new zealand postcard society inc.

postcard pillar, issue 98 (february 2013)


pillar 98 cover 2

ISSUE 98 (February 2013)

Page 1


Bruce Isted receives his Deserving Deltiologist award from the NZ Philatelic Federation. Presented by Jenny Banfield. Congratulations Bruce!!

image002a image003a

Natal Postal Stationery Postcard

Soldier’s letter sent through the British Field Post Office on 14 November 1901 to Christchurch.

The message is in code. A free year’s subscription is offered to the first person to provide a translation to the Editor. Card provided by Alan Jackson

Page 2

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 Long & Laurence Eagle  
Committee Geoff Pots
  John Eccles
  Bruce Isted
  Leo Haks
  Glenn Reddiex

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

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

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

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; details are on your subs notice. The subscription for an individual or family member is $35, or $45 for an overseas member.

Editorial: Many thanks to those of you who have sent in contributions. Remember to keep them coming, preferably in electronic format, but it is perfectly fine if this is not possible. The main aim is to get your words and pictures and ideas out to our membership. In this issue we have significant contributions from Gary Davies, Geoff Potts, Laurence Eagle, Steve McLachlan, Donal Duthie, Bruce Isted, William Main, Don Mee and Safari.

Cover illustration Bob McFarlane, South Island Solo Speedway Champion in 1950. Refer to the article by Laurence Eagle on the Early History of Speedway in Christchurch, pages 21-2.

Table of Contents: Issue 98

1 Photo Gallery
2 Directory
3-7 Snippets
8 Wellington Through a Victorian Lens Revisited: Book review by Bill Main
9- 16 One Side of the Ditch: NZ Comic Postcards, by Gary Davies
17-18 History of Speedway in Christchurch 1929-1959, by Laurence Eagle
19-20 ‘Most Southern’ by Donal Duthie
21-22 Neville Seaward, Real Postcard Producer, by Bill Main
23-24 The 1929 Murchison Earthquake Postcards of Hugh & G K Neill
25-26 Wanganui Comic Advertising Cards, by Bruce Isted
27-28 Early Postcards of the Cook Islands, by Safari
29-31 Port of Waiora, by Geoff Potts
32 The Captured German Flag in Samoa 1914, by Don Mee
33 The Burton Brothers, by Jeff Long
34 Photo Gallery

Page 3

Society News and Snippets 

Obituary. Ivan Prentice, Palmerston North

Sadly, Ivan passed away late last year. Ivan had been a member of the Society for about ten years. He collected many things, but concentrated on Palmerston North memorabilia and postcards. He amassed a considerable collection, so much so that almost every room in his house contained collectibles!

Ivan often attended Conventions organised by the NZ Postcard Society and the Cartophilic Society of NZ, bringing along his recent finds and parts of his collection that were more easily transportable. He will be missed by many. Sympathies are extended to his family.


 2013 NZ Postcard Society Convention

This year the Convention will be held in Hastings on 7th and 8th September, the week before the Upper Hutt Stamp Show exhibition on 13th to 15th September. It is an excellent opportunity to attend both events, as many members did last year for the Convention and Blenpex.

Classified Ads

Request for TREVOR LLOYD Postcards. Member Gary Davies is hunting for cards to add to his collection, and will pay excellent prices for the right cards. Other postcards also wanted: Cynicus “Maori series”, NZ comic artists, F. Norris, Hanna, Sinel, Melvin, Hiscocks, BLO (William Blomfield), NZ Observer and NZ Freelance series, and any early NZ comic Rugby, Maori or Moa Bird themes. Early Australian comic postcards are also wanted: Bulletin series, also comic artists such as Souter, Lindsay, Gibbs, Weston, Minns, Taylor, Nuttall, Mabelle Edmonds, Dillon, Carte, Handy, etc. And Comic cards with Aboriginal themes, plus Cricket, Rugby, Aussie Rules Football and other sporting themes. Please contact Gary Davies. Email or Phone  0427 827 098 (Aust. Time = NZ time LESS 3 hours).

Page 4

Letter to the Editor from Bill Main re Tonga postcards

In the late 1890s, the Auckland photographer Josiah Martin made a trip to Tonga where he completed a series of magic lantern slides. On his return to Auckland, he gave lectures using his slides to illustrate his talk. It is my feeling the he could have been the photographer for the pictures on page 24 of the Postcard Pillar no.97. His own postcard series featuring Auckland views (printed by Smithyman & Maingay) bear a striking resemblance to those illustrated in the article. Martin wrote of his Tongan experiences in a magazine published by Sharland’s called The New Zealand Photographer in the December 1899 issue. Previous to this, he had started writing about his Pacific tours in December 1897. This magazine can be made available for researchers through the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, who may be approached for photocopies of specific articles.

The UK Picture Postcard Monthly (PPM)

Gary notes that his article in this edition of the Postcard Pillar was originally written for the PPM, Edited by Brian and Mary Lund. This is an excellent magazine – the Editor is currently reading through the last six years of issues! The editors can be contacted by email at The website address is

Why not have a look ?


The Editors are still working on producing a list of the various lists of postcard information produced by members over the years, which might be helpful for members, and which will be published in the Members Only section of the website. This will pull together much information already available about postcard producers and photographers.

We have now reviewed previous issues of the Postcard Pillar for information already published, and we already have published lists on Muir & Moodie, Zak, FGR, Gladys Goodall, etc.

If you have some lists it would be great if you could make them available, in whatever format, so they could be added to our database. Some contributions have already been received, but Editor Jeff Long would be pleased to hear from lots more of you.

