Posts categorized as History

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 »

Hunting henriettas on Ruapuke Island – on the tail of New Zealand’s first mice

Henrietta Bay on the south coast of Ruapuke Island. The cannon is claimed to have come from the Elizabeth Henrietta. Photo: Colin Miskelly

Few people are aware of Ruapuke Island. Guarding the eastern approaches to Foveaux Strait, the 1600 ha island is large enough to appear as a smudge of colour at the very bottom of TV3’s weather map. Yet the island’s low relief means that passengers on the Stewart Island ferry 20 km to the west barely… Read more »

Rātana Church and Mita Ririnui: The Colours of Service

  • Filming Mita Ririnui in Te Papa studio. June 2012. Photographer Puawai Cairns, copyright Te Papa Tongarewa 2012.
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  • Decoding the Āpotoro Rēhita robes

ME024090; Āpotoro Rēhita Haahi Rātana Kākahu (Registered Apostle Ratana Church religious clothing) Continuing the blogging about some of the key uniforms and acquisitions for the Uniformity exhibition, this blog is going to talk about one of my favourite uniforms in the show: the robes of an Āpotoro Rēhita from the Rātana Church and a uniform… 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 »

Birds of a feather

  • Page from the British Museum's 1970 guide for collectors on preparing bird skins.
  • DEAD SET POSTER | PUKEKO, offset print on 170gsm
  • DEAD SET | MIROMIRO SCARF, digital print on silk/cotton
  • DEAD SET | KOTARE CUSHION, Digital print on hemp / organic cotton

The Te Papa Store has just taken possession of a range of new stock inspired by the museum’s natural history collection. Dead Set is by textile designer Genevieve Packer, and is based on Te Papa’s haunting and strange collection of bird skins.   For the novice, of which I am in the case of natural history, bird skins are… Read more »

Redcoated ancestor

  • Sergeant John Smith Jackson, late 1880s-90s. Photograph courtesy of Beatrice Jackson and Pat McAllister.
  • The tunic on display in 'Uniformity', level 4, Te Papa.
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  • Graham Jackson and Matt Raines checking out Sergeant John Smith Jackson’s uniform, 2012.

Graham Jackson and his grandson Mathew Jackson Raines were thrilled to see the uniform of their ancestor Sergeant John Smith Jackson (1870-1963) on display in Uniformity: Cracking the dress code at Te Papa recently. Sergeant Jackson is Graham’s grandfather and Matt’s great-great grandfather. As a young man, John Smith Jackson joined the Gordon Highlanders – a… Read more »

Movember memories

Movember is drawing to a close, and thousands of men in New Zealand and around the world are sporting moustaches for a good cause.  In New Zealand, the funds raised are being used for research, advocacy and survivor support around men’s cancer and mental health.  Here’s a small selection of moustachioed men, drawn from our… Read more »

This month last century: November 1919

93 years ago the first health camp opens at Turakina (25 November 1919) New Zealand’s first health camp was founded by Dr Elizabeth Gunn.  The first group of 55 children stayed in tents for three weeks. Gunn had been a military doctor, and brought this experience with her to the running of the camps. The camp… Read more »

Canterbury Earthquake AVs: Student Volunteer Army

Sam Johnson of the Canterbury’s Student Volunteer Army (SVA) is in the news again! This time, however, the world’s media have zoomed in not on Sam’s amazing volunteer work and leadership following the Canterbury Earthquakes, but on his dance moves. During Prince Charles and Camilla’s recent visit to Christchurch, Sam took the Duchess of Cornwall for a spin on Gap Filler’s Dance-O-Mat. Indeed the… Read more »