How did this all happen?

Second story, pt. 1

Hugh Lynn, 6th October 6, 2009, Rungan Sari

How did this all happen ?

In the beginning, when I first started doing shows, I kept a sample of all the imagery that were used for each show; poster, handouts, and t-shirts. Because at the end of each show we would evaluate the effectiveness of what we had done. This included, the way in which we had transmitted our messages to the public that the show was coming.

  • How effective was the design of this poster?
  • Were the colors right?
  • Was it easy to read from a distance?
  • Did the design stand out?
  • Was the information easy to pick up?

So we kept our stuff, to talk about. Now, sometimes there were only a few samples of each item and other times there was a bit more. So that’s how it started.

502 Dominion Rd. Auckland

502 Dominion Rd. Auckland

The items then were stored away under the house in Dominion road after each show. And after a while, a number of years in fact, and about 160 international acts later there was a large amount of memorabilia under the house, with lots of other stuff, for instance, dancing costumes, shoes, chairs from night clubs, and a number of different items collected over those years.

Now at this point, I must pay tribute to a man called Alby Carr. Now Alby had worked for me for about twenty years. He was a giant of a man, did security work, and was Maori. His early days were spent in forestry, and this work had built an exceptionally strong human being. He was the strongest man I knew; fearless. What was strange was he was also gentle. He knew he was strong, but never seemed to take advantage of it. Anyway, he was the man that handled the posters, without him they would have never up under the house. In fact I forgot that they were even there.

Winner of The 1936 Open Dancing Section at The Great Northern Eisteddfod, held in Auckland NZ

Dorothy Katipa Aged 16, 1936

It wasn’t until 1991 when I became aware that my mother, Da Katipa was suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer. Mother was acting a bit strange; not her normal self. When our family doctor informed me of my mother’s condition, “just at the beginning, I think its dementia, and it’s going to get worse over time. She’s going to need your help, keep an eye on her.” So I did, eventually moving back into the house. Without letting her know that I was actually doing that. Very independent woman, my mother. No one told her what to do, she would tell you. So I slept on the couch, in the front room. Part time in the beginning, when I came down from the bush, I was living in the Hokiannga at the time. A small place called Miti Miti to be precise, on the west coast. Due to the hospitality of Tommy Ferguson, a Scotsman on fire, and later Charlie Dunn, whose family had lived there for a very long time, New Zealand middleweight boxing champion in his prime. So when I was in Auckland, I was back at the big house with my mom and after a while she got used to me being there. It was about early 93’ that I was starting to spend more time in Auckland and less time in the Hokiannga. But, still coming and going, sort of floating between the two.

Tommy, Hugh and Charlie @miti-miti 2006

Cameron Ellis, my brother-in-law had come back from Australia, he had been working for Michael Chugg, on the road with a band, tour manager, a hard gig to handle being out there on the road. Lynn Patterson, we had worked together for a long time, in fact her whole family, all the way back to her grandfather Duke Cassidy had worked for Eden security. Lynn started to help me with mother, especially when I was out of out of Auckland, or overseas, every now and then. People would come around to the big house to say hello to me or mother. Sometimes they would stay for a night or two, Or in the case of Ike Metekingi, for a year or two.

Ike Mitikingi, Lynn Patterson, Cameron Ellis

As time went on mother got worse, and I think it was Cameron who’d gone under the house to look for something. He arrived upstairs, and asked me what I was going to do with all the stuff under the house. “What stuff?” I said. “Lots of old junk,” I didn’t respond straight away and it was a week or two later that I finally went under the house with Cameron to look at all this old stuff. And there it was, couldn’t see it clearly in the dark at first, but there was a mass of stuff under there. Now it’s uncomfortable bent over sometimes on your hand and knees maneuvering your way under the house, with a mini torch in my mouth. Looking at all this stuff that had been packed away by Alby. I could never figure out How Alby got himself under the house and got the memorabilia packed away off the ground so the cardboard boxes wouldn’t rot. But he had and done a great job, thank you my brother Alby!


Time went on, I suppose 96’ and 97’ and by that time I was with my mother twenty-four-seven. By that time Ike had moved from sleeping on my couch upstairs into the downstairs area. And I think it was Ike and Cameron who started with the idea of cleaning up under the house. So the stuff started to move into the downstairs area, slowly, bit by bit, paper is heavy. 100 posters in a package can take a bit of shifting when you’re hunched up under the house. Out it came into the sunlight, as each piece came to light, there was a story to be remembered and all the things that had happened around the show, and of course the people we had met. More and more people started to appear we’d meet down stairs, a few beers, smoke or two, and remember the stories. Most of us that gathered were in the business, that’s the music business/show business. Musicians, road crew, promoters, and others, connected with business. We all had a lot of stories, some of us went back to the Maori Show Bands. Still alive, still playing the music. I wasn’t always down there; mother was starting to get forgetful, that’s what Alzheimer’s does to you. “Who are you?” she would say. I could have been her husband, her father, son, brother, she just didn’t know.

John Dix

My mother passed on in January 2000 … and that’s when John Dix and Dot appeared. They had been down to The South Island, Queensland. They needed a place to stay for a while, and they did. We started talking about “What was I going to do?” One thing lead to another and internet told us that these posters had a value. The first lot we sold was from Dominion Road. But hey I don’t want to run a shop. So finally we started to put them on the net; eBay, Trade me. John did a lot of work in the early stages, and I’ve got to thank him for that!


One Response to “How did this all happen?”

  1. apologies and please ignore if that comment above was not relevant, are you aware or heard of a “gifted music multi spatial learner” called Stefan Gray?

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