NZPS Website

Work has been proceeding apace on the public section of the website, and the website is now live at The Members Only section is being worked on at present.

Comments about the public section of website, and, perhaps more importantly, what should go in the Members Only section would be welcomed by our Secretary, who is now also the Society Webmaster, at

Society Auctions

If you like receiving auction lists, it is time to send Chris Rabey, our Sales Manager, some material !! He will have virtually nothing on hand after this current auction. His contact details are on our Directory page. Our last two auctions were 100 % sell-outs, so success is at least likely.

Page 5

More Aluminium Cards

Thanks to Doug South, we can now record two more NZ aluminium cards.

image003a image005a

Page 6

More on G.K. Neill

The Editor received the following email from Brian Neill, the son of G.K. Neill.

“I was delighted to be shown the article by William Main in Postcard Pillar, about Hugh and G K Neill and their postcards.

My father Gordon Neill joined his elder brother Hugh as an optician about 1921. As well as the optical business, they had a scientific instrument and photographic department, which lead on to the firm being appointed official photographers to the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition in Dunedin 1926-27.  A Mr Pryor was their photographer, and I guess he would have operated the “Presto” machine. He also had a motorbike and took many photos around Otago.

The firm continued developing and printing, till I think the mid 1930’s, as I can remember as a child, going upstairs to the work room and watching a big rotating drum which glazed the prints. About then Kodak came to town. As I was not born till1928 I knew nothing about the postcards, so I was really thrilled to read the William Main contribution.”

A Different View !!

image007a image009a

Page 7


Free Postcards at Te Papa (courtesy of Brian Vincent)

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is currently hosting an exhibition “Game Masters.”  This exhibition features numerous playable video games from the past four decades of gaming history.  It runs from 15 December 2012 through to 28 April 2013.  Of particular interest to postcard collectors are the four free postcards advertising the event, which are available at the exhibition. Three postcards show stylised (gaming) representations of a Wellington Phoenix soccer player, the bucket fountain in Cuba Street, Wellington, and the Beehive.

The fourth postcard depicts Star Wars ‘Yoda’ and is shown below.


Page 8

Wellington Through a Victorian Lens Revisited – by Bill Main

When one of your editors asked me to write a review of my  Wellington Through a Victorian Lens Revisited published by Steele  Roberts, I was somewhat taken aback having never before been put in a  position of being asked to write a review about my own publication!

However, because I’m always being asked by members of the Society what I’m currently working on, let me describe what Wellington Through a Victorian Lens Revisited is all about.

When I was approached by Roger Steele to contemplate a reprint of my 1972 book Wellington Through a Victorian Lens, I didn’t hesitate to accept the proposal.


When I say reprint, I must emphasise the fact that I did so on the understanding that there would be a lot of changes, which would expand the book to take in a number of refinements adding to its appeal to a new generation of book buyers, along with those who acquired the original edition.So what are the changes? First of all, this book is much bigger when it comes to the number of pages used, more than double the size with 232 pages which display 310 duotone photographs. The other very  significant change is that it shows not only the changing  face of the capital, but gives a very good cross-section of  Wellingtonians across a variety of social levels, something which  received scant attention in the original. Postcard lovers will have no difficulty in seeing a good representation of cards from my collection, with photographers like Zak, S C Smith and Aldersley well represented.

The ISBN is ISBN 978-1-877577-06-2, and the  rrp $35.

Page 9

One Side of the Ditch – by Gary Davies

For those of you who collect humorous postcards I have a short quiz. In which country would you find comic cards depicting the following?

  • Giant ostrich-like bird holding a very scared lion in its beak
  • Native eating a sheep’s head
  • Soldier (with a peg on his nose) walking to the morgue
  • Ugly barmaid being mobbed by desperate customers as prohibition approaches
  • Grinning native dragging away two giant ‘chickens’ for Xmas dinner.

If you answered with an African or American country you were wrong. Australia…?  Nearly!! Try across the ditch to New Zealand.

I have selected fifteen comic postcards to show the amazing range of humour and subjects that New Zealand has produced or inspired.


This card refers to the New Zealand rugby team’s legendary tour of Britain in 1905 where they scored 830 points with only 39 points against.  The team contained only two Maori players and was known by other names; Maorilanders, New Zealanders and Colonials.

This 1905 side has also been referred to as the Originals. However during this British tour the name ‘All Blacks’ came into being. The name supposedly originated when an English newspaper reported that the entire New Zealand team played as if they were ‘all backs’. This was later misreported as ‘all Blacks’ and the name stuck. The other possibility is the name came about because of the colours of the New Zealand team uniform.

The superb artwork is by Trevor Lloyd, a well-known New Zealand artist, who had eye catching cartoons published in New Zealand newspapers from the early 1900s. His postcards are eagerly collected worldwide and are mostly black and white with some coloured examples surviving.

The extinct giant Moa bird is used here to symbolize New Zealand, the silver fern emblazoned on its trousers. The Moa bird was soon to be replaced by the Kiwi bird which remains a New Zealand icon.

Page 10

Is this card an early reference to the All Blacks rugby team and does the word ‘Brown’ allude to the Maori team?


The artist is M Norris who also signed as F M Norris. This card is dated 1904 below the artist’s signature and the message on the back is dated 18 March 1904. I have traced nine Norris postcards (all with Maori themes) but know little about the artist. The other cards that are dated are all for 1908.  I wish to acknowledge the help of Jeff Pyle, Waiuku New Zealand, who suggested to me that F. M. Norris may be Frank Marryat Norris, born at Charmouth, Devonshire, England in 1863 and died in Lower Hutt, New Zealand in 1945. He was a Government draughtsman in and an inventor and was described as having “considerable literary and artistic ability”.

