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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.



The first attempt to transmit a message by wireless from Gisborne was made at 2 a.m. on 17 June, 1901, by G. Kemp. Using a home-made battery set, he sent out, from the signal station, greetings from the mayor (Mr. Townley) to the Royal yacht Ophir, on which the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V and Queen Mary) were travelling from Auckland to Wellington. When Mr. Townley was in Wellington a few days afterwards he learned that the instrument on H.M.S. Juno (one of the escort vessels) “appeared to be affected, but not intelligibly.”

In 1920 Captain Arthur Russell, in a De Havilland plane, carried the first air mail between Gisborne and the East Coast, landing at Tokomaru Bay. Some weeks afterwards this plane crashed at New Plymouth and he and his two passengers were killed.