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Necessity is the mother of invention.

posted 6 Jan 2016, 00:09 by Sandra Kirby   [ updated 7 Jan 2016, 20:41 ]
Day 4 of Raglan. Has been one of our most laid back holidays.  I have read my three birthday books; 1 kindle; not quite finished Christmas book but have coloured in.  There has been coffee, wine, beach walks, craft shops and today the museum.  It is a v small museum as befits a v small town.  Couple of interesting displays - the almost obligatory WW1 display was good with v personal stories of the local men who had joined the forces, and the Tainui Maori who evaded conscription. Another one on Eva Rickard and the protests over the seizing of Maori Land in 1941 for war effort then instead of being given back to Maori was turned into a golf course and not returned until after an occupation in the 1970s.
The third that I enjoyed was the surfing one. Like Gisborne Raglan is famous for its surf beaches and there are certainly the surfing stereotypes here.  Yesterday we met a guy who is a photographer (good one too; we bought a print) who came here for the surf in the 1970s and never left.  He looked every bit the ageing hippie/surfer.
Anyway, back to the museum display. Surfing was relatively uncommon until after WW2 it seems; there were some early surfers in the 1930s but it was 1950 or later it really took off.  In those days v little was known about waves so people needed to go to the beach before they could find out if the surf was going to be good enough to surf.  Raglan is a bit out of the way; so always a mission to get here and then if no waves it was a wasted trip.  In the late 1970s when carless days were introduced as a way of rationing petrol in NZ the issue about knowing whether there would be waves became v important. Led the computer science geeks at Waikato University (who I am guessing we're also surfers) to develop the first wave prediction technology.  They did it quite well because apparently the same algorithms are still used. 
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