Monday, January 26, 2015

Thames (NZ): NEW ZEALAND HERALD Air Delivery 1922

We previously looked at the first time Thames got an AIRMAIL delivery of mail on 17 February 1920, a few years later another 'first' air event took place. It was claimed this was the first air delivery of a newspaper in the Dominion (New Zealand).

The reason for this special delivery was explained in the New Zealand Herald, 7 December 1922.
"The Herald of to-morrow morning will contain full details of the elections and of the prohibition poll throughout New Zealand. On account of the intense interest in the news, a specially large issua will be printed in several editions. To assist in delivery to parts of the country not easily reached by train, road, or sea, the proprietors have arranged with Walsh Bros, and Dexter for the use of a seaplane, which will leave in the early morning and carry large supplies of the Herald to Thames and Whangarei. The air delivery at Thames will enable papers to be sent at an early hour by train to Paeroa, Te Aroha, and other places, and similar distribution will be possible from Whangarei. By this means, in addition to the usual methods of delivery, an exceptionally rapid distribution of election news is expected on Friday morning."

Above: From the Auckland Weekly News, 14 December 1922
Description: Showing a seaplane delivering copies of the New Zealand Herald, containing general election results, to Whangarei and the Thames
Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19221214-38-2

Full details of the delivery of the papers appeared in the New Zealand Herald 9 December 1922.
The pilot Mr George Bolt had left the Kohimaramara Flying School at 3.50 am for Whangarei, dropping to the delight of farmers on the way a few copies of the paper! He left Onerahi at 5.27am and arrived back at Kohimaramara at 6.45am. A refuel of the pilot and plane and he was off again to Thames at .08am. He arrived near the Thames wharf at 7.49am. A fast trip of 45 miles in 41 minutes. The paper was inundated with telegrams from grateful readers!!! On page 11 of the above edition, the paper also published the above photo and one of the plane in flight.

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