NEWS IN BRIEF….
MAORI CANOE DISCOVERED
An old Maori trading canoe, a link with the early days of Rawene, is to be mounted in the main street of Rawene. Found in the Waima River, the totara canoe is believed to be 200 years old. It will be restored by Maori craftsmen and mounted on a base with a plaque giving its history.
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THE SMALLEST BOOK
The smallest book ever published in New Zealand has just been printed by the well-known New Zealand publishers, A. H. and A. W. Reed. It is Reed's Lilliput Maori dictionary, which weighs only an ounce, is 1 ½ inches high and one inch wide and half an inch thick. It contains 576 pages of legible print. It was printed for Reeds in Germany.
THE POHUTUKAWA TREE IN WALES
Towards the end of 1960, The Pohutukawa Tree, by Bruce Mason, was presented by the Theatr Fach (Little Theatre) of Llangefni, Anglesey, Wales. The producer, Mr F. G. Fisher, saw the play on BBC Television and decided to put it on in the small Welsh village. Not knowing what a pohutukawa looked like, Mr Fisher sent his designer some 300 miles to Kew Gardens, London, where there was one. The designer returned with a sprig which he said fell to the ground as he was passing! From this sprig, Mr Fisher built a complete tree, flowers and all. For the Maori waiata in the wedding scene, Mr Fisher took a 13th century Welsh lament, changed some of the vowels and asked a Welsh composer to set it in a primitive idiom. The result was an interesting combination of Welsh and Maori. It is understood that the play will be taken on a Welsh provincial tour during 1961.