Heritage Talk - When Hollywood came to Whangamumu

Photo of open boat whaling taken at Whangamumu in 1933.

The story of the lost Whangamumu whaling film taken in 1933.

This film was a recreation of old-style open boat whaling. It should be better known locally as the American filmmaker, Stacy Woodard, who organised and filmed the event later won an Oscar (Short Film category 'City of Wax' 1936).

This was the last gasp of more than a century of connections between northern New Zealand and American whaling.

Lindsay has sourced 54 photographs of the event, sent to him from California (these are now in the National Library, Wellington). He also found the only surviving parts of the film. These were embedded within a Hollywood 'penny dreadful' film, 'I Conquer the Sea' released in 1936 and encompass 7 minutes in total. 

These form the basis of this talk, with a broad explanation of the Whangamumu whaling station, unique in the world for catching whales using nets. 


Picture of Lindsay Alexander.

About Lindsay Alexander

Maritime history author and publisher of Kororareka Press, Lindsay Alexander lives in Russell, Bay of Islands. This area has a long and illustrious connection with ships, especially whale ships, much of which has been forgotten. Lindsay's mission is to find and resurrect these forgotten stories and has written a number of reference works on whale ships in northern New Zealand waters.


  • Wednesday, 30 November 2022 | 12:30 PM - 01:30 PM


Cafler Suite, Forum North Entertainment Centre, 7 Rust Ave, Whangārei, 0110, View Map

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