Snapshots - 11

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Friday 5 June 2009
Ron Brownson

Strangely, snapshots of sports are not as common as one would think they should be. Especially home-style team photos like this one. This shot of the rugby playing sailors coming from the HMS Dunedin was taken at Pearl Harbour in February 1929 while the ship was taking a Pacific voyage. The Dunedin was a Leander class light cruiser of the New Zealand division of the Royal Navy. It was launched in 1918 and later helped out with the after-effects of the Napier earthquake in 1931. In 1939, it went to the Atlantic ocean and was torpedoed there on 24 November 1941 with the loss of 419 lives.

I do not know yet which football field at Honolulu this team portrait was made at but it could have easily been the one which was actually very close to the dock area. Whoever T. A. was, he made sure to mark his place in this team. See how New Zealand's sailor guys of 1929 do not appear to have any Maori mates on their team. Today, the percentage of sailors who have Maori heritage is much larger.

*Please note that my talk is at 1pm this Sunday, not 3pm as previously stated. 

On Sunday 7 June at 1pm I will talk about Snapshots - The Vernacular in New Zealand Photography in the Gallery's Art Lounge.