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.

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