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The real Dr. Funk
TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 667
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-06 06:03 am   Permalink

Some additional items to share regarding Lake Lanoto`o...

I ran across this July 26, 2010 blog
post that seems to be related to the quest of Dr. Heidrun Schmidt, Dr. Funk’s great-grandniece, relative to the old Lake Lanoto`o health resort...

Quote:
Our guide has been helping uncover the remains of small huts that a German doctor built and lived in during his time in Samoa. He found the foundations as well as a few remaining day-to-day items like old wine bottles and a teapot. The doctor's grandchildren have been visiting from Germany and want to place a headstone marker there. A bit tricky since it's an hour walk up steep and slippery terrain and no one else lives nearby, but our guide is determined it will get done somehow. He had amazing stories about the doctor who lived there a century ago and was finally driven out by New Zealand planes around WWII.



Of course, Dr. Funk had passed before even WWI, and New Zealand, at the request of the British, took Western Samoa from the Germans without bloodshed in 1914, so that last part is myth. No doubt there is a collective Samoan memory of Dr. Funk that has grown a bit in the retelling, as historic events experienced by succeeding generations infiltrated that memory. But what a movie scene that would be, with the 100-year old, cigar-chewing German medico spilling his drink and dodging as Brewster Buffalo fighters (“flying coffins”) of the Royal New Zealand Air Force strafed the Pandanus-lined shores of Lake Lanoto`o! As the fighters rumble away having failed again, said medico gives them the appropriate finger salute. I’m thinking that Burl Ives would have been about perfect for the role of Dr. Funk...

-------------

Here’s a description of Lake Lanoto`o from the 1909 book by Oscar Vojnich, a Hungarian Baron who journeyed throughout Oceania starting in 1906 and recorded his observations in The Island-World of the Pacific – Journey Notes...





Too bad about that photo deterioration!

-------------

I also came across this 2009 technical paper that asserted no one had previously even ascertained the depth of Lake Lanoto`o before the authors’ investigation. As almost 170 years had elapsed from the time that the U.S. Exploration Expedition had sounded the lake (see prior post), they can probably be forgiven the oversight...





The lake depth determined by these investigators, 52.5 feet (16 meters) was remarkably close to that determined by the U.S. Exploration Expedition, 57 feet (9.5 fathoms). The difference could reasonably be attributed to accumulation of sediment and detritus over the centuries. Recall the sounding technique used on the U.S. Ex. Ex...




-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 667
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-07 5:08 pm   Permalink

In February of 1900, the three colonial powers with interests in Samoa formally ratified agreements proposed in the Tripartite Convention of 1899. In accordance with these agreements, Western Samoa (Upolu, Savai`i, Apolima and Manono) became a protectorate of Germany. Eastern Samoa (principally Tutuila with its harbor, Pago Pago) was ceded to the United States. The United Kingdom was compensated by the handover of former German interests in Tonga, the Solomon Islands, West Africa (division of the neutral zone) and Zanzibar.

Dr. Wilhelm Solf, one of Germany’s finest civilian diplomats, was appointed as the Imperial German Governor of German (Western) Samoa. He was 38 years old at the time...




Just the year before, in 1899, Dr. Solf had been appointed as President of the Apia Municipal Council, a multi-national provisional government. This newspaper article about that appointment has some good biographic data on Dr. Solf…

Boston Evening Transcript March 31, 1899 (page 1)





Bigbrotiki, note the reference to student dueling scars... Solf had a prominent “schmiss” on his chin.

The American explorer and journalist, Lewis R. Freeman, wrote about Solf in his travelogue, In the Tracks of the Trades, published in 1921...




On Dr. Solf’s effectiveness as German Governor of Western Samoa, Freeman went on to say...









Dr. Solf was noted to be both humane and tolerant, but decisively acted whenever and wherever his imperial authority was questioned.

There were some other dimensions to Wilhelm Solf that have bearing on his relationship with Dr. Funk. Solf strongly believed that people should stay in their own racