See you at the library
The photograph republished in the Courier was taken shortly before Paul and I started our humbling trek up the Great South Road, and shows me with my chest puffed out and my belly extended beyond my jeans. By the time we'd climbed the two hundred exhausting kilometres from Kihikihi to Newmarket the gut had shrunk, despite numerous medicinal stops at taverns along the way, and chest-puffing seemed absurd.
Next Wednesday Paul and I will be showing some images we picked up on our odyssey, and talking about the people and places they show.
*I'd like to think that the name of the lecture series refers, in some subterranean, perhaps subconscious way, to one of the most fascinating characters in nineteenth century New Zealand history, the Hokianga spiritualist and secessionist Hone Toia. Toia held seances where he delivered, in a 'whistling, sighing' voice, the instructions of an anti-colonial god, and in 1898 he led a small group of men in an abortive armed rebellion against the attempts of Wellington to impose a tax on the dogs of the Hokianga. Toia and his movement, which was sometimes called Te Whiowhio, after the whistling sound the god's voice made, are important players in Kendrick Smithyman's epic poem Atua Wera.
[Posted by Scott Hamilton]