Great Barrier Island History Research Group Inc., was first formed on 31
May, 2010. A little
under seventeen months later and this book was launched on Labour weekend, 22nd October, 2011, at
Claris. It is hoped that similar books will be published every few years to continue capturing the rich
variety of stories from this island’s past.
Most of the stories came about as a result of a competition the society ran for six months until the
end of April, 2011. Prizewinners, and those who were highly commended, are announced on the
following page. Thank you to all those who entered, therefore making the book possible. Thank you
also to the two judges, Robyn Joynes and John Hetet, and the designer of the cover, Brian Culy.
Great Barrier Island was an uninhabited island a mere 750 years or so ago, along with the rest of
New Zealand. In fact, our country was, apart from Antarctica, the last major land mass anywhere to be
discovered by man. This was a time when the world’s population totalled the equivalent of roughly the
present population of the USA, or about 4% of the present population. Although it is easier to access
the details of the more recent past, it should not be forgotten that perhaps 30 generations have come
and gone over that time, and that is the total realm of our researches. It is a period during which
extraordinary changes have occurred. One only has to reflect on the changes that have occurred during
one’s own lifetime to appreciate the value of recording them so that future generations will have some
knowledge of what has gone before. Technology has made that much easier.
No one group or individual has a monopoly on our history; it is for everyone to enquire into,
research, recall,…. and pass on. The history society is the ideal vehicle to achieve that. Not only is it set
up to publish books such as this, it has the facility to record oral histories, assist with members’
individual or group endeavours to research and write specific histories of any relevant subject, runs
regular meetings and has a good website.
As the years pass, the stories contained within these pages will only become more compelling
reading. How much more interesting and informative will it eventually become if similar publications
are repeated every few years.
We hope you enjoy and learn from the following stories, and hope that it encourages you and
others to both become members and participate in future projects.
Co-ordinator, (2010– August, 2011),
Great Barrier Island History Research Group Incorporated.
Other existing and past committee members who have been instrumental in either or both running
the society and getting this publication to print are:
Karen Cook (Secretary)
Luke Rewa Davis
Lynda Oxborough (Treasurer)
Margaret van Dooren
*Three committee members have also supplied stories, but were excluded from being considered
for prizes or commendations in the interests of being seen to be fair.
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