Taking care of your history

Jules here, from down by the Seashore – to share some tips to keep your family’s treasured documents safe and sound for years to come.

I spend my days at the Petone Settlers Museum recalling stories of local significance, and lending a helping hand to people as they look deeper into their family ties here in Petone.

 

Jules blog photo Grandmother and Granfather

Grandmother and Grandfather Коць

Using the Petone Settlers Museum Database, combined with knowledge of local history, we are able to trace some of the passengers from those early voyages to the Wellington area.

 

I always enjoy listening to the stories of our visitors, and I am impressed by the work and time people have put into researching and strengthening these family ties.

As those who have met me know, I am not originally from New Zealand. I carry with me my Canadian accent, as I spent most of my childhood just outside of Toronto, Canada.

Canada, much like New Zealand, is a land of immigration and settlement. My own family’s story begins much further back in places like The Ukraine, Poland, and Czechia. On a recent trip back home, I took the time to sit down with my grandmother and aunt to ask some of the questions I often answer at the Museum.

Spending my days helping others with their history has shown me how important it was to take a stake in mine as well. Luckily enough, my aunt and grandma were ready to go! My aunt already had a wonderfully preserved box of family history for me to rifle through.

I’ve had training in in archaeology and conservation as well as museums. So, as I excitedly opened the box, my inner history nerd knew that these documents and clippings were fragile and priceless. Although my aunt had already done an incredible (and invaluable) job of keeping these treasures, I could see a few simple things she could do to ensure their longevity and protection.

I began to suggest some techniques we use at the museum for our textile collection, and to my surprise, she was just as enthusiastic as I was! She too was invested and interested, and was onboard to help hold these traces of our family’s story for the next generation to connect with. It doesn’t take much- there are easy, cost effective ways to conserve and preserve like a pro.

Here are some simple techniques to help preserve some of your family’s more fragile or precious items:

Store items in a box with a lid, fire proof if possible.

Keeping your precious artefacts safe in an acid free box is probably the simplest and most effective conservation technique. The box is the cornerstone of care and preservation. It protects dust from accumulating also, in case of objects shifting, it protects them from getting crushed or damaged from the weight of other items. Moreover, it offers a layer of protection from pesky house hold critters that love to eat up old documents.

 

Jules blog photo Grandfather passport

One of my Grandfather’s early passports

Keep away from UV rays or strong artificial lighting.

Light will cause irreversible damage, often in the form of fading. Keeping your treasures in a dark safe space is always highly recommended. Yet again, boxes are a fantastic conservation tool.

 

When retrieving the items, it would be handy to keep in mind the light levels in the room at the time. Especially when it comes to very old delicate documents or artefacts. It’s best to look at your historical documents them in rooms with no natural light and low artificial lighting.

 

Storing the object in their natural form

Relieving pressure and stress on these treasures is always recommended. For example store paper documents – unfolded, and laid out flat. If you want to go the extra mile, popping them into an acid free photo-sleeve will really help, you can usually buy them from a craft store, or stationary supplier. If it is an artefact that has more of a shape and weight to it, we recommend putting a pillow or soft object in the box to let it rest on. If possible, remove staples or pins from textiles as they can rust and stain the textile.

These are good ways to get started, and we use many of these techniques down here at our whare whakaaro beside the sea. As a final reminder, always try to store textiles in climate-controlled spaces, not in attics or basements. It is tough in this Wellington āhuarangi, but keeping your family documents in a dry, dark space, will allow you and your family to conserve and preserve your family taonga for years to come.

Kia ora rawa atu! – Jules

 

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The Garden of Perfect Happiness – (part 3/3)

In this part three of ‘The Garden of Perfect Happiness’ we introduce Laurie Foon, an inspirational eco-creative who ran the fashion label Starfish from 1998-2013. She is the great-granddaughter of Willian Yan Foon, an early Chinese immigrant to Petone in the 1890’s, who farmed his market vegetables in Alicetown, sold his produce from his shop on Jackson Street, and raised his family alongside his hardworking wife Mary.

You can see one of Laurie’s dresses on display at our place, the Petone Settlers Museum, alongside a portrait of her Great-grandfather and his veggies….

 Wearable Garden

Starfish

Poster advertising Starfish Summer Collection 08/09, Image courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

This dress was designed by Laurie Foon for her eco-fashion label Starfish. It was part of the summer 2008/2009 collection titled “The Garden of Perfect Happiness”. The collection reflected Laurie’s Chinese heritage and tells stories of her great grandfather William Yan Foon, content amongst his vegetable garden—his place of “perfect happiness”.

