The Last

For a while I’ve been writing about my father’s photographs. For the time being at least, here is the last. This is a photograph of a picnic that was held in New Plymouth in the late 30’s, down by the port.

It is known what this event was, apparently a large scale picnic. Notice the port in the background. And Paritutu, the plug of a volcano. The softer cone has over the aeons has eroded away. In New Zealand we use the Maori word for these structures: tokatoka. There is a famous one near Dargaville, Don Binney painted it. I don’t have an up-to-date Maori dictionary, but I think that the new Maori word for helicopter is tokatoka, or tokotoko.

If you ever come to New Plymouth, I recommend that you climb to the top of Paritutu. It takes about 20 minutes, although some of it is a bit like stepaerobics. In preEuropean times there was a small Maori village up there. Probably not for everyday living, it would be a long way down to the letterbox, but more for somewhere to retreat to in the event of an attack.