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Constantine Augustus Dillon was born in September 1813, the fourth son of the 13th Viscount Henry Augustus Dillon. Before his emigration to New Zealand in 1842, he served in the Royal Navy, the 7th Dragoon Guards and the 17th Lancers. He also served as Aide-de-Camp to Lord Durham, Governor-General of Canada and to Lord Ebrington, the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.
In February 1842 he married Frances Dorothy Story, daughter of Philip and Lydia Story. He and his wife then emigrated to New Zealand, arriving on the 7th of November on the ship George Fyfe. They settled in Nelson.
In 1843 he became a magistrate and was also responsible for the drilling of the Nelson Volunteers after the Wairau skirmish. During the years up to his death, he served as Military and Civil Secretary to Governor Grey in Auckland 1848-51, and then as Commissioner of Crown Lands and Land Claims in Nelson.
He died in 1853 as a result of drowning.
These typescript copies of letters written by Frances and Constantine Dillon describe their experiences in New Zealand between the years of 1842-1853.
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The Country Women's Institute (CWI), or Women's Institute as it was named up to 1952, was set up to provide country women with support and education. It encouraged home crafts and cultural work, such as music, drama, and arts and crafts; took an active part in rural events, such as A&P shows; provided community services, such as charitable donations, housekeeping for sick members and hospital visiting; and acted as a training ground for women in local body politics
The Frankley Road Institute was formed in March 1934 and went into recess on April 5th 1988
The records consist of a full run of monthly meetings from 1934 - 1988 and committee minutes 1939 - 1987.
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The records consist of minutes of monthly and annual meetings 1958 - 1988, minutes of committee meetings 1959 - 1987 and a visitor's book.
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A collection of typed transcripts of letters from or about Whiteley, 1833, 1839, 1894; from his son-in-law Dr Thomas Edward Rawson, 1861-1862; an extract from 'London Society' by Louisa M. Rawson; 'Reminiscences of the Maori Wars 1860', 1894.
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Ernest Charles Weston (1866-1926) and his elder brother Harold Edgar Weston (1865-1958) arrived in New Zealand on board the sailing ship 'Lady Jocelyn', in 1886. In 1888, having spent two years in the Auckland area they travelled by sea from Onehunga to Waitara. From there they travelled through Taranaki and Palmerston North to Napier.
They spent some time in Napier finding work before returning to Auckland via Rotorua, and then returned to England.
The diaries describe the brothers travels from Onehunga to Waitara by ship and then on foot through inland Taranaki to Palmerston North, from there to Napier via the Manawatu Gorge The diary finishes when they reach Rotorua on the April 30th 1888.
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The New Plymouth Chapter was formed c1946. While mentoring young men, the chapter organised an annual mardi gras and conducted fundraising ventures, the proceeds of which were used in community projects such as the development of children's playgrounds and other philanthropic works.
Initially a mens' organisation, women were invited to join Jaycees c1979.
The records consist of minutes of board meetings, photographs of Board members, community projects undertaken by the New Plymouth Jaycee Inc.
During the 1950s and 1960s, The New Plymouth Jaycees and Junior Chamber of Commerce (a youth group mentored by New Plymouth Jaycees) were involved in a number of community projects including construction of the Bowl of Brooklands and Zoo. Some of these projects were filmed by Malcolm McAlpine, who was a Jaycee at that time. McAlpine later gave the 8 mm film to the Jaycees as a record of their work and activities.
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E. K. Cameron was a public accountant and borough councillor in Hawera. During the World War II, 1939-1945, he was secretary of the South Taranaki Primary Production Council The Council's objective was to co-ordinate primary production in South Taranaki as part of the War effort.
The collection consists mainly of correspondence of the South Taranaki Primary Production Council and relevant newspaper clippings from the Hawera Star on primary production, land sales and manpower issues. Also included amongst the clippings are items relating to the Presbyterian Church, political issues of the time, Hawera obituaries and military personnel, indicating that this collection may have been retained privately by E. K. Cameron.
Five boxes of correspondence and newspaper clippings.
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Born at Eddingley, Kneesall, Nottinghamshire, Whiteley cane to New Zealand in 1832 to join the Wesleyan Mission Society's station at Hokianga. In 1834 he went to establish a mission at Kawhia, Waikato, where, after one brief interlude when the station closed, he worked with great influence and mana among the Maoris until 1855. In 1856 he went to Taranaki where he was in charge of the Grey Educational Institution at Ngamotu, built a native chapel at Kawau pa, New Plymouth, and then at Henui. As an unsalaried Commissioner of Native Lands, he again used his influence in the Land Wars, successfully, and was engaged in ministering to Maoris when he was ambushed and killed at White Cliffs, near Waitara, during the Hauhau rising.
The collection includes inwards correspondence from H.R. Richmond, 1868; J. Buller, 1859 and Josiah Flight, 1849.
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Initially known as the New Plymouth Civic Affairs Organisation, the New Plymouth Progressive Association was active in the community every three years, prior to the local body elections; their aim being to ensure the best possible candidates stood for Council and the Hospital and Harbour Boards.
The records reflect the activities of the Association prior to the 1968 local authority elections. It includes minutes, information on public meetings, newsletters and newspaper clippings.
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William Seffern was born in 1829, arrived in Australia in 1851, lived in Australia 1851 - 1863, moved to Auckland in 1863 and then to New Plymouth in 1868 where he took up the position of Editor of the Taranaki Herald. Over the years he wrote a number of history books including 'The Chronicles of the Garden of New Zealand, known as Taranaki'.
The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings from various British, New Zealand and Australian publications regarding early settlement in both colonies and accounts of events in New Zealand as reported to Australia and British readers. Also early shipping movement c1840 (no passenger lists).
Also includes a number of loose clippings on similar subjects
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William Smith, horticulturist and amateur naturalist, was born in Scotland in 1852 and came to New Zealand in the 1880s. He was a gardener at Mount Peel, Canterbury, for five years and subsequently at Ashburton Domain, Palmerston North, and Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, 1906-1918.
Smith was a member of the Scenery Preservation Commission and served as secretary to the Polynesian Society from 1911 to 1922. He was made a life member of the New Zealand Native Bird Protection Society in 1931.
The collection comprises inwards letters, 1874-1938; diaries, 1925-1929, 1930-1931 and 1934-1936; a scrapbook of newspaper clippings with interleaved manuscript reports of visits to scenic reserves.
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A record book for the Urenui Post Office, 1930-1954. The book illustrates how the postmaster managed the routine activities of his office. It includes information on which staff were key holders, and telegram, mail and parcel statistics etc.

Urenui Post Office was opened in 1867 and was operational for approximately six months. It reopened again in 1877 and operated until June 30th 1989. For further information see Postmark Taranaki by Robin Startup and Andrew McNiven, Tarapex '86.
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Typescript copy of a journal belonging to Henry Robert Richmond. It is formatted as a letter to his mother, consisting of an account of his journey with his brother James overland from Auckland to Taranaki in 1851. It is a descriptive account detailing both the social and physical geography of New Zealand. The collection also includes correspondence from family members and W.H. Skinner.
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In 1951, Douglas Cook purchased a block of land nestled between the Pouakai and Kaitake Ranges on the upper Carrington Road. This block was later transferred to the newly formed Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust.
Gradually, the Trust developed the land incorporating a unique blend of rhododendrons and other exotic plants in a setting of New Zealand native bush.
The records illustrate the development of the gardens and gives insight into the drive and commitments of Pukeiti members. The minutes of the Trust and supporting organisations such as the Ladies Committee are included along with an extensive collection of photographs. 1951 - 1996
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The letter of transit is a forerunner of the passport, from the Foreign Office, London, requesting safe passage for Mr Christopher W. Richmond travelling on the continent accompanied by his daughter and son. 6 Nov.1876. The scrapbook comprises of pictures from various publications pasted into the book.
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In 1997, Bro W T Andrew was the President of the Board of General Purposes within the District Grand Lodge under the English Constitution of Freemasonry. Bro Andrew commissioned his father-in-law, Allan Lapsley to research and write a Masonic history for Taranaki.
A typescript copy, the history begins with the first settlers in 1841, describing how William Black and others formed the Mount Egmont Lodge and how the Masonic community was established in the region.
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Dr George Home served with the Wellington Battalion during the World War I.
One copy of Virginibus Pueisque and other papers by Robert Loius Stevenson, Chatto and Windus, London 1918. This publication bears the stamp NZ Hospital No 3, Codford, 25th Dec 1918 and has been inscribed 'Officer Commanding to Matron. Submitted herewith per Christmas Tree for your consideration please, George Home Lt Col."
Also a collection consisting of photocopies documents illustrating Home's military history supplied by the New Zealand Defence Force and extracts describing his military service taken from The New Zealand Medical Service in the Great War, 1914-1918 based on official documents. By A. D. Carbery. Auckland, Whitcombe & Tombs, 1924.
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Born at Wallington, Surrey in 1887, Bernard Aris came to New Zealand from England in 1922 after serving in the British Merchant Navy during the World War I. He lived in New Plymouth and was a prolific painter, making over 600 sketches and watercolours of Mt Egmont. In 1972 Aris was granted the Freedom of the City of New Plymouth. He died in 1977.
