Topic: 1925 visit of the American Fleet to Rotorua

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The 1925 visit of the American Fleet to Rotorua In June 1925, according to Rotorua District Council records, the Town Clerk, Mr W A McLean, wrote that “by direction of the Borough Council, inquiry is made as to whether an opportunity might not be given to the men of the American Fleet as well as the officers, to visit Rotorua by at least arranging a one day trip,”  After a positive response for the visit of 500 sailors it was decided that Saturday 15th August 1925 would be the day so long as “the Borough Council and Citizens of Rotorua can see their way to provide and meet the cost of the lunch on arrival and of the evening meal.”

The Government would provide the refreshments at Frankton and meet the hire of buses at Rotorua if they are required.” 

The Mayor, Mr Cecil H Clinkard, was asked to confer with Mr H Tai Mitchell who was organising the Maori entertainment for the government.

The Naval Officers, made up two parties of 230 men, each group staying overnight  and accommodated  at fifteen accomodation ‘ houses’. Forty one vehicles were assigned at the exclusive call of the Government to the various accommodation houses.

The program started with a Civic reception at the Railway Station on arrival at 10:10pm.

Then followed lunch at the various accommodation houses, a run through the [Government] Gardens to the 3pm Maori Reception at Ohinemutu.

At 5pm the Officers were able to choose between visits to King George Hospital, Fairy Springs, or the Baths.

After a 6pm dinner the Officers were expected at a Maori Concert held at Kings Theatre.

Tama-te-Kopua [sp], Ohinemutu was the venue for the 10.15pm dance, although several accommodation houses also offered dances and the Baths were also held open.

The next day, the convoy led by the Admiral’s car, followed the route to the luncheon reception at Whakarewarewa via the Green Lake and the forest reserve before finally departing Rotorua by train at 1.15pm.

A short, packed visit for which Admiral Samuel S. Robison, U. S Navy, Battle Fleet, expressed his “appreciation for the hospitality shown by your city during the numerous trips made to Rotorua.” and also “Our visit to Rotorua and the surrounding country will long be remembered by all of us and will always remain as one of the most delightful parts of our visit to this great country.” 

 Thanks to the Don Stafford “Events” File, The J.K. and H.D. Fuller Collection and the Rotorua District Council Records Office.

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1925 visit of the American Fleet to Rotorua by Kete Rotorua is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License