"Lit a fire, and was grateful for its warmth and company" - Samuel Butler
Paul Maunder film-maker and director was our native guide during our time in Blackball. In 1908 Pat Hickey was fired by his Manager when he refused to finish his pie after a lunch break of only 15 mins. Lucky for him and his 6 supporters who were also fired, the rest of the miners went on strike in support. After three months of collective resistance from the miners and their families the company gave in. This kind of radical resistance can still be seen in Blackball, although judging by the signs on people's fences, it swings to both the right and left.
Paul founded the Blackball Museum, took us through Blackwater to the historic Waiuta mining town, and introduced us to the members of his Drama Group in Greymouth and Runanga, where we had engaging discussions about the kinds of communities that are possible on the Coast.
We also visited Roger Ewer in Barrytown who told us tales of the founding of the Fox River Commune and his own experiences living on the Coast and running a music venue in the Settlers Hall.
#Blackball #Waiuta #Blackwater #Greymouth #Rununga #Barrytown #erewhonproject