The museum was recently contacted by a book collector in Napier who found the book “Dinah Leaves School” by Marjory Royce at a second hand book store. He contacted the museum offering us the book as it was a school prize, presented to Edna Carter of Standard 5 Reikorangi School in 1918.
We now have the book in our collection and as well as being a valuable addition due to its local provenance, it is a quaint example of a girls’ book of that era. The chapter headings give an idea of the story: “Chapter III She Is So Unpractical!”; “Chapter X She Watches A Love Affair”; “Chapter XII She Becomes Churchy”; “Chapter XV She Makes A Rice Pudding”; “Chapter XVI She Plunges Into Domesticity”; Chapter XVII She Gains Common Sense” and finally “Chapter XVIII She Grows Up”.
It was no doubt considered highly appropriate for young ladies at the time!
This WWI memorial death plaque, or as it was commonly called ‘Dead Man’s Penny’, acknowledges the sacrifice made by a soldier killed during the Great War. Unlike other awards which represented bravery and honour, this one represents loss.
It features a standing figure of Britannia, holding a trident and wreath, surrounded by dolphins, a lion at her feet, with the inscription around the edge: HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR. There is also an oblong panel below the wreath, where the name of the individual is recorded, being cast into each medallion, rather than engraved afterwards. There is no rank with the name, to signify equality of sacrifice.
This medallion was sent to the family of Albert Brown who was killed in 1917. The Brown family ran a large farm in Waikanae and small rural communities in the young developing nation of New Zealand could ill afford to lose such members of their workforce.
The medallions were sent ‘from the King’ to the relatives of the soldier, and over one million were produced. Some families did not appreciate the gesture as it resembled a coin – their loved one’s life was worth considerably more than ‘a penny’.
The current sorting of archives at the museum is turning up some interesting items. One is a letter from January 1886 written in Maori by Wereta Pineaha. We have had it translated and it says:
Motuiti January 26 1886
I, Wereta Pineaha agree to give this horse for the iwi. Raha is not the person to take the horse, the horse is for the iwi.
Motuiti is near Foxton and the only information we have with regards to Wereta Pineaha was his election to the Maori Council in Otaki in March 1901.
If you have any further information about Wineata and would like to add it to our database please contact us.