31 July, 2020
Foundations Laid for the SS Ventnor Memorial
Kia ora koutou 大家好,
We're very happy to report that building has started on our new Ventnor memorial. Luckily the Hokianga side of Northland hasn't been too badly hit by the heavy rains this week so the team from Barfoote was able to start this morning. What a great way to celebrate Matariki!
Our new location is at Opononi on the Manea Footprints of Kupe Cultural Centre site. We are extremely grateful to Te Hua o te Kawariki Trustees for generously welcoming us on to their home. They also have ancestral ties to the Ventnor history so we feel this is a special coming together of our communities. We expect to finish the memorial later this year, but we haven't confirmed when our first big trip up will be. If you're interested in being kept in touch please let me know.
You may have seen the news items a few weeks ago about a filmmaker taking footage of the SS Ventnor wreck and the remains of our ancestors inside. This was obviously distressing for descendants, but the media interest gave us an opportunity to talk more about what the story means for us as a community.
RNZ has an excellent podcast showing all the different aspects of the story, including comments from Snow Tane (Te Roroa General Manager), Bill Edwards (Heritage NZ Northland) as well as Jenny Sew Hoy Agnew and myself. If you're interested here's the link Two cultures, bonded over a shipwreck (RNZ The detail podcast)
Credit Article: Kirsten Wong