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ROTORUA MUSEUM

This is an architectural portrait of the Rotorua Museum in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. Although the design was inspired by half-timbered Tudor architecture from the golden age of England, the Elizabethan Era (1558–1603), the building dates to the Edwardian Period (1901-1910). It houses the old Bath House, relics of indigenous Maori people, a collection of modern art, and a genuinely poignant collection of ANZAC memorabilia — letters, diaries and photographs of New Zealanders fighting in faraway Gallipoli... 100 years ago.

Immense numbers of young Australian and New Zealand soldiers traipsed off to fight in Gallipoli against the Turks. The battle lasted about eight months, between April-December 1915, and came to define the three main warring nations of Gallipoli, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand. (There were also, however, much smaller numbers of English, French, German, Indian troops.) The battle ground down to a draw, a stalemate, with the ANZAC troops withdrawing. Churchill who had masterminded the attack lost his job as the First Lord of the Admiralty, while the legend of Kemal Ataturk was launched.

The building was originally constructed in 1906-1908 by the newly created Department of Tourist and Health Resorts on land in the Government Gardens, a gift of Ngāti Whakaue to the town of Rotorua.

I realize that as I post this photo from Down Under New Zealand, I could be causing a whiplash effect, oscillating rapidly between sites from the North Atlantic and sites from the South Pacific. I dedicate this photo to our hosts during two glorious days in Rotorua — Wink and Bev Sutton, good friends from Oxford University Days in the 70s. We made sure to leave before Benjamin Franklin’s 250 year old dictum expired, “Guests and fish begin to small after three days.”

We visited the Rotorua Museum on a rainy day, but the light was good. The absence of stark contrasts in sun-lit and shadowy areas yields far more detail.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6809 W: 476 N: 12168] (41255)
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