Postcard Pillar 102



ISSUE 102 (February 2014)


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Early Samoan Postcards – follow up to earlier article - by Don Mee


Issue 101 featured an early Tongan postcard.

These two cards from Samoa are also from the period John Davis managed the Post Office in Samoa (1886 to 1900).


The first card (above) was postmarked on 8th September 1899 and by N.Z.M.P.O. on the same date, and arrived in Barmen Germany on 5th October.

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The second card (above) was postmarked on 22nd February 1899 and by N.Z.M.P.O. on the same date.

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New Zealand Postcard Society (Inc) Directory 

Patron   Geoff Potts
President                  Jeff Long
Vice-Presidents                              Laurence Eagle   
Diane McKoy
VP Research Bill Main
Secretary Jenny Long
Treasurer Ross Alexander
Sales Mgr/Auctioneer Chris Rabey
Editors Jeff & Jenny Long
Committee Geoff Potts
John Eccles
Bruce Isted
Leo Haks
Glenn Reddiex

Life Members    Yvonne Coles, William Main, Geoff Potts, Chris Rabey, Doug South, Evie South, Ray Staal, Diane McKoy

Correspondence: all enquiries should be made by email to the Secretary, or by post to  P O Box 20, Wakefield, Nelson 7052.

The Society website is

The Postcard Pillar magazine is produced four times a year under the editorship of Jeff Long and Jenny Long. Contributions are very welcome at any time - please email or post to Jeff Long.

This issue of the Postcard Pillar includes significant contributions from Diane McKoy, Robert Duns, Ross Alexander, Bruce Isted and Stan Goodwin.

Membership of the Society can be obtained by sending a cheque payable to N.Z. Postcard Society Inc to the Secretary, with your name, address, telephone number, email address and collecting interests. Renewing members can pay online. The subscription for an individual or family member is $35, or $45 for an overseas member.

Cover illustration:  2014 is a new year and with some prompting from a few members, the Editors have decided to introduce a new format for the cover of our magazine. Bill Main provided the basic structure; we hope you like it. There will certainly be more scope for including a number of images on the front page although this edition has just one image because it was so good! It relates to an article by Bill Main on Art Deco cards; see pages 10 to 21.


1 Early Samoan cards – Don Mee
2 Directory
3- 4 Snippets
5-7 Disposing of Your Collections – Jeff Long
8 WOF Renewal Postcards – Chris Foote
9 French Oceanic Settlements - Safari
10 - 21 Art Deco Postcards – William Main
22-23 Walking round the World: Joseph Mikulec -  Geoff Potts
24-27 Blenheim’s Government Building – Diane McKoy
28 Burton Bros Pacific Island Trips – Mike Cooke
29 Joseph Zakariah Postcard Update – Brian Vincent
30-34 Roses in the Wellington Botanic Gardens – Donal Duthie

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Society News and Snippets

Obituary  for  Laurie Dale - by Robert Rush


Laurie passed away on January 16 following a short period of failing health. His card collecting interests included Bamforth comic cards, reflecting his quirky sense of humour, and cards of the Wanganui River region. Laurie had displayed these at many exhibitions, and the Society had recently sold these cards for Laurie through our auctions. He was a great help at the Convention we held in Stoke two years ago.

Laurie’s early collecting interests started with postage stamps, and he progressed to postal history and postmarks. He edited a number of handbooks through the Postal History Society of NZ, and was active in various research projects. His handbook on the suffix letters of NZ post offices is helpful to anyone trying to establish which post office an item may have been posted from where the datestamp is not complete.

Laurie had a strong interest in local history, and was an active member of the Nelson Historical Society. He organised many of their field trips, which always ran to a precise timetable.

Laurie will be missed by many – his church, Boys Brigade, Habitat for Humanity, and many projects where a chainsaw and shovel might be required. To his wife Marie and their combined families, the Society extends our sympathy.

2014 NZ Postcard Society Convention

This year the Convention will be held in Hamilton at the Hamilton Gardens pavilion Sept 6-7. More details will follow, but start planning to attend now !

NZPS projects - FGR List

The FGR list is uploaded to the website. Diane McKoy is the contact person for this list and will receive and collate additional information so that revised and updated versions of the list can be uploaded as required. Brian Vincent has been the first major contributor to extending the list; it is published in the edition of the Postcard Pillar.

Leo Haks Book

Leo’s book on the social history of NZ through postcards is to be published in association with the NZ Postcard Society. The Society will support this publication with a forward and a flyer sent to members, and articles in the Postcard Pillar. The first sections of the book are now with the publishers for their input.

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World War One Centenary 2014 to 2018 – and the Postcard Society

The Editors are seeking articles for a special edition of the Postcard Pillar on World War One. If you are able to contribute, even snippets, that would be great!

The Pelorus Mail Boat

The Editors took a trip around Pelorus Sound on this boat recently, and were pleased to see in their reading resource books on board an article by member Elspeth Wells on the early mail boats and post offices of this area, and another by Bill Main on Pelorus Jack, the friendly dolphin !


There are two opportunities to exhibit your postcards coming up.

The first is Adelaide Stampex 2014. This exhibition is holding a “postcards challenge,” which involves Australian States putting forward a group of two one-frame and two five-frame exhibits. NZ counts as a ‘state’ as well.  Jeff Long is the coordinator so expressions of interest can be made to him (address details in the Society Directory page). It would be good if we could put forward separate entries for the South Island and North Island, a step up from our last challenge entry. Entries close at the end of June, so contact Jeff sooner rather than later!

The second opportunity is at the Baypex 2014 Stamp Show to be held Taradale (near Napier) from November 14-16. You can enter 1-2 frames or 3-8 frames. Further details can be found at  Entries close on June 30, so don’t delay too much. The entry form can be found in the ‘Exhibition Bulletins’ section of the website. You should plan to attend even if you are not exhibiting, so you can view the stamp and postcard exhibits on display and, of course, visit the dealers.

