Memories: Tauranga in 1952 (+video)

By Chris Callinan


The year was 1952, just another number perhaps or was it special? What was happening around New Zealand, Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty in that year? Past Times takes a look.

The Korean War was raging and Kiwi troops were there, including some from a still relatively young Tauranga.

The memories of the Second World War which had only finished seven years prior was still fresh in the minds of folk throughout New Zealand but there were still plenty of positive things happening in the town and country around Tauranga.<inline type="video" id="13438" align="right"/>

Orchards, dairy and sheep farms were spread across the hills and valleys of a place so aptly named by James Cook 180 years earlier.<inline type="photogallery" id="12862" align="outside" embed="no" />

At Tauranga District High School (later to become Tauranga Boys' College) Jim Harvey, Jimmy Gilpin and his class were enjoying their Third Form year. Visitors were coming in ever increasing numbers to the area and the traffic to a very small port was steadily increasing.

Also in 1952 a New Zealand National Film unit paid a visit to these shores and captured the time on colour film.

This and other archival films are being released by Archives New Zealand. It is well worth the time to have a browse at the fascinating footage they have made available.<inline type="poll" id="5228" align="outside"/>

Other events that happened in 1952 include:

1.   Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne after the death of her father, King George VI. She was crowned the following year.

2.   The Martha Mine in Waihi closes (for the first time) after 17,160kg of gold and 1,193,180kg of silver had been extracted.

3.   Agatha Christie's world's longest play 'The Mousetrap' opens in London's West End.

4.   The first video recorder is demonstrated by inventors John Mullin and Wayne Johnson in Beverly Hills, California.

5.   New Zealand Royal Air Force sends the No.14 Squadron of Vampire Jets to Cyprus.

6.   Yvette Williams becomes New Zealand's first woman to win an Olympic medal when she takes the gold medal in the long jump at the Helsinki Games.

7.   The All Blacks, skippered by Kevin Skinner and with legendary winger Ron Jarden on the left wing play only two tests during the entire year.

8.   The first jet plane passenger service begins in the United States.

9.   The Americans explode the first Hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands.

10. The last confirmed kill of a Moose in New Zealand.

 11. "Heavenly Creatures" Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme murder Pauline's mother in Christchurch.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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