The collection comprises eight sketch books containing sketches of various ships, the Port of New Plymouth, Mount Egmont, native plants, a collection of engraving plates and 'Mt Egmont: a Sketch Book by Bernard Aris' an unpublished book. Each sketchbook has a bookplate bearing the name Fred. B. Butler inside the front cover.
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Richmond Cottage was built for C.W. Richmond in 1853. After C.W. Richmond went to Wellington in 1856, the cottage was leased to army officers during the 1860's. Various members of the Atkinson and Richmond families occupied the cottage until the 1880's when it was rented out, then sold in 1898.
Account statements for the sale of the Richmond Beach Cottage from Richmond & Hutchen, Solicitors, with additional notes from and to Anna Richmond. 1897 - 1898
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The Taranaki International Women's Group emerged from the 1993 Suffrage celebrations. Twenty races/countries were represented at the first luncheon held in October 1993.
Over the next few years, the group organised international dinners and luncheons, supporting and encouraging each other to celebrate unique aspects of their own and others cultural differences.
The collection includes some minutes, membership lists, newspaper clippings etc. 1993 - 1995
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In 1878, Wiremu Hiroki murdered John McLean, a cook in a survey party at Momahaki in South Taranaki. He escaped and sought sanctuary at Parihaka. When Te Whiti and Tohu were arrested in 1881, Hiroki was also brought in to New Plymouth Gaol. He was tried, found guilty and hanged there 8 June 1882.
The research notes include typescripts from various publications mentioning Hiroki, transcripts from newspaper articles of the time (Taranaki Herald and Wanganui Chronicle), and information photocopied from National Archives Wellington. The latter include Hiroki's personal statements, court records, gaol records, various correspondences and Hiroki's last letter to his wife.
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Jim Hall interviews Ron Sampson, who speaks of his experience with the TSB Bank. On side one, he reads from notes giving information on the bank and on side two he talks of his life farming in the Hillborough area.
Part of a collection of interviews recording the history of the TSB Bank.
Interviewee: Ron Sampson
Interviewer: Jim Hall
Date of interview - 8 August 2001
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Born in Torquay, England in 1876, James Little became an antique and curio dealer. While never venturing into the South Seas he became adept at forging Polynesian artefacts by stealing and copying artifacts from museums around England. Many of these forgeries were subsequently sold to many museums and collectors all round the world. Little covered his tracks by selling authentic items as well as fakes, trading on the ignorance of buyers.
Little enlisted in the British Army, Royal Engineers as a private soldier in 1915 and saw service overseas. He was discharged from the army in 1919 for health reasons. After a period in a Bath hospital, Little remained in Bath as an antique dealer. His past caught up with him in 1939 when he was found guilty of stealing artifacts and sentenced to twelve months imprisonment. He returned to Torquay on his release and lived there in poverty until his death in 1953.
The collection comprises fifty letters, mostly from Little to W.H. Skinner, regarding purchases by the latter of materials now in the Taranaki Museum. The collection of letters has been extracted from the Taranaki Museum correspondence and relate how and when fake items were purchased by W.H. Skinner for the Taranaki Collection. The items concerned have remained in the collection and are referred to as the Little Fakes.
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Born in Wellington in 1844, daughter of naturalist and artist William Swainson, Edith was a competent and versatile artist, working in watercolour and oils. She produced work for numerous lithograph scenes including her husband, A.N.F. Halcombe's, publication The Fielding Settlement, Manchester Block, Manawatu, published in 1878.
She made illustrations of Sir William Fox's ascent of Egmont in 1890 of which Edith was one of the party. A series of paintings by Edith Halcombe are also held by the Taranaki Museum. One shows the camp from which the ascent took place (A86.399) and the others various scenes in Taranaki.
An account of the ascent of Mt Egmont with Sir William Fox, the party consisting of Arthur Standish (Mayor of New Plymouth), Mrs E.S. Halcombe, Miss Standish, Miss Saddler, and Harry Peters, the guide. (See Scanlan, A.B. 'Egmont: the story of a mountain'. Wellington, 1961. pp. 69-70.)
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A.B. Scanlon writes in his book Egmont: the story of a mountain, that two young men, Robert Gillingham and E. Davy organised a party of six for the ascent of Mount Egmont, he also notes that these two were 'scientific explorers'.
The report is written for the New Zealand Company, entitled 'Report of an Exploring Expedition from New Plymouth through the New Zealand Company's Settlement over part of the Range commonly called Batu Ua (Patua) to Mount Egmont, by Robt. Gillingham, J.E. Davy Surs (Surveyors), 17th March 1847-25th Thursday 1847'. The expedition failed to reach the top because of bad weather. During the trip, they had a difference of opinion with local Maori over the removal of mountain shrubs and stones. (See Scanlan, A.B. 'Egmont, the story of a mountain'. Wellington, 1961. pp.23-24).
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