In the South
There are several places in Southland named after wrecked ships.
Konini School, in Bluff, was named after the ship that wrecked close by on December 22, 1924.
The Konini was on her maiden voyage with a cargo of salt and gypsum for Dunedin. On a murky night the captain lost sight of the Dog Island light and the ship went ashore at Ocean Beach, behind Bluff.
The Glory Track is named after the barque England's Glory which came to grief on the rocks below the track.
Several other Southland place names come from ships that were wrecked or stranded in their vicinity - Cavalier Creek, Henrietta Bay, Bombay Rock and Pelham Rock.
Surat Beach and Victory Beach are two Otago examples. The photo of the Konini aground is courtesy of Ishbel Cullen.
Southland's largest land creature was Matamata, the personal taniwha of Te Rakitauneke who accompanied him on journeys between Kaikoura and Murihiku. When Te Rakitauneke died, the heartbroken taniwha died also and turned to stone.
One account says that the Hokonui Hills are his petrified body, another - that a rock formation on East Peak is Matamata. The second largest will be a bull that can reach 900kg or more although no one has claimed a Southland record. Fiordland's elusive bull moose could reach 800kg.
Southland's unluckiest vessel was the oysterboat Loyalty, a former French gunboat, which was accidentally sunk in Bluff in 1925. The Harbour Board set off a gelignite explosion in the attempt to raise the body of a drowned man, James Shannon, but unfortunately the shock of the blast opened the planks of the old boat and down she went in two minutes.
Southland's first novel by a local author set in the region is Roads from Home, written by Dan Davin in 1949. It tells the story of romance and tragedy in Invercargill in 1930.
Southland's first intermediate school was Tweed Street Intermediate, later Tweedsmuir Intermediate and Tweedsmuir Junior High School, which opened in 1943. The school closed at the end of 2004 with a roll of 560 and the buildings are now part of Southland Girls' High School.
Southland has one remaining intermediate (Years 7 and 8), which is Longford Intermediate in Gore.
About The South
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