A week of im­mer­sion in lo­cal his­tory with book launches, tours, talks, walks, dis­plays, work­shops, per­for­mances, spe­cial events, and Lego!.

City Li­brary Heritage Team co­or­di­na­tor Maria Shiva hardly knows where to start when pick­ing ‘must at­tend’ Lo­cal His­tory Week events. She likens it to ‘‘speed-dat­ing with his­tory’’.

‘‘There is just so much to choose from - there are walks, talks, work­shops and dis­plays, and a cou­ple of book launches. There’s even Lego.’’

How­ever, to start with, Shiva set­tles on the story of Palmer­ston North horse­woman and trainer Hed­wick ‘Granny’ McDon­ald.

The first woman in New Zealand to be granted a pro­fes­sional trainer’s li­cence, McDon­ald trained the1938 Melbourne Cup win­ner, a lit­tle-known New Zealand-owned 8-year-old geld­ing called Cat­a­logue.

She was never cred­ited with the feat be­cause un­der Vic­to­ria Rac­ing Club rules, she could only train un­der her hus­band’s name.

Granny is the sub­ject of his­tor­i­cal fic­tion novel Rac­ing the Boys by Australian au­thor Jac­que­line Di­nan, who re­searched the book in city li­brary’s Ian Mathe­son Ar­chives.

The New Zealand launch of Rac­ing the Boys takes place in the li­brary at 3pm on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 30, with items from the Granny McDon­ald com­mu­nity ar­chive on dis­play.

The launch, just two days be­fore the run­ning of the 2016 Cup, jumps the rest of the His­tory Week field, of­fi­cially un­der way on Mon­day at 11am.

The first talk at mid­day is

‘‘There's just so much to choose from.’’ City Li­brary Heritage Team co­or­di­na­tor Maria Shiva

about the gold and plat­inum in ‘‘them thar hills’’, with the an­nual Mina McKenzie Memo­rial Lec­ture at 7pm.

Other high­lights in­clude Te Ko­rari, a guided walk through The Square with Nuwyne Te Awe Awe and Henare Kani, and another per­for­mance by War­ren and Vir­ginia War­brick of Tahi80 - the hole in the ground, com­bin­ing Euro­pean and Maori art and mu­sic traditions.

Depart­ment stores played a prom­i­nent role in the city’s so­cial his­tory - the PDC, Rosco, the DIC, Milne and Choyce, Arthur Bar­nett, Collinson and Cun­ning­hame. The city li­brary of course now oc­cu­pies the for­mer Rosco/DIC/Arthur Bar­nett build­ing.

’’Peo­ple might like to bring along me­men­tos, as well as their mem­o­ries. They might have a teacup or some other sou­venir from the city’s depart­ment stores.’’

Guests of the Fri­day gath­er­ing are wel­come to dress the part.

Other events in­clude tours of the Massey Univer­sity Ar­chives, the hospi­tal’s David Warnock Med­i­cal Mu­seum and Lethenty His­toric House in Bulls, open days at Hoff­man Kiln, Cac­cia Birch and the Palmer­ston North Elec­tric Power sta­tion.. Book­ings are es­sen­tial. The full pro­gramme is avail­able at the city li­brary and on­line.


Ac­tiv­ity out­side the Palmer­ston North rail­way sta­tion on Main St, circa 1907/08 is one of the iconic pho­to­graphs high­light­ing this year’s Lo­cal His­tory Week.

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