Campbell Island North East Harbour Whaling StationWHALING - NORTH EAST HARBOUR: One of the photographs of the 1911 Campbell Island whaling establishment referred to in Ian Kerr's historical postscript to his book. Three small sheds, possibly for sleeping, stood on the last of the flat ground behind the buildings seen here. Photo by courtesy of Turnbull Library.


NEWSLETTER Vol 3 Number 8 APRIL 1978

Association Officers 1977 - 78

Air Vice-Marshall A. H. Marsh C.B.E.

Richard Lovegrove

Secretary   Treasurer
Tony Bromley   Bill Hislop
Committee   Honorary Members
Peter Goodman   M. Butterton
George Poppleton           H. Carter
Tom Taylor   Capt. J. F. Holm
Fred Knewstubb   I. Kerr
Noel Caine   C. Taylor
Tom Earl   H. W. Hill

 Newletter Editor
Peter (Pierre) Ingram

"The Islander" is the official quarterly bulletin of the Campbell-Raoul Islands' Association (Inc.) and is registered at the Post Office Head­ quarters, WELLINGTON, for transmission through the Postal Services as a magazine. All enquiries should be addressed to: The Secretary, CRIA (Inc.), G.P.O. Box 3557, WELLINGTON. Contributions to the bulletin should be forwarded to the Editor, CRIA (inc), G.P.O. Box 3557, WELLINGTON, and subscriptions to the Treasurer. Current membership rates are $5 per annum.


FINAL MESSAGE: Raoul Island 23rd Jan 1939
Aeradio Wellington.

Please advise when next boat due. Caught by hurricane last night. Station almost blown away. Need tent flys galvanised iron nails to rebuild. Everything extremely dilapidated. Too far gone for further use. May have lost stores not yet carried from Rock as tide exceptionally high above HT mark. All well Carter.

(Within an hour of the sending of this message, Carter who was a member of the 1937/9 K.I.E. party, was drowned at the entrance of Reelspur Gulley on his way to inspect damage at Fishing Rock - Ed)



In the early 1950s, the BBC mounted a music programme which was mainly aimed at Britain's national servicemen and subsequently had a weekly one hour slot over the Forces Radio network. The theme was a little morbid perhaps - what six musical records would you pack for your hurried departure to a lonely island prior to a nuclear holocaust? The young guests invariably seemed to pump for a mixture of Jimmy Shand and his band and Vera Lynn who was still very much the Forces sweetheart at that time. New Zealand servicemen unadjusted to this type of repetition often wondered if there were any islands where Forces Radio could not reach them.

The BBC also started to tire of its little game, so inserted Sir Malcolm Sergeant into the slot one night. Sir Malcolm requested six musical scores to take along as evidently he had the London Philharmonic built into his head and only needed the paperwork to accompany him. The youthful listeners were a little baffled by this nonsense and the following week everything was back to normal.

However, the message was clear enough. It was well intentioned research into what could musically entertain one until the gramophone spring broke. When and if these castaways were ever returned to civilisation, a documentary on how they now regarded their platter heroes of the fifties would have even more interesting.

My personal heroes on disc were already out in the islands during my rambles of the 1960s as I had no equipment of my own. Therefore the collection was somewhat varied and a little more than the BBC would allow. At Raoul it was the odd-ball choice of Tino Rossi's beautiful tenor voice. Chathams was reduced to the 'Limbo Rock' and Cliff Richard's 'Bachelor Boy', these two appearing to be the only records available out there at the time. Vaughan Williams' 'Sinfonia Antar(c)tica’ and the Soviet Army Choir roused me on Campbell and the Ellis Islands provided the moody 'Trains and Boats and Planes'. Antarctica was a peculiar selection on cassettes dubbed against all rules of copyright from the limited libraries of field parties passing through Vanda.

I listen to them all to this day. They provide neither irritation nor boredom on the l00th hearing. Rather a selection of happy memories when I was free to pursue an unusual life of island hopping through these isolated areas. I doubt if I am alone amongst our Association members should I enjoy this particular type of nostalgic rambling.


We note somewhat belatedly that September of last year contained the Association's l0th birthday. On the 13th, seventeen instantaneous members launched the Association on $44 from 19 Lucknow Terrace in Khandallah. Following it down the hill, came the first of five cyclostyled newsletters in March of 1968. First photographs came in August of 1970 and the first 'Islander’ rolled off the press in December of 1971.



Greetings greetings to ye Campbell min
From Peter Johnson and his Crew 3 kin
Thanks for the Crissy card last year
And the thoughtful message contained in there
The celebrate men of the Campbell Isles
Are God fearing we think, beneath the smiles
If the weather's right we will drop the news
And a couple of letters for you to use
And if it aint we will fly on by
Just a friendly voice from in the sky.
Crew 3's changed since yesteryear
With only half the oldies here
And Captain Pete has had the word
That from April next he won't fly this bird
But instead a desk back home will drive
In the Whenuapai Ops Command Post hive.
Well that's the ode for this fair day
Kiwi 963 must be on it's way
But I will be back with my trusty pen
Someday soon, I don't know when.

Regards Mof


Campbell Campers gather round
Waiting for that ominous sound
Shining wings we did not spy
Only a grey and cloudy sky
We'll wait again to hear from you
And hope you get a clearer view.

Letters nine is all we need
There's less of us now here indeed
Five original now remain
Sounds as if you are much the same
Happy landings to all concerned
We know that's what you've really earned.

Campbell Islanders

Cheerful bit of banter on the airwaves comes from a flypast by an RNZAF 5 Squadron Lockheed 'Orion’ during early March of this year. Low cloud and strong westerly winds prevented the aircraft from making it to the dropping zone. Mof is the 5 Squadron Poet Laureate, who composes best in the rarefied air of flight. Ed.


by (Sir) Bernard Fergusson
Published Collins 1972

This is a disappointing book, which floats in a literary no man's land between fact and fiction. The style is also disappointing, exhibiting a simple grace and purity of thought once required from contributors to the "Boys' Own Paper" - now long deceased, both contributors and "Paper."

