“History is an unending dialogue between the present and the past and the chief function of historian is to master and understand the past as a key to the understanding of present.”  –E.H. Carr

In this issue

  • Feedback on Anthony Dreaver’s talk in September
  • The upcoming October session – Hari Jackson “A Kapiti Life”  –Tuesday 27 October
  • Jock Phillips on statues
  • Are we hiding our early history?
  • The last two sessions for 2020

Thanks to our September speaker: Anthony Dreaver

Anthony provided a very interesting account of the history of the health camp movement with an emphasis on the Otaki facility. He outlined the important part the camps played in improving the health, confidence and well-being of children who were often in need of “building up”. One gentleman in the audience came along with the framed original of the “The Sound of Music” photograph. (See below)Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the session. 

On the night Anthony mentioned the “Save the Rotunda” project and seven of us took up his offer of a guided tour of the Otaki Health Camp in early October. Di Buchan, who has written the history, spoke about the development of the camp and then Anthony led us on a tour of the buildings and facilities. Well worthwhile. If you would like to do a tour, contact Anthony: anthonydreaver@gmail.com

An historic photo of Otaki Health Camp is above, the Rotunda is in the right background.

The October speaker – Hari Jackson

Hari has lived most of his 80+ years on the Coast. He attended primary school here and later went on an old bus to Horowhenua College in the days before Raumati District High School was established. Rugby was a major sporting interest and he played for over 60 years ending up in the Golden Oldies competition. 

I shall be talking about my Great-great grand-father Te Wharemaru Ihakara who came to Paraparaumu about 1840 to claim his land from the beach front up Beach Road (later Kapiti Road) beyond the site of the airport, up to (present day) Coastlands, Epiha St and over the hill to Kaitawa Cres. He and his wife had three sons. I come from my Great grand-father Epiha Ihakara.”

Hari will also cover his experiences and involvement in the district in the post-war decades through to the present.

  • Tuesday 27 October 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.

Jock Phillips on statues

The well-known historian spoke recently to the Friends of the Library and addressed two key issues about statues and memorialsAre our memorial representative of gender and ethnicity?What do we do about “offensive” memorials?

Do women get a fair go?

Statues of women are usually symbolic rather than being of particular women. Often they are angels on war memorials or represented as symbols of motherhood. There are four angelic women featured on the memorial beside Christchurch Cathedral and motherhood is a feature of the sculpture in the National War Memorial in Wellington. 

Queen Victoria statues feature in Wellington, Christchurch and Christchurch. As for actual New Zealand women, there are few memorials. Waimate has one of the best – a statue honouring the hard working and highly respected doctor Margaret Cruickshank, who died in the 1918-19 Spanish Flu pandemic. In Auckland the legendary flyer Jean Batten features in bronze appropriately at the airport.  

In Christchurch beside the Avon there is memorial to the New Zealand suffragists – Kate Sheppard and five other women. 

Jock feels that there should be more statues of women. Opunake has one of Peter Snell, so why doesn’t Dunedin have one of Yvette Williams?

(For more on what he covered, see https://waikanaewatch.org/2020/10/18/jock-phillips-on-statues-and-memorials/)

Are we hiding our early history?

Some of you will know the name Martin Doutre. He has done plenty of work on researching the likelihood that human settlement notably of moa hunters, in New Zealand goes back 2000 -3000 years. He firmly believes that there were humans in New Zealand before the 186 AD Taupo ash shower and probably before the Wamihia ash shower in c 1340 BC. 

What’s the evidence? Extensive archaeological digs, notably in the Waipoua Forest in Northland and in the Poukawa Valley south of Hastings. These very careful excavations with meticulous records, were backed up by scientists at the DSIR and university geologists at the time. However, when carbon dating revealed ages of up to 3000+ years the trail went cold and authorities will not release the records. 

Ian Bradford from North Canterbury has noted: Archaeologist Noel Hilliam worked on the sites in the Waipoua forest along with 37 others in 1981 and 1983. Datings came back showing that in 2500 BC there were people living there. Shortly after, the local kaumatua closed the site down and the records held in Wellington had a hold on them for 75 years.

One of our members attended a talk by Martin Doutre in Auckland and suggested that the KHS might like him as a speaker. Another member is prepared to put him up if he comes here. If you feel this would be of interest, let John or Roger know.

Speakers and topics in November and December

  • 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 the involvement of his family on the Kapiti Coast in the last 50+ years. 

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