The Spirit of Napier

Spirit of Napier

Good morning from a cool but sunny Hastings morning.

Yesterday the Art Deco festival started.  I did go over to Napier but wasn’t dressed up for it. I had to do something else instead.  But of course I took my new camera with me – Socks is a very photogenic cat.

On the way home I stopped at this statue of the Spirit of Napier. Funnily enough I have never bothered to take photos of it.  Maybe it is because it is always there.  I don’t know.  But this time I made a point of taking photos of her.  Here is some info:

The 3.6 metre column overlooks the southern portion of Napier’s Marine Parade.

The pavement and sheltering wall form a half circle: the column supporting the sculpture is surrounded by a moat and the area in front has two large stone seats facing seawards.

The work of Hungarian – born Auckland artist Frank Szirmay, it represents Napier rising from the ashes of the 1931 earthquake. It also shows the prosperity won in Napier since the earthquake. The statue, standing in the Gilray Reserve, was given to Napier by the late Dr. Thomas Gilray, a former superintendent of the Hospital.

Finance was provided from the Gilray Estate $8,000, a donation from Mr L.E. Harris (now Sir Lewis) – Brooklands $5,000, and $14,000 contribution from subdivisions set aside for expenditure on public reserves.

The centrepiece was lifted into place on 7 December 1971, but was not unveiled until December 22 of that year.

150 people attended the ceremony and the chairman of the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, Mr W.N. Sheat, of Wellington, unveiled the statue.

The Mayor of Napier at that time, Sir Peter Tait said the sculpture had been aptly named and depicted the rebirth of the city.

Spirit of Napier
I think she is supposed to be facing the sea, but she is facing the city.
As to my beading – I am still at it.  I am onto the last stretch so I will catch up with all the other blogs later.
So far I have beaded about 20,000 beads.  And they are size 11 which is small. It will be good to get the table back again – there are beads everywhere.  It will look good when it is finished.  I will post a photo of me in a finished dress.
Thanks for visiting.

Waitangi Day

Fern frond GIMP (640x483)

Good morning from a cloudy Hastings morning.  Yesterday and during the night it was very windy.  Now the wind has died down but the clouds are moving in.  Great for today.

Today, here in New Zealand we celebrate Waitangi Day.  Or New Zealand Day.  So here is some information from Wikipedia.

Waitangi Day (/wˈtʌŋi/,[1] named after Waitangi, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed) commemorates a significant day in the history of New Zealand. It is a public holiday[2] held each year on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document, on that date in 1840.

And here is some of the history behind the treaty.


The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840, in a marquee in the grounds of James Busby’s house (now known as the Treaty house) at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. The Treaty made New Zealand a part of the British Empire, guaranteed Māori rights to their land and gave Māori the rights of British subjects. There are differences between the English version and the Māori translation of the Treaty, and since 1840 this has led to debate over exactly what was agreed to at Waitangi. Māori have generally seen the Treaty as a sacred pact, while for many years Pākehā (the Māori word for New Zealanders of predominantly European ancestry) ignored it. By the early twentieth century, however, some Pākehā were beginning to see the Treaty as their nation’s founding document and a symbol of British humanitarianism. Unlike Māori, Pākehā have generally not seen the Treaty as a document with binding power over the country and its inhabitants. In 1877 Chief Justice James Prendergast declared it to be a ‘legal nullity’, a position it held until theTreaty of Waitangi Act 1975, when it regained significant legal standing.

Early celebrations

Prior to 1934, most celebrations of New Zealand’s founding as a colony were held on 29 January, the date on which William Hobson arrived in the Bay of Islands. In 1932,Governor-General Lord Bledisloe and his wife purchased and presented to the nation the run-down house of James Busby, where the treaty was signed. The Treaty house and grounds were made a public reserve, which was dedicated on 6 February 1934. This event is considered by some to be the first Waitangi Day, although celebrations were not yet held annually. At the time, it was the most representative meeting of Māori ever held. Attendees included the Māori King Korokī Mahuta and thousands of Pākehā. Some Māori may have also been commemorating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand, but there is little evidence of this.

In 1940, another major event was held at the grounds, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the treaty signing. This was less well attended, partially because of the outbreak of World War II and partially because the government had recently offended the Māori King. However the event was still a success and helped raise the profile of the treaty.

Annual commemorations

Annual commemorations of the treaty signing began in 1947. The 1947 event was a Royal New Zealand Navy ceremony centring on a flagpole which the Navy had paid to erect in the grounds. The ceremony was brief and featured no Māori. The following year, a Māori speaker was added to the line-up, and subsequent additions to the ceremony were made nearly every year. From 1952, the Governor General attended, and from 1958 the Prime Minister also attended, although not every year. From the mid-1950s, a Māori cultural performance was usually given as part of the ceremony. Many of these early features remain a part of Waitangi Day ceremonies, including a naval salute, the Māori cultural performance (now usually a ceremonial welcome), and speeches from a range of Māori and Pākehā dignitaries.

Every year now it is a political hot cake.  To be honest for most people it is a public holiday and a day in the sun, or as this year a long weekend.

Controversy and protest

Source Wikipedia

The flagstaff at Waitangi, the centre of many protests. The flagstaff is flying (left – right) the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand, the Ensign of the Royal New Zealand Navy and theUnion Flag, 5 February 2006.

