Life of Rewi Alley on show
Taupo¯ Museum’s newest display is an exhibition on New Zealandborn writer and political activist Rewi Alley and his time in China.
Alley was born in Springfield in Canterbury in 1897 and christened Rewi, after Rewi Maniapoto, a Nga¯ti Maniapoto leader. Spending his formative years in New Zealand, he attended Christchurch Boys’ High School before volunteering for military service. He was wounded in France and awarded the Military Medal for bravery and devotion to duty under fire.
Upon returning to New Zealand, he cleared and farmed an area in Moeawatea, near Waverley, in Taranaki for six years. Following this short farming stint, out of curiosity he decided to visit China to “go and have a look at the Chinese revolution”. China effectively became his home for the rest of his life.
This photography exhibition follows Rewi’s move to China in 1927 and includes his participation in the Gung Ho (Work Together) movement, to being recognised for this service in New Zealand where he was made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for community service in 1985 by Prime Minister David Lange.
His journey included coming to the aid of Chinese workers experiencing severe job exploitation, opening a school and re-introducing soldiers back into work after conflicts.
The exhibition is on at Taupo¯ Museum until November 11.
An exhibition on the life and times of Rewi Alley, New Zealand-born writer and activist is on now at Taupo¯ Museum.