William is remembered by his grandson Roger (Laurie’s father) as “a good man, an honest man, a hard-working man” who had boundless patience for his grandchildren, and who considered life to be “a gift”. This was communicated with the limited English William had, and through his body language.

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Laurie’s sketchbook, Image courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Laurie’s label Starfish is no longer in operation, and the dress has become a part of our recent history, even as it captures her own family narrative. Raised in Wainuiomata, Laurie is an inspirational creative. Her entrepreneurship and love of the environment could be seen as inherited Foon family traits.

Workbook

One of Laurie Foon’s busy workbook pages, Image courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

We’re thankful to the Foon whānau for sharing their stories of their hard-working kaumātua William Yan Foon and Mary, his ‘everything’. We hope you enjoy this series as much as we have enjoyed gathering all the parts which made it.

 

Signing off,

 

Arawhetu Berdinner

The Garden of Perfect Happiness – (part 2/3)

In part one of ‘The Garden’ we looked at Chinese market gardens in the Hutt from the 1880s to the 1940s. In part two we are introduced to William Yan Foon, market gardener, green grocer and Petone resident of the 1890’s. Here is the story his family shared with us:

William Yan Foon (c. 1867—1950)

1929 William Yan Foon w Grandson Tony

William with his grandson Tony circa 1920. Image: belonging to a private collection

At the age of 18 or 19, William was brought to Auckland from Canton, China, to work as a farmhand for his uncle. Unhappy with the situation, he departed in the night to begin his journey to the Wellington region.

By the 1890s William was market gardening in Alicetown, and selling fresh vegetables door-to-door. Eventually he established himself as a greengrocer, with the High Class Fruit and Vegetable Shop opening in 1934 on the corner of Jackson and Fitzherbert Street, Petone.

1910 Alicetown

Alicetown 1910. Image credit: Aldersley, David James, 1862-1928. Alicetown, Lower Hutt. Ref: PA5-0417. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22768777

William was one of a few Chinese immigrants to gain Naturalisation in 1896 (equivalent to Citizenship today); this would have helped him in business and in his community standing.

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William’s Naturalisation Certificate, 1896. Image curtesy of Archives New Zealand, Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

William’s wife Mary (née Crighton, 1864–1942) was a British immigrant of Scottish descent, and was central to his connection to the wider world. She was said to have been “his everything”, taking a key part in business communication.

When they met, Mary was a recent widow with three children, who worked for William, taking in laundry and cleaning his shop. As times were hard, Mary decided to return to Durham, England, only to find the condition of life much worse there. She wrote to William asking him to support her to get back to Petone. He agreed on the condition that they marry, to which she accepted.

The couple lived a busy life, working together in the family market garden and having four more children together. At the age of 78, Mary died in a tragic accident, perhaps due to her habit of wearing black. She was struck down one evening while crossing the road in Petone during WWII blackouts. William lived into his 80s, and the two are remembered with love by their descendants.

1939 William Yan Foon 27 Ariki St with his Rover

William at 27 Ariki Street with his Rover. Image: belonging to a private collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Garden of Perfect Happiness – (part 1/3)

Come and visit us at our whare to see the full story in our newest display – The Garden of Perfect Happiness.  Perhaps you remember William Yan Foon and his fruit and vegetable store on Jackson Street?  We’d love to hear your stories of arrival, immigration and food.

In the following three part blog series we share the story of William Yan Foon, and trace his whānau right up until today.

In part-one we acknowledge the Chinese immigrant farmers of the Hutt Valley, in part two we meet William Yan Foon and his family, and in part three we wrap up with Laurie Foon, great granddaughter of William, self-described ‘eco-fashion designer, eco creative, good projects collaborator, good business consultant, and good local stories storyteller’.

Chinese Market Gardens in the Hutt Valley

Eph-A-HORTICULTURE-TeAro-1949-01-front.tif

Image credit: Te Aro Seeds Limited :Garden annual, 1949-1950. Printed by L T Watkins Ltd., Cuba Street, Wellington [Front cover. 1949].. Te Aro Seed Company :[Garden guide or garden annual – price lists. 1900s-1940s]. Ref: Eph-A-HORTICULTURE-TeAro-1949-01-front. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22625370

Once an area of lush rata forest, the fertile soil of the Hutt Valley made for excellent market garden farming in the 1880s to 1940s, supplying Wellington city with more than half of its fresh fruit and vegetables at peak production. In the 1900s, a series of stop-banks (continuous mounds of earth built next to a river) were constructed to control flooding from the Hutt River and stabilise farmland.

