Airini Grennell signs in

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Airini Ngā Roimata Grennell 1910-1988 (Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāi Tahu)

Born in 1910 on the Chatham Islands, Grennell moved with her family to Banks Peninsula on the eastern seaboard of New Zealand’s South Island at the age of 10. Schooled at Sacred Heart Girls’ College in Christchurch she represented Canterbury in golf and netball. In her late teens, her keen interest in music saw her travel to England for professional training earning LTCL and LRMS diplomas in teaching both singing and piano.

On her return to Aotearoa/New Zealand, Airini and her family formed part of the Koukourarata concert party performing to raise funds for local communities during the economic depression of the late 1930s. She was an integral part of the Waiata Māori Choir with influential people like Te Uira Manihera and Inia Te Wiata. The choir was organised by the renowned clergyman Rev. A.J. Seamer. Travelling through Australia, England and India the group finally wound up their performances in 1938. She was affectionately known as the “Chatham Islands Nightingale”.

In this item Airini Grennell signs in and greets audiences in te reo Māori.

Image: Airini Ngā Roimata Grennell, 1910 -1988 (Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Tama, Kāi Tahu). Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection

Catalogue Reference 145841

Year 1958


Announcer: Airini Grennell

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