Report With Soundings
8 October, 2018
Malborough celebrated her centenary in on 1 November 1959. On that day this historic documentary, Report With Soundings, was aired on all the NZBC radio stations nationally. Later, it was released on this LP which History Always Repeats noticed listed on Trade Me this week.
Old NZBC staple, Basil Clarke, the creator, may have been on commission since his biography states he left broadcasting in 1956. Yet here was again, doing what he did best, New Zealand history documentary the like of which we do not hear now in our age of Politically Correct revisionism.
Happily, you don’t need to win the auction to listen as the copyright holder has shared the entirety to Youtube. Here it is, followed by some highlights that interested me..
What’s Basil thinking by starting off slow and repetitive? The show really takes a while to get going as the audience is invited to fall asleep with some old maid as she thinks back about local history and talks to herself. You need to get past that.
“…came the conquroing Ngatitoas with their enemies severed heads and hands adourning the carved prows of their war canoes. Fresh from the siege of Kaiapoi.”
You know you’re in the 1950s when you can admit to things like this out loud!
“And what of the giant birds that ran pursued by shouting stone age man over the river then into the flax along the shore then into the rough, leaving their bones for Doctor Duff.”
Good old Dr Roger Duff of Canterbury Museum. We don’t hear about him these days but in his time, for decades, he was frequently being referred to.
“Who placed that mysterious cross on Motuara Island that was there when Cook landed in 1770?”
I can’t find any other references to this handy but it’s very interesting! We’re being told that Cook discovered a Christian Cross on the very island he claimed New Zealand from!?
Followed by some enjoyable comments about pre-Cook discoverers of New Zealand which is frowned on as conspiratorial and dangerous thinking in our Culturally Safe times…
“The Princess Te Rongo…sweeter to Rangihaeata than the flesh of eels. More precious than greenstone.”
Unexpected point of view about the Wairau Massacre here. Actually wives were not highly prized romantically, and Rongo’s no princess. She is a second or perhaps third wife to Rangihaeata who picked her up like a chattel after her European husband died in Australia. In my opinion it was her property title to the Wairau that was ‘precious’ and ‘sweet’ and for which she was wed and, at this point, killed.
“The farmer is the most versatile man in New Zealand. He’s a veterinarian, he’s a carpenter, he’s an engineer, he’s an accountant, he’s a manager, he’s a stud-stock breeder and all those things that go with it. He’s also an independent unit of his own. He thinks for himself, does things for himself. And that is why he is an individualist. We think that’s what the pioneers of New Zealand have grown up on and I hope we always maintain it.”- W.G. Parkes
“One of the grandest points of Malborough ‘s history is that you can find families working the same land running now to the 5th and 6th generation…take Langley Dale for instance…it hasn’t gone out of the Adams Family hands.”
Sadly, this is no longer true as of 2010. The Adams sold up.
Malborough separated to become a province of its own. To celebrate the occasion, two gum trees were planted and Langley Dale. And they stand today firm and strong in the soil of Langley Dale.
Probably these trees have gone now. It has been so long.
Q: “..a very large family! Did they all have large families?”
A: “No. There were only four of us, three boys and a girl.”
That’s what not-a-large family counted for in the 1950s estimation, four!
“I trust the young generation will carry on where we pioneers left off. And I know they will. Kia ora te koa.”
Sorry Old Timer, it wasn’t to be. The good days will come again though.