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Live stories of Bay’s history

The story of the Doris tragedy, a 1932 shipping accident that left 10 men dead, is just one of the local stories noted Hawke’s Bay historian Michael Fowler is readying for an action-packed talk this month.

In the days before larger ships could be berthed to unload cargo, the vessels stayed out to sea and smaller ships ferried between ship and shore to unload the goods.

On December 28, 1932, though, it all went horribly wrong and a collision saw lives lost.
“It is quite a story and a very important part of our local history,” says Mr Fowler.

His talk is a fundraiser for Knowledge Bank Hawke’s Bay. It is very fitting as Knowledge Bank is committed to collecting up the region’s stories and records of events, people, celebrations, tragedies and day-to-day life, and putting them on the website, available to the public.

“They do a tremendous job. The oral histories from the 50s and 60s in particular have information that would eventually have been lost if it had not been for Knowledge Bank collecting them.”

He was donating his time to aid the fundraiser. “As a historian, I do use their website and so it is the least I can do to help them raise for funds to run the operation.”

Hawke’s Bay Digital Archives Trust chairman Peter Dunkerley said contributions such as Mr Fowler’s were invaluable.

“It is just this sort of support from our local community that enables us to keep doing what we do. We very much appreciate the time Michael is giving up to prepare and then give this talk – and we know that the audience will have a great evening; he is a great raconteur.”

Mr Fowler said he was planning to cover a range of stories, from the “humorous to the sad to the serious”.

The talk is on March 21, in the Magdelinos Room at the Havelock North Function Centre, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Tickets are available only from Knowledge Bank (no door sales), phone 833 5333.

© Scoop Media

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