Frozen Moments tell a story

Two little friends wonder if they're going to get the big prize for their section at the 2009 Maungaturoto Pet Day

A talk to my close friend of over 30 years Lisa the other night raised a really fascinating subject. While in Karangahape Rd in Auckland City very recently, Lisa happened upon a shop that was (amongst all its other interesting bits and pieces) - selling old photographs. These old photos had come from dismantled family photograph albums. Some went home with Lisa.

Lisa kindly emailed me scans of three of those images. One was of Mangaraho Rock taken sometime in the earlier park of the 20th Century showing a side view and the back part of the volcanic rock that still dominates the landscape of the Northern Wairoa today. Two others were of a function with a man, in one of the images, that strongly resembles Joseph Gordon Coates -who was our first New Zealand born minister. Joseph Coates was born at Hukatere near where I live. The image itself is an amazing capture of people taking a break during an event or watching something, on the platform looking on speech notes in hand - is the man who could well be Joseph Gordon Coates. In the foreground a lady in a hat with the midground filled in by different characters - the expressions are priceless. The shot was taken through the attendance goers. A frozen story which we don't have the words for. What we do know it was (possibly) an important event. When and where? That we don't know. Check out these incredible images here along with the links for the information about Joseph Gordon Coates and Mangaraho Rock.

Huge sunfish thrown up on beach at Awatuna, near Hokitika, ca 1910

Take this image for instance two puffed up figures photographed with a washed up Sunfish on a beach. This one does have a story. The year quoted on the information on the Flickr Commons site where I obtained this public domain image from is CA 1910. So I went and did some searching to see if there was a newspaper story contemporary with the image. Yes indeed I did find a reference to a sunfish washing up at Awatuna from 1908 not 1910. Revealed in an article from the Grey River Argus 25 November 1908 I found this story that matched the image perfectly.

Mr Rionx who is employed at the Dominion Gold and Iron Sand claim at Awatuna came across a large Sunfish stranded on the beach about a quarter mile below the Awatuna Railway Station. The fish measures 14 feet across and 12 feet in length, and weight over 2 tons. Mr Rionx informed our representative that he intended forwarding the fish to Christchurch where he has been offered a good price for it. Large numbers journeyed out to view the monster yesterday afternoon and Mr Rionx has decided to exhibit it before disposing of it. As there is a midday train today no doubt, a large number will take the opportunity of viewing it.


Photographer: James Ring
Huge sunfish thrown up on beach at Awatuna, near Hokitika, ca 1910
Dry plate glass negative
Reference No. 1/2-179310-G
Photographic Archive, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand
Tommy the Turtle and Captain D. Mitchelson

This image is a reminder of times when even the small things mattered including the little turtle mascot photographed with Captain D. Mitchelson. Another story I couldn't find the words to go with. At this stage I can't find any records for a "Captain D Mitchelson" but this image is a great reminder of events that took place. According to the information below this image was taken during the British Mandate of Palestine. The date taken was 28 March 1940. Sourced from Flickr The Commons"
ID Number: 001117
Maker: Parer, Damien Peter
Place made: British Mandate of Palestine: Palestine, Julis
Date made: 28 March 1940
Physical description: Black & white
Copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
Related subject: Mascots
Related unit: 2/2 Battalion
Related conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Woman milking a cow with an elephants' head. April Fools' joke in magazine Het Leven, 1932.

This one in particular made me laugh. No story as such - just an April fool's joke and an excellent example of early photo editing. This is very clever and very well done for its time.

My Mum was throwing out photos - I rescued a few of them. I don't know who the people are, nor when the photos were taken. Mum can't recall either. I have my own photos here that I can't recall where or when they were taken. I'm shaking my head on that one. I decided to use the digital camera to photograph each image I have - so if the originals fall apart in many years time or are lost the digital copies remain. I've found photographing photographs turns out far better than scanning them.
But there's one image here that I won't ever forget. She's the reason why I started this blog. And there she is at 13 days old having a bottle. The Terrorist is now 15 months old and rather larger than this little tiny jersey calf my friend Gillian turned up with last year. And doubt that anytime soon the Terrorist will let me forget I was her Mum for nearly 9 long months. Spoilt little toad.

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