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TSS Earnslaw Memories Revived


TSS Earnslaw Memories Revived

Memories of the TSS Earnslaw and the role the Lake Wakatipu steamer played in the lives of many people during the past 100 years have been revived through stories and photographs submitted to Real Journeys from all over New Zealand to help mark the steamer’s centenary celebrations.

Real Journeys CEO Richard Lauder says the stories provided by former lakeside high country station, Glenorchy and Queenstown residents provide an excellent social history of the heritage steamer, and the people whose livelihoods depended on her, after her launch as a freight and passenger boat in 1912.
“We have been delighted with the diverse stories that we have received. It is evident that for so many people , particularly in the first 60 years of her existence, the TSS Earnslaw was a real lifeline. The childhood memories in particular provide a great insight into how much she meant to people in the more isolated parts of Lake Wakatipu.”

The winning entry was submitted by 86-year-old Janet Smith, now of Timaru, who was brought up in the Routeburn, the daughter of Neil Cook, who had a sawmilling operation at the Head of the Lake.

She recounts tales of her father loading timber on the TSS Earnslaw and the significance of the steamer in their family life.

“It was always exciting on boat day as the mail and papers arrived along with anything that had been ordered from the outside world. All our groceries were ordered in bulk and sent up on the Earnslaw, enough for three months at a time.”
Mrs Smith wins two tickets on the TSS Earnslaw’s re-enactment of its maiden passenger voyage excursion from Kingston to Queenstown on October 18 which is the steamer’s official 100th birthday.

“I am so delighted to be able to join this cruise as I was so keen to do it,” she says. “I had already booked on the Glenorchy and Head of the Lake trip but had to draw straws because I couldn’t manage to do both. This is wonderful and I will bring a member of my family to share the occasion with me. It’s really very exciting.”

IMAGE CAPTION: Janet Smith (right) as a young girl with her parents Neil and Lenore Cook and sister Lenore. Unfortunately this image is low res and nothing higher is available.

To read full story by Janet Smith – www.tssearnslaw.co.nz


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