Embossed Postcards with Framed Photo-Prints

Further to Bill Main’s article on these cards in the last magazine, the Editors searched through their holdings of greetings cards and found 4 Fergusson Taylor cards (Bill had not recorded any), 6 Tanner cards of which 3 had a blue or blue-gray tint, 1 Beagle card, and one English ‘Popular series.’ Nice cards, even though they may not be real photo images.

Imperial Sales Co

A Tanner Maoriland series 128 (tree fern style on reverse) with Imperial Sales Co in a box where a stamp would normally be placed has been reported. Does anyone know anything about this company please?

Glitter cards – help wanted

Does anyone have any information about how these cards were produced or sold? The various greetings messages often appear in the same writing style, so might they have been produced by a manufacturer rather than made up by individuals? Any information about manufacturer, distribution, cost, the glitter process, or about how glitter packs might have been sold to people who wanted to use glitter on their own cards would be appreciated. Past issues of the Postcard Pillar have contained articles about the postal regulations relating to cards with glitter, and the ‘PROHIBITED’ rubber cachet applied to such cards by postal authorities, but nothing about the production processes. Did any manufacturer provide envelopes for glitter cards with cut-out spaces for the stamp and address?

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What are you going to do with your postcard collection as you grow old? - by Jeff Long

Bill Main pondered this question recently in a paper he sent to me, and I have taken the liberty of using his title. As Bill says, at some stage you begin to wonder where all your possessions are going to end up. Like many of us with the ‘collecting gene’ Bill has enjoyed a multitude of interest and collections, ranging from vintage 78 rpm gramophone recordings to old cameras to albums of photographs and then to postcards. This latter is very fortunate for our members as Bill applied his research skills to producing a series of Postcard Pillars which set a new standard, not to mention ‘Wish You Were Here’ the book he and Alan Jackson authored, clearly the bible about postcards and postcard collecting in NZ.

An alternative title for this article could well be

Estate planning for your postcards; don’t delay – do it today!!!

Actually, this is the title of a pamphlet issued by the NZ Philatelic Federation. We are a full member of this organisation, and they have a series of brochures which you can find at or by writing to the Secretary, Bob Gibson, at P O Box 58 139, Whitby, Porirua 5245. The pamphlets are written about stamps but much of what they cover also applies equally to postcards. In summary, this pamphlet covers

  • Plan ahead to ensure value is not lost to beneficiaries
  • Help the estate administrator by providing guidelines for disposal of the material
  • Make sure the collection has a realistic valuation, and record it
  • Maintain a simple inventory of major parts of the collection
  • Keep your collection organised

All of this assumes you have a will that is comprehensive and up to date. If this is not the case, then do it this week !! Much of what follows will also apply if you inherit a collection.

How might you dispose of your collections?

Option 1;   Keep some sections for members of your family

It may be that family members are interested in some of the contents of your hobbies room. This may be because it covers where you lived as a family, or family holidays, or some genealogical aspect. As well, they may be interested in keeping some part of the collection simply as a reminder of you personally.

But, make sure they do genuinely want the collection rather than feeling they ought to keep it – otherwise it becomes a burden to them. Often the main pleasure in a collection is building it up. To acquire it ‘completed’ is not the same thing. Discuss it with your family, and gather their ideas.

Option 2;   Gift the collection to a museum

We often think our collection or part of it is of historical significance, and this may well be the case. If you think it should remain intact, then a museum or historical society may be a suitable option.

Be aware though, that you may wish your collection to be available for people to view but this often does not happen with this type of material. The best you can hope for is that the material is scanned and made available through a museum website, but copies are likely to cost in the range of $12 to $40 per item. If the material has not been scanned, then access is unlikely. This is not a criticism of museums, but more a factor of them wanting to maintain the integrity of the material, and not being able to display such material very easily or frequently. Small local museums or historical societies are usually better able to cope with collections and probably offer viewing facilities. You can check by enquiring at the museum you have in mind, to see what is available to look at from previous donors.

You should remember that you had the pleasure of building the collection, so perhaps you should allow other collectors to build their collection by disposing of yours in the open market.

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Option 3;   Sell to a dealer in stamps and postcards

This has the advantage of disposing of all the material at once, and receiving the proceeds up front. It is best not to allow a dealer to ‘pick over’ the material because you will then be left with what is less desirable material.

Make sure you have some idea about what the material is worth, and what you might want for it, but keep in mind that a dealer will make an offer based on what the collection is worth to him, not to you. He has to make a living, and therefore a margin, so needs to be able to sell at least some of the material fairly quickly to recoup the bulk of the outlay.

Shop around a little. Different dealers have different customers and therefore the price offered can vary. You might sell separate collections to different dealers depending on the nature of their business. A number of postcard dealers are members of the Society; the Secretary can provide details. For postcards, the best market is the local market, unless you have an extensive specialised collection of overseas cards.

You can make an ‘up-front’ arrangement with a dealer so that the collection goes straight to them when you decide or upon your demise. If so, make sure this is in writing and your family knows.

Option 4;    Sell by auction

This may bring your material to the notice of a wider group of collectors, but there are costs associated with this process, you don’t receive the proceeds up front, and you will be left with what doesn’t sell.

If you choose this option, make sure you sell through a specialised auction of stamps/books/photos/postcards/ephemera etc, or through an auction run by a stamp and postcard dealer. There are plenty of horror stories about valuable collections being sold for next to nothing when placed in a general auction and collectors not knowing it was on offer.

Option 5;   Sell to a fellow collector

This may not maximise the value of your collection, but it may if the collector has interests aligned with your own and is very keen to combine his collections and yours. It has the advantage of receiving proceeds up front. Again, don’t let him just take the best items. The major advantage is that you know the collection is going to a ‘good home.’

