Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Cricket Season

If you’re not already in a cricket state of mind, you will be after listening to these highlights from the Alternative Commentary Collective (Radio Sport Extra, 2014):

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

Awatea Ship to Shore

- By Alex Porter (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Audio Conservator)

This ship to shore recording is possibly the first example of its kind to have been heard over the New Zealand radio waves, recorded on 31 August 1936. A handful of crew on board the Union Steam Ship Company’s new trans-Tasman Liner, the Awatea, are interviewed prior to their arrival in Wellington on 3 September 1936.

Track 01:

Track 02:

Audio  from the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

Publicity poster for the Awatea. Courtesy of Cruising the Past.
Publicity poster promoting the Awatea. Courtesy of Cruising the Past.

The audio was preserved from two tracks of a 16” laquer disc housed in the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection. The first includes a test radio telephone link made between an unidentified 2YA announcer (referred to as “Mr Announcer”), the telephone exchange and the shipping vessel located somewhere in the Pacific. The second continues contact with the effervescent Commander, Captain A.H. Davey, who briefly describes the voyage from the UK through the Panama Canal and Pacific – where they encountered a three hour electrical storm, much to his delight. Captain Davey introduces the Chief Engineer, Mr Lockeheart, and the Chief Steward, Mr Cooper, as questions are posed by “members of the travelling public” (an unidentified man, young boy and woman) also speaking from 2YA’s studios, Wellington. The Ship’s Wireless Operator, Mr Jones, and 2YA announcer conclude the interviews by exchanging information about the radio telephone procedure establishing their connection. Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Anniversary of the 22 February Earthquake

This week in Audio Curios:

Canterbury earthquake audio montage; aired during RadioLIVE’s 15-hour outside broadcast from central Christchurch in 2014. The broadcast marked the third anniversary of the 22 February earthquake.

Click below to listen:

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

The Day the Earth Moved Under Our Feet

- By Marie O’Connell (Audio Conservator, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

This piece was originally published in IASA journal issue 44, January 2015.

 

This article presents a personal account of a series of natural disasters — namely earthquakes — that my colleagues and I lived and worked through, and how those events affected our archive — Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision (then Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero). In particular, I intend to describe the recovery and relocation process, and our experience of restoring order to the physical archive.

The Sequence of Events

I began working at Sound Archives Ngā  Taonga Kōrero — an archive predominantly focused on collecting and preserving New Zealand’s recorded radio heritage — in 1994. In 2002, I moved to the United States where I would spend five years preserving Civil Rights Era oral histories in Mississippi. When Hurricane Katrina struck the southern United States in August, 2005, I experienced my first encounter with a major disaster.

Clock stopped at the time of the September earthquake, after falling off the wall.
Clock stopped at the time of the September earthquake, after falling off the wall.

Hurricanes are destructive and traumatic, but they do not usually arrive unannounced; earthquakes come without a warning. There is no opportunity to prepare, nor can their magnitude or duration be predicated — this fact was made evident to me three years after I had returned to Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero, when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on September 4th, 2010, at 4.35am.

Like most people, I was woken when I was thrown out of my bed onto the floor, and — over the top of the earthquake’s rumble — I could hear the sound of things smashing in my house. Owing to the depth and distance of the earthquake’s epicentre, there were no fatalities, and our archive was more disheveled than damaged. When we returned to work after the events of that weekend, we discovered that many of our collections — consisting of open reel tapes, DATs, CD-Rs, cassettes, nitrocellulose discs, and documentation — had been ejected from their shelving. Our disaster plan did not prescribe a particular course of action, but common sense suggested that we should return our collections to their shelves and do what we could to secure them from ongoing aftershocks. On a very limited budget, John Kelcher — a fellow conservator — and I purchased cord and packing tape, which we secured over the front of each shelf as a temporary measure until proper earthquake bracing could be installed. Amazingly, this stopgap solution protected some items throughout the sizeable aftershocks that would continue to rock us over the next four months. On February 22, at 12.51pm, however, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch. It was shallow, relatively close to the centre of the city, and profoundly destructive. Due to building collapse and falling masonry, 185 people would lose their lives.