Although this is New Zealand’s national day, the commemoration has often been the focus of protest by Māori activists and is often marred by controversy. From 1971, Waitangi and Waitangi Day became a focus of protest concerning treaty injustices, with Nga Tamatoaleading early protests. Activists initially called for greater recognition of the Treaty, but by the early 1980s, protest groups were also arguing that the treaty was a fraud with which Pākehā had conned Māori out of their land. Attempts were made by groups including the Waitangi Action Committee to halt the celebrations.[4] This led to major confrontations between police and protesters, sometimes resulting in dozens of arrests. When the treaty gained greater official recognition in the mid-1980s, emphasis switched back to calls to honour the treaty, and protesters generally returned to the aim of raising awareness of the treaty and what they saw as its neglect by the state.

Some New Zealand politicians and commentators, such as Paul Holmes, have felt that Waitangi Day is too controversial to be a national day and have sought to replace it with Anzac Day.[5] Others for example the United Future Party’s Peter Dunne, have suggested that the name of the day be changed back to New Zealand Day.[6]

Various politicians have tried to get the name New Zealand Day to take over from Waitangi Day.  Me, it was always Waitangi Day.

New Zealand Day

In 1971 the Labour shadow minister of Māori Affairs, Matiu Rata, introduced a private member’s bill to make Waitangi Day a national holiday, to be called New Zealand Day. This was not passed into law. After the 1972 election of the third Labour government under Norman Kirk, it was announced that from 1974 Waitangi Day would be a national holiday known as New Zealand Day. The New Zealand Day Act 1973 was passed in 1973.

For Norman Kirk, the change was simply an acceptance that New Zealand was ready to move towards a broader concept of nationhood. Diplomatic posts had for some years marked the day, and it seemed timely in view of the country’s increasing role on the international stage that the national day be known as New Zealand Day. At the 1974 celebrations, the Flag of New Zealand was flown for the first time at the top of the flagstaff at Waitangi, rather than the Union Flag, and a replica of the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand was also flown.

The election of the third National government in 1975 led to the day being renamed Waitangi Day because the new Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, did not like the name “New Zealand Day” and many Māori felt the new name debased the Treaty of Waitangi.[3] Another Waitangi Day Act was passed in 1976 to change the name of the day back to Waitangi Day.

I chose this photo of a fern to show the unfolding of our nation into what it is today.  Plus the fern is our national symbol.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you have enjoyed the information about my country.


My Father’s Wooden Toys: Enduring Love

Dad & toys 1 (640x493)

Good morning from another sunny Hastings day.

As promised I am showing of the toys that my father makes and sells at the local markets around here.  He is very popular as his work is so detailed and solid wooden toys are always in demand.

As far back as I can remember Dad was making models – I remember model planes hanging up in his workroom.  Since retirement he has taken this creativity to a new level.  First he did wood turning, making clocks and bowls and even pens.  Then when that got too much for him he turned to the scroll saw (fret saw) and makes these wooden toys.

He is meticulous with his attention to detail.  That logging truck is articulated and comes apart.  He puts side mirrors up and look at all the horns on top.

Logging truck 1 (640x416)

Logging truck (493x640)

Logging truck 4 (640x489)

Toys from the back (354x640)

This is what he wanted me to take photos of to send to Mum’s cousins in Canada.  I used his camera for that, but couldn’t resist taking my own.

Dad & toys (565x640)

In the front are some trains he made as well.

Vintage car1 (434x640)

He does paint his toys, but not very often.

Vintage car (640x375)

He loves doing these old vintage cars.

Dad's toys (640x432)

At the market on Saturday.  In the front is an alphabet train.  He can make up names – this one is Christine.

Dad's toys 2 (640x453)

Mum and Dad 1 (447x640)

This last photo is for Nancy’s challenge:

My parents have been married for 54 years – in fact they had just celebrated their 54th year last month.

They married when Mum was 18 and Dad, 21 despite much opposition from my grandmother, who predicted this marriage wouldn’t last.

Now they couldn’t live without each other.  Mum was such a domineering person who ran the household so it is very hard to see her slide into Alzheimer’s.  She refuses to see a doctor now and absolutely will not move into a smaller, safer house.  She keeps buying food that no-one eats as she forgets that they only need to feed the two of them.  So she is hoarding food in the spare bedroom. She is not ready to go into assisted living as she is still able to function ok.

Dad has had a rough year too.  He was in Wellington hospital at the beginning of the year to have stents put in and spent over 5 weeks in hospital.  Mum did cope on her own with my help for a couple of those weeks but fretted so much without Dad and Dad really missed her. So in the space of a couple of hours I had Mum packed up and on a flight down to Wellington.  Once Mum got near Dad she improved, and Dad improved too.

Then they got news that Dad was supposed to be coming back so Mum was sent back.  This time, though I stayed with Mum.  It was weird as when she first came back she was good.  Then the longer the separation from Dad, the worse she got again. It was a relief when Dad was finally transferred back up to Hawke’s Bay again. Her whole day revolved around her visit to Dad.

Since then Dad has been in and out of hospital and was really sick at one stage.  Mum coped well on her own and spent most of the day at the hospital.  She doesn’t eat or drink when left alone so Dad would share his lunch with her so he knew that she would get something to eat and drink.

I have tried several times to get different agencies in to help them.  They turned them away as they had their own routine and didn’t want to or couldn’t upset it.  Dad is determined to look after Mum on his own.  After 54 years together they need each other and support one another.  One concession they have made is to allow someone to come in once a week for an hour to clean the house.

Dad frets about what will happen with Mum without him.  I told him, not to worry as I will look after her.    Dad’s father died of a broken heart after my grandmother died.  The same thing will happen with both of them.

Having had two failed marriages myself it is nice to see the way my parents look after each other even with their problems.  I have witnessed so many touching moments between them, when one is sick. To me, that is enduring love.

Thanks for visiting.


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