1957 market garden

Image credit: Market gardens at Lower Hutt. Evening post (Newspaper. 1865-2002) :Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1957/3722-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22869953

By 1904, the majority of farmers in the Hutt were Chinese immigrants, who earned a living selling their produce. They faced a rising wave of anti-Chinese sentiment and tension. One of the worst incidents occurred in 1890, when pressures erupted into a violent clash leading to the death of a young man, and the hospitalisation and near-death of another.

The Chinese Immigrants Act of 1881 was the first legislation to restrict entry to Aotearoa New Zealand for any one group of people. A poll tax of £10 was introduced, and in 1896 this rose to £100 (estimated at NZ$13,400 today). International ships were ordered to limit Chinese passengers or face heavy penalties.

1932 Yates seed

Image credit: Arthur Yates & Co. Ltd, Auckland :What to sow in the garden now. Yates Reliable Seeds. [1932].. Arthur Yates & Company Ltd :[Horticultural sales catalogues. 1932-1933]. Ref: Eph-A-HORTICULTURE-Yates-1932-02-back. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23010524

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Labour Government strove to meet a boom in population growth with ambitious social housing development across the Hutt Valley region. In 1940, it was decided that market gardens should be relocated to the Otaki-Levin district. Farmers were forced to sell their land for the housing development, and the birth of the Hutt Valley region as a suburban city progressed, with streets, buildings and houses soon replacing the gardens.

Green house 1957

Image credit: Market gardens at Lower Hutt. Evening post (Newspaper. 1865-2002) :Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1957/3721-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22492207

1947 Alicetown

1947, Aerial photograph taken by Whites Aviation. Image Credit: The suburb of Alicetown with the Western Hutt Road in foreground looking east to the Hutt River, Lower Hutt City, Wellington Region. Ref: WA-07213-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/30645663

 

 

 

 

 

Through the Collection Store and What Alice Found There (Part 2)

As promised in my previous post, this will focus on some great finds from the Petone Settlers Museum stores and some stats relating to how my internship is going thus far.

Discovering the Petone Settlers Museum’s stores

I’ve spent a lot of time recently in a cool (if a little claustrophobic) storage space, getting to know the Petone Settlers Museum collection! Below is a less than flattering image of the Petone Settlers Museum stores as it was just a month or so ago.

collection stores

When we first started working in the collection stores, it was a little messy and cold from a lack of concentrated and consistent work, but it was bursting with interesting finds and stories just waiting to be uncovered. Since the photo was taken, we have spent a lot of time and love tidying and starting an inventory of the collection.

Inventorying an entire collection is a daunting task, one I am almost certain we won’t manage within the timeframe of my internship. My mentor in this mammoth task, Collection Manager Jo Wehrly, has some tricks and shortcuts up her sleeve for the software we’re using—Vernon—which should really help.

I’ve learnt so much in the last few months with just the basics of Vernon, and I’m excited to see what else it can do!

The Museum holds some really interesting collection items, ranging from an old piano to a series of children’s toys, as well as examples of advertising, and items relating to Petone’s industrial history… and there’s a lot more of everything in-between, too.

Interesting collection finds and highlights

Some of my favourite finds so far include a programme for a farewell dinner on the SS Atlantis. SS Atlantis was a one-time military-turned-passenger-ship chartered by the NZ government to transport emigrants from the UK, leaving Southampton and arriving in Wellington between 1948 and 1952.

The programme itself was a fairly typical example of ephemera of its type, but the Vernon record was not. Vernon records can be populated with lots of useful information, from where to find the object in the stores to manufacturer and donor details.

Most of this record was filled out as we expected, until we came to the ‘place made’ section. This category was listed as the programme having been made in “the high seas”! An example of bad collection management, as it gives no useful information, but it did give Jo and me a laugh. Needless to say, we updated it quickly, but it will live on in our memories and now this blog.

I’ll provide a quick summary of what’s going on in this next image. The advert’s main character, Jane, in the first panel is lamenting the fact that she is left free at work to do her job unencumbered by admirers.