Option 6;   Sell through the Postcard Society auctions

This is like options 4 and 5 combined. Usually cards are sold individually or in small lots rather than big lots, so the value is likely to be maximised, and normally every lot sells so you are not left with the unsold cards. The commission is low at 15%.

Option 7;   Sell through TradeMe or similar auction sites

You need time and some expertise to do this, but it is a bit of fun and quite social when you start to sell to bidders on a regular basis. You will be left with what doesn’t sell, but you can always re-offer material at ‘bargain’ prices to clear the unsolds. Don’t sell the best items first – you might not be able to sell the rest to a dealer if you get tired of selling on-line. Some dealers will sell on Trademe or eBay etc on your behalf. You cover costs and a commission, but it is a good way of selling over a period of time for not much effort.

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When should you sell?

Some collections, especially if they have been exhibited, get to a ‘use by’ date. Perhaps your interests have changed, or perhaps it is too expensive to obtain new material. If a part of your collection has reached this stage, perhaps it is time to sell and work on other collections.

If you are getting on in years, then chat with your family about it. Perhaps some parts of the collection could go to interested family members right away, and you could then make arrangements for disposal of the remainder at a particular time in the future. Be fair to your family. They probably won’t be as interested in your collections as you are. And, if the collections are left to them after your death, they may not really want the material but don’t feel they can dispose of it as you left it to them.

Regardless of your intentions, make sure your family know about your collections – what, where, and value. If you have the collecting habit there will be more than just postcards tucked away in cupboards and corners. There are horror stories where families were not aware of the extent of the collections, keeping only obvious albums or labelled boxes.

Keep written information about your collections with your other personal documents – your postcards might be worth more than your share certificates or term deposits!

To sum up - specify in writing, and with your family’s knowledge and approval, what is to happen with each section of your collectibles.

Thanks are due to Bill Main, Don White and the Philatelic Federation for their contributions to this article.

Society Website

The Members Only section of the website has been populated with articles scanned from the first 100 Issues of the Postcard Pillar, done in conjunction with the 100th issue of the Postcard Pillar. The articles scanned and uploaded are those with a research interest – photographers, publishers and other specialist topics. Alan Jacksons monograph on Burton Bros and Muir and Moodie has been loaded, as have several lists.

Access to the website is through an application form (now simplified) on the site to submit so the Secretary can confirm that you are a member of the NZPS and allow you access.

Please remember that the Members Only material is for current NZPS members only. The intellectual property lies with the authors and the Society. Don’t share it with non-members. Encourage them to join the Society instead !!

Comments would be welcomed by our Society Webmaster, at

Index to the Postcard Pillar

Just a reminder that Chris Rabey has now updated the index to the Postcard Pillar. It covers issues 1 to 100, and updates the previous list published in 2006. It has been uploaded to the Members Only section of the Society website. A paper version is available from the Secretary on request; the price is $10 including postage within NZ.

Useful Hint !

If you use Firefox as your internet browser, when you access Trademe through that browser, all the images appear as thumbnail images immediately beside the listing. ie you don’t need to click on the item to view it. Firefox is free software and can be found by entering ‘firefox’ into your search engine or at

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French Oceanic Settlements (now French Polynesia) - by Safari

French Polynesia consist of five main groups of islands, an area of about 4 million square kilometres of ocean, and has a land area of some 4000 square kilometres. The capital is Papeete in Isla Tahiti, 5390 km east of Sydney, and 6520 km south-west of San Francisco.

The first stamps were issued in 1892, inscribed ‘Establissements de L’Oceanie,’ an overseas territory of France. My earliest postcard was written from Papeete on 3.10.1899, postmarked Tahiti on a 10c stamp. It was routed through Auckland to London 30.11.99 where it was redirected to Hamburg, Germany, arriving there on 2.12.1899, an astonishingly short transit time. The card has two black & white vignette scenes, ‘Riviere Hamuia’ and ‘Point Venus,’ the vantage point sought by Captain Cook in 1769 to observe the transit of Venus. There are no details of a publisher or photographer.

Incidentally, the first French nuclear device was exploded on Mururoa Atoll on July 3 1966, with headquarters on Tahiti, but cards associated with the operation seem difficult to find.

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Art Deco Postcards - by William Main

Bill Main describes a series of events which led to him buying a book and discovering he had in his collection the makings of a very interesting series of postcards.

In 2012 my wife Jill and I had a holiday in Brisbane. By divine intervention, the entrance to our hotel was situated opposite a bookshop. After we’d settled in, I popped across the road and asked them if they had any books on postcards. I was told one had just come in and it was produced for my inspection. It was a Thames Hudson publication called ART DECO POSTCARDS by Patricia Bayer.

On my first inspection it seemed to be based entirely on cards from America. Then I spotted something as I flicked through the contents. Lo and behold, it was a Neville Seaward real photo postcard of Wellington’s Waterloo Hotel, on the corner of Waterloo Quay and Bunny Street. This alone made it a necessary addition for my library. So a sale was made and I began to enjoy its contents which had 250 postcards which set out in no uncertain terms exactly what constituted an Art Deco postcard.


Original Bayer caption: Hotel Waterloo, Wellington, New Zealand. The podium style Art Deco hotel at 28 Waterloo Quay was built in I937 for New Zealand Breweries, and hosted Queen Elizabeth’s retinue on her 1953 Coronation Tour. Since I991 it has been a backpackers’ hotel, externally virtually unchanged. The cars date the card to the late 1950s. Scenic New Zealand N.S.Seaward’s Studio, Broad Bay, Dunedin.

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Some time prior to obtaining a copy of Patricia Bayer ’s book, I noticed this postcard of the Waterloo Hotel coming up for sale in Trade Me. To my great surprise it sold for $21 – well above my estimate.  I note it was taken by Peart shortly after it opened in I937.  [Apology for the pixilated photo copy!]

