In 1876, Val Burr's great grandparents were among the original Stoney Creek Scandinavian Block Farmers. Val's late aunt, author Vera McLennan-Boman (nee Burr) introduced Val to her family's Manawatu histroy which dates from 1841. With an MA (Hons) in History from Massey, Val began work on the history of the Scandinavian and German communities in early Manawatu. From this emerged her thesis on the enemy alien internment camp on Somes Island during WWI. Val research and wrote 'Mosquitoes & Sawdust' in the early 1990s and it was published in 1995, the year she got her BA. While working on her thesis in the 1990s she researched and wrote 'A Time of Transition', which was published the year she completed her thesis in January 1999. "It was a bit of a devil for punishment at that time it seems. "Val has worked as a heritage researcher studying houses and buildings in Palmerston North, the Manawatu, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Horowhenua for various councils. She is actively involved with the Scandinavian Club of Manawatu Inc., and a member of several heritage preservation committees.
Monday 14 September, 2:45pm - 5:00pm
The ‘Other Early Pioneer Settlers of Manawatu’ – Some accounts of pioneer settlers have given the impression that Manawatu was settled by pioneers from Britain. In fact, the regions early settlements owed much to communities of pioneers from Scandinavia, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, including the Polish, Germans, and others. Hear historian Val Burr uncover the fascinating stories that turn up when hunting for facts.