Ercildoune Frederick Hiscocks drew the card below depicting the New Zealand rugby team’s win over Britain played at Wellington in 1904.The caption says it all! Hiscocks was a leading cartoonist who published books of cartoons and caricatures about prohibition and politicians. He worked for various New Zealand papers and also drew for the London Daily News.


Page 11


Martin Anderson also had a hand in New Zealand postcards with his Cynicus Publishing Co producing at least seven comic cards in ‘Maori Series’. Cynicus drew one generic card depicting a wild man. I have however found six other cards mostly signed DG and all with strong Maori themes.

The card depicted to the left shows a Maori with facial tattoos and wearing the feathers of the extinct Huia bird. The artist is most likely David Graham although an article in the Picture Postcard Monthly Annual for 1995 lists the artist as Duncan Graham.

The Moa bird features again below with a wonderful lively scene where the egg stealing Maori is pursued by the gigantic Moa bird. The artist is F M Norris and the card was postally used on 17 March 1909.The publisher is FT, that is, Fergusson Taylor.


Page 12


Trevor Lloyd illustrates a fresh version of the Moa bird with this splendid scene showcasing the cartooning skills of the artist. The two huge Moa ‘chickens’ have been kidnapped from the holding or fattening compound while the mother bird cranes her neck in horror at her loss. The bulging eyes of the young Moas grasped in the headlock contrast with the mischievous grin of the Maori abductor.


Another lively depiction as the Maori discovers the grub. The tiki expresses even greater horror.

Page 13


‘Kapai te Fizz’ translates roughly as ‘beautiful fizz’. Here the Maori has facial tattoos (Moko), wears an impressive cloak, a battered homburg and a very distressed Huia bird feather. The overwhelming impression is however one of joy.

This card by Trevor Lloyd is unusual as it is hand-coloured. The card celebrates the visit to Auckland Harbour by the United States Fleet in August 1908. Known as the ‘Great White Fleet’ the Americans were made very welcome at a time when Australia and New Zealand had felt neglected in matters of national security and defence. The Kiwi wearing the Huia feather is used here to symbolize New Zealand.

The caption ‘Te Hongi’ below refers to the Maori custom of pressing noses when greeting each other. Another version of this card has the music from the American side as ‘Hail Columbia’ instead of ‘Yankee Doodle’.


Page 14


This card is about a Tasmanian born woman who lived most of her life in New Zealand.

Sounds like a simple story, but what about the cross-dressing, the theft and fraud, and impersonation of a man in order to marry an unsuspecting woman!

The newspapers, crime reporters and postcard publishers were all kept busy with the exploits of Amy Bock.

She became known as the ‘female bridegroom’ when, as Percy Redwood, she married Miss Agnes Ottaway on 21 April 1909. The marriage was never consummated. Amy was a teetotaller but ended up very drunk after the ceremony and shared a boarding house room with the best man and another unknown man. The card refers to the shock experienced by one of the men as Amy in her drunken state partially undressed for bed. The bride was no doubt elsewhere, confused and upset!

Is this card ‘dead funny’? I have never seen another with this bizarre subject. The period is World War l, publisher from New Zealand and the hat is distinctly a New Zealand military one.

The card is one of a series and is unsigned but the artistic style is similar to Thomas Ellis Glover who worked under two names, Tom Glover and Tom Ellis.

He was a cartoonist  for the NZ Truth and  the Freelance. He also worked in Australia for the Bulletin as a cartoonist.

I have found only one Australian published postcard and it is clearly  signed Tom Glover.


Page 15

Charles Buchan was a chiropodist in the New Zealand Medical Corp during World War l. Buchan signed his cards Buck, C Buchan and Buchan. Most of his cards relate to Trentham, a military training camp in New Zealand, and some cards depict gruesome medical practices such as inoculation using a syringe over one metre in length.



‘New Zealand at the Front’ is an interesting anti-war card produced by photographing the new message laid partially over an existing patriotic World War l poster.

The caption reads:



“          “              “           “      BA – A – A – CK!!!

William Massey and Joseph Ward, politicians of the day, are depicted here singing. The ANZAC campaign was very costly for New Zealand troops and they had a very high loss of life on a per capita basis.

This card has not been postally used and was surely prepared by pacifists, strongly resisting conscription. Anyone caught with this card during the War would have faced charges of treason.

Page 16

‘THE LAST BARMAID’ refers to the battle between the pro and anti liquor lobbyists during the years leading up to and including World War l. Female activists campaigned against women working in hotels and the result was a system in New Zealand where barmaids were required to register to work legally.


Alex Garmonsway, see card below, was a cartoonist and book illustrator. He was born in 1913 and died 1961. Garmonsway also scripted radio plays in which he acted. His work has a unique style and he shows a jaunty approach to his craft.  Garmonsway is much under-rated and his work deserves wider publicity. The card here refers to wartime rationing and Garmonsway has signed the card ‘Garment-sway’!

I wish to acknowledge the help of Jenny Fidow from New Zealand who generously gave me much material relative to this fascinating artist.

Ian Grant has written extensively about New Zealand cartooning, including the publications The Unauthorized Version, 1980 and Between the Lines, 2005.