When we returned to New Zealand, I ransacked my collection for postcards that might match what Patricia Bayer had in her book. By far the largest assortment came from my cards of the Centennial Exhibition, which was held in Wellington over a period beginning in November 1939 and ran through to May 1940. Extending my search even further, I found some very poignant earthquake rebuild cards that were made in the late 1950s.

A year later, Jill and I attended the Society’s AGM in Hastings - sneaking away on the final afternoon for a couple of hours in Napier with Leo Haks to admire its Art Deco frontages - which we were led to believe by residents in Napier rivals Miami’s claim to be the Art Deco Capital of the World! For those who might have little or no knowledge of the Art Deco period, it is generally agreed as having been launched as a recognisable art movement during the 1925 Paris Exposition and flourished to the late 1940s.

What particularly turns me on about collecting Art Deco postcards is the fact that one of our most talented real-photo postcard photographers captured many buildings and structures from this period. I refer to Heaton C. Peart, whose work sometimes appears under the Royal Studios imprint, and who is noted for his sepia toned postcards which give them a unique appearance.

Furthermore, I went on to discover I had a very good selection of New Zealand Art Deco postcards amongst my National Publicity Studio postcards, and of course the editions put out by the printing firm which had a contract to supply all the printed material throughout the duration of the Centennial Exhibition - Coulls Somerville Wilkie.

All of these Art Deco influences evident in the Centennial Exhibition were of course due to the architect appointed to mastermind this project - Edward Anscombe (1874 - 1948), whose concepts and direction echoed a lot of the things he had learned from being the leading architect of Dunedin’s South Seas Exhibition in 1925/6. As a lead-up to the Centennial, he had also visited World Fairs in Chicago in 1933 and New York in 1939.

While my personal memories of the Centennial exhibition are very dim - I was only six years old at the time - I readily recall how milk bars and picture theatres in Wellington took on Art Deco influences, like the way lights came on and changed colour on the proscenium arches as God Save the King was played.  Looking back, I was a fan of Art Deco if ever there was one.

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My other experience of the Art Deco was when I began Art classes at the Wellington Technical College in 1948 and learning various type faces. One textbook which most of us used for our studies was a publication called Speedball Lettering. This displayed various type-faces which could be used for ticket writing. The one most of us used was one which featured extravagant alphabets which looked marvellous but was very low on readability! Then again, this mind-bending made us very conscious of looking beyond the normal, a feature which was taken very seriously by those of us who wanted to shine in our studies.

On looking back through the Art Deco postcards I have in my collection, I can see why it may have had a very limited appeal for those who lived away from the larger metropolitan cities. Architecturally speaking, Art Deco did lend itself to ferro-concrete housing, with rounded surfaces and door frames, as can be seen with some examples that survive to this day in places like Lower Hutt.

On a much grander scale Wellington has several significant reminders of this architectural phase which serves to remind us of this styling, with the National War Memorial Carillon and what was at one time the National Museum and Art Gallery ( now an offshoot of Massey University.)  I am not sure if a register of Art Deco buildings in New Zealand exists, but if it does, I’m sure there are many examples to be viewed up and down the country, whether or not any of them has ever warranted a postcard! Perhaps this article might create a favourable reaction - who knows!

What follows is a list of some of the key symbols and emblems and topics that go to make up an Art Deco object be it a building, book, or art work!

  • Sunbursts and fountains
  • The Skyscraper - symbolic of the 20th century
  • Symbols of speed - power and flight
  • Geometric shapes - representing machines
  • The new woman and new social freedoms
  • Breaking the rules - jazz, short skirts and hair
  • Ancient cultures - fascinating civilisations

Some of these emblematic themes are represented in the buildings of Napier and Hastings, which are lovingly cared for by their owners. When it comes to examining the influence on New Zealand architecture from projects like the Centennial Exhibition, many things can be noted, especially when studying ferro-concrete buildings that employ a decorative raised relief employing three horizontal lines, short - long - short. My art school friends dubbed this ornamentation the hoi polloi coat of arms.

While it doesn’t surprise me when looking through issues of The Postcard Pillar to see no mention whatsoever of Art Deco postcards, I do feel surprised to see that no one has ever attempted to make a list of the cards that were officially on sale at the Centennial Exhibition.

When I joined the Postcard Society, hardly anyone took an interest with New Zealand Postcards from 1925 up to the beginning of the Second World War. There has been some improvement to this situation by a new generation of collectors, who have considerable admiration for efforts by firms to keep the spirit and creative impetus of postcards a viable enterprise. Despite this there is still a general apathy towards the endeavours of firms like Reeds and Pictorial Publication who struggled to revive and encourage a wider appreciation of this industry.

Cards celebrating New Zealand’s Centenary not only serve a pivotal role as a reminder about this aspect of our postcard heritage, but signal a new era that was ushered in on the heels of colour film, which became available in the 1950s after the conclusion of the Second World War.

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Centennial Exhibition Postcards

The story concerning photographic coverage of the Centennial Exhibition is all the more intriguing because of the political appointment of Eileen Deste as the Official Photographer.  It seems she had difficulties supplying a constant flow of photographs for publicity purposes and, eventually, she ended up with a series of postcards that bore her name printed by Coulls Somerville Wilkie Ltd. When it is realized that these were the only souvenir postcards available for the 2.5 million visitors to the exhibition it is no wonder that they are very hard to find today! All this was not helped by the fact that there was a charge being made for those who wanted to bring their cameras into the exhibition grounds. To give Eileen Deste her due, she did encourage one of her assistants to provide some very striking studies, that were beyond the limitations of her much loved 35mm camera.


To give an idea of the scale of the Centennial Exhibition, I’ve chosen a real photo postcard showing the exhibition site from an elevated position.

It gives some idea of the size and location of the event which occupied 55 acres. Note the sparsely settled hills beyond the exhibition site which is now densely settled.


