The Beatles arrived in New Zealand 50 years ago this week. I was just about to turn five. We had a surprise guest at our panel discussion at Wellington’s Museum of City & Sea on Sunday 15 June: John Lennon’ second cousin, Lynda Mathews. It was her family in Eketahuna that Lennon’s Aunt Mimi visited while she was in New Zealand at the time of the Beatles’ 1964 tour. I didn’t realise Mimi stayed in the country four months, visiting all her relatives.
Both TVNZ and TV3 showed an interest in the “We Come in Peace” talk, and featured items in last night’s news bulletins. The TV3 report concentrated on Lynda, while TVNZ showed archive footage and interviewed the two old enthusiasts who organised the discussion.
For a limited time, here is the Listener “oral history” cover story I did in 1984 – when the anniversary was only 20 years. The hand tinting of Jack Short’s Evening Post photo was by Karen Colebourne. Roughly photographed – but the pages should be readable if you click on them to expand.
© NZ Listener 1984
There is also fascinating, but silent, footage of the Beatles’ arrival in Wellington at the Pathe news site, and a good clip of the airport hongi at the on-line encyclopedia Te Ara, and an article on their eight days in New Zealand at nzhistory.net.nz