Sir Bernard (now Lord Ballantrae) poses his boyhood hero, Captain John Bollons of the Government steamer service, as model for his John Niven. Similarly the Marama thinly veils the graceful Hinemoa and Bully Banks is none other than old-time baddie Bully Hayes.

The Dundonald incident is there and prevails upon the reader in this peculiar atmosphere of fiction being heavily peppered with fact. The aura of survival is entirely lost to a tumbling maze of what might (and did) have happened. No mention of the Sub-antarctic Expedition of 1907 is used at this point which was truly an important adventure in itself. Instead we are bundled up and back in Bluff within three days. And surely more colour would have loomed from an encounter with castaways on the Kermadecs, if fiction is to be permitted, rather than some of the nondescript incidents with which he illustrates other areas of New Zealand shores.

In an interesting author's note which terminates instead of preceeding the narrative, Sir Bernard states, "If I am asked why I have made this a work of fiction, the answer is that the material for a biography does not exist; only the character and the setting for a tale. Some of the episodes are from (Captain Bollons) own telling, some based on adventures of others, some spun out of my own head. I have felt free to ascribe to the imaginery John Niven incidents which never happened, though they might well have, to the real Captain Bollons."

Sir Bernard wrote this note at Ballantrae on Christmas Day of 1971. Perhaps the text was also prepared remotely from the scene of original action. More's the pity. I am convinced the author could have prepared a wholly factual and important historical document on the Government steamers with Bollons providing all the necessary human interest element. John Bollons served on the Stella and commanded both the Hinemoa and Tutanekai over many years. Sir Bernard personally knew him and the latter two ships as well as many of the crews.

If the idea for this book had been born in Wellington during his vice-Regal appointment, I am sure Turnbull Library staff and perhaps some of his own, would have been prepared to carry out the necessary research. To my knowledge, there has been no proper work completed on this important section of New Zealand nautical history and Sir Bernard could have filled a useful slot. Photographically, such a book could have excelled as Turnbull Library holds many fine photographs of both ships and men of this service.

My copy used for review came from the children's section of a public library where it had been misplaced by staff. Sad fate for an author who has interested a large adult reader group in the past with exciting accounts of 'true life adventure.' But to the book's credit, we have a lasting insight into the character of a much loved and respected Govenor-General.



Review of Book Titles:

i) Raoul Island and the Kermadec Group.

THE WHALING JOURNAL OF CAPTAIN RHODES: introduced by C.R. Straubel and published by Whitcome & Tombs 1954. Whaling around New Zealand in the 1830's - visits to the Kermadecs and meetings with Raoul's first settler. Diary format, not illustd.

THE KERMADEC ISLANDS: Their Capabilities and Extent. by S. Percy Smith is a surveyor's assessment of all islands in the Kermadecs after the Annexation. Published and illustrated by the Government Printer, 1887.

THE KERMADEC GROUP: the Unvarnished Truth About Sunday Island. a 50 page tirade against surveyor Smith and the Government in general by would be settler A.M. Venables. Walsh Printing Co, Auck, 1937.

SOUTH SEA VAGABONDS: by J.W. Wray, first published for Reeds in 1939, revised edition 1952. Illustrated. Nautical knockabout Wray tells of his trans Tasman, South Seas and Kermadec trips, on cutter Ngataki in the 1930's.

CRUISE OF THE RAIDER WOLF: by Roy Alexander. Published by Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1939. Contains good account of the sinking of the Wairuna and Winslow at Raoul Island during World War 1.

CRUSOES OF SUNDAY ISLAND: by Elsie K. Morton. Published by Bell (London) for Reeds, 1957. Basically true but girlish account of the Bell family period of residence on Raoul Island from 1887 to 1913. Illustrated.

SUWARROW GOLD: by James Cowan and published by Jonathan Cape in 1936. A collection of short stories containing one, 'the Isle of Lost Endeavour’, an account of the early settlements on Raoul Island.

KERMADEC ISLANDS: Report of the Aeradio Committee, 1938. Available through several Government departments for reference. Profusely illustrated by surveyor Alan Henderson. Brief and accurate historical section and individual reports from members of the K.I.E.

ii) Campbell Island and Auckland Island.

CAMPBELL ISLAND - A History: by Ian S. Kerr, published by Reed, 1976. A concise and accurate account of the island's 166 year history. Illustrated.

THE LADY OF THE HEATHER: by Will Lawson. Published by Angus & Robertson, Melbourne, 1945. The legend in its final modified form. 'Bonnie Prince Charlie's' daughter in exile on Campbell Island.

MARIE LEVANT: by Caryle Ferguson and published by Whitcombe & Tombs, 1913. Variation of the Lady of the Heather legend, this version provides King Louis XVII and his daughter Marie as the chief characters with Campbell Island as a backdrop. A case of murder and love on the high seas - in true Victorian fashion.

CAPE EXPEDITION - Auckland & Campbell Islands: compiled and published by Aerodrome Services, P.W.D., 1946. Available through several Government departments for reference. A well illustrated and adequately written account of the World War II coast watching activities on both these islands.

THE EVENTFUL STORY OF THE AUCKLAND ISLANDS: by Fergus B. McLaren, published by Reed, 1948. Written in 1936 by McLaren, the book records the Auckland Island shipwrecks and the 1849 Enderby whaling settlement at Port Ross.

WRECKED ON A REEF: by F. E. Raynal and published by Nelson & Sons, London, 1896. The 1864 wrecking of the schooner Grafton at the Auckland Islands and good description of the 20 month shipwreck survival period by the five crew. Illustrated with 40 full page pen drawings.

CASTAWAY ON THE AUCKLAND ISLES: by Captain Thomas Musgrave and published by Lockwood (London), 1866. Companion to Wrecked on a Reef, notable for the full account of the crew rescue by the Flying Scud.