This is followed by an Eileen Deste real photo postcard showing the 60 metre high tower which was the centre piece of the Centennial Exhibition complex.

The tower faced eastwards at the foot of a water feature surrounded by ornamental plinths which repeated some decorative elements of the tower’s architectural features.

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The Australian Pavilion incorporated a semicircular glazed section housing a staircase which gave a dramatic entrance into the exhibition space proper. Although it can’t be proven, this unnamed real photo may have been taken during the opening ceremony,  explaining the number of soldiers in the crowd wearing their ‘lemon squeezer’ headgear.


This striking view of the British pavilion was printed by Coulls Somerville Wilkie Ltd and was photographed by Eileen Deste. Water features at the Exhibition, along with sculptures and decorative plinths, gave a very distinguished feeling for the way the exhibition was laid out.

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Two postcard views showing The Waterfall  No 34180 and The Sound Shell No 34123.  Both bear the Coulls Somerville Wilkie’s imprint by virtue of their lithographed appearance with a shade of ink between them indicating two different editions. The Sound Shell card has a blank reverse as opposed to some text on the other, leading to some speculation about mismanagement of souvenir editions.


Wellington’s Provincial Centennial Memorial is situated along the Petone foreshore. It was opened on 22nd of January 1940, and is now known as the Petone Settler’s Museum.

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H. C Peart Postcards

Above left: The Mount Victoria Tunnel was opened on the 12th of October 1931, and the National War Memorial Carillon followed six months later on Anzac day 1932. Somewhere between these two occasions, Peart managed to get this view taken from the western portal of the Mount Victoria Tunnel.

From this and other postcards it seems he had a fascination for the Carillon, photographing it several times during his tenure in Wellington, which began in the early 1920s.

Above right: While I can draw a lot of satisfaction from each and every one of his views for a variety of reasons, I am in great admiration for the view shown here, taken from the foyer of the National Art Gallery and Museum.

Note the W.C.C. Milk Department chimney in Tory Street adding distance and sense of scale to the view.

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Below left: This Art Deco building was situated in Lower Willis Street and was the headquarters of  the Colonial Mutual Life Insurance Company. This eight story building was so solid it bankrupted the demolition company who were contracted to pull it down in the mid 1980s.

Below right: The three Art Deco structures photographed here by Peart in the mid 1930s were, from left to right, the Prudential, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the South British Insurance Company.

They remain to this day under different titles in Lambton Quay. Peart’s view of them is a classic of its sort with a solitary taxi parked besides its wooden telephone booth at the intersection of Wakefield Street and Lambton Quay awaiting a fare.

If I had to make a Desert Island choice from all the Peart postcards in my collection, I’d nominate this above all others.

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Left: Peart’s view of the National Museum and Art Gallery has been taken from a Carillon balcony. It shows a number of people paying a visit to this building shortly after it was opened in 1936. It was commandeered by the armed forces at the outbreak of World War Two.

Right: The Kelburn viaduct as we know it today was opened in May 1931. This elegant Art Deco structure replaced a wooden trestle bridge.

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Radio 2YA’s castellated structure may be stretching a genuine Art Deco appellation too far. Then again its clean line and simplistic treatment falls well within the normal architectural classification. Radio 2YA came into being in 1927.


 The final Peart postcard was purchased and sent to Auckland on  January 27th 1934. It features the two storey Criterion Hotel on a sunny day with windows open at all the upstairs balconies.

Pictorial Publications Limited:

When it came to find some postcards to represent Hastings Art Deco buildings, I had no trouble or hesitation in selecting the two on the next page. While general views like these don’t really give a detailed view of the Art Deco frontages, the reader has the opportunity of viewing them from two different angles. The Historic Places Trust describes the Hastings Clock Tower as having been completed in 1935. It was designed by local architect Sydney Chaplin, who won a national design competition. The Tower has two plaques containing the names of the 93 Hastings residents who died as a result of the earthquake in 1931.

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Below: The two following images were taken by photographers working for the National Publicity Studios in Wellington. The view from the hill shows the same block of buildings as above, and gives a very good picture of the recovery build.


Napier’s Marine Parade, which came into being after the earthquake, is one of the most photographed views in Hawkes Bay. I have chosen the following sepia tone study because of the way the photographer has lowered his view to incorporate the shadows made by the Norfolk Pines which denote this esplanade.


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19.06.1911 Walking round the World: The Alexa’s interesting sailor Joseph Mikulec in Wanganui - by Geoff Potts

This story was drawn from Papers Past.

Among the crew of the barquentine Alexa, (owned by the mayor of Wanganui, Alexander Hatrick), which arrived at the Wanganui wharves from Sydney yesterday morning, was Joseph Frank Mikulec, who certainly must be classed as the most unique sailor that has ever signed on the ship’s articles.


Mikulec, who is a native of Croatia, in Austria, is engaged in walking round the world. He left his home in February, 1904, with the object of touring the world and sending articles and photographs to the Croatia, the Slavonia and Dalmatian Press Association.

On reaching America he visited every one of the 48 capital cities of the United States, and when in New York he was engaged by the News Agency to furnish articles and photographs relative to his travels, his reward to be 25,000 dollars, provided he returned to New York any time in 1914.

Mikulec has produced ample evidence as to the genuineness of his claims: He dropped into the “Chronicle” office last evening, and, in the course of an interesting chat with a reporter, produced his passport issued at New York by the American Government. His book bears autographed letters by President Taft, Vice-President Sherman, Theodore Roosevelt, and the mayor and town clerk of each of the capital cities.

After touring the States, Mikulec shipped on a German ship at San Francisco and came to Newcastle.  From there he walked to Sydney, and, his next sphere of action being New Zealand, he shipped on the Alexa as seaman.

