History is an endless negotiation between the past and present. –Simon Sharma

In this issue

  • Feedback on Wendy Huston’s talk in August
  • The upcoming September session – Anthony Dreaver on the History of the Otaki Health Camp on Tuesday, 22 September
  • Connections: Wrecked ship on Waikanae Beach and the Mahara Gallery
  • Sessions for the remainder of 2020

Thanks to our August speaker: Wendy Huston

Some 30 people braved wet weather and Government’s Covid-19 restrictions to hear Wendy Huston speak about the Kapiti Retirement Trust and the history of Seven Oaks, Midlands and Muriwai Court. Wendy’s interesting talk was illustrated with an excellent PowerPoint presentation. She not only gave an impressive coverage of the history, but also gave a comprehensive coverage of what the three parts of the retirement village are like today. Everyone enjoyed the session.
Coming up soon —

The September speaker – Anthony Dreaver

“I’ll talk about New Zealand’s health camp movement and the social conditions that it sprang from, how Otaki became the site of the first permanent Health Camp, and what children experienced there. I’ll also touch on public perceptions, from the Health Stamps glory days to changing ideas that led to the camp’s decline.

“I will also show the interesting range of architecture, especially the fascinating Rotunda building for which the Friends of Otaki Rotunda Trust was formed. And of course I hope to gather support for our work, and invite members to guided tours of the complex.”

Anthony has a background in education and history writing. He has written books ranging from school texts to histories related to the Horowhenua. His masterpiece is probably the biography of the amazingly versatile Leslie Adkin entitled An Eye for Country.  He is well known as a local historian and promoter of Kapiti Heritage, and is also a trustee on the Kapiti US Marines Trust.
  • Tuesday 22 September at 7.30 pm
  • Kapiti Uniting Church, 10 Weka Road, Raumati Beach.
  • Gold coin koha. Thanks. 
  • A light supper will be served following the talk.

Connections: Waikanae Beach stranding —- Mahara Gallery

The Pleione was on its eleventh trip from London to Wellington and with just 84 days at sea this was the quickest. But two days out of Wellington, Captain Cuthbert mistook Kapiti Island for the northern-most island in the Marlborough Sounds. It was not the first time the error had been made, as both islands are on the same latitude. 

With hurricane force winds blowing, the cargo ship with six passengers, was driven onto Waikanae Beach about 3 kilometres north of the river mouth. According to The Evening Post of 17 March 1888 it was one of the worst gales ever experienced in this district for some time… It was the seventh ship to run aground at Waikanae within a few years.

To follow the connections to the Mahara Gallery, see here.

Speakers and topics for the last three months of 2020

  • October 27 – Hari Jackson on his Kapiti heritage.
  • November 17 – Bruce Taylor will speak on “A History of the Wellington to Manawatu Railway with particular reference to the impact on Kapiti, 1870s to present.”
  • December 15 – David Hadfield on a topic related to his Kapiti heritage.

Suggestions for topics and speakers are always very welcome. Next year we will definitely have sessions on Gallipoli and Parihaka.

Roger Childs and John Robinson