Posts written by Kirstie Ross

Where have all the royal souvenirs gone?

Stephanie Gibson, Te Papa’s Curator of Contemporary Life & Culture writes: It was with great sadness last week that I read about the demise of royal visit souvenirs (‘No royal knick-knacks thanks, we’re Kiwis’, The Dominion Post, 1 April 2014). According to the journalist ‘tacky royal collectibles are becoming relics of a bygone age’. There… Read more »

The ‘Berry Boys’ WWI soldier identification project: the story so far

The Berry Boys soldier identification project has progressed leaps and bounds since 2008, when a group of portraits of unidentified World War I soldiers first featured on Te Papa’s website to mark the 90th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice. Getting the ball rolling We were able to inaugurate the detective work required to… Read more »

June 1953: Last month last century

Sixty years ago, Queen Elizabeth II is crowned (2 June 1953) Only selected officials were invited into Westminster Abbey to witness the formal coronation ceremony, so thousands of people lined the route of the coronation porcession in order to see the Queen. Robert Buhler’s lithograph (above) depicts part of the crowd that watched the historic… Read more »

This month last century: May 1953

Sixty years ago, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain (29 May 1953) The two men’s mountaineering triumph came just a few days before Queen Elizabeth II was crowned. Their feat boosted the rejoicing that was already taking place throughout the British Commonwealth… Read more »

April 1913: This month last century

100 years ago HMS New Zealand arrives in New Zealand (12 April 1913) In March 1909, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward announced that ‘the Dominion’ (New Zealand) was offering ‘the Motherland’ (Britain) the ‘free gift of … a first-class battleship’. The Prime Minister thought that his offer to pay for a ship would… Read more »

Kiwi Faces of World War I – Anzac Day update. We have reached over 60 identifications!

To mark Anzac Day tomorrow, here is an update on our ‘Kiwi Faces of World War I’ soldier identficiation project. We now identified more than 60 men out of the 110 World War One soldiers who were photographed by the Wellington photography studio Berry & Co. Most of these identifications have been based on detective… Read more »

March 1940 – This month last century

73 years ago Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage dies (27 March 1940) Mickey Savage, as many New Zealanders fondly referred to him, was the country’s first Labour Prime Minister. Australian-born Savage had arrived in New Zealand in 1907. He became the Labour MP for Auckland Central electorate in 1919. Labour’s win 16 years later was… Read more »

February 1943: This month last century

70 years ago, 48 Japanese prisoners of war are killed during a riot at the Featherston prisoner of war camp (25 February 1943) From 1942, Japanese prisoners of war were brought to New Zealand and interned at the camp at Featherston, in the Wairarapa. This camp had previously been used as a military training camp during WWI. The… Read more »

January 1900 – This month last century

St Joseph’s Home for Incurable opens 113 years ago (29 January 1900) This home for so-called ‘incurables’, in Buckle Street, Wellington, was an initiative set up by Reverend Mother Mary Joseph Aubert, with the help of Catholic nuns, the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion. Mother Aubert was the founder of this religious congregation, in… Read more »

December 1941: This month last century

Seventy one years ago, New Zealand declares war on Japan after the bombing of the US naval bases at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii (8 December 1941) The bombing of Pearl Harbour set the Pacific War in motion. This event and Japan’s subsequent expansion through the Philippines, Thailand and the Malaysian peninsula, followed by the capture of… Read more »