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To-day the traveller will interview the Town Clerk and obtain the corporation seal. On Wednesday he will start for Auckland, and after visiting Rotorua will go south to Wellington and thence tour the South Island, it being required that he shall walk 2,000 miles in New Zealand. He will then return to Australia, take ship for Japan, and afterwards traverse Asiatic Russia, China, India, Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Southern Italy, and then make a halt at his native place – Agram, in Croatia – where, he informs us, he will receive 50,000 crowns for the articles he will have written. He will then resume his journey to New York, which he hopes to reach early in 1914.

As might be expected, Mikulec has had many exciting experiences. Space will not permit us to refer to his wanderings in the Brazilian jungle for nine days, of being bitten by a snake, of his ill-treatment by natives of Brazil, or his narrow escape from death at the hands of Apache Indians. He has now travelled 47,000 miles, and has worn out 68 pairs of boots. His feet are gradually growing, for whereas he wore No.6 shoes when he started, he now needs No.9.  Walking evidently agrees with the traveller, for though he has lost three stone in weight (being now 9st. 9bl) he is in perfect health.

One of the conditions of Mikulec’s contract is that he must not ask for money. He has, as a consequence, been very low in funds, but lectures and the sale of postcards generally enable him to get through safely.

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Blenheim’s Government Building - by Diane McKoy

After two previous wooden Post Offices burnt down, the Government decided to construct a new building in Blenheim’s Market Square from concrete, to house the Post Office and other departments, including Customs, Crown Land and (Farm) Stock. Building was started in 1877 and completed in July 1878 at a cost of 11,000 pounds. The Post Office was situated in the lower right section of the building with its own entrance.

The building was embellished with a Coat of Arms of the Lion and the Unicorn over the main door, on the roof (and another round the side over the Post and Telegraph), and two female statues in niches in the wall above the main door, one to represent “Justice” and the other “Truth”, all moulded in concrete.

From the time it was completed the iconic Blenheim Government Building was the focus of attention for most of the early postcard photographers. It was a well-designed, imposing building of the time, which dominated the Market Square of the small town.

Being situated in the low lying Market Square it was often subjected to flooding. It was first flooded in the 1890s, then in July 1911 it was reported by the Postmaster that “It is 6 inches and still rising and the Post Office is to be closed”. In May 1923 the Chief Postmaster at Blenheim sent a message to the Secretary of the General Post Office stating ”Water is now flowing through the Government Buildings, and there is two feet of water in the Departmental quarters. It is raining heavily, and the water is still rising”.

On the 28th May 1912 the Marlborough Express reported that the Minister for Public Works at Blenheim was making the following arrangements;

  • The Stock Department will remove at once from its present office to enable the telephone exchange to be extended and improved, and women will be employed as in other places.
  • The caretaker’s cottage on the site will be removed or handed over to this department for a lineman’s store, as may be found convenient.
  • The present building will be extended in the same design, two storeys high along Queen Street. When the extension is ready the whole of the present office will be remodeled and a new entrance will be provided for the public with a proper posting lobby. The Chief Postmaster’s room will be placed where ready access can be had by the public. Generally, as far as possible, alterations will be made to bring the altered office on a level, as regards accommodation, with the new office at Westport.
  • This department will give up any rights it has to the reserve on the distinct understanding, to be confirmed by a clause in the Reserves and Bodies Empowering Act that the Borough Council is to be prevented from selling the land or erecting buildings upon it.

The Post Office was in the national newspapers in 1968 when it was burgled of $51,000 which was at the time the biggest burglary in New Zealand. A large hole was blown in the safe door.   Two days later two Blenheim men were arrested and most of the stolen money was recovered.

Over the years the Building went through several alterations, especially to the façade.

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This Muir and Moodie card postmarked 1905 shows the building with a roof terrace and the Post Office entrance on the right hand side of the building.


This later Muir and Moodie card dated 1. 3. 13 shows the outside structure has not changed, however the wording “H.M. Customs” and “Post & Telegraph” has been added to the front of the building. Wording on the windows on the front of the left wing say “Land & Deeds Registry Office and Stamp (Duty) Office.

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A F.G. Radcliffe postcard from around 1920 shows a footpath around the building and the right side entrance to the Post Office is now closed up, and a sign on the left of the windows with the words “Post” and “Telegraph” states “Post Office Entrance”.    The building looks as if it has had a coat of paint and the statues are now white.   These would be the changes as stated above in the 1912 Marlborough Express.


This Royal Postcard from the 1930s shows the Post Office Entrance sign clearly also a Telephone box in front of where the old Post Office door had been and the platform on the roof has been removed.

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I think this New Zealand Publicity Studio Postcard is from around 1941 as it is advertising National Savings Bonds.   These were being raised for the war effort.   Blenheim Post Office led the effort for three years in a row.

Note the change in the look of the building. The Coats of Arms are gone and the eaves are now almost flush with the building.  The statues are gone and the niches have been filled in.   The top of the clock tower has also gone.   (These changes were thought to have been done to make the building safer in case of earthquakes). The sign across the front now says “Blenheim Chief Post Office”, which would indicate that the other Government departments no longer operated from the building.   It appears to be painted all one colour.  The sign on the left of the main door (Which also looks as if it now has a glass surround), states “Chief Post Office, Clerical Branch, Motor Registration, General Enquiries”. The wording on the right hand side is “Post and Telegraph Office – Money Order and Savings Bank”.


A modern card early 1960s published by A.H. & A.W. Reed shows the building painted cream with white highlights, but the overall look is the same.

The building was  demolished in the early 1970s.   There is now a replica of the clock tower that was on the roof of the old Government Building, on an area by the footpath outside where the building once stood, in memory of the building which was once the pride of Blenheim.

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Burton Bros Pacific Islands Trips - by Mike Cooke

In Postcard Pillar no. 99 there is an article on the Burton Brothers Pacific Island trips and a request for details of postcards.