The writer is interested in making contact with other collectors and researchers of New Zealand and Australian comic postcards and is currently working on a publication  illustrating the amazing postcard output of Trevor Lloyd.  (Please contact:

Page 17

History of Speedway in Christchurch  1929 – 1959 – by Laurence Eagle, with special thanks to Steven McLachlan

Christchurch is well known for having been the hometown of speedway motorcycling legends Barry Briggs, Ronnie Moore and Ivan Mauger. Speedway began in this city at English Park on 23 March, 1929, with motor cycles being the only class of racing. In November 1929, a new track was opened at Monica Park in Woolston, and after the two tracks went head to head for two nights, the more affluent Monica Park promoters bought out the interests of Christchurch Speedways Limited and shut down the English Park track.

The continuous stream of top overseas riders gave the locals plenty of chances to gauge their skills against the best in the game, and soon a few of the local riders started to make a big impression on the sport.   Percy Lunn, Norm Gray and Charlie Blacklock were the first home grown stars of the Speedway. These three were involved in many memorable clashes, particularly when the Chevrolet Gold Helmet was being contested.

While the Depression of the thirties caused some interruption to proceedings, with no racing in 1934 and several short seasons late in the decade, perhaps the biggest blow to Speedway was the death of Charlie Blacklock in a crash in 1935. Blacklock had been the first of the locals to travel to Britain to seek fame and fortune.

In 1938 a group of midget cars, with drivers from Australia, USA and Auckland added a new dimension to the previously ‘bikes only’ Speedway. Among the early Midget drivers were Duane Carter, who went on to race at the famed Indianapolis 500 race.

With the outbreak of World War 2, the Monica Park Speedway shut for good, but in 1947– 48 tracks opened up briefly at the Halswell Domain and Tai Tapu, and in late 1948, construction started on the Speedway track in Rowan Avenue, Aranui. On 29 January 1949, the Aranui Speedway opened under the direction of promoter Alec Pratt.


The Christchurch (C for Canterbury) team for the March 1949 test against Hutt at Aranui.   From left Mick Holland,  Art Lamport,  Jack Cunningham and Trevor Redmond.   Hutt won 32 to 16.

Page 18

For the next 10 years the Aranui speedway became one of the greatest tracks in the Speedway world, with such great names Jack Cunningham, Mick Holland, Art Lamport, Bob McFarlane, Geoff Mardon, Trevor Redmond, and the three future World Champions: Barry Briggs, Ronnie Moore and Ivan Mauger all learning the skills through the close competition at the track. Part way through Aranui’s tenure, Midgets, Sidecars, TQs and Stockcars were introduced to the Speedway public.

image005a image003a

(Left ) Trevor Redmond, who rode in Aranui in 1947, then rode successfully in the U.K. from 1950 to 1964.

(Right) Art Lamport only had one leg, but was still a champion rider.

All good things must come to an end though, and in 1959 the Aranui Speedway became a victim of the urban sprawl. What had been a fine Speedway stadium, was torn down to make way for a housing development.

Page 19

Most Southern – by Donal Duthie

People often like to have association with geographic features. For example, having their photo taken standing on the equator or looking at the most western headland of mainland Europe etc.

My father once owned a general store on Stewart Island. The masthead on the account forms boldly announced that ‘Stewart Island Stores Ltd’ was the ‘Southernmost Store in the British Empire.’ It seemed very impressive at that time.

Invercargill and Bluff both claim, not always correctly, to have various southernmost features, most commonly the most Southern gas lamp in the world, although just which gas lamp was the southernmost is uncertain.


Figure 1 above

This card by Muir & Moodie, No 2121, shows ‘The most Southern Gas Lamp Post and Hansom Cab in the World. Invercargill N.Z.’.

The postmark date is indistinguishable. The gas lamp appears to be in open country.

A similar card, posted 1908, with the same image but a different label bears a message on the reverse “Mother and I drove down to this lamp. There is one about 100 yards further south now.” This suggests that the southernmost gas lamp featured on the front of the card, has been superseded!


Figure 2  above

This is a Gold Medal Series card, No 787, by Fergusson Ltd. It features ‘The most Southern Gas Lamp and Omnibus in the World. Invercargill N.Z.’

It is not the same lamp as the Muir & Moodie one in Fig 1, the lantern being a slightly different shape, and also has a small cross bar.

Page 20


Figure 3 above

An FT card, No 836, also postmarked 1908, which features ‘The Most Southern Gas Lamp in the World..Invercargill’

This lamp is different again from Fig 1 and 2. It was probably situated at the Appleby station on the Invercargill – Bluff railway line


Figure 4 above

No 614, published by William Nees, Wellington, showing that the ‘The Most Southern Electric Car in the World’ has replaced the Southernmost Omnibus. There is no date, but the first Invercargill trams were running in 1912, so it must be after that date. The church in the background indicates that the gas lamp post is the same one that features in Figure 2, but it is not mentioned as being the Southernmost, and now also supports a post box.


Figure 5 above

Also a good William Nees published card. No 609, ‘The Most Southern Railway Station in the World. Bluff N.Z.’.

This handsome building designed by railway architect George Troup and was built in 1904. Once said to have been the finest building in Bluff, it was demolished shortly after the last passenger train pulled out in 1967.

There must have been steady postcard sales to be made out of being the Southernmost!

Page 21

Neville S Seaward – the last Real Photo postcard producer in New Zealand? – by William Main

 What began with the introduction of a cheaper form of sending a message through the mail towards the end of the 19th century and quickly evolved into what we know today as a picture postcard, rapidly formulated itself into an art form which captured the hearts and minds of people throughout the world. Eventually all this came to an abrupt end in the 1950s when colour film swept aside that which some connoisseurs had come to assiduously admire – the real photo postcard.