THE CASTAWAYS OF DISAPPOINTMENT ISLAND: by Rev. H. Escott-Inman and published by Partridge (London) circa 1910. The full and accurate account of the wrecking of the Dundonald at Disappointment Island in 1907 and the tale of survival of 16 crew.

ISLANDS OF DESPAIR: by Allan W. Eden and published by Andrew Melrose (London) in 1955. Mainly based on Auckland Island history and Cape Expedition activities. Eden was the Expedition surveyor. Illustrated.

iii) Other Sub-antarctic Islands.

FOURTEEN MEN: by William Arthur Scholes, published by Cheshire Pty, Melbourne, 1949. The 1947 ANARE expedition to Heard Island in the L.S.T. Labuan. Account of field work, surveying, and erection of the new camp.

TWELVE CAME BACK: by Peter Lancaster Brown. ANARE's 1952 expedition to Heard Island in the sealer Tottan. Two members of this party were killed on field expeditions. Published by Hale (London) 1957.

THE SEA AND THE SNOW: by Philip Temple, published by Cassell, Australia, 1967? Private mountaineering expedition in the schooner Patanela to Australia's Heard Island during 1964-65.

SUB-ANTARCTIC SANCTUARY: by Mary Gillhan, published for Reeds in 1967. English botanist Gillhan visits Macquarie Island during the period of the 1965 annual servicing at the Australian weather station.

THE WINNING OF AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTICA: by A. Grenfell Price. Published by Angus & Robertson, 1962. Account of Mawson's B.A.N.Z.A.R.E. 1929-31 expeditions. Contains descriptions of the Crozet, Kerguelen, Heard and Macquarie Islands besides the main topic of surveying the Antarctic coastline. In diary format by Mawson and other text by Price. Illustrated.

MACQUARIE ISLAND: by Dr Johri Cumpston and published by Govt. Printing Office, Canberra, 1968. From Hasselburgh's 1810 discovery to Mawson's 1929-31 BANZARE residence - a very full history contained in 380 pages. Illustrated.

iv) Chatham Island.

THE CHATHAM ISLANDS, Their Plants, Birds and People. by E.C. Richards. Published by Simpson and Williams, Christchurch, 1952. Illustrated. Botanical and wildlife descriptions - complete history of human occupation and family accounts of some 70 local names.

WHO'D MARRY A DOCTOR: by Elaine Grundy. Published by Whitcombs & Tombs, 1968. Illustrated. An amusing 1954 tour of Chatham Islands with her doctor-husband who was seconded from the North Canterbury Hospital Board for the trip.

FORGOTTEN ISLANDS OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC: by Rosaline Redwood. Published by Reeds, Wellington, 1950. Mostly on Chathams, but Bounty, Antipodes, Snares, Auckland, Campbell, and Macquarie as well as a flock of rocks around Stewart Island all get a mention. Illustrated.

v) Shipping and Whaling.

FAIR WINDS AND ROUGH SEAS: by Allan A. Kirk and published by Reeds, 1975. Illustrated. The Holm Shipping Company history through three generations. The Holm ships have serviced the islands for some 25 years to date.

SHIPWRECKS, New Zealand Disasters: Researched by C.W.N. Ingram and P.W. Wheatley and published by Reed in 1950. Illustrated. A record of all known New Zealand shipwrecks up to 1950. Includes the Kermadecs, Chatham and the sub-antarctic islands. A later edition covers up to the mid 1960's.

MURIHIKU: by Robert McNab, published by Smith, Invercargill, 1907. Facsimile edition by Wilson and Horton, 1974. Mainly contained around the Southland coastline, the sealing industry described from 1770 to 1820's. Accurate detail of shipping movements from Macquarie to the Chathams. Hasselburgh discovery of Campbell dealt with also.

CAPTAIN JOHN NIVEN: by Sir Bernard Fergusson and published by Collins, 1972. Fiction - based on the life of Captain John Bollons, longtime master mariner to the Government steamer service. May provide some sort of atmosphere to the workings of this service - but little else.

vi) Miscellaneous.

RNZAF, A Short History: by Geoffrey Bentley, published by Reed 1969. Chapter 22, Angels of Mercy deals with aerial attempt to withdraw T.P. Hammond from Campbell Island in 1951, the aircraft being a ‘Catalina' flying boat.



The January/February 1978 issue of "Break-in", which is the official journal of the NZ Association of Radio Transmitters Inc, contains a rather good account of a world CQ contest being in part conducted by four New Zealanders from the wool-shed on the Raoul Island farm. These dedicated amateur radio operators were Marion ZL1BKL, Carol ZL1AJL, Eddie ZL1BKX and Dave ZL1AMN. Marion Lister was evidently OC of the DX-pedition having gained experience in these portable matters in the pub at Chathams, where she logged some 4,500 contacts with three others within a week during the 1974 CQWW.

The fourteen days required for the Kermadec’s tour was sanctioned by Lands & Surveys during March 1977 and from then on it was all go to make it by the departure date of October 17 from Westhaven. Some 173 letters were penned to keep things moving while Holmdale and the Storemen - Packers worked in the opposite direction towards the end when time was becoming crucial. MOT came to the rescue by offering them some of the island's 230 volt supply - so the diesel generator was withdrawn from the Holmdale cargo list and the 18 ten foot aerial poles were retrieved from the storemen and dispatched to Auckland.

Harry Pope's 37 foot yacht Wolf was signed up for the trip and Marion says, "Harry, a marine surveyor, had had many hours of offshore sailing plus being an entrant in the two-man race around New Zealand. With (this) smaller boat, we were only able to take a team of four. Harry took three others to assist with sailing and making it possible to always have two aboard while anchored at Raoul."

They left Admiralty Steps at 1410 NZST on Monday, October 17 - right on schedule - ran out of wind the following day, so motored to Raoul to put the pick down off Fishing Rock at 1300 hours on Saturday 22nd. It was interesting to note that "SSB won hands down over AM" during the oceanic crossing - something we've been agitating about for over a decade as a means of islandic communication.

