Saturday, December 2, 2023

Local history captured in video series

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Ethan McCormick, centre, at the recent launch of his video project “A History of East Auckland: Fencibles to Present” at Howick Historical Village.

Ethan McCormick, a Howick 175 anniversary ambassador last year, has produced a four-part video series exploring the history of east Auckland which is designed to be used as a teaching resource.

The former Howick College student started the project – called “A History of East Auckland: Fencibles to Present” – two years ago, shortly after it was announced that New Zealand history would become compulsory in schools.

“A core part of the new curriculum was a focus on local history. However, there are limited local history teaching resources,” said McCormick, who is studying Environmental Science, Politics and History at the University of Auckland.

“I made the video series as a passion project of sorts with an aim to provide a resource for year 9 and 10 students that would be both concise and engaging.

“The project has also been very timely with the Howick 175th anniversary last year.”

It was launched at an event at Bell House, Howick Historical Village, recently.

Howick Historian Alan La Roche and Marin Burgess of the Howick & Districts Historical Society have provided support from the start.

The Howick Local Board provided funding for the videos to be filmed and edited by Perpetua Productions.

The series is 50 minutes long and consists of four parts covering the period from the 1840s till the present. The series starts with the Fencibles’ arrival and works its way to the present day.

Episode 1 covers the Fencibles, episode 2 examines the Waikato War, episode 3 looks at the impact of WWI and WWII and episode 4 is about the theme of ‘change’ (this includes environmental, demographic and urban change).

“The episodes centre around a handful of notable landmarks like Stockade Hill, Howick Beach, the Howick Historical Village and Mangemangeroa Reserve, which students will be able to recognise and subsequently make a connection with,” McCormick said.

The series also features interviews, historical images and local stories.

“Some of the stories I found most fascinating were of the Japanese submariners who landed at Maraetai Beach during World War II, and the rescue of Archie Trousdale during the Battle of Crete by his neighbour, Norm Robertson, from Gills Road.

“With the launch of the series, it’s hoped that students can learn about the history of their hometown and be intrigued by the people and places that have shaped it.”

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