Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Call for WWI Photos

The centenary of the start of WWI is near, and we are still looking for photos of the men listed on the Otautau War memorial for our display.

We've gotten a good response from the public so far and are very grateful as most of these men are not found in other sources such as the Auckland War Memorial database or newspapers.

Here is an updated list of photos that we still need. Serial numbers and where they were born are included for accuracy of identity.

Leonard Allen (27426) - an Australian who was living and working in Wairio when he enlisted for the war. He was killed in action 7 Jun 1917.

Joseph Beck Ayton (61169) - lived and worked in Aparima.

James Robert Ewen Beck (49323) - horse trainer in Winton; discharged with diabetes; died at Wairio.

William James Butler (18958) - worked in Merrivale; killed in action 14 Jun 1917.

William Clark - no information on him.

Albert Ernest Dove (9/693) - an Australian who was working in Orawia when he enlisted; died of wounds in 1918, France.

Peter Ellis (41078) - from Wairio; killed in action at Passchendaele.

George Richard Evans (64873) - from Otautau; killed in action 1918.

Albert Walter Findlater (47016) - blacksmith in Otautau; killed in action 1918.

Michael Henry Ford (9/816) - from Heddon Bush; discharged from war and died at Heddon Bush.

Robert Emmet Ford (18983) - blacksmith at Orawia; killed at Messines.

Sydney Ford (8/3900) - Otautau farmer; killed at Somme.

Oliver Daly Gavigan (48193) - Otautau farmer; died of wounds, 1918.

William Healey (11279) - labourer at Woodlaw; died of TB, 1918.

Peter Thomas Johnston (24/199) - from Avondale; killed at Passchendaele.

Francis Andrew Laidlaw (8/3938) - from Isla Bank; killed at the Somme, 1916.

John George Laidlaw (8/4159) - brother of Francis; died in France, 1917.

James Duncan Laing (32862) - from Dipton; killed in action, 1918.

Arthur David Lindsay (45102) - Strathmore, Otautau, farmer; died of influenza, Invercargill, 1918.

Joseph McAfee (42688) - from Otautau; died, 1918.

Douglas Victor McCaw (71042) - farm cadet, Otautau; died of disease, 1918.

Daniel McKenzie (8/1786) - from Scotland and worked in Otautau; killed in action, 1916.

John Morris (45538) - Australian working at Scotts Gap; died of wounds, 1917.

Donald Muir (8/1808) - Scot working at Linton Park, Otautau; died of wounds, 1917.

Patrick O'Shaughnessy (36882) - from Ireland, worked in Otautau; killed in action, 1917.

Ernest John Pay (8/3996) - Ryal Bush cheesemaker; killed in action at the Somme.

Albert Preswid Poole (8/2098) - from Isla Bank; killed in action, Belgium, 1917.

Edward Arthur Poole (39308) - from Isla Bank; killed at Passchendaele, 1916.

Walter James Powell (18939) - from Scotts Gap; died of wounds, 1917.

Arthur John Scott - no information.

Thomas Adam Stephens (8/1386) - Englishman working in Otautau at time of enlistment; wounded at Gallipoli; died of pneumonia.

Eugene Tangney (8/492) - worked at Pukewao; died of pneumonia, Egypt, 1915.

Edward Richard Thomas (9/350) - Otautau contractor; killed at Gallipoli, 1915.

Andrew Hannah Ward (33046) - from Thornbury; killed at Passchendaele, 1917.

If you have a photo of one of these men, please email us. Thanks!

We're open Wednesdays and Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and by request. Your comments are always welcome!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Great Success

Our book sale fundraiser last weekend was a total success. Many thanks to all who donated, browsed and bought books. We value your support very much.

The grocery hamper was won by Kay Walden. Congratulations Kay! Thanks to all who bought tickets!

See you all again next year!

We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and by request. Your comments are always welcome!

Memories of Service

Our Memories of Service: Otautau RSA Memorabilia display is open. It's a small one-room display that highlights the RSA's work over the years.

The Otautau RSA began in 1919 to help returned soldiers get a fair deal when they came back to civilian life. Land, loans, ongoing medical care and benefits for children were among the many things they'd hoped to lobby for as part of a united group of soldiers across the nation.

Through the years, they've supported their members and families through thick and thin. Every year, they produce the dawn Anzac ceremony which is always well-attended. As the Gallipoli centenary nears, they are busy making plans.

The centennial of the beginning of WWI is next month, and we are working on a display from an Otautau perspective. Don't know if we'll make the deadline but will try!

We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and by request. Your comments are always welcome!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Playbill from the War Years

As part of our WWI commemoration, we are featuring a small display of Otautau RSA memorabilia. There are photos from the unveiling of the war memorial, the opening of the RSA memorial hall, and many other interesting things.

But this little gem stood out for me. It's a playbill or possibly a ticket the size of a business card for a fundraiser for the Otautau Red Cross Society.


The Invercargill Dramatic Company were to perform "In the Trenches" but were an hour late because their car broke down in Fairfax according to the write-up in the Otautau Standard.

The bill contains a few errors: the play was performed on 27 March and the price for adults was 2s, not 1s.

It's delightful the little pieces of Otautau culture that are still around from that era.

We're open Wednesdays and Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and by request. Your comments are always welcome!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Winter Changes

We are now only open on Sundays. If you'd like to visit on a different day, please let us know ahead of time.

We may open again on Wednesdays starting in October.

We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and by request. Your comments are always welcome!