Colonial House in Pipiriki gives up more secrets


2016-01-26T08:40:00 Pacific/Auckland


The historic Colonial House in Pipiriki on the Whanganui River has given up a few more of its secrets.

During recent restoration work a time capsule of old newspapers dating back to the late 1920’s that had been used as wall scrim was uncovered.

Ruapehu mayor Don Cameron and District Council chief executive Clive Manley were surprised to find the historic newspapers during a visit to Pipiriki just before Christmas.

“Given Colonial House’s more recent role as a museum it was somewhat ironic to find a time capsule of history had been preserved in old newspapers as part of the old scrim on its walls.”

"The old newspapers came to light as part of an extensive restoration of the historic homestead by the Pipiriki Corporation who have plans to return the building into a museum and information centre once again,” he said.

“We found an old post World War 2 ad in a paper called the Auckland Weekly News for a new gentleman’s suit for 63 shillings (or 78 shillings with extra trousers) as well as news stories on significant historical events and people of the last century.”

“The most notable was an article and pictures on British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain including a news story on his visit to Germany to meet Hitler in an attempt to avoid what would become World War 2 in September 1938.”

“It includes pictures of Chamberlain and his wife in the grounds of their lodge in the Perthshire Hills, Scotland, and of Hitler and the leader of the Sudeten Germans Henlein at a Nazi rally and Henlein delivering a speech at Reichenberg on May Day.”

Mayor Cameron said that the Pipiriki Corporation which is run by local iwi has done an amazing job of restoring and preserving Colonial House.

“Colonial House is an important part of both Maori and Pakeha history on the Whanganui River and its preservation provides an opportunity for these stories to be passed on to future generations.”

“As a gateway to the river, Whanganui city to the south and Raetihi and the Ruapehu district to the north, Pipiriki is seeing increasing numbers of visitors and tourists.”

“Local iwi are well placed to benefit from the opportunities that this provides,” he said.

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Page reviewed: 26 Jan 2016 8:40am