In New Zealand not even the re-introduction of mechanical photo printers could stave off the inevitable. One firm who may have had access to a Graber Automatic Postcard Printer, costing 295 pounds sterling (on indent only)! This was Neville S Seaward, of Broad Bay in Dunedin. His postcards have all the characteristics of having been machine printed. In this respect, we know that one of these mechanical devices did exist in Dunedin in the late 1920s with Hugh & G K Neill, employing one during the 1926/7 South Seas Exhibition.


Neville Seaward’s postcard coverage of the country was fairly extensive. His cards were on display in many outlets, at two shillings and nine pence for six black and white studies in envelopes, that covered a many locations and some special locations, including a set of six featuring Temple View in Hamilton. At this price they just came in under sixpence a card.

In order to compete with more colourful editions, Seaward resorted to tinting his cards with colours that don’t look compatible with the stipple finish photo paper he sometimes deployed. In fact, the colouring of Seaward cards is rather amateurish.  Instead of dyes he seems to have employed a thicker pigment which did not take readily to the surface of the card he used, although his later attempts to enter the market with a larger black and white monochromatic panoramic series of views was a great improvement from all points of view.

As a footnote, he was for a time one of several photographers in New Zealand who openly used Government Publicity Studio photographs under his imprint, with a clear note on the card defining the origin of the images.

Unfortunately, I have no further information on either him or his business. Alan Jackson and I noted his death several years ago and I wrote a letter to his family requesting some information on his postcard business but received no answer.

Page 22


Glow worm caves, Te Anau. On reverse, acknowledgement for photo to Govt Publicity Studios


Mt Maunganui, N.Z. Handcoloured image


Customhouse Quay, Wellington. One of a pack of six Real Photographic studies of Wellington, originally sold for 2/9d

Page 23

The 1929 Muchison Earthquake Postcards of Hugh & G. K. Neill Limited – by Steve McLachlan

On 17 June 1929, at 10:17 a.m., a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the northern South Island. It was felt in cities and towns all over New Zealand, but it was half a day before authorities realised that the worst hit region was the top of the South Island. The first reports of serious damage came from Greymouth, Nelson and Westport. In Greymouth most chimneys were destroyed and gas, water and sewage pipes had broken. In Nelson, shop windows had broken and chimneys had collapsed. At Nelson College the tower had fallen and dormitory roofs had been smashed by falling stonework. Fortunately no-one was in the dormitories at the time. It was the worst since the 1855 Wellington earthquake, and the first to cause a large number of deaths (17). The earthquake centre was in the Lyell Range, just west of Murchison, and thus the earthquake became known as the 1929 Murchison earthquake.

The Dunedin photographic company of Hugh & G. K. Neill sprang into prominence with their 1925 appointment as official photographers of the New Zealand & South Seas International Exhibition held in Dunedin in 1925-26. They produced a large series of postcards for the exhibition from their premises at Camera Corner 93 George St, not far from the Octagon in central Dunedin. By 1929 the company had moved a few shops northwards to the Corner of George and St Andrews Streets.

For the 1929 Murchison Earthquake they produced another long series of postcards showing scenes from Greymouth, Westport and Nelson. None are known from Murchison itself or other inland areas, so it seems likely that Neill’s photographer only visited those areas accessible by boat.

image001a image003a

Left: Card N768. Shop in Hardy St, Nelson

Right: Card N758. Car in Difficulties, Greymouth

image005a image007a

Left: Card 772. Pillar weighing one ton.

Right: Uniform back design for all postcards.

Page 24

Card numbers and descriptions  recorded so far are as follows

N755. Shop Front Collapsed at Greymouth N765. Northern Front of Nelson College.
N756. Backyard of House at Greymouth. N766. Western Entrance, Nelson College.
N757. Razed Chimneys at Greymouth N767. Wall of Masonic Hotel.
N758. A car in Difficulties, Greymouth. N768. Damage to shop in Hardy St, Nelson.
N759. Damaged Business Premises Greymouth N769. Image of Clock Tower Nelson College NZ
N760. Quarry at Cobden. N770. Debris of the Tower at Nelson   College.
N761. Near Blaketown bridge, Greymouth. N771. Chimney Stack, Griffins Mill, Nelson.
N762. Collapsed Chimney at Greymouth. N772. Pillar weighing one ton.
N763. Classroom at Nelson College. N773. Post Office Westport.
N764. Debris of Tower at Nelson College. N774. Betts Garage Westport.
  N775. Interior Post Office Westport.

Postscript: Paul McKee discovered this image of the only Murchison Earthquake postcard originally missing from Steve’s numbered list.

Postscript 2: Doug South, a native of Murchison and a keen collector of material relating to this area, comments as follows: “I don’t believe Neill actually visited the area after the quake, but acquired negatives from the local photographers or newspapers. If they had come to Nelson, why would they not have also visited areas closer to the centre of the quake? F. N. Jones was in Murchison within a few days of the quake, and the Auckland Weekly News of July 10 and 17 contain far more dramatic photos of the quake damage at Murchison, Westport, Seddonville and Karamea. Most of the Neill images are relatively ‘mundane’, so might the better images have been kept by local photographers so they could sell them on their own account?”


Image of Central Clock Tower, Nelson College, NZ. Aotearoa Series N769

Page 25

Wanganui Comic Advertising Postcards – by Bruce Isted

Further to my article on Mr House of H I Jones & Son Ltd, Wanganui (published Postcard Pillar May 2011, pages 11-12), I have two further Wanganui postcards of a similar nature: W A Brighton of the Wanganui Chronicle and a Hatherly & Johnson published postcard on Mr & Mrs Wanganui with their three triplets. In my 30 years of collecting Wanganui postcards, I’ve only seen these two postcards twice before, so I reckon both postcards must be scarce.

