Sunday, 17 April 2016

Anzac Day 1932 - Wellington's Carillon

A proposal to erect a National War Memorial in Wellington in 1919 was postponed owing to financial strains on the New Zealand economy caused by the war. The favoured proposal was to build a Carillon at Mt Cook. In 1930 the bells intended for Wellington's Carillon were erected in a special structure at Hyde Park in London for the inaugural recital before the bells were shipped to New Zealand. The carilloneur for the occasion was Mr Clifford Ball whose talent hailed from the Cadbury Brothers Carillon at the English town of Bournville. He was assisted at the recital by New Zealander, Miss Gladys Watkins who had studied carillon playing at Malines in Belgium.
In 1931 the steamer Ionic arrived at King's Wharf, Wellington. Her precious cargo included some of the big bells intended for temporary storage until the new Carillon was built.

On the afternoon of Anzac Day 1932 the National War Memorial Carillon was officially opened in front of a large audience of over 50,000 people at Buckle Street, Mount Cook, Wellington. Today its presence on the Wellington city's skyline is complemented by the Hall of Memories (1964) and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (2004) all of which are located at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park opened in April 2015. What follows are a few early postcards of the Carillon, assorted newspaper information reporting on the grand occasion of its official opening and some personal photographs taken in recent years.
An early photographic postcard of the Carillon in Wellington taken by photographer Heaton Clairemont Peart. Note that the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum buildings have not yet been built behind the tower. The Gallery and Museum were officially opened in 1936. 

A view of the Carillon from Mt Victoria Tunnel taken by Heaton Clairemont Peart.

(source: Evening Post, 20 April 1932)

(source: Evening Post, 23 April 1932)

(source: Evening Post, 23 April 1932)

(source: Auckland Weekly News, 4 May 1932)

National War Memorial fountain and steps leading up to the Carillon. (2014)

War planes fly past the Carillon. Anzac Street Parade to Pukeahu War Memorial Park (24 April 2015).

Pukeahu War Memorial Park Sound and Light Show (2015)

Left: Wellington Anzac Dawn Service at the National War Memorial Carillon on 25 April 2015.
Right - Grand official opening of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on 18 April 2015.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Rest and Relaxation at Rotorua

The peaceful and picturesque landscape of Rotorua and its surroundings was enjoyed by many New Zealand soldiers. Gardens, lakes, geothermal and historical sites were all enjoyed by soldiers on day trips away from their accommodation and treatment at the Sanatorium Hospital and the King George V Convalescent Home. Here is a small selection of real photographic postcards taken in and about Rotorua during the war...

A New Zealand soldier supported by a walking stick is seen strolling through the grounds of the Sanatorium Hospital at Rotorua. Real photographic postcard by Frederick George Radcliffe.

A New Zealand soldier poses for this photograph (then published on to a postcard) beside a geothermal pool in Rotorua.

A group of New Zealand soldiers and their guides pose for this portrait at the famous 'Sophia's Whare' at Te Wairoa on 26 June 1916. Sophia or Te Paea Hinerangi was a leading guide for tourists who visited the famous Pink and White Terraces at Lake Rotomahana. The Terraces and the village at Te Wairoa were destroyed by the Mt Tarawera eruption in June 1886. Sophia's sturdy timber Whare was one of very few structures that provided protection from the mud and ash caused by the eruption. About 60 people managed to reach safe shelter at Sophia's Whare while many others were caught out in the open and perished. The historical site was a popular visit made by New Zealand soldiers during and after the war.

New Zealand soldiers out for a ride on the road that follows the shore of Lake Tikitapu (otherwise known as the 'Blue Lake'). A real photographic postcard dated February 1918 and taken by Rotorua photographer R.G. Marsh.

New Zealand soldiers dressed in their hospital blue uniform parade on a street in Rotorua.

Sister Enberg at the Sanatorium Hospital gardens in Rotorua. She was reported to be ill with enteric fever in October 1914 but recovered at the Sanatorium and resumed nursing. Sister Enberg left the Sanatorium in May 1916 for Sydney. At her farewell she was presented with a piupiu and a greenstone and silver spoon.