Eddie opened from the woolshed at 230912 GMT on 20 metres with Marion close behind at 1026 on 40 switching to CW at 1200 until 1400 hours. Marion says, "I left Ed still going strong and joined the others for some sleep. At 1800 hours, I kept the sked with the Africano net on 15 metres and after 2 hours solid, left Ed to continue while assistance was required for Dave now 80 feet up a Norfolk pine. These trees - three in all could have been planted with our requirements in mind. It took time to free the ropes from branches but worth the effort for height gained."

On Friday, the team took a well needed break and Marion and Carol went off to Meyer Island on the Wolf. "…. (We) firstly viewed the life underwater through a glass panel in the bottom of the dinghy. The rocks were bare of any growth or seaweed and only limpets, sea eggs with white thorns, and snails appeared to be the main rock holders. The small fish were fascinating as if looking in a tropical aquarium. Patterns and colours were exquisite. Small flower coral dotted another moist sandy floor and the water was crystal-clear down to 30 feet. In the water we could see blue moki and a yellow fish apparently unique to that area. We started fishing and Carol seemed to have the luck, first a red cod type, then a blue schnapper – then - we'll never know because what ever she was pulling in was snatched from her line bending a 3 inch hook out straight. That was the end of her luck and my turn to pull in a 2 foot long kingfish. We had the opportunity to watch the terns picking up ground bait off the water and a couple of sooty terns were also present. A restful day before the 24 hour contest opening at midday on 29th.

"The contest was hard going as we could not cut through the QRM in US or Europe and we had worked a lot of ZL (New Zealand) and VK (Australia) stations on 80 metres who did not work us again to give us points. However, we managed 3,500 contacts." By Tuesday they had logged 9,000 contacts. Of the following Wednesday and Thursday morning, she records, "Assistance from JY3ZH, JY3HH (Jordan) and 12BCM in working the European pile ups, and continued till 1400 hours ….. Poor conditions into W land (United States) meant a hopeful lssb system was difficult going and for about an hour before 15 metres opened at 1700 hours, it was difficult to maintain watch. It was even more difficult to cope with the CW pileup for an hour and found myself catnapping. When Carol woke she took over the net and I slept till after breakfast ….. Unfortunately 80 and 160 metres were so noisy that it had deterred some of the most hopeful operators and only a few picked up ZL1YL/K (Kermadecs) on those two bands. I caught some sleep while Carol carried on waking me in the early hours of the morning to take over."

The last contact, the total was now over 12,000, was on 15 metres at 042000 GMT (9am NZDT Saturday 5th November) and everything was dismantled and back on the yacht by 1730 NZDT that evening. After a night of Fawkes style festivities, they were waterborne by 1000 hours on Sunday. "The weather was not to be so kind to us and Auckland was experiencing gales with a fishing boat grounded at North Cape. We knew we were heading for bad weather. So it was and the barometer fell from 1020 to 1004 mbs in 12 hours. A good skipper and a solid boat coped with the winds peaking 70 - 80 knots and 30 foot seas. There were some waves that came in like trains causing quite a leeward push. Salt in aerial contacts made communications difficult for the rest of the trip. Quite an experience. A day of good sailing after the storm till again we were becalmed gave us time to dry out and clean up and have a good meal at a reasonable upright angle."

AERIALS: TH3Triband & Rotator plus 160, 80, 40 metre and 2 m beam. Vertical aerial with tuner.
EQUIPMENT: FT 101 & TS 900, Atlas 350 XL with VFO, Kenwood 820 for 160m. 4CB handheld Woolshed - met office - hostel - yacht.



It's nice to feel wanted but we did apply for Raoul, not Wellington, and after two months of Psuedo Sailing Schedules, including a trip through Fiji and / or Sydney which was conveniently vetoes, the 1977-78 crew departed from the Devonport Naval Base on October 25th, bound for their sub-tropical paradise.

It was good to be underway even though they must have been reluctant to let such valuable assets go, because the Otago which delivered us, had to fight off air force planes enroute in an exercise which may have built up confidence in some as to the ability of the Navy to protect our fair country. Several bypasses and several misses, but the entertainment was a break from the norm. After a smooth trip of three days trying to explain to sailors why we preferred a year on Raoul to the long term they had signed up for in a sardine tin, we sighted Raoul in the early hours of the 27th (October). Our home for a year. Because of the delay in suitable shipping, most of the servicing had been accomplished by those who had arrived 5 days earlier on the Holmdale, along with the outgoing party and some of the Lands and Survey bods. All we had to cope with was personal gear off and on, and the Otago was away the same day. The only discomfort during this operation was caused by the wet condition of those suffering from their initial baptism prior to landing. All too soon we are left alone to our new home. The senior met officer Dave Allen and the mechanic 'Duke' Wellington had both been here before and along with the tech Rob Humphries who had arrived earlier, they were invaluable in accustoming the new crew to the island due not having the usual change over period.

Even though our gear was ashore, there was still a lot of sorting and stacking to be done and the various facets of our different jobs and routines to settle into as quickly as possible. The first few weeks were spent by the newcomers running around in top gear, poking noses into everything like children let loose in an ice-cream factory.

Still, after three months, the island is excitingly new and different from our mainland jobs. On the island we had not seen the last of female company as a party of four members of the New Zealand Amateur Radio Transmitters, headed by Marion Lister were established in the now disused woolshed as a DXpedition on the island, using the unique situation to attract calls from as many other 'hams' as possible. Their highlight was a 24 hour marathon which seemed to conclude successfully. It was pleasant to have them here and along with the four members of their charted ketch Wolf under Harry Pope, many a brighter moment was enjoyed. Previous members will appreciate the concern for the new members discovering the antiquated gear supplied for contacting New Zealand while down in a disused woolshed, with very portable gear, the 'hams' were communicating clearly with others right around the world.

