinion, one of the best in the town and he hoped means would soon be forthcoming to build an institute which would be a credit to the place”

The Institute mentioned here is, not the Victoria Institute building into which the Library moves into by November 1898, it is the Library building at Ohinemutu which had been opened officially on 10th April 1889 in what was described as an old building next to the Comet Store. The Victoria Institute was situated on Arawa Street was the next location for the Library, this building also included Rotorua’s first museum. 

Between 1898 and 1940 many additions and changes occurred and on 14 October 1940 the new library in the Municipal Building was opened with approximately 2000 items (books and magazines). The children’s library stayed at the Victoria Institute until the collection was moved in 1941. 
To read an overview of the Rotorua Library history 1889 to 2009, click here

125 year Celebrations, Rotorua Library 

Here are a few Local News and Notes published in the Hot Lakes Chronicle 2nd October 1895:

 “Mr W. Rogers has just received a consignment of prime Canterbury potatoes at his store.”

“The Town Board notify water consumers in arrears with their fees that unless same be paid by the 15th inst. the supply will be cut off”

“The telephone posts for the service between the old and new townships are now being erected, and as soon as the wires are stretched the instrument will be fixed in Mr Lakin’s shop”

“In looking over a map in the Courthouse the other day the eye fell on a place called Ngapepeangaowaiwhakanga, situated on the shore of Lake Okataina. Ngapepe-&c., ought to be utilised as a name for one of our streets.”

“Mr H. Kirk opened the new butcher’s shop which has been erected for him on Fenton Street…. The fittings and general appearance of the shop reflect the greatest credit on the contractor. The walls of the office are of mottled Tawa which bears a strong resemblance to English Oak and the ceiling is of Rimu from Messrs Kusabs yards. The ceiling of the shop, which is very lofty, is composed of alternate planks of black and white varnished Tawa and a pretty pattern of paper covers the walls.”

“…Mr Clarke (C.A.C. Clarke) is a deft manipulator of all that is enticing in the way of harmless ‘refreshers’, the knowledge of which fact opens up a vista of happiness for even the most rabid Prohibitionist during the coming sultry summer months.”

And last but not least J
“The Library Committee handed in an estimate of the cost of renovating the building. A sum of £7 was asked for, but it was explained that this would only meet urgent requirements as three times that amount could be spent to great advantage” 

Moving Day, from our 21 year tenancy of the Masonic Building
to 1127 Haupapa Street. November 1991. 

With thanks to Papers Past for online access to this Rotorua Newspaper.
This blog post compiled by Alison.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Rotorua Bike Festival

Matt Scoles National Downhill  Credit: Alan Ofsoski
Redwoods Coast Credit: Alan Ofsoski
The 1st Rotorua Bike Festival occurred on 8th – 17th February 2013. During the 10 day festival, over 3000 people participated in the 24 festival events. The festival was to be “a celebration of all things cycling, a mix of fun and frivolity – and serious competition”.
Events included Bike polo, Bicycle
Sam Gaze . Credit: Alan Ofsoski - Fotoengine
 Speedway, BMX championship, the Redwoods Coast and the Skyline Sprint Warrior. The first weekend hosted the Bike NZ and MTBNZ Mountain Bike National championships. The final weekend featured the 2W Gravity Enduro.

The 2nd Rotorua Bike Festival ran from 14th-23rd February 2014. Events on the opening weekend included the addition of Bike the Lake, with the option of doing one or two laps around the lake. The Sprint Warrior, downhill mountain biking at Skyline Skyrides, proved popular with riders and spectators alike, as did the Inner City criterium,
Credit: Mike Vincent
racing in downtown Rotorua.  With over 30 events, and riders ranging in age from 2 – 72, the Bike Festival included the general community, getting people out on their bikes.

The 3rd Rotorua Bike Festival, kicked off on the 13 February 2015 with the encouragement to Go-by-Bike to work or school, and then in the evening the opportunity to Ride the Runway at Rotorua Airport! Over 850 people took advantage of the chance to bike on the Rotorua Airport runway, which was followed by time trial/sprint races. Bike the Lake was back, along with BMX championships, National MB championships, the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro and the Redwood Coast among others. A gentler Valentine’s Day twilight ride also featured. This year the Sprint Warrior was missing as preparations were under way for Cranxworks the next month

February 12th, 2016 saw the return of the 4th Bike Festival. Once again there were many favourites from previous festivals such as Bike the Lake, the Runway project (1300 people participated), Tykes on Bikes and Frocks on bikes, along with the usual serious events. Some new events were included such as the Mountain Biker’s Ball, Bike Photo workshops, the Big Bike Film Night  and the Dipper Dash (a girls only fun event). The festival  numbers had doubled since the 1st festival with approximately 6,000 participants.

Conor Mahuika Big Air

The 5th Rotorua Bike Festival, 10th-19th February 2017 once again “included events for all types of bikes and biking enthusiasts”. And the participant figures of 6,500 shows how many of those enthusiasts there are! This year the Runway Project was moved to late afternoon, as a twilight event and included add-ons such as Bike Sheep Dog Trails, Elite Eliminator Race, Open Speed Sprint and a Kids Obstacle race, all accompanied by live music, food, DJs and lots of fun. Instead of the Bike the Lake, there was a Tour of the Valleys road race. Frocks on Bikes were back along with the Big Bike Film night. A Frock n Roll Fashion Show, Ride and Reflect meditative events and an outdoor overnight adventure, Stars, Spokes and Tent Poles, all added to the diversity of the bike festival.

 This year, 2018, the 6th Rotorua Bike Festival is back, but moving to October, running from Friday 19th October to Sunday 28th October. The festival will kick off with a spectacular opening ceremony at the Village Green. The homepage of the Rotorua Bike Festival invites all to “Join us to celebrate the start of Summer with 10 days of festivities, wheels and fun in NZ's very own year-round biking mecca. Once again, there are old favourites and new additions. And running throughout the festival is the free Pedal Powered Scavenger Hunt. The programme of 34 events with dates, venues, descriptions and any costs are clearly laid out. There’s something for everyone including lots of spectator opportunities too. Roll on October!

With thanks to the Rotorua Bike Festival website for the above info and images.

This blog post was written by Trish.