Underwater Heritage Group New Zealand
Bureaucracy and the Buried Bottle
Bureaucracy and the Buried Bottle by Lynton Diggle
In 1772 two French vessels Le Mascarin and Marquis de Castries visited the Bay of Islands and set up camp on Moturua Island. Before leaving on July 24th 1772 they buried a bottle containing the arms of France (used from 1589 to 1792) and a declaration of possession.
Act of Possession.
“In the year of Grace one thousand and seventy two, the eleventh of July, we Captains and Officers of the King’s ships Le Mascarin and Marquis de Castries, have taken possession in the name of His Majesty Louis XV, our King, of the Continent to the Eastward of New Zealand, named by M. Marion DuFresne, our Commander, France Australe, being in a harbour to which he gave his name, situated 35 degrees 21 South latitude; and one hundred and seventy-one degrees of longitude observed to the East of the Paris Meridian; the Castries lying on 164 degrees. We arrived and anchored in the harbour on the fifth of May and we intend to depart therefrom on 13 July of the same year, have lost in the said harbour through assassination by the Natives of the Country, Mr Marion, two officers and twenty four men of the Crew, forming the complement of the long boat of the Castries and of our gig which we have not seen since.”
Preserving Our Heritage Shipwrecks
PRESERVING OUR HERITAGE SHIPWRECKS
Like wearing multiple Condoms
Legislation regarding our historic shipwrecks is a mess. No fewer than seven departments have regulations affecting the ability to excavate our ‘historic’ shipwrecks, creating a web of complexity. While our wrecks may be historic, few are significant. A shipwreck like the Tasmania, built in 1883 and wrecked in 1897, may be historic in a New Zealand context, but by no means significant. The plans are available, as is its cargo manifest! It’s just another wreck.
New Newsletter Editor
Keith Gordon with 84 Newsletters published under his editorship, has passed the role to Kim Triegaardt. Kim, a Christchurch resident, who was elected to the NZUHG Committee at the last AGM, has a proven track record in journalism. Our Newsletter is a very important link to our membership, thank you Keith for your efforts.