Colgate advertising

The second panel consists of Jane doing her job & her co-worker helpfully pointing out her bad breath, and that no man will lust after or love her as she is. In the third panel, Jane has gone to visit a dentist or Colgate salesperson who asserts the benefits and science of Colgate, and in the final panel (presumably after using Colgate), Jane is left surrounded by men and unable to do her job effectively.

I hope I’m not missing something, and that other people don’t actually want to be swamped by people trying to grab at them and distract them from their job…? Having access to these old adverts allows a more thorough critique and comparison of the advertising media we are currently subjected to.

And finally, on to the statistics! In the last 2 months, Jo and I have seen and inventoried over 1600 objects! That is over half of the entire collection! As well as that, we have fully updated the records of 150 objects, entered hundreds of hierarchical cataloguing terms and things like place names, makers/manufacturers, etc.—all things that make the Vernon records and the collection better and more usable.

 

Alice

 

 

 

Through the Collection Store and What Alice Found There (Part 1)

Hello again!

It has been a busy time since my last blog post Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice! I’ve spent a lot of time at the Petone Settlers Museum stores—those tales will come in Through the Collection Store – part 2.

In this post I wanted to talk about some of my creations over the last few months. Collections work is very hands on, but I’ve also had a chance to try some things outside of my internship.

 

Weaving putiputi

Petone Settlers Museum hosted a raranga workshop a month or so ago; it was well attended and everyone left with bright smiles and an armful of their own putiputi (woven flax flowers). It was organised as part of Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori—Māori language week. Community Curator Arawhetu wrote about the workshop in her first blog post too, if it seems familiar.

harakeke

This is me at the event caught intently inspecting my harakeke.

The session marked my first actual steps into my raranga journey, as before I had only read about the weaving art form, or viewed others people’s taonga. The teacher, Kody Loretz, was incredibly knowledgeable, patient and an all-round wonderful guide (even when faced with my very inexperienced and surprisingly clumsy self).

Though my creations were not the most technically perfect, I still love them, and I think they hold a certain charm of their own—they certainly brighten up my flat nicely! If you want to check out more images from the day, they are on the Petone Settlers Museum Facebook page (coincidentally a good place to follow for updates of upcoming events at the museum).

Nesting objects behind the scenes

nesting

Nesting in progress – Len Castle, Avian form bowl, The Pat Parker Collection, The Dowse Art Museum.

Not only have I learnt fun new skills outside of my actual internship, I’ve been learning new collections management skills too! This is an early in-progress attempt at nesting an object for storage.

Nesting, as I’ve learnt, is creating a custom built home for an object that keeps it safely stored and happy from outside influences, while minimising any damage in the event of an earthquake.

A successful nesting project provides a complete and strong surround for an object: not allowing it to move around too much, not putting undue pressure on any part of the object, and allowing the object to be easily and safely accessed when needed.

Hopefully I’ll be able to perfect my nesting skills for speed and accuracy, but, as an early attempt, I’m pretty proud of myself.

That’s a quick snapshot into what I’ve been making in my internship so far. In my next post, I’ll be back with interesting stories and objects from the collection stores as my journey continues!

 

Alice

 

Down the rabbit hole with Alice

Kia ora!

I’m Alice Jackson, the new Petone Settlers Museum intern. I moved to Wellington last year to start my Masters at Victoria University after completing my undergrad and honours in Art History at the University of Otago. I’m passionate about inclusivity and accessibility, the environment and music.

I’m at Petone Settlers Museum as the final step in my Masters of Museum and Heritage Practice. Soon, I’ll be starting in the museum’s stores, cataloging and re-enlivening the taonga. I’ll be sharing their interesting stories on this blog, I’m super excited!

Suitcases

I’m ready for a new adventure – as the owners of these bags from the Petone Settler’s Museum stores were.

There are so many local stories to tell, and new displays in development. Our newest display outlines an iconic Petone building – The Grand National Hotel. Many locals will remember the Grand Nash’ and have stories to tell on their next visit. It is a slice of history all wrapped up in a well-known local building.

Our upcoming displays explore special personal stories, such as that of ‘naturalised’ Petone resident William Yan Foon. Foon immigrated from San Sin, Hong Kong at the age of 19, arriving in Petone in the 1890s where he worked as a market gardener and greengrocer. We loved talking to William’s descendants, and can’t wait to share this story with you.