Graph of the 22 February 2011 earthquake.
Graph of the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

I was just leaving the restroom when the earthquake hit. The force knocked me to the floor, and I could only watch as a solid wall cracked open in front of my eyes. The multi-story building that housed the archive was compromised, but still standing; however, the Methodist Church opposite our building collapsed immediately. The city centre was evacuated, and our building was immediately cordoned within a perimeter known as the ‘Red Zone’ — an area in which civilian access was forbidden. Uniformed army personnel secured every point of thoroughfare through this zone. Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Celia Lashlie

We were saddened to hear of Celia Lashlie’s death. Lashlie was dedicated to social change. We remember her today through this interview in which she passionately and articulately comments on the effect of negative news on teenagers:

Leighton Smith Show, Newstalk ZB, 20 July 2014

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

Read more about Celia and her work here.

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

Wedding Tape Rescued from an Obsolete Format

- By Jamie Lean (Head of Standards, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

wedding tape
Scenes from Andrew and Janice’s wedding tape.

In 2004 Andrew Laing from Churton Park rang us at the Film Archive (as Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision was then called) to ask about getting the videotape of his January 1979 wedding to Janice transferred. After discussing the tape with him, we invited him to bring the tape in and deposit it with the archive. We were particularly interested in this because it was a wedding from the late 1970s that included interior shots and sound. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision has an impressive collection of home movies, including a great number of weddings dating from the 1930s to the early 1970s, but the drop-off in the use of film cameras for personal use meant that we had a gap in the ongoing record of domestic events like weddings. This is still true today.

Andrew consented to become a depositor and dropped into the archive, presenting us with his wedding video. He told us that there was a second tape at home. I looked at the tape and realised that it would not be a straight-forward process. The tape was a Sanyo VT20C, belonging to a long-forgotten video format family known as V-Cord. This was Sanyo’s attempt to compete with the VHS and Beta consumer videotape formats, and unfortunately we had no equipment that could play it. I asked Andrew if they had the original camera or a videotape deck that could play the tape. He said that they had borrowed the camera from the local rugby club so had not seen the tape for 25 years. I asked him to be patient and told him that we would look at a number of options. Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Pickle the Pig

This week in Audio Curios:

Meet Pickle, the pet Kunekune pig.

Country Life (Radio New Zealand National, 30/01/2015)

 Click below to listen:

 Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

The full Country Life feature can be heard here.

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

Sir Apirana Ngata’s Speech at the Centennial of the Treaty of Waitangi, 1940

- By Sarah Johnston
(Client Services Coordinator – Radio, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

 

Apirana Turupa Ngata leading a haka at the 1940 centennial celebrations, Waitangi. Ref: MNZ-2746-1/2-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23012205
Apirana Turupa Ngata leading a haka at the 1940 centennial celebrations, Waitangi. Ref: MNZ-2746-1/2-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

 

Sir Apirana Ngata (Ngāti Porou) delivered a strong message to Pākehā New Zealand 75 years ago this Friday, when he spoke at the 1940 Treaty Centennial celebrations at Waitangi. The original recording of his speech, outlining Māori grievances and calling for greater Pākehā understanding, is held in the radio collection of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

The 1940 centenary marked 100 years since the signing of the Treaty and despite taking place in the midst of World War II, it was celebrated by events around the country, including the Centennial Exhibition in Wellington.

 Centennial Tower, New Zealand Centennial Exhibition, Wellington, at night. Deste, Eileen, 1908-1986. Ref: 1/2-004305-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Centennial Tower, New Zealand Centennial Exhibition, Wellington, at night. Deste, Eileen, 1908-1986. Ref: 1/2-004305-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

The official emphasis of the centennial was on celebrating a century of European progress, and Māori contributions were sidelined, with scant acknowledgement of breaches of the Treaty by the Crown in the intervening years.

On February 6th 1940, an elaborate re-enactment of the Treaty signing ceremony was staged at Waitangi, with the National Commercial Broadcasting Service recording and broadcasting much of the ceremony live to the nation.  

Following the re-enactment, there was a further ceremony to mark the opening of a new national wharenui in the Treaty grounds. Known as Te Whare Rūnanga, this building was carved in a variety of styles, designed to reflect all iwi and be a truly national meeting house.

Northern chief Tau Henare and Sir Apirana Ngata had led the project to have the wharenui built, with funding and support from several different iwi. 

The Broadcasting Service also covered the opening of the meeting house, and recorded speeches made by the Governor-General Lord Galway, Prime Minister Peter Fraser and leading Māori figures such as MPs Haami Rātana and Eru Tirikatene – and Sir Apirana Ngata. 

As organiser of the event, he begins his speech with some housekeeping, asking those guests with blue luncheon tickets to go to the meeting house and those with red tickets to go to the marquee with Paddy Webb. (There is laughter at this as Webb was a well-known left-wing politician.)

Sir Apirana then moves onto a more serious subject matter, leaving the audience in no doubt that Māori were not necessarily in the mood for celebrating, saying they had approached the Centennial year with much misgiving and listing their grievances; lands lost, powers of chiefs humbled, Māori culture scattered and broken.

He was a media-savvy leader and was no doubt well-aware that his speech was being broadcast. He had worked with the Broadcasting Service already, using his friendship with founding director of broadcasting Professor James Shelley, to urge the broadcaster to record important hui such as the investiture of Princess Te Puea Hērangi and the opening of Turongo House at Ngāruawāhia in 1938.  

Later, he went on to record commentaries about the many significant haka and waiata recorded at these events, saying it was “to put on record Māori songs and chants before the generation who knows these things passes away.”1

But on 6 February 1940, Sir Apirana was concerned more with the future of his people, as you can hear in his speech below: 

Speech by Sir Apirana Ngata, from Re-enactment of the Treaty Ceremony at Waitangi (6 Feb 1940). Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

- – -

[1.] Sir Apirana Ngata – personal message to Professor James Shelley, from Opening of Tamatekapua Meeting House. Part 1 of 6, 25 Mar 1943. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection.

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Reading the News

This week in Audio Curios:

Paul Holmes hosts a breakfast show in Vienna in 1983 and broadcaster Lee Hatherly fondly remembers her news script being set alight.

Excerpts from “Good Morning Vienna,” Blue Danube Radio (1 Dec 1983); and “Grey Power,” Coast Access Radio (April 2005).

Click below to listen:

 Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

Memories of New Zealand’s First Combat Death of World War I

- By Sarah Johnston
(Client Services Coordinator – Radio, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

 

Portrait of William Arthur Ham provided by Peter Millward. Courtesy of Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Portrait of William Arthur Ham provided by Peter Millward. Courtesy of Auckland War Memorial Museum.

 

The first New Zealander to die in combat in World War I, 100 years ago this week, was Private William Arthur Ham of Ngatimoti, a 22 year old serving with the 12th (Nelson) Company of the Canterbury Infantry Battalion.

There had been some earlier deaths of New Zealand troops due to accidents and disease, but when William Ham was hit by Turkish rifle fire on February 3rd 1915, he entered the history books as the first New Zealand combat death of the war.

Nearly 50 years later, in 1964, radio broadcaster Jim Henderson compiled an in-depth documentary to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. A copy of this programme is held in the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection in Christchurch.

Simply entitled “1914-1918″ it features musical excerpts, letters, poems and first-hand recollections of the Great War, 50 years on. One of the many people Henderson interviewed was William Ham’s sister-in-law, Violet Ham of Dunedin. Her brief recollection of terrible impact of Willie’s death on her family, was a story to be repeated thousands of times throughout the New Zealand over the next four years. Continue reading