Monday, November 26, 2012

A piece of family history discovered


So often we only know part of the story behind a family photo.  One of the advantages of digitisation is the ability to reproduce and share our photos, not only with family members but others in the community....this can lead to interesting discoveries.....
Recently I scanned and restored some photographs from a photograph album belonging an early Wellington family who settled here in the later part of the 1800s.  A family album dating from the late 1800s to early 1900s contained a number of beautiful sailing boat images, including one of a large ship stranded on the beach.  Neville, the photograph album owner thought the ship was wrecked somewhere down south, but knew nothing of its history.  I used this image recently, with Nevilles permission, in a pamphlet about my work, which I  took along  with me to a recent open day of the Southern Heritage Group,  held at the Island Bay Community Centre. When Marion from the group saw my brochure she instantly recognised the image and said “that’s the Bella, which was stranded at Owhiro Bay”.  She pulled out a file full of newspaper articles and including an image similar to, but not the same as the image I had scanned and restored from Neville’s album.  It was indeed the Bella.   I was delighted as I knew Neville did not have any information on the ship, its name, the date or where the stranding occurred so I was able to copy this and pass this information to Neville.  Neville was thrilled to discover new information about a piece of his family history.

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