Thursday, 6 October 2016

A Bygone Era in Rotorua

A Few Random Facts about Rotorua

  • In 1965 Rotorua had 40! Insurance agents and companies, must have been a boom for business at that time, 8 Post Offices and 21 Government department offices. 

  • In 1950-1960 Rotorua had a Buffalo Club, a Druids Hall, an Old Folks Sick and Blind Social Club, a Rotorua Swords Club, the 30,000 Club, an Operatic Society, an Chess Club, a Pig Council, a Wrestling Association, the National Party Club and all the other usual sports clubs e.g. Rugby, Tennis, Anglers Assn, Cricket, Lawn Bowls, Yacht & Power Boat, Golf, Tramping & Skiing...

  • Fenton Park (suburb) was officially opened by Mayor Murray Linton with a parade of homes competition won by the home built by W.R. Burgess, 2nd the home built by Bay Construction and 3rd the home built by Goodwin Homes. 
Rotorua Photo News 7 April 1967

  • Paradise Valley Springs boasted they had New Zealand's largest rainbow trout that would leap for food on a stick.
For a walk down memory lane come into the Library and look through some of our unique resources, such as Rotorua Photo News, The UBD for Rotorua 1957-1969, The 1961-1990 Who's Who in Rotorua and our copies of Rotorua Tourist Guides from 1959-1989.

Tulip Festival in Rotorua

2016 Tulip Fest 

Rotorua hosted its very first Tulip Festival in 2014 with a range of events including guided tulip walks, guest speakers and a weekend market in Jean Batten Square. 

The dazzling display of tulips have become a major highlight of Rotorua's floral showcase in the inner city and nearby parks.

Photograph by Alison Leigh 2015.
To have your own Tulip Fest in your garden start planning now as you drive around Rotorua admiring all the many colours and varieties.

Pick up a book or two from the Rotorua Library :

Summer Bulbs by Peter McHoy 635.94 MCH
The perennial matchmaker by Nancy Ondra 635.932 OND

or check out this video of Eion Scarrow on 'Dig This' for gardening advice from the 1970s and Maggie Barry's Ellerslie Flower Show on NZOnScreen.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Mod Look of 1960s

NZ Fashion follows the Beatles and Mary Quant

The Mod Look

The bouffant beehive hair-do was traded in for the Mary Quant inspired “Mod Look.” The trendy fashion statement was an inspiration for Ray Columbus & The Invaders. Men’s hair was longer, black velvet and brown corduroy was the on-trend fabric and Chelsea boots were all the rage.

The “Mod Look” on Ray Columbus and The Invaders on this video clip

Sunday, 18 September 2016

New Zealand Fashion and Fashion Magazines 1960s

Vogue Magazine and New Zealand Fashion

TEAL partnered with American Vogue magazine to launch a line of women’s clothing. TEAL flew New York model, Margot McKendry around NZ and the islands to show off fashion designer Handmacher’s women’s clothing collection.

A smartly dressed family on a day out in Christchurch shows that everyday fashion can make a statement.

Fashion Boutique, James Smith Ltd, Wellington, early 1960s, DigitalNZ has a number of photographs depicting fashion in Wellington.
James Smith Ltd early 1960s

Monday, 12 September 2016

Fashion Shows of the 1960s

Fashion Shows 

Formally organised fashion shows may have been limited to exclusive events, but informal fashion shows were seen at events like the races, when the public went all out.

Check out this gorgeous linen suit worn at the races

Fashion show in Rotorua

Mannequin Parade at Brents Hotel November, 1963. Organised by Mrs C.Lodge. 
Models top left to right: Rama McIlwraith, Gayle Mullis, Jackie Davies. 
Models bottom left to right: Gay Smith, Jill Crawford, Leona Martelli.
Rotorua Photo News, No. 3. Nov. 16, 1963
Posted by Ani Sharland, 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Fashions of the 1960s

New Zealand

Fashion during the 1960’s was pared down. Dresses were straight, plain & brief  and the hemlines went way above the knee and eventually the ‘mini’ was born. Women ditched the suspended hosiery and waisted tights were in. Men’s clothes were straight and narrow and trouser cuffs disappeared. Men’s lapels became thin and buttoned high and shirt collars were buttoned down.

High Fashion in Work Uniforms

Fashion designers both local and international contributed to high fashion and work uniforms in New Zealand.

TEAL’s hostesses uniform were designed by Christian Dior

Aucklander, Bruce Papas won the top fashion design competition, The Golden Shears

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Help for Family History at your Library

Rotorua Library Genealogy Collections

Rotorua Library has a selection of different sources to help you trace your ancestors :

How to books, like the following titles :
  •  "A beginner's guide to online genealogy: learn how to trace your family history and discover your roots" by Michael Dunn. 
  • "Unofficial guide to" by Nancy Hendrickson.
  • "Writing your family history" by Gill Blanchard.
  • Tracing your ancestors through family photographs" by Jayne Shrimpton.
District Histories and School Jubilee publications. e.g.

  • "Who do you think you are", published monthly.
  • "NZ Genealogist" 
  • "Family Tree" 
  • "Australian Family Tree Connections"
Local Newspapers,via Microfiche/film for past newspapers and paper copies for last 6 months, and access to historic newspapers via Papers Past

Online Access in the Library for the following :   (in Library use only)  
Find My Past    (in Library use only)
NZ Gazettes     (in Library use only)

Links to these can be found on our website :

NZ Births, Deaths and Marriages (Historic) ; Rotorua Cemetery Index ; Archway (Archives NZ).

For help of the personal kind : Come down to our Heritage & Research area in the new 'Temporary' Library at 1238 Pukuatua Street, see you there.

Also don't forget the Volunteers from the Rotorua Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, are happy to chat with you about your family history research queries, in the Library every second Wednesday of the month.