Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery
Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history
Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history Poverty Bay - taonga maori
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Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history

Poverty Bay - taonga maori

By Ann Milton-Tee (Collections Manager, Tairawhiti Museum)                                               February 2006

The museum cares for a fascinating Community Archive which contains a diverse array of records from organisations and institutions, some still active, others defunct.  Recently the museum was surprised and delighted to receive the records of the former Tokomaru Bay Amateur Repertory Society, comprising a Minutes book, programmes and more.

The records reveal that the society’s first committee meeting was in October 1936. The final entry in the Minutes book was the Annual General Meeting in June 1939, in which the mood (and financial situation) was upbeat. But the rest of the book is empty. Did the declaration of World War 2 in September 1939 result in the Society folding?

The programmes tell us there were productions in 1936, 1937 and 1938, in the Gaiety Theatre, Tokomaru Bay.  In 1936 the tickets cost 2/- and 1/6d, differentiating between upstairs, the front of the stalls and the balance of downstairs.  The only undated programme, for “Aren’t We All? (a comedy in three acts)”, has 1940 written on it later in pencil.  Did the Society carry on for a while after 1939?

  Ann Milton-Tee inspects the programmes