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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 2 (May 1, 1940.)



“The Day Before Yesterday,” by the Rev. Melville Harcourt (A. H. & A. W. Reed), is described as a short history of the Bay of Islands. Although not described as an official centennial history publication, this book must be regarded as a valuable supplementary work. The author, the Vicar of Waimate North, appears to have made a very close study of the historical facts at his disposal and with little or no quotation he has dramatised the whole story in his mind's eye. The result is a picturesque lively narrative in which the good and the bad are featured with delightful impartiality. Captain Cook, Samuel Marsden, James Busby, Bishop Selwyn, Hongi Hiki play their parts against a background of traders, rum runners, whalers and other picturesque figures of those early days. The activities of the missionaries occupy the major portion of the narrative, and here again the author is just as quick to praise as to blame. The Bay of Islands was well in the spotlight in those days and a host of notable happenings, including the colourful pageantry of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, are described. The book carries a foreword by the Most Rev. Dr. Averill.

* * *

“Yeomen of the South,” by M. C. Thomas (printed by the Southland News Co., Ltd.), is a biographical record of the early farmers of Southland. The pioneers are grouped under the various settlements, and the account of their activities makes an interesting though perhaps somewhat disjointed history of Southland. The book runs to 188 pages and is paper bound.

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