The surname Brighton is not a well known name in Wanganui. In fact there is nobody with this surname in the current (2012) Wanganui phonebook. In the Biographical Card Index held in the Alexander Heritage & Research Library (Wanganui), I found only two useful index cards on William Arthur Brighton. One stated that he was born in 1854 Auckland NZ; married 1887 (possibly Auckland) to Mary Dora Fanselow (she died 21 May 1934 Wanganui aged 69) and they had two children (Magdalene Rosamund Maud b1889, Harry Charles b1894); he died 25 Aug 1948 aged 93 years and was buried in the Aramoho Cemetery, Wanganui.

The other index card had a useful source on his profile in the newspaper, Wanganui Herald 15 Dec 1942, p8:

           ‘Mr. William Arthur Brighton, of Wanganui, celebrates his eighty-fifth birthday today. Born in Auckland in 1854, Mr. Brighton came to Wanganui in 1889 and thus has been for more than half a century a citizen of Wanganui. He was for some years engaged as landscape gardener for the late Mr. Barnicoat, and later in a similar capacity with the late Mr. Peat. He was also for some years custodian of the Wanganui Bowling Club, when the green was situated in St. Hill Street. After many years of horticultural work, he adopted a commercial career and was, for about eight years, town and country traveller for the late Mr. A. D. Willis and later for the Wanganui Chronicle, and was for a period salesman for Lachlan and Co; wholesale jewellers in Wanganui. In this capacity he walked many miles in the city and suburbs. Mr. Brighton lives in retirement in Halswell Street, and his well-kept garden is ample evidence of his active and continued interest in horticulture. He enjoys good health and has a retentive memory.’

 I also researched two other historical records:

  1. NZ Electoral Rolls 1853-1981 [ website]
  2. Wises PO Directories 1872-1938 [Alexander Heritage & Research Library, Wanganui].

I found several entries for W A Brighton of Wanganui and it was interesting to see that his occupation varied between the two sources. For the same year he was listed as a gardener in one source, yet in the other source, he was listed as a commercial traveller/agent. Perhaps he held two jobs at the same time.

From my research it would appear that from c1915-1920s, Mr Brighton worked for the Wanganui Chronicle Co Ltd (first published 18 Sep 1856) as a sales agent advertising and selling: pictorial calendars, advertising novelties, wall pockets, etc. The postcard below shows a comic picture (caricature) of him on a plane. The back has relevant advertising including the important place and date details: Wanganui, December 30th 1916.

image001a image003a

Page 26

image005a image007a

This Wanganui postcard (shown below) has been harder to research.

Pre-printed text on card – TRIPLETS!! MR WANGANUI (ENTERING WITH BUCKET OF WATER) “WHICH ONE DO YOU WANT TO KEEP??!!”  Postmark cancellation 9 Sep 1907 Wanganui

The artist or publishers name (bottom right hand corner) is hard to decipher as it has handwriting over it. However I saw the same postcard on Trademe about two years ago and that had a clearer, uncovered name – Hatherly & Johnson, Wanganui, N.Z. I have never seen another postcard published by this firm. There is little information about them at the local library, museum and on the internet, apart from the following.


  1. Book titled, Familiar Faces – A Short Historical Sketch of Wanganui Celebrities published in 1907, edited by Uncle Toby (whoever that is?) and illustrated by H Collins. On page 61 there is a large advertisement featuring Hatherly & Johnson (illustrated opposite).
  1. In The Cyclopaedia of New Zealand 1908 (Taranaki, Hawkes Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts), On page 616 is –

            ‘Hatherly and Johnson (F. H. Hatherly and G. N. H. Johnson), Printers, Publishers, Bookbinders, Lithographers, and Process Engravers, Wicksteed Place, Wanganui. This business was established in the year 1901 by Mr Hatherly, who was soon afterwards joined in partnership by Mr Johnson. The business is conducted in a fine two-storeyed building, with a frontage to Wicksteed Street. This contains the shop and offices, and at the rear is a separate building containing the general printing and works department and storeroom. The firm is noted for the fine class of printing, lithographic work, and process engravings it turns out, and fifteen persons are employed in the business.

            Mr Frank Henry Hatherly, of the firm of Messrs. Hatherly and Johnson, was born in the year 1875, in Nottingham, England, where he was educated. After leaving school he spent a year in the office of the Midland Railway Company, and afterwards was for five years and a half in the Nottingham and Notts Bank. In the year 1897 he came to New Zealand and worked for a time for the A.1. Company, and then joined the staff of the Wanganui “Chronicle,” before establishing his present business. Mr Hatherly is a past master of the local lodge of Freemasons. He is married, and has two children.

            Mr George Newington Hughes Johnson, of the firm of Messrs. Hatherly and Johnson, was born at Staverton, Northamptonshire, England, in the year 1874, and was educated at Pocklington, Yorkshire, and the Oxford University. For some years after leaving school he followed farming pursuits on his father’s estate in England, and then emigrated to America. In the year 1899 he came to New Zealand, and, after a short time spent at Tayforth, Wanganui, joined Mr Hatherly in partnership. Mr Johnson married a daughter of Dr. Hatherly, and has two children.’

 The design of this postcard picture and the caption is very comical and could almost have been used for any other NZ town, except for the word “Okehu”, pre-printed on the bucket of water. That name refers to the dam that was built in 1904 for water supply to Wanganui. Okehu dam is between Kai Iwi and Maxwell.