During their two week stay we were visited by the schooner Wunderlure with sole yachtsman, Art Hammond and his cat, enroute to New Zealand from Balboa via Tahiti. The boys made use of a thoughtful offer and were ferried by the two boats around Meyer Island for a spot of the renowned Raoul Fishing. It was sad to see such a co-operative bunch depart but life on Raoul must go on. Apart from contact with passing coastal traders and being buzzed at 0700 hours one Sunday morning by an unidentified helicopter which quickly disappeared out to a passing purse seiner without making contact - we have been left to our own devices.

A pre-Xmas air-drop was much appreciated although the disappearance of some mail caused some concern. We are, at the moment expecting a visit from a team from the Lands and Survey Department in mid-February which will bring news from home. It is rumoured that they may be bringing a hut for Mahoe and may check on the possibility of fencing some of the island for further goat control. A job for the fearless. Apart from all this, it is business as usual.

The works programme is well under way with budding painters attacking the Bomb Shed and met office. Good to see the efforts but thankful that Michael Angelo completed all his works before retiring. Some may be interested to hear that the paint used this on the Hume tank seems to be quite successful and along with a limited supply of chlorine, the water remains quite inviting. Disappointing, of course, is the sight of disappearing fences from the farm and the abandoning of a project which has cost many hours of hard and devoted work. Fresh milk is still available but for how long one will just have to wait and see. The oranges are well finished for this season but the passionfruit look tempting. Don't know of the use for the passion up here. The garden has undergone a systematic attack on nut grass but the wind has not permitted too much growth as yet.

One or two fishing expeditions to Meyer Island have brought results with a catch one time of 60 good sized kawhai and kingfish, the biggest being a 60 pound kingi. Still not up to 72 pound bass caught at Fishing Rock by the cook just after we arrived.

A few smellies have been bagged by the boys including the record by Wylie, Met Pleb, a seven pound giant. Had a job removing him from the barrel. The good old days for goat hunting seem to be well gone. Some previous Met Plebs, especially the ones from the year just passed, may be interested to know that they were not the only ones capable of a bit of fun down at the Bomb Shed, as three of our team have managed to create explosions which would make Guy Fawkes envious.

Apart from all this, we lead a very normal life, as Raoul allows, and hope that it will remain the same for the duration. No doubt something of greater interest will occur later and will finally make it's way to print, but until then the Kindergarten Krew send their regards to all and wish to advise that the home of previous teams is being well cared for.
Ciao. (Copyright Buchanan/Coombe 1978)


Campbell Island's Mount Honey
Mount Honey (569 metres), Campbell's highest peak and situated directly south of the scientific station.

Wharf Area at Campbell Island
A mid winter's morning around the dock area shows a good covering of snow.

Technical Building at Campbell Island
The technical building before the construction of the adjacent stores annex in 1963/64.

Courrejolles Campbell Island
An unusual shot of Courrejolles Point looking due west.

(All photos courtesy Tony Bromley and the N.Z. Meteorological Service)



Readers are requested to check Sirius's article on page 116 of the September 1977 issue of 'The Islander’ before reading the Ministry of Transport's reply:

9 November 1977.
Dear Sir,
My attention has been drawn to an article in the September 1977 issue of your quarterly bulletin entitled 'The Silly Season.’ Some of the points raised by Sirius need correction as they are by no means accurate.

1. The cost of servicing the two islands this year is in line with last year's costs.
2. It was never envisaged that containers would be landed from the servicing vessel. The stores and equipment were to be unloaded into surf boats and then handled in the usual manner for servicing.
3. Holmdale has been used for servicing Raoul and Campbell Islands for several years now. As it was not a passenger carrying vessel the Acheron was chartered for this purpose. This vessel is no longer available for Ministry use.
4. The Campbell Island servicing was carried out in 3 1/2 days with 10 staff. Of these, two were Met observers staying for the summer, one was an Ionosphere observer who was to come back on Holmdale, the new Officer in Charge who had been to the island before, and the Telecommunications Technician and another Met. Obs. who were at Raoul Island during the 1975-76 expedition. In all 60% of the personnel were experienced in servicing.
5. The servicing at Raoul Island was carried out in just over 1 1/2 days. The outgoing expedition being assisted in the task by three Lands and Survey and six Forest Service personnel who were also being repatriated to New Zealand.
6. Of the 1977-78 party who have gone to Raoul Island, two have been there before and another has worked on New Zealand lighthouse stations, many of which use a similar system of servicing. They will train the other expedition members in the procedures for servicing in time for next year's change over.
7. The Ministry is quite aware of the difficulties in servicing and at all times .has regard to the safety of the staff. Owing to a reduction in the numbers carrying out the servicing at Campbell Island this year, the Officer in Charge was told to make sure the work was not rushed.
8. In conclusion, had Sirius discussed the situation with the Raoul and Campbell Islands Administration Section, rather than getting his information from a usually reliable source, he would have been given the correct facts.

Would you please publish my comments in the next issue of the "Islander."
Yours faithfully, D. Anderson. for Secretary for Transport.



Already the Lockheed P3B 'Orions’ of the RNZAF's No 5 Squadron are coming up to their eleventh birthday. But Burbank's maritime birdies still exibit a sleek aerodynamic grace which is a long way removed from the barnacled and bird-limed 'Sunderlands' used to deliver the morning paper to Raoul up to the mid 1960's.

Writing on RNZAF air drops some four years ago, I regretted the passing of the flying boats and felt the sophisticated 'Orion’ would never have the time or want to waste money to visit our islands for informal deliveries of those little extra items. How wrong I was. The frequency of visits has increased now that Campbell Island is is regularly on the inspection schedule and the 'Orions’ distinctive shape is as familiar to the boys at 52 South as it is to the Raoulonian.

I have made two trips to Raoul since being seconded to the RNZAF last year and a day out in the P3B to visit the islands is a very comfortable affair with hot meals provided that I find superior to those on international airlines - even if there is no after-dinner liqueur served. The secret is that the raw ingredients are brought on board and the freshly cooked products which follow are the results of several crewmembers working with knowledge and effort to feed the team. TV type dinners are just not known on an 'Orion.’ My wife has long since learnt that if I am away flying for the day, my evening meal upon arriving home need not extend beyond a boiled egg.

