Christ Church Centennial 1936
Original photo © Russell Museum

The traditional Tall Ships hangi at the Russell Boat Club attracts hundreds each January.

This photo shows steam rising from a hangi being opened on 29 March 1936.

It was Christ Church’s one-hundredth birthday and all the pews were taken out of the church and the main service (there were three others, one in Maori) held outside at the back of the church to accommodate all the visitors and dignitaries.

Afterwards across the road on the empty section where the museum now stands local Maori had put down a hangi. Through the steam to the right it is possible to see the chimney and end wall of Tamati Waka Nene’s cottage and to the left the roof and white chimney of the Russell Courthouse / Post Office. The waterfront trees are pines – the present pohutukawa were soon to be planted between them.

The hatted spectators, in their Sunday best, wait eagerly for the feast. You can almost smell the hangi…