'Tauranga 1918' explored Tauranga 100 years ago and revealed that although Tauranga has grown in size, century old connections remain.
By 1918 Tauranga had a new post office, fire station, hospital and a Town Hall, which seated 700. Households could connect to the town water supply as well as public sewage and telephone systems. Many homes were embracing the use of electricity - although unattended electric irons caused more than a few house fires. Residents were proud of the town’s huge potential; its harbour, climate and health-giving properties. Doctors prescribed a visit to Tauranga as a cure for a variety of illnesses. Everyone knew each other and, in times of need, came together. However, some felt that poor road and rail links, undeveloped land and narrow-minded thinking held Tauranga back. Indeed, the town lacked wealthy residents willing to invest in its future.
As part of the exhibition, attendees could take away a special edition 1918 Bay of Plenty Times newspaper. The newspaper is a compilation of local news stories, editorials, letters and advertisements that were published between January and December 1918. From it one thing is clear that as the First World War continued to rage, Tauranga residents could do nothing but grieve and carry on.