Inside our Latest Issue

Issue 140 (Oct-Nov 2019)

It’s hard to beat Alwyn Owen’s particular brand of humour. We are privileged to glimpse a segment of the childhood years of this respected radio broadcaster and co-founder of the Spectrum documentary series. Spectrum aired each Sunday on Radio New Zealand from 1972; the oral histories recorded during the programme’s 44-year span are now an invaluable New Zealand archive. Owen’s article, Two Cabbage Trees, is set during the closing stages of the Great Depression when children made their own fun. And, it seems, Whangarei offered an enticing playground for energetic boys.

‘Silly Stunts’, another lighthearted contribution from David Hill, involves frivolous capping pranks during his years at Victoria University in the carefree ’60s and, as David adds, “when my hair was a very different colour”. Frivolous could never be a word to describe ‘Granny White’ of the Hawke’s Bay, a force to be reckoned with, in Gordon Tait’s astonishing but true account.

Along with the personal stories we have several excellent features: John Rosanowski takes us on a journey back to the middle of the nineteenth century with his excellent account of West Coast gold prospecting, Kaye Dragicevich invites readers to take an intimate peep at life in a 1920’s timber milling community while Matt Elliott unearths the history of a prestigious Auckland college.

Max Cryer makes another welcome appearance on our pages with his version of New Zealand expressions. “Ladies a Plate” has fooled newcomers to the country for decades, and where else in the world could men fix anything and everything with “Number 8 wire”?

I’ve noticed that the age range of contributing authors to New Zealand Memories is widening, perhaps indicative of a surge in historical interest. Long may this trend continue.

Enjoy this latest issue.

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