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2014 October Newsletter



The talk on Charles Goldie, painter and Remuera resident, planned for the 31st October 2014 by Professor Len Bell has had to be postponed as he is going with the Lindauer exhibition to Germany and the Czech Republic .  This event will now be held in March 2015.


The Remuera Heritage Christmas party will be on Sunday November 30th at 3pm at the home of past-president of Remuera Heritage Terry Sutcliffe.  We will gather in Terry and Renata’s lovely garden at 502 Remuera Road where Terry will guide us through his own museum.  If the weather is inclement, there will be a rain check for the following Sunday December 7th.  Please RSVP for catering to or Sue Cooper on (09) 520-0029 so that we know what numbers to warn Terry & Renata about!


Remuera Heritage had 2 events as part of the Auckland Heritage Festival 2014. This year's theme 'courage has many resting places' honoured the centenary of the start of First World War and our brave men who went to the other side of the world to fight for 'King and Country'.

  • Herb Farrant, President of the New Zealand Military Historical Society, spoke on the impact of the outbreak of WW1on New Zealanders and their expectations at home and at war. Herb who has led tours to France and Belgium for the last 19 years, gave a very moving talk on the bravery of the New Zealanders on the western front, their involvement in two events:

i) The last 100days of the Great War which commenced on 8 August 1918, with the British 4th Army’s attack in front of Amiens. Deemed the "Black Day" of the German Army, New Zealanders as part of British 3rd Army further north commenced the March to Victory on 23 August 1918 and were in constant action over some 77 days till 5 November 1918.

ii) The New Zealanders “plugged the gap” above the river Ancre between 26 March to 5 April 1918, initially in front of Auchonvilliers. One of the best accounts from those times is to be found in the Official History of the NZ Rifle Brigade by Austin.

In fact, we enjoyed the talk and learnt so much from it, that several of us would like Herb to repeat the talk next year!   We think it deserves a much wider audience.

  • The second event was a new guided heritage walk around the 3 churches St Luke’s, St Michael’s and St Mark’s in Remuera, with Jennie Hayman and Sue Jackson, to discover the architecture and history of the churches of St Luke, St Mark and St Michael and other buildings

of interest in the area.  Again we learnt so much from our knowledgeable and interesting guides about the churches and the sadly neglected three houses in Middleton Road (numbers 17, 19 and 21) which housed the original St Michaels, convent and school.  Sister Mary MacKillop who is Australia’s first saint, visited and stayed at the convent on several occasions.

We got rained on and nearly blown away but had a very warm welcome from the Monsignor at St Michaels and the community team at St Luke’s who served afternoon tea in their warmed up common room, so that everyone stayed on for an hour catching up and talking about heritage  matters. We are particularly grateful to Philip Clark and Carol Fraser of St Luke’s who came up with this idea and organized the event. Jennie Hayman and Sue Jackson researched and developed the heritage walk information – we hope to turn this into a regular event with its own heritage brochure and online guide.


If you would like to be kept up-to-date with the newsletter about news and events from Remuera Heritage, contact us on We’d love to hear from you.

Sue Cooper, Chair of Remuera Heritage.


New online archive at Hocken will revolutionise research

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 2:03pm

Pioneering Anglican cleric Samuel Marsden.

Historians are eagerly anticipating the fruits of a ground-breaking University of Otago Library project to place thousands of New Zealand's earliest missionary archives online so they can be mined for new clues to European and Māori contact up to 200 years ago.

Like other modern research tools such as the National Library’s Papers-past website, making the transcribed hand-written papers of pioneering Anglican cleric Samuel Marsden available in an online archive has the potential to revolutionise research in to this key period in New Zealand’s history as never before.

Hocken Librarian Sharon Dell says a pilot iteration of the Marsden online archive will be launched at the Hocken Library in early November and will contain digitised copies (3651 pages) of nine Marsden journals and 593 letters, ranging in dates from 1808 to 1823 between Marsden, and missionaries Thomas Kendall, William Hall, John King and others involved in the establishment of the earliest New Zealand missions.

The establishment of the online archive is timed to coincide with the commemoration of the Bicentenary of Marsden’s first sermon on New Zealand soil, on Christmas Day 1814. There will also be a Marsden symposium and an exhibition at the Hocken. It is hoped that a mobile version of the exhibition can travel to venues in Northland.

These original missionary archives are only available thanks to the foresight of Library founder and Dunedin philanthropist Dr Thomas Morland Hocken, who recognised the value of these early Church Missionary Society archives, and transported them back to New Zealand from England in the early 1900s.

Since then, the thousands of letters and papers, including diary entries detailing life in early missions here, earliest written recordings of the Māori language, diet, culture and beliefs, have remained in their original form in the careful care of the Library.

"They are a rich resource on early interactions between Māori and Pākeha, the origins of Christianity and the development of Te Reo Māori as a written language – and researchers are already lining up to interrogate the data."

Ms Dell says the project is a major technological milestone for the University Library, and means access to the historical resource will be vastly improved and available nationally to researchers anywhere and at any time. The project has also provided the opportunity to make use of the work of Dunedin historian Gordon Parsonson, now in his 90s, who has been painstakingly transcribing the Marsden papers since the 1940s.

“He became locked in the Hocken stacks one afternoon, and started reading some of Marsden’s journals. From then on, he was hooked. Because of his dedication to this work, we can use his transcribed papers in the data-base alongside the originals,” she says.

“They are a rich resource on early interactions between Māori and Pākeha, the origins of Christianity and the development of Te Reo Māori as a written language – and researchers are already lining up to interrogate the data.”

So far, 3600 pages of Marsden’s documents have been scanned to a high specification and resolution, with specialist staff from the University of Otago Library having to wear clothes of a special non-reflective colour to achieve optimal visual clarity when the pages were scanned.

Researchers will be able to type in key words such as missionary or Māori names, place names, or ship names, as well as dates, and search the text for all references to those items and use some of the tools to do more sophisticated searches. University Library staff have worked with researchers across a number of disciplines to develop the online archive and include tools to enable them to use and interrogate the material in new ways.

“It is not well-known that the Hocken holds them so we feel that making these materials accessible to a wider audience and especially to the people of Auckland and Northland is something we can uniquely contribute to the Bicentenary; in fact we feel strongly obligated to do so.”

Dialogues; exploring the drama of early missionary encounters is a symposium run in association with the University of Otago’s Centre for Research on Colonial Culture. It will be held on Fri 7 and Sat 8 Nov 2014.

Whakapono; Faith and foundations
The exhibition opening in Dunedin at the Hocken Gallery on 6 Nov 2014 will include material largely drawn from the Hocken Collections and the Alexander Turnbull Library and the archaeological objects from the University of Otago investigations of the Marsden Cross site. The exhibition is curated by Sharon Dell, Hocken Librarian, Jeanette Wikaira, Kaituitui Ratonga Māori and Natalie Poland, Curator of Pictures.

Kiwi Chicks: New Zealand Girl History

‘Kiwi Chicks: New Zealand Girl History/Ngā Kōhine Kiwi: He Hitori Taitamāhine o Aotearoa’ is a collections-driven exhibition project that explores girlhood in New Zealand during the 18th-20th centuries co-produced by Girl Museum and National Services Te Paerangi. In order to preserve NZ girl culture, this project aims to identify ‘girlhood’ objects in New Zealand museums, libraries, archives, schools, historical societies, and art galleries, and then create an exciting exhibition that informs and inspires girls of today with the stories, achievements and struggles of yesterday’s girls, as well as reaching a general audience.

Infant soother from Ewelme Cottage