If any reader has other cards of Mr Brighton or Hatherly/Johnson, I’d be interested to hear from you.

Page 27

Early Postcards of the Cook Islands – by Safari

 The Cook Islands comprise 15 main islands, with Rarotonga forming the main island of the southern group of Aitutaki. The northern group has Penrhyn as the most important island. A British Protectorate was declared on Rarotonga in 1888, later to become the Federation of the Cook Islands, as evidenced by the initial issue of their postage stamps in 1892. In June 1901, the entire area became part of New Zealand, and attained self-government in 1965.

Judging from actual cards or messages on the back, the early examples of picture postcards from this area date from about 1908, although surely earlier cards will come to light.

My earliest card (fig.1) is a Federation Stationery card from Mangaia April 30, 1907 with a landing place scene pasted on the reverse. Mangaia is in the southern island group, 177 kilometres from Rarotonga.

image001a image002

Fig 1. View and address sides

My earliest Rarotonga card (fig.2) is postmarked 11 Dec 1909, and depicts a black and white portrait of Queen Makea Takau, the same as appeared on postage stamps of that time.

Aitutaki: 1903 saw the availability of NZ pictorial postage stamps surcharged ‘Aitutaki.’ Early cards from this area are very elusive, my earliest being 30 April 1925 (fig.3). More recently, in the first decade of this new century, a post office was established with the unusual name of ‘One Foot Island.’ It is on the site of the 1940’s Empire flying boat refuelling stage, and is now a calling islet for passengers from cruse liners and for those on launch trips from Aitutaki.

Penrhyn: A remote atoll north-east of Rarotonga, with one of the largest lagoons in the Pacific. Its first stamp issues were in 1902, the current pictorial stamps of NZ overprinted ‘Penrhyn Island.’ My earliest card (fig.4), is a Tucks card with an Australian sheep station scene.

Page 28


Figure 2. Queen Makea Takau (left)

Figure 3. (right)


Figure 4.

Page 29

Port of Wairoa – by Geoff Potts

The history of the Port of Wairoa is as turbulent as the shifting river bar that still spans its entrance.

The entrance is readily scoured out by a flood in the river, but the bar is just as easily pushed back by heavy seas sweeping in from the south, this quarter from which the East Coast gets it foulest weather. The worst time for working the bar was always during periods of droughts when the scouring effect of the river was at its weakest.  The vessels would be unable to enter or leave the Port.


The main reason for the establishment of a suitable port at Wairoa was to freight produce from the new freezing works.  Cargo outward bound included wool, frozen meat and tallow.

The unpredictable nature of the river and sea conditions, meant that like most river ports, Wairoa required extensive engineering works to remain open to shipping.

A problem caused by a heavy southerly sea happened at the Wairoa River mouth requiring up to 40 men to dig a straight channel and re open the river entrance to the sea in March 1887 and subsequent dates.  Trading steamers could again discharge at the wharf inside.


Page 30

The ships that traded to Wairoa ranged in tonnage between 28 and 139 tons.

The “Tangaroa”, shown here crossing the bar, was a passenger freight steamer owned by Richardson’s of Napier was 110 tons, did 12 trips in 1913, 30 trips in 1914, 66 trips in 1915, 100 trips in 1916 and 84 trips in 1917.


Other vessels were “scow-like” and shallow draughted; “Te Aroha”, “Magic”, “Fairburn”, “Echo”, “Kirtona”, “Te Atu”, and the largest “Arrah – na- Pogue” at 139 tons which only appeared to visit Wairoa once from records held.


The card above shows Te Atu at the Water carnival Day at Wairoa.

There were many instances where vessels stranded and in 1919 the scow “Echo” stranded with a cargo of tallow aboard valued at 9,000 pounds.  Later the same year she went ashore on Wairoa Beach loaded with 450 quarters of frozen beef valued at 1,600 pounds destined for transhipment at Napier. Also on board on this occasion were 15 passengers including 2 ladies.  All were thoroughly drenched and scared at the seas breaking over the vessel.  At low tide the passengers were able to go ashore.

Wairoa even had a Watersiders Strike in September 1920.  This involved the “Tangaroa” on her afternoon arrival.  After the first couple of slings had been landed on the wharf the watersiders refused to continue and no work proceeded at the “Tangaroa” There was a considerable amount of perishable goods on board.  Neither side would say anything publicly but it appeared the trouble had arisen over the non-employment of one man, the secretary of the local branch of the Union, a “Mr McIlroy”.

Page 31

Wairoa had its fair share of shipwrecks recorded from 1856 to 1958, the first being a schooner “Ann Lloyd” of 29 tons inward bound from Auckland which went ashore where the vessel and everything aboard was totally destroyed.  Other schooners to be wrecked were the “Clapmatch” in 1859, 15 tons, “Ada” and “Te Tere” 17 tons (which was owned and commanded by Captain Paora Apatu, one of the principal chiefs of the Wairoa District).  “Eliza” 20 tons, “Ladybird” 19 tons, “Sailors Bride” (Owned by some Mohaka Maoris).

Other vessels wrecked was a ketch “Midlothian” of 15 tons and cutters “Grayling” which foundered with all 4 hands, and “Mahia” a little luckier with the crew of 3 and 2 passengers all saved. In 1936 the fishing vessel “Viking” was completely wrecked. Her remains being strewn for three miles along the beach.