In such comfort on Tuesday 9 August last year we did a low level tour of all which comprises the Kermadecs. L'Esperance was circled at 0830 hours and seventeen minutes later we were at Curtis and Cheesman. Both these islands are devoid of shrubs but were remarkably green and attractive, I suppose mainly from the ice plant which seems to abound in this salty setting. Curtis's two large mud pools were of an even grey and showed no convective movement.

At 0855 we were circling Macauley and shrubs now predominate on the western, southern and eastern perimeters since the eradication of the goats. Now a very beautiful and green island with a large red scoria slip on the highest bluff and a few albatross could be seen cruising the coastline.

The big thrill was to see Raoul again and recognise all the features as we rounded Nash Point. Past Fishing Rock and then the hostel with the boys below grouped around the truck at the DZ. The buffalo grass was getting around the top wires of the fences at the western end and had we had more altitude, the appearance of the farm would have immediately lost its overgrown look. We turned over the sea and came back in again running west to east at 250 feet and 170 knots to get the feel above the DZ, dumb-bell, and in for the drop. As we passed Hutchinson Bluff, I found myself critically looking through the branches of the Pohutukawa to see if there was an easier access onto this elusive headland. There appeared to be a better route available but I guess it would have had the same challenges if I was down amongst it again.

The D7 was sitting like a monument on the concrete pad that was once the orange store and there was the new farm implement shed and a totally reshaped village. The crater looked like 1964 was only yesterday and on around the island to Denham Bay. What wonderful memories of that picturesque area and then new views of the southern side of Hutchinson Bluff. Back over the DZ with lads still frantically waving their thanks and then a hard pull back to 14000 ft.

We went on to Minerva Reef as a bonus and arrived at 1035 hours. The main reef is a figure-of-eight coral heap - all awash except for the older coral heads. An ocean passage passed into the lagoon with a white coral sand base and smooth sea surface which was in contrast to the white flecked ocean at the perimeter. The historic fishing boat wreck at the western end is now in a final state of decay with only the stern deck area in any form of original shape.

About 25 miles to the north is the other section of the reef, quite circular and a smaller edition of its southern sister. It also has a fishing boat relic held hard and fast on the coral. Quite an experience to finally see this remote spot which frequently comes up as a news item in New Zealand.

Then it was southbound and during dinner, Raoul showed on radar at 105 miles due west of us at 1300 hours. We spent the early hours of the afternoon passing between the shelves of cumulonimbus clouds, a visual delight from our 16000 foot perch. And then a low level tour of the eastern Coromandel bays and Great Barrier to the Needles, turn south-west and home by 1700 hours. In the ten hours we had been away, I had felt a little surplus. I had certainly learnt a lot - not only a refresher course in my own field, but had felt the teamship and seen the hard work contained in a 1ong day with an RNZAF crew. The 'goodies' drop at Raoul was only a small diversion from the main task set for them that Tuesday. I slept very contented that night - I guess they just slept. 




November 21st, 1889. Denham Bay

"Mr Thomas Bell came across the mountains from his home on the North aide of the island and ordered me as Lessee of Run No 7, off the island. He threatened to pull the partly erected dwelling house to pieces. I told him I would not leave by his order, that I had come on the representations of the Government of NZ. He told me that I was mad, that the NZG had no right to the land, that the island was his. Witnesses to this scene were Robert McCulloch, Thomas B. Jackson and Arthur Beckett, carpenter.
H.K.H." (From H. Kinnaird Hovell's diary.)


(Well, Tom Bell and the family had been resident on Sunday or Raoul Island for some eleven years by the time November of 1889 came around. If the Annexation during August a couple of years back had not been enough, then these squatters sure were the last straw. Known to have an awesome temper (Morton 1957), heavily bearded and barefoot Tom must have been a fearsome sight by the time he hit the heights of Trig 5 on his way over to Denham Bay. Reckon I would have backed off into the undergrowth had I also been on the track that day- Ed.)


Next Issue: "The Settlers in Denham Bay."

The brief account above appears as a small part of collected evidence with a clothbound journal titled - 'Kermadecs Expedition ….. Treatment of H. Kinnaird Hovell and Kermadec Settlers by NZ Government.' It was prepared and published in 1894 as a belated cry of agony after the settlers' petition for compensation failed before a select parliamentary committee in June of 1891. The Government settling plan for Sunday Island had been a total failure and the forty plus settlers returned to New Zealand after a harrowing single year with claims amounting to over £4000.



Raoul Max Min Mean *Nml Rain Days *Nml Sun(hrs)
Jul 1977 18.7 13.4 16.1 -0.1 107 27 -56 160
Aug 18.4 13.0 15.7 -0.3 75 18 -62 150
Sep 18.6 12.5 15.6 -0.7 46 17 -7 186
Oct 20.1 13.4 16.8 -0.6 87 13 +1 207
Nov 21.9 16.4 19.2 +0.4 23 12 -58 189
Dec 23.9 18.9 21.4 +0.9 219 13 +130 142
Half Year Total -0.4 557 100 -52 1034
Annual Total  0 1092 185 -314 1947
Jul 1977 10.3 5.7 8.0 +0.3 69 18 -10 58
Aug 10.9 6.5 8.7 +0.6 44 22 -45 73
Sep 11.6 6.2 8.9 -0.2 86 24 +25 100
Oct 13.1 7.1 10.1 -0.1 52 17 -4 156
Nov 13.8 8.5 11.2 -0.4 70 17 +9 201
Dec 16.5 10.9 13.7 +0.3 91 15 +25 113
Half Year Total +0.5 412 113 0 701
Annual Total +0.8 1017 298 +104 1420
Jul 1977 6.5 0.2 3.4 -1.2 37 28 -70 13
Aug 7.9 4.3 6.1 +1.1 83 28 -26 29
Sep 8.0 3.1 5.6 +0.1 77 26 -25 60
Oct 8.3 3.3 5.8 -0.4 86 29 -31 66
Nov 10.3 4.9 7.6 +0.4 138 24 +31 106
Dec 12.0 6.8 9.2 +0.6 61 23 -41 114
Half Year Total +0.6 482 158 -162 388
Annual Total -0.5 1113 302 -291 628

*Nml: Departue from normal, where the term 'normal' refers to the 30 year period, 1941 to 1970 inclusive. Max and Min are mean maximum and minimum air temperature in degrees Celcius. All figures are from the monthly publication, N.Z, Gazette - Ed.