20170915_110113

Petone Settlers Museum’s new Community Curator Arawhetu, with a visitor discussing the Grand Nash’.

We will be displaying a dress from Laurie Foon’s eco clothing label Starfish. Laurie is the great granddaughter of William Yan Foon. The Starfish 2008 summer collection titled ‘The Garden of Perfect Happiness’ was inspired by Laurie’s great grandfather’s market garden and all the happy time he spent there. The display may even inspire you to create your own garden of perfect happiness.

Hutt residents, for help finding your local community gardens check this list.

I didn’t know much about Starfish before starting the research for this exhibit, but the more I learned the sadder I became about the label’s closure. What really interests me about Starfish is Laurie Foon’s early adoption of eco-friendly, sustainable and traceable practices. It seems that even now some of these concepts are just filtering through to the fashion world so 24 years ago when Laurie Foon started Starfish those ideas must have been ground breaking. Laurie continues to champion sustainable practice in her current role as the Wellington region Coordinator for the Sustainable Business Network and also as founder of B-Side Stories, a radio-podcast on Wellington Access Radio 106.1 FM that tells the stories of the unsung heroes of Wellington. B-Side Stories plays live every Tuesday from 5-6 pm and you can listen online.

Living in Petone

One of our wonderful visitors enjoying a rest from the busy Petone life.

Another display in development will explore a subculture popular in the 1950s that caused quite a stir about the Hutt; Bodgies and Widgies. The subculture was made infamous because of the damning 1954 Mazengarb report into juvenile delinquency that blamed the perceived promiscuity of teens on working mothers, the availability of contraception and girls ‘enticing men to have sex’ (I don’t want to say the whole report is victim blaming, but…). The display presents a local perspective on the subculture. I don’t want to give too much away but I hope that gives an intriguing glimpse into an interesting moment of history.

The other display-change planned for the museum is ‘Price’s Folly’ – another local Petone building with an eventful life. Price’s Folly has cycled from being a family home, to a school and back to being a residence once more.

These last two display changes are a wee way away so best to watch this space for updates on display-changes and my internship progress. In the meantime get down to Petone Settlers Museum and check out The Grand Nash’ and the new window interactive – ‘A View Into Te Ao Māori!

PSM

Name what you see from our window! A visitor using the newly installed window interactive.

As I said, keep your eyes open and I’ll be about with another update soon!

Ngā mihi mahana

 

Alice Jackson

Settling in at the Petone Settlers Museum

Tēnā koutou katoa, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa – hello there, it’s wonderful to meet you all!

Your Community Curator at Petone Settlers Museum

With much happiness I pause to reflect on the whirlwind beginning of starting at The Petone Settlers Museum as Community Curator. I’m coming up on two months now, and already we’ve had one exhibition change and three others scheduled before December (watch this space).

I inherited these projects and it’s been a real team effort that we’re somewhat on track with producing and installing them before the end of the year! It has been amazing to work closely with the Dowse exhibitions team, but also with the Petone Library, the Hutt City Council, with other local museums (hello Wellington Museum), archives and libraries, not to mention the local community.

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The Hall of Memories in it’s finest form

Market gardens, hotel draws and flax flowers

With our next exhibition change-over I’ve been working closely with the Foon family to help tell the story of their kaumatua William Yan Foon and the Chinese market gardens of the Hutt circa 1880s-1940s. I’m excited to tell a story linking a summer dress to a Petone grandfather who found tranquillity amongst his vegetables.

A few weeks ago we installed ‘the Grand Nash’ an exhibition about the well-known Grand National Hotel, a building which was saved from demolition in 1995 and moved over to Jackson Street from its original spot near the entrance to Petone.  Come take a peek in the ‘hotel draw’ to see some objects of desire, perhaps the treasures of a wealthy visitor to the hotel in its early days.

20170917_114807Time runs away each week and I sprint to catch it. Already the pool of new people and faces is growing as I head out and about to meet and plan new projects and events for PSM. We ran a weaving workshop for Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori which was lovely and attracted fifteen happy people. We were lucky to have a guest teacher leading us through the creation of a ‘posy of putiputi’ and I’ve since been practising my skills.

Events these school holidays…

School holidays have begun!  To help keep the kids busy and brains buzzing, we are hosting the Girl Guides project – ‘Fly the Flag for Gender Equality’.  You can drop in, and create your own flag during the month of October.

