Before television, families gathered each night around the essential piece of lounge furniture – a stylish floor level radio console (perhaps branded Atwater Kent or Gulbransen) – or faced the ornate mantle model (Philco), waiting with expectation for the crackling radio valves to warm up.
Category archive: NZ History
At first they nodded and smiled as usual on our daily walks. Nothing unusual there, it’s our neighbourhood.
But then the pandemic arrived and didn’t leave. For a few days we were confused and offered the same greetings, though we all knew nothing would ever be the same.
It was John Cleese who made the above comment famous in regard to German guests in the 1960s television show, Faulty Towers. The theme; attempting to keep silent about guests whose behaviour or history you think deplorable is universal, which is what made the show so brilliant.
Excerpts from Kiwiosities, a book by Gordon Ell on the traditions and folklore of New Zealand.
An outbreak of Spanish influenza killed some 6716 New Zealanders late in 1918. The worldwide epidemic took millions of lives elsewhere. Some believed the disease was brought into New Zealand by the passenger ship Niagara that also bore Prime Minister William Massey and Finance Minister Joseph Ward back from a First World War conference.
Outside it’s sunny, a hot, muggy Auckland day. A plump Tui swings on the untidy flax bush by the bedroom’s open window; slothful clouds drift past in a china-blue sky. But inside the bedroom it’s cold, chilly enough to raise goose-pimples. Despite the golden light outside, the room is shadowy, its corners dim and blurry.
It took the devastating Australian bushfires to bring home to the country’s politicians that perhaps, maybe, they had to update their thinking on climate change. Perhaps, because that thinking remains dominated by an ideology which increasingly looks untethered to present day realities. Below are some of those realities:
Watching television was now beginning to be ingrained in the 60’s household social routine not entirely due to the magnetism of Ena Sharples and the Coronation Street’s Rover’s Return!
Waiting in the wings was Networking, the move of News to Auckland, the advent of colour and the famous Philips K9 TV set and TV2’s first Telethon.