The oil drilling rig Penrod (Vol3 No4) is still sending in daily weather reports from the southern ocean. Present position is 49.6 South and 169.6 East.



Older members among us can probably recall during 1961, the sub-orbital lob into ‘space' of Commander Alan Shepherd U.S.N. This inspired New Zealand's first involuntary venture into space by one rattus Campbellii, following in the space footsteps of illustrious predecessors such as Laika the Russian dog and various space monkeys.

The space probe consisted of a cluster of small gas filled balloons yoked together several feet above a Campbell Mk 1 explosive-string- seperating-device (6 sticks gelignite on a 3 minute fuse). Below this was parachute for safe descent and finally a glass jar with an aerated top complete with flag and the four legged passenger.

Launch day was one of those typical 'anticyclonic gloom' days with not a breath of wind to disturb the placid surface of Perseverance Harbour. After checking that all systems were 'go', including the waterborne rescue section (canoe), the decision was made to go ahead. The balloons were filled, the rat trapped and placed in his capsule and the fuse lit. Unlike the usually impressive Nasa launches, our space attempt consisted of gentle launching into the still air to the accompaniment of enthusiastic applause from the assembled multitude of Campbellites.

Breathlessly we watched as the space vehicle ascended at about 1000 feet per minute and drifted slowly south. At a height of about 2000 feet the gelignite blew up, separated the space train and the capsule and occupant descended to Perseverance Harbour. Meanwhile, back in the marine rescue vehicle, the pilot had placed himself in readiness and paddled furiously to the floating capsule which was easily recognised by its special flag.

The capsule was brought triumphantly back to shore and amidst the intense interest of the assembled scientific community the lid was removed from the capsule. After some time had elapsed the rat poked his nose warily out and decided to emerge into the not so rarified air of Campbell Island's surface.

The unknown hero then tottered off into the dracophyllium longifolium probably to relate all that had happened to his mates but certainly never to return to areas inhabited by the dreaded bearded homo sapiens of Campbell Island. - Ed de Ste Croix.



The annual advertising of vacancies for staff at both Raoul and Campbell Islands for the 1978/9 expeditions was posted during late March. Instrumental in circulating the notice was instrumentalist Brian Dash, long-time Superintendent of the Meteorological Service's Instrument Section - now Superintendent Reporting Section after Alan Good's recent retirement.

Raoul Island  
1 Observing Officer 554.105 max $8151
3 Bascic or merit grade observers 554.101/102 $6399
Campbell Island  
1 Observing Officer 554.103/104 max $7511
2 Bascic or merit grade observers 554.101/102 $6399

Allowances remain unchanged
Raoul Married $1297 Single $1177
Campbell Married $1943 Single $1823


 POST SCRIPT - by Ian Kerr

It is probably the lot of most authors of local histories to have new material drawn to their attention soon after publication. I was no exception - several new sources of information came to light.

Shortly after "Campbell Island" came off the presses, Norm Judd, Forest Service Ranger at Havelock, told me that Joe Timms who had worked at Campbell Island in the period 1912-16 with other whalers from Te Awaiti was still alive and well in Picton. Norm spent many hours yarning with Joe, and recording questions and answers on all aspects of island life in those days. Joe insisted that men from Te Awaiti had gone to Campbell Island as early as 1907. A search through the colums of "The Marlborough Express" confirmed his belief. Captain Tucker had engaged five Marlborough men to assist Andrew Nicolson with the shearing in the summer of 1907-8. They were Charlie Heberley, Arthur and Charlie Jackson, and Jack and Dick Norton; and they went south on the Hinemoa in November 1907. On their return in May 1908, the report in the "Express" made it clear that the party went to Campbell Island not only to shear the sheep but also to assess the potential for whaling. They said the prospects were good and that they intended to take two boats’ crews down early the following year. Agreements were drawn up between Tucker and the whalers - there were two agreements which have been tracked down by Norm Judd - and eleven men sailed in the Hinemoa in January 1909.

Joe's reminiscences of his own time on the island, from 1912, will appear in print soon, together with the agreements mentioned above, and I must not steal his thunder. But I may add that this new material has brought to light an error on page 82 of "Campbell Island" where I said that the leader was Jack Norton. The leader to begin with was, in fact, John Heberley - Norton took over later when the Heberleys had dropped out of the venture.

Another recent event was the location by Dr Cumpston and Admiral Ross of an album of photographs taken by the late Captain George Patterson Hall who worked for the Cook brothers of Whangamumu in 1912-13. Copies of these photographs, by courtesy of a descendant of Captain Hall's, are now in the Alexander Turnbull Library's collection. There are a number taken at North East Harbour, Campbell Island. Rear Admiral John O'C. Ross has subsequently recorded the history of the Cook family and their whaling activities in the "The Turnbull Library Record", Vol. 10 (n.s.), No. 1, May 1977 - "Twentieth century whaling operations at Whangamumu and Campbell Island." The Whangamumu whalers appear as rather shadowy figures in my book. Readers of "The Islander" may therefore be interested in the following summary of Admiral Ross's article (with a few additions of my own) printed here with the author's kind permission.

