Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Book Review : Around the lake: the story of the Rotorua Marathon / by Simon Earle

Around the Lake : The Fletcher Marathon 

Rotorua Photo News November 16th 1963

Simon Earle starts his book with a foreword by Lorraine Moller and Acknowledgements to Dennis & Pam Kenny for their comprehensive collection of marathon records and photographs which are included in the book.

Then the first chapter begins "Man who has done them all - Colin Smyth, whose involvement goes back to 1962 when he was third of the 5 finishers in the club's first lap of the lake".

He goes on to showcase the names in the Rotorua Marathon Hall of Fame and in a later chapter the women who have conquered the marathon.

Throughout the author has quotes from the athlete's  and photographs of competitors, winners and organisers of the marathon. Through the stories of the athlete's is woven the history of this iconic marathon. A comprehensive list of the Marathon Survivors Club and the Marathon Hall of Fame are included at the end of the book.

Well worth reading for those keen marathoners and marathon supporters, even if you are not athletically inclined, this is a fascinating story of the Rotorua Marathon 1962-Present.

You can find it at 796.4252z EAR in the Sports section.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Armistice Day, 11th November

11:00 am on the 11th November 1918

End of the war

Abandoned by its allies – Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria-Hungary all ceased hostilities – its population restive as the blockade undermined morale and its armies in disarray, Germany accepted defeat. An armistice on the Western Front came into effect at 11 a.m. on 11 November 1918. New Zealanders at the front quietly rejoiced; at home celebrations were marred by the ravages of the influenza pandemic.  Te Ara

Rotorua's WW1 Memorial in the Government Gardens 

To see the service for Armistice Day 2015 on the Daily Post website click this link :
Armistice Day Commemoration 2015

To read about Armistice Day and it's significance, the following sites are most informative and useful for those who want to remember this important day in world history:


New Zealand History

Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph

Archives NZ : Archway

28 (Maori) Battalion

Monday, 24 October 2016

Who's Who in Rotorua

Here's a sample of Who in 1964

Star Electrical existed in Rotorua from the early 1960s as two separate shops, one on each side of Tutanekai Street. By 1967 the site of the Old Empire Hotel was bought by R. Archibald and the hotel demolished by Flowerdays Demolition Co. for £5000.

Star Building was then built to join the two shops together as one.  This building now houses the Dollar Value shop, Pagani fashion store and Vegas fashion (2012)
This photograph taken by Library Staff in 2012.

From the 1964 Who's Who in Rotorua.
 Rotorua Library has, from 1961-1990, the 'Who's Who in Rotorua' publication which gives a snapshot of Rotorua's business heritage. 

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