While I have never seen a postcard from these 1884 trips with a number in the original series 2501 – 2729, there are at least three postcards with numbers in the later series between 5805 and 5831.  These are:

5810 A Fijian Belle
5821 Chief's House, Fiji
5822 Samoan Girls playing Cards

These three were printed at the same time by C. G. Röder in Leipzig.  From the numbers on the reverse and evidence from the use of similarly printed cards, they were probably produced in late 1905 and are some of the earliest Muir & Moodie cards with the reverse divided into separate spaces for a message and the address.

I have also seen cards in the range 6197 – 6404 and early unnumbered cards with views of the islands or natives.  The majority of these appear to be of Samoa.


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The Postcards of Joseph Zachariah; an Update - by Brian G Vincent.


In 2009 William Main produced his most welcome book “Edwardian Wellington – Photographs by Joseph Zachariah”.  Accompanying the book was a catalogue of known “Zak” postcards – a very valuable listing that has enabled this writer, on more than one occasion, to identify the date (year) in which a numbered but otherwise undated “Zak” postcard was published.

I have recently been reorganising and sorting my postcards and thought it might be useful to produce the following list of Zak postcards in my collection that were not listed when William Main’s book was published.  The additional postcards to include in the list are as follows –

337      The Staircase

914      Law v Insurance cricket match

1242    Britain vs Wellington 27/5/08 the English team

1243    Britain vs Wellington 27/5/08 The Wellington team after their win 19-13.

1263    British 15 in 1st test Britain vs NZ, Dunedin 6/6/08

1264    Britain vs NZ (1st test) The NZ team Dunedin 6/6/08

1554    St John’s Football team Wn 8.8.08  (NB This was listed as 1544)

1849    Dominion Day 1908. Wgtn NZ celebrations.

2599    Dominion Election results 18/11/08

2600    Dominion Election results 18/11/08 (different scene & in “portrait” format)

5142    Rugby Spectators 1/5/09

6018    Kia-Ora Rugby football team. ‘09

6540    North Island team (N v S) 25/8/09

6541    South Island team (N v S) 25/8/09

6765    NZ University team

10486  At the Oriental - St James match ( in “portrait” format.)

10735  At the American - Wellington rugby match 1910

13230  At the Oriental - Old Boys Match

Alphabetical listing (additions).

Leo and his Mate, Wellington Zoo

St Patrick’s College 7-a-side football team Wgtn, 1912

Templar’s Cricket club 1911

Wairarapa Rugby Rep Team 1914.

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Roses in the Wellington Botanic Garden - by Donal Duthie

From the beginning in 1869 the Wellington Botanic Garden was controlled by a Board appointed by the New Zealand Institute. The Board lost no time in establishing what was called ‘The Teaching Garden.’ This garden was planted to suit the teaching botany in anticipation of a School of Botany. It was surrounded by a picket fence with hedging and secured with a padlocked gate. Visitors had to seek out staff with a key to gain entry, and children were not allowed. Unfortunately it was years ahead of its time, and The Teaching Garden was long gone when a School Of Botany was established at Victoria University.


Photo: Unknown.  Publisher: Muir & Moodie.  Early Days in the Teaching Garden

In September 1880 the Head Gardener, William Bramley, reported that a few of the best roses had been stolen. This would seem to be the first reference that roses had been planted by the Board. This was probably a very small collection, as it seems unlikely that the Board would plant large beds of roses. They were more interested in pure botany and importing exotic trees than planting large beds of the new Hybrid Tea roses.

In 1891 the Board ceased to exist and by an Act of Parliament, the Botanic Garden was incorporated into the Wellington City Council.


Photo: FG Barker   Publisher: Tanner Bros.  The Teaching Garden is now known as ‘The Rose Garden.'

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Photo: Peter Morath.   Publisher: Colourview.  The Sunken Garden. Site of the first rose beds. ‘Hidden behind a hedge and padlocked gate’

The first roses appear to have been planted by Wellington City Council administration in a narrow fenced gully which previously had been used as a nursery for growing on trees and shrubs. Curiously, the roses appear to have been planted in a padlocked enclosure and furthermore, they were hidden behind a hedge. The gully is today called The Sunken Garden. When the Reserves Committee visited the Botanic Garden on 15th May 1907 the Evening Post reported that a portion of the old nursery, closed to visitors, “had large beds of roses within the enclosure.”

Roses did not get away a good start at the Wellington Botanic Garden. In a letter to the Editor of the Evening Post of 15th November 1911, there is a complaint of the rose enclosure. The letter says: “that some, at least of the visitors to the Botanical Gardens would much appreciate permission to view the collection of roses at present bursting into bloom behind the shelter of a high hedge and a padlocked gate.”

They go on to suggest “surely it would be possible to grant access to the public on certain days, especially Sundays, when some of the keepers are invariably in attendance.” The letter was signed by ‘Five Regular Visitors.”

The Evening Post sought out Mr Glenn, Superintendent of Reserves and he replied to the complaint saying that “the paths in the rose garden were very narrow, and that damage would result to the roses and the box hedge if there were many people admitted at one time.” Mr Glenn followed up saying “In the future the rose garden would be filled in and raised and the paths would then be made wider and the garden generally enlarged.”

However, in 1916 it would seem that the roses were still behind the hedge in the enclosure as another critical letter to the Editor, signed by ‘Interested’ writes “There is a bed of roses, but unfortunately the public do not have adequate access to it, and in any case the roses contained in it are quite out of date, anything I should say, from five to ten years behind the times. Then again they are a mass of mildew and an eyesore to anyone taking an interest in roses. Surely like all other public gardens, we should have a bed of roses that will stand inspection.” They finished the letter saying “I should very much like to see the whole of the rose trees there at the present time rooted out and a new and up to date lot substituted.”