William Cook, the father of the brothers who founded the Whangamumu whaling station, arrived at the Bay of Islands in 1823 and married a maori girl said to have been a sister or niece of Tamati Waka Nene. He was ship's carpenter and later a shipwright. In 1826 he and a small band of sawyers and shipwrights were induced by William Stewart to go to Port Pegasus in Stewart Island to establish a small ship-building industry there. This was to be an adjunct to the sealing and flax trades, but they proved unprofitable and Stewart abandoned the little community. They struggled on for some years but William Cook and his family returned, via Sydney about 1833, to the Bay of Islands where William probably continued to follow his calling as a ship-builder.

The eldest son, George, was born before the southern adventure and the second, Harry, later known as Bert, was born at Port Pegasus in 1827. Two more sons, Willie and Joseph, were born after the family's return to the Bay of Islands. Little is known of the sons' early years but at least one, George, went to sea, and served as Mate in the whalers Crusader, Othello and Splendid in the 70s.

It was not until 1890 that Bert Cook, then 63, and his brothers George and Willie established the whaling station at Whangamumu. McNab later described it as the most remarkable in the world - with good reason: the method used for capturing the whales is believed to have been unique. Bert Cook had noticed that the humpback whales, in their southward migration, appeared to pass between some rocks close inshore a short distance to the south of Cape Brett; and had the idea of stringing heavy steel nets between the rocks. The men would drive the whales towards the net which was designed to break away as the mammals careered into it. They became enmeshed and were relatively easy to harpoon. There is no record of the numbers of whales caught in the early years but presumably they were satisfactory.

By 1910, or a little earlier, the family needed fresh capital and probably more importantly, the use of a modern steam whale chaser. Both were forthcoming from a certain Mr Jagger who became a partner in the in the Whangamumu enterprise which then became known as Jagger and Cook. The Hananui II (see page 84 of "Campbell Island") was built for, and jointly owned by, A.F. Jagger, ship chandler, and F.H. Jagger, merchant, both of Auckland. They were also the owners of the schooner Huanui. Both vessels were chartered, it is supposed, to the new firm of Jagger and Cook.

This development enabled the firm to embark on the Campbell Island venture in 1911. The complex of buildings of corrugated iron erected at the head of North East Harbour was quite extensive. A plan of the operational area, M.D. 4563, was deposited with the Marine Department and is now in National Archives. Buildings included a blubber house, filling room and storage tanks, bone house, cooper's and engineer's shop, and engine house. There were also a 60-foot-long jetty, two or three sleeping huts, and a kitchen. Several of the photographs in the Hall collection show some of the buildings; and one shows part of the jetty on which rails had been laid for a trolley (see cover photo - Ed). It does not appear, however, that the buildings were erected exactly as shown in the plan supplied to the Marine Department.

Captain Hall had also supplied the names of some of the men at Campbell Island in 1912. The man at the extreme right of the lower photograph opposite page 101 of my book was Albert Cook, probably a son of one of the founding brothers. Others were, Charlie Serle, Clem Wood, 'Baker', and 'Mac’. Names of some of Cook's men mentioned in Norton's 1911 diary were Johnston, Corbett, and Gracy, and T. Jackson crops up in 1912. Joe Timms says there were several Jacksons at North East Harbour. They were from Norfolk Island and were not related to the Marlborough Jacksons.

The Whangamumu gang took 13 whales in their first season at Campbell Island, and 17 in the second. But in 1913 the men caught only two or three, and again, in the autumn of 1914, the catch was only three in three months, This contrasted sharply with catches of over 50 in each of the seasons, 1913 and 1914, back in Whangamumu. The Campbell Island station was abandoned, but the Great War might also have had something to do with the decision.

For thirteen years after the War the station at Whangamumu, now under the management of Neville Cook, son of Bert, operated successfully. The annual catch averaged about 50 whales with a peak of 74 in 1927. But prices were falling as demand for whale products declined at the same as supply increased with the advent of pelagic whaling in the Southern Ocean based on huge factory ships. Finally the great depression sounded the death knell of the Whangamumu establishment and commercial operations ceased after the 1931 season.


As a footnote, may I make two appeals to readers - First, if anyone can supply or lend photographs of any of the following vessels, preferably at Campbell Island, I would be most greatful: HMS Veryan Bay, USS Greenville Victory, USS Glacier, Karamu, President Kennedy, James Cook, Fred H. Moore, Tangaroa, Satsu Maru 17, Acheron, Shantar, and Valya. My address is 39 Acheron Road, Plimmerton, (Wellington) - and, by the way, anyone passing is very welcome to call and look through my large collection of Campbell photographs - historical and modern.

Finally, I have decided to take up the work so ably begun by Pete Ingram on the history of the Kermadec Islands. With luck, there may eventually be a companion to "Campbell Island". I would be glad to hear from anyone who may have old photographs, press clippings, articles, etc, or yarns that have not already appeared in "The Islander".


Airborne Ode Number Two -

Greetings again to ye Campbell min
From Captain Pete and his Crew 3 kin.
We received your answer to last week's ode
Via weather man Ingram's met abode.
If the reported weather does not decay
A sighting of us is assured today,
And again we’ll try and drop the news
And six wee parcels for you to use.
So some of you will have to share,
Miss out, or perhaps not care.
We will then wing swiftly on our way
'Cos we're an hour behind our task today.
So until I return with the poet's pen
It's au revoir, Campbell weather men.

Regards Moff.

What a character you are Odeist Moff, Is it altitude sickness that makes you rip one off For in the squadron's corridors no lyrics you air. Anyway, that's that - see you at briefing tomorro.



Sorenson at Hut Bull Rock, Campbell IslandSorenson Hut which was built by local effort during the winter of 1967. This shelter is situated a half mile from North Cape on the sloping Mt Faye ridge line. Design, transportation and erection was completed within a month.

Servicing at Tucker Cove, Campbell IslandOne of the last servicings at Tucker Cove in the mid 1950s shows Holm Shipping Company's well known double ended whale boat Blue Cod lining up at the basalt jetty to load personnel baggage. (photos courtesy Tony Bromley and the N.Z. Meteorological Service)



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