And you are all invited to create a frame with our ‘frame it up’ activity, Thursday 12th Oct, with two sessions running at 10:15 and 11:30.  Bookings essential…

There’s much more in the pipeline, with pickles and parties being brewed up as I type.  And we have two more changes in the museum about to happen with – ‘Prices Folly’ and ‘Bodgies and Widgies’ lined-up. Stay tuned!

 

Ngā mihi mahana,

 

Arawhetu Berdinner

Do You Remember the Happiness Club?

Petone Settlers Museum Community Curator, Jen Boland, has created an accessible programme of events that caters for both the general public and niche groups. Jen’s new events and activity programme is being promoted under the moniker of The Happiness Club.

happiness-club

The name comes from the original ‘Petone Happiness Club’, which ran from 1950-54, affiliated with the Radio Station 2ZB. The museum received a donation of a white table cloth embroidered with four bluebirds, 100-odd signatures and two pins pertaining to the club.

“Everything about it was just so delightful, the name in particular suggesting people coming together and being happy. We just had to reignite it,” she says. The new Happiness Club will also be about bringing people together and having fun. “Petone Settlers Museum is a place that holds memories. We want it to also create memories and friendships through a community-focused and eclectic public programme,” says Jen.

Coming up, there’s a Christmas market, Christmas carols with Wilford School, still-life drawing classes, storytelling and a ‘Sea Shanties Sing-a-long’.

“We are also in discussions with local retirement homes and the Hearing Association about how we can cater for their communities, and we are excited to be installing braille signage on the interactive components of our exhibitions.”

If you know more about the original 1950s Petone Happiness Club, or have ideas for events that you would like to join in with, get in touch with Jen: jen.boland@huttcity.govt.nz

Flotsam & Jetsam & Sons

Petone Settlers 175th Anniversary

Conrad Coon (Left) and Ed van Son, Petone Settlers 175th Anniversary on the Petone Foreshore, Lower Hutt, New Zealand on Sunday 19 January 2015. Photo by Masanori Udagawa. http://www.photowellington.photoshelter.com.

Curio Collectors Est 1887

Captain Flotsam and First Mate Jetsam sailed the seas to New Zealand in the year 1886.

They briefly made Wellington their home but decided that Foxton was the place they wanted to lay their foundations. So it was with great haste that they boarded an iron steamer named “Tui” with all their gathered possessions, ready to depart on their journey.

As they set forth to leave Wellington and the harbour heads came into sight, beneath the hull there came a terrible lurch. Their boat had struck Barrett’s Reef, as so many had before and so many would after.

As the iron steamer went down, Jetsam frantically threw their treasures from around the world into a Kauri clipper. Then he and Captain Flotsam clambered aboard to row for shore.

With misfortune still against them, the weight of all the treasure became too much for the little clipper and she too began to sink.

With Petone shore in sight the pair leapt from the boat and made a swim for shore leaving it all to the perils of the sea. Treasures washed from the boat as it sank.

The sands quickly submerged everything and both Flotsam and Jetsam were too exhausted to doing anything about recovering their goods and moved on.

Before they died they told their children of the lost treasures, those children told their children and the story of Flotsam and Jetsam’s treasure was passed on down through the generations.

Petone Settlers 175th Anniversary

Conrad Coon, Petone Settlers 175th Anniversary on the Petone Foreshore, Lower Hutt, New Zealand on Sunday 19 January 2015. Photo by Masanori Udagawa. http://www.photowellington.photoshelter.com.

In the winter of 1970 a baby was born. He was the great-grandson of Captain Flotsam. People called him Flot.

Soon after, the great-grandson of First Mate Jetsam was born. His friends called him Jet.

Flot and Jet became friends and one day they decided (because metal detectors had been invented) to find their families’ treasures. They got their shovels, sifters, a tent, and two of the best metal detectors money could buy.

At first light they got down to the beach, they set up their tent, they got their shovels and buckets, then realised there was too much work for two men to do alone.

They needed help.

They need you.

So get down to Petone Beach, outside the Settlers Museum, and be part of history as Flotsam and Jetsam unearth the treasure buried below.

Help them find their treasure this Monday, 25th January, from 11am on Petone beach front, as part of the our contribution to the  Our Story festival. We’ll have dress ups and a photobooth, old fashioned games and plenty more! And it’s the last chance to see the museum before we close down for two months to install our NEW EXHIBITIONS…