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From the commencement of European history in New Zealand, there have been hundreds of shipwrecks along our rugged coastline. Even by 1900 it was estimated there had been more than 1,200 shipwrecks. Many of these involved loss of life at sea and destitute families on shore. It became common following such disasters for a group of benevolent citizens to promote an appeal for financial support for the dependents of those lost and to give help to those saved to enable them to make a fresh start. The growing number of such collections led F.A. Park, the Mayor of Dunedin in 1902, to suggest that a permanent shipwreck found be established along the lines of those already set up in England, New South Wales and Victoria. Though Dunedin was by then no longer the largest city in New Zealand it remained the financial and business centre of the country, housing the head offices of many leading companies. Founded in December 1902, the Shipwreck Relief Society of NZ for nigh on a hundred years, provided financial support to shipwrecked seafarers and their dependents.

This is the story of the many shipwrecks, commencing with the loss of the Elingamite, and the unstinting humanitarian and financial assistance given to the survivors to help them recover and reconstruct their lives.

Published by the New Zealand Shipwreck Welfare Trust, Dunedin 2003, 103pp, s/c, b/w photos.

Ex library issue in reasonably clean and tidy condition.

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  • Seller location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, NZ

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