Published in 1925, Thomas Lambert’s book “The Story of Old Wairoa” describes the port optimistically; ‘wharves nearly all built of ferro concrete, vessels of all sizes and description lined the wharves, some arriving some departing’ ‘ All sorts of industry flourishing and a general feeling of a booming local economy.’ But like many other Harbour Board ventures of the time the Port ended up with debt and failure.


Over the years the Wairoa Harbour Board (formed in 1872) had tried its best to rectify matters but had always been beaten by a lack of money and bad luck.   Typically just as it was putting the finishing touches to 80,000 pounds worth of river groynes in 1912 in order to bring the port up to scratch for ships serving the new freezing works, the swollen waters of the Wairoa river swept them away completely.   In 1939 the port of Wairoa closed and on 1st October 1946 the Wairoa Harbour Board was abolished thus ending a colourful chapter in Wairoa’s history.

 Note: Charles Burridge, who produced many of the postcards illustrating this article, operated from the Marine Parade, Wairoa as a photographer and photographic dealer from 1897 to 1949. In the Daily Telegraph Newspaper, dated 1.12.1897, Burridge advertised his services in Cabinet Photography, Amateur Negative Developed, printed and retouched. He carried stocks of photographic material, and a range of cameras were always on hand. A dark room was available free of charge, and he also framed and mounted pictures.  

Page 32

The Burton Brothers – by Jeff Long

Much has been written about these early NZ photographers, notably by Harwicke Knight: Burton Brothers, Photographers; and Alan Jackson: Burton and Muir & Moodie of Dunedin: Their Photographs & Postcards. It is planned to have Alan’s work published to the Society website.


This advertisement was found in a booklet entitled New Zealand Tours & Excursions, Published by the Government Printer, John Mackay, in 1898. The subtitle of the booklet is Tourist Guide to the Lakes, Mountains and Fiords of Otago and Southland, and to Stewart Island. This is a 90 page guide, not including photographs, 31 pages of advertisements and a substantial section of full-colour maps.

One of the advertisements is for Burton Brothers. Walter Burton arrived in NZ in 1866, followed by his younger brother Alfred two years later. They ran a photographic studio on the corner of Dowling and Princess Streets in Dunedin. Walter looked after the studio portrait work and Alfred spent time each year traveling around the country photographing scenery. This was hard work, requiring a heavy camera, tripod and a large supply of heavy 8 by 6 inch glass plates, plus chemicals and a traveling darkroom. Scenes of impressive country in paces like Fiordland sold well, and by 1875 the catalogue ran to 500 images.

Late in 1877 the partnership dissolved. Alfred continued the business under the same name, and took on an assistant, Thomas Muir. During the 1880’s, Alfred made a determined effort to photograph as much of the country as he could. The task was made much easier with the introduction of dry plates, which were much lighter and faster to work with. The scenic photos sold well, especially to visitors from overseas. Later in the decade, George Moodie joined the firm, and he did all the long trips to add to the catalogue. Alfred also purchased stocks of negatives from other photographers, notably W P Hart.

Alfred Burton retired in 1898, aged 66. Thomas Muir formed a new partnership with George Moodie, and the company was renamed ‘Muir & Moodie.’ The new partners took over all the existing stock of Burton Bros, and a significant number of views were reproduced from at least 1902 in postcard format.

If members consider some of M & M’s views are hard to find now, try assembling a representative collection of Burton Bros images! Despite having a catalogue of 6,000 images, as referred to in the 1898 advertisement, they are very elusive today.

Page 33

The Captured German Flag in Samoa 1914 – by Don Mee

In 1914, New Zealand sent troops to occupy what was then known as German Samoa to prevent the territory being used as a major naval base in the Pacific. The Press newspaper of Wed Sept 16, 1914 refers to the flag taken from the German Courthouse in Apia by Private H F Bailey, a member of the Fiji Defence Force contingent, which accompanied the troops from Fiji to Samoa.


The text under the postcard image states:To NEW ZEALAND was allotted the duty of capturing German Samoa. On Aug 29th, Samoan time, a force of 1200 Volunteers, supported by warships, landed at Apia, the capital. They immediately took possession of the town. The German flag flying over the Courthouse was promptly lowered and the UNION JACK was hoisted in its place. The honour of hauling down the flag fell to Private H F Bailey. He appears on the extreme right of the photograph. PRIVATE BAILEY is a NEW ZEALANDER and formerly served in the ROYAL NEW ZEALAND ARTILLERY at Wellington for 3 years. The flag, which will now remain in Auckland, is a large piece of bunting, about 10 ft by 8 ft. It has evidently waved long in the Pacific breezes, for the outer edge is much frayed. In the centre of the flag is the German Eagle, surmounted by the crown.  No doubt the flag will be much valued as an historic relic of the taking of Samoa.”

The Fiji contingent’s wish that the flag be retained in Auckland is no longer being complied with. The flag is now part of the Samoa exhibit in the Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum at Waiouru.

The card itself is from the Wilson Auckland Real Photo Series and, although the other side carries a New Year Greetings message, it is unstamped and not likely to have been sent from Samoa. [ Ed: this is W T Wilson who featured in Postcard Pillar 96. It is unlikely he was in Samoa himself, so the photo was probably one taken privately and then printed by Wilson on his postcard stock.]

Page 34

Postcard produced – by member Rendell McIntosh


Smiths Bookshop is back in action

Christchurch member Barry Hancox has re-established Smiths Bookshop in a temporary container outside Woolston’s historic tannery buildings which are being developed into a Victorian Arcade shopping precinct.

Smiths Bookshop will be a tenant in the Tannery shops.


Back Cover

pillar 98 cover2 2