Under the City Council administration there had been changes going on at the nearby Teaching Garden. Fences, hedges and the locked gate had been removed. Many of the Teaching Garden beds had been cleared of shrubs to be replaced with colourful annuals and perennials that were in vogue at that time. As time went on, roses began to appear in the beds and their popularity ensured that slowly and surely the rose beds expanded.

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Photo: Unknown   Publisher: NL Stevens.  Modifications to the Teaching Garden. Roses were becoming popular

In 1923 there was a report on the Garden that indicated they had about forty named varieties in the rose collection. By about 1930 the Teaching Garden was entirely devoted to roses and on photo postcards they were calling it The Rose Garden. However, the postcards always used the name

‘Wellington Botanical Gardens’ as indeed did Wellingtonians. This alteration to the official name ‘Wellington Botanic Garden,’ persists today in spite of a drive to correct the name.

In 1947 a new Director of Parks, Mr Edward Hutt, was appointed by the Wellington City Council. Mr Hutt came with a reputation of forthrightness and the ability to get projects completed. He was to bring the City Council Parks Department and the Botanic garden out from the horse and cart days in to what would become a modern efficient unit. He was in fact, ‘a new broom sweeping clean.’

In ‘The Botanic Garden, Wellington’ one of the authors, Walter Cook, said of Mr Hutt, “Hutt was another hard man. He terrorised his staff and dominated his Committees. He could sack gardeners with the same alacrity as the Queen of Hearts could order their decapitation. But he got things done.’’

Mr Hutt planned for a new rose garden in a completely new locality of the Botanic Garden. Over the hill from the Main Gardens there had been a very steep narrow ravine originally named Honeymoon Gully. Over a long period of time this gully had been filled in using unemployed labour through times of depression. The resulting flat land was used as a regular location for the circus when it came to town. This was to be the location of the new rose garden.

The old rose garden on the site of the previous Teaching Garden was to be completely cleared to make a lawn in front of a new art deco sound shell.

Just where Mr Hutt got the plans for the new rose garden is not known. On his staff he had a competent draughtsman in Keith Richardson who produced a magnificent plan of the Botanic Garden. Some say it is the best plan ever produced. If Keith Richardson drew up the plans for the rose garden he kept it very quiet. On the other hand Mr Hutt may simply have seen a classic rose garden plan in a gardening book and decided he would use that.

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The late Ian Galloway, who was to succeed Eddy Hutt as Director of Parks, was on the staff at the time of the rose garden construction and he did not know where the design came from.

By fair means or foul, Hutt persuaded Councillors to provide grants for the new project. It was a major exercise using large amounts of ratepayer money, but he ensured that construction of the garden and the surrounding colonnade went ahead, was done his way and to a perfection that suited him.


Photo: NS Seaward   Publisher: NS Seaward.  The Lady Norwood Rose Garden. Taken soon after opening

Whatever the origins, the end result was a wonderful formal, circular pattern with French style, parterre beds radiating outwards from a central pool. It was nicely proportioned to the area of flat land and was surrounded by steep hills on three sides. It was a great location. It was an impressive feature when it opened in 1954 and with maturity, seems even more impressive today. Whatever criticism Mr Hutt may have drawn, there is no doubt he deserves full praise for the rose garden which, after the Mt Victoria Lookout, is the most visited attraction in the City Of Wellington.

The Council could see that this would be a prestigious feature of the City and in honour of the popular Mayor and Mayoress they named the garden after the Mayoress as ‘The Lady Norwood Rose Garden.’ In return, Lady Norwood donated a fountain for the central pond.

As with the very first rose bed in the Botanic Garden, the new roses in the Lady Norwood Rose Garden got away to a bad start. As the newly planted roses were bursting into growth, staff had been doing the usual preventative rose spraying and tragically there was a mistake. The new roses were given, not an insecticide or fungicide but a weedkiller.

There were attempts to drastically prune the roses and hush the mistake up as far as possible. Mr Hutt released a press statement saying the roses were infected with a fungus and that most of the roses were being taken to the Berhampore Nursery for rehabilitation. The truth was, they went straight to the rubbish tip.

That summer when most of the roses had been removed, surplus annuals from the nursery featured in the parterre beds until the roses could be replaced. Within the Parks Department and the Botanic Garden the matter was only discussed in hushed tones and even today, nearly sixty years later, a veil is drawn over a most unfortunate event that everyone wishes had never happened.

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In staff circles there were rumours of sabotage followed by a resignation and staff adjustments, but it was never fully established as to just how the catastrophe had happened. Needless to say, a vital and costly lesson had been learned.

Over the years the Norwood family have continued to donate to major features in and around the Lady Norwood Rose Garden.

In 1960 Sir Charles Norwood gave money to a handsome Begonia House situated on a terrace behind the rose garden. This large conservatory had been part of Mr Hutt’s original formal design. The Begonia House was followed up some years later with the Norwood family donating money towards landscaping a steep cliff with rockwork, a pond and a large waterfall. An elegant summer house shelter and an irrigation system for the roses were also part of the same project.

Later still the family gave a large ornate bronze basin on a stand to replace the original art deco central fountain given by Lady Norwood. This bronze fountain originally graced the foyer of a London bank then, for a hundred years, it was in the grounds of a rural homestead in Victoria, Australia before the Norwoods were able to purchase it. In more recent times the Norwood family have enabled major extensions to the Begonia House by way of a tropical wing at one end and a graceful tea house at the other.


Photo: Unknown.  Publisher: Wellington City Council.  The Lady Norwood Rose garden and Norwood Begonia House. C. 2005

Today, roses are an integral element to the Botanic Garden and the Lady Norwood Rose Garden is very popular with Wellingtonians and a ‘must see’ attraction for all visitors to the Capital City. Roses in Wellington have come a long way since the planting in the gulley with the padlocked gate and high hedge.


The Botanic Garden Wellington by Winsome Shepherd & Walter Cook.

The Lady Norwood Rose Garden and Begonia House by Walter Cook

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