Two Wars, Two Authors, One Book

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

Author William Moloney never met his grandfather, Christchurch lawyer J.K. Moloney, as he died in 1971, a few years before he was born.

However, the discovery of his grandfather’s World War I diary in archives in Wellington has become the basis for his new book, The Battle of Messines Road, that explores the effects of war. Set during the time of the Vietnam War, the book is a combination of novel and war diary. It tells the story of Zac, a wilful 10-year old boy, who becomes fascinated by an old man’s war-time adventures as he reads his World War I diary.

Battle of Messines
JK and WJ Moloney, The Battle of Messines Road (2015: Christchurch, Willson Scott)

J.K. Moloney died in 1971. Unbeknownst to the family, he had written a war diary which had been acquired by the National Library. It was not until the family started seeing quotes from J.K. Moloney in New Zealand military histories around 2000 that they got to read it for themselves.

While researching his grandfather, William Moloney came across archival sound recordings of  J.K. (John Keith) which are held in the sound collection of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. J.K. Moloney was a Christchurch lawyer and keen rugby supporter. He served as President of the Canterbury Rugby Union and recorded several radio programmes in the 1960s about Christchurch sports history. These included his memories of, as a small boy, watching the famous 1904 game against a touring British side, which was played in heavy snow at Lancaster Park. 

He also recorded a short recollection – possible an extract from his war diary – of his experiences on the Western Front during World War I,  serving with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion.

His recollection of the battlefield at Passchendaele was one of the first recordings by a World War I veteran that I listened to, when I began researching our WWI-related recordings over three years ago. As you can hear, the short but vivid description captures the mud and horror and the efforts of the Māori Pioneer battalion to rescue wounded New Zealand men.

 Listen here:

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

 

You can find out more about J.K. Moloney’s war and his grandson William Moloney’s novel, The Battle of Messines Road, here.

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Lady Pippa Blake

Lady Pippa talks to John Cowan about coping with the death of Sir Peter Blake and finding strength in her art (Real Life with John Cowan, Newstalk ZB, 5 July 2015).

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

 

Listen to the full programme 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.

An Audio (Re)migration Project

- By Jim Hunia (Kaiwhakauka: Audio Conservator, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

 

Jim Hunia, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s Auckland-based Kaiwhakauka: Audio Conservator, has recently completed an audio migration project, which he first started working on back in 1999. Because of changes in audio technologies available he has seen the project through two phases:  firstly migration of discs, reels and cassettes to CD, and later migration of digital files to server. So he is getting to know the material well! Changes in recording and storage technologies present both opportunities and challenges for audiovisual archivists, who for preservation purposes must work with multiple versions of a given title on different formats. He tells us about it below.

Jim checks out a tape.
Jim checks out a tape.

In 1999 I walked into my new workspace at Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (as the sound collection of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision was then known), and what did I see? Rolling shelves, drawers, and boxes stacked with audio. Heaps and heaps of them. There were around twelve thousand audio objects waiting for my attention: reels, DATs (digital audio tapes), cassettes, and discs.

Boxes of blank CDRs started arriving to copy the audio onto, with marketing blurbs claiming “these will be good for two hundred years”… Yeah right!

Back in 1999 the only decent digital converter I had was inside my Sony DAT player/recorder. So… my process was to record the analog to DAT, and then copy to CDR. I had two DAT machines – so while one was recording, the previous was burning. I had my speakers split so I was listening to two different programmes at once – many in Te Reo – and it started to sound double Dutch to me.

My workspace at the time was down in a room facing the Radio Network carpark. There was only myself and car exhaust fumes – so no problems with annoying anyone with loud speakers. Actually, I’m still on my own with no one to annoy in my current office (I am the only Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision audio archivist based in Auckland), but at least there are no exhaust fumes now!

Eight years later, 10,000 bits of audio were now on 9,588 CDRs. But another five years later I started to notice that some of CDRs were no longer able to play back – and this was becoming more frequent. Surely 200 years are not up? Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Happy 102nd Birthday!

Preserving Memories is a radio show that celebrates the voices and stories of older people living in the Wairarapa. In this recording (Preserving Memories, Arrow FM, July 2015) Liz Cooper and Lucy Garden talk to Dorrie Bolland, who turned 102 on 8 July.

Listen here:

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

 

You can listen to the full programmes here.

Read a Wairarapa Times-Age interview with Dorrie 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.

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Taihape’s new Mosque

Constable Saifudin Abu talks to Lynda Chanwai-Earle about the building of a new masjid in Taihape, to provide sanctuary for the traveling faithful to pray and cook halal food together and rest before the next leg of their journey (Voices, 28 June 2015, Radio New Zealand National). The brand new masjid, the Ad-Deen Mosque, opened in December 2014 as part of the Taihape Islamic Centre in Taihape.

Listen here:

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

 

You can hear the full feature 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.

“We cheered lustily – and then we wept”: The First Gallipoli Wounded Return to Wellington

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

On the 15th of July 1915, the transport ship Willochra brought back to Wellington the first group of men who had been wounded in the Gallipoli campaign. News of men who had been killed or wounded had been in the local newspapers since mid-May, but it was not until the men arrived home that the realities of the war really reached New Zealand.

Aldersley, David James, 1862-1928. Willochra, Her Majesty's New Zealand Transport no 14, arriving in Wellington with wounded soldiers from Gallipoli, Turkey - Photograph taken by D J Aldersley. Dickie, John, 1869-1942 :Collection of postcards, prints and negatives. Ref: 1/2-016768-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22793739
Aldersley, David James, 1862-1928. Willochra, Her Majesty’s New Zealand Transport no 14, arriving in Wellington with wounded soldiers from Gallipoli, Turkey – Photograph taken by D J Aldersley. Dickie, John, 1869-1942 : Collection of postcards, prints and negatives. Ref: 1/2-016768-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22793739

Thousands of people gathered at the wharf to greet the ship and despite the trauma and injuries the men had suffered, the government had decided a triumphant welcome should be prepared, with a procession through Wellington’s streets and a reception for them in the Town Hall.

A 1981 recording in the Sound Collection of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision recalls the impact the sight of the wounded, traumatized men had on the citizens who were there.

In it, educator Jack Shallcrass interviews Max Riske, a fellow Wellington teacher and lecturer, who was taken as a young boy by his mother to see the men and attended the Town Hall reception. Sixty years later, he vividly recalls how the experience changed opinions about the war for him and many other Wellingtonians.

Listen here:

Looking Back: interview with Marcus (Max) Riske, 23 January 1981. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz
Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: It’s All About the Quack!

Jim Ronquest talks to Jamie MacKay about the difference between the World Championship Live Duck Calling Contest and the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart, Arkansas (Best of the Farming Show, Newstalk ZB, 27 June 2015).

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

 

You can hear the full interview 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.

Double Win at Le Mans

Racing driver Earl Bamber talks to Mike Hosking after winning the Le Mans 24 Hours with Porsche (Best of Mike Hosking Breakfast, Newstalk ZB, 21 June 2015). Bamber is the first Kiwi to win since 1966. The day was made even more special with New Zealander Brendon Hartley taking second place.

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.