Saturday, June 15, 2024

Hamilton history captured in new calendar

From an adored gelato store to workers sitting atop the Fairfield Bridge – Hamilton’s new heritage calendar is full of history and nostalgia released by Hamilton City Council today.

People, places and memories are captured in this year’s edition of the Hamilton City Libraries heritage calendar.

The 2022 calendar, featuring 14 historic Hamilton photographs, is available for purchase from today at the city’s six library branches, the i-SITE at ArtsPost and Waikato Museum for $8.

Libraries Director Stephen Pennruscoe said each image had been cherry-picked from the tens of thousands stored in the Hamilton City Libraries archives.

“Our calendar is a trip down memory lane for many people. We love hearing the stories and memories the images draw out – it’s something our team looks forward to each year,” he said.

A picture of an old, long-gone McDonald’s joint on Claudelands Road is bound to bring back a lot of memories. A few years ago, a picture of the old restaurant attracted more than 1000 comments after being shared to the Hamilton City Libraries Facebook page, Mr Pennruscoe said.

“People shared memories of first jobs, first dates, and kids’ parties there. That picture evoked many powerful memories and that’s what our heritage calendars are all about.”

Among the featured photos is also a picture of 19 construction workers sitting on the arch of the Fairfield Bridge in the 1930s.

“That has to be one of Hamilton’s most iconic images. Another picture that will spark nostalgia is a picture of café owner and local legend Joe Di Maio, working from his renowned pizzeria and gelato store in the 1990s,” he said.

“People say a picture can say a thousand words, and we know these calendars say a lot about Hamilton and its history.”

The heritage collection includes 60,000 books, 80,000 photographs, 100,000 items of advertising material and over 1000m of archives, unpublished letters and diaries, and records of former businesses.

There’s also a large and growing collection of oral histories, with the heritage librarians working with the community to capture people’s memories of Hamilton.

You can browse the digital heritage collection here. If residents have further information about any of the photos or heritage items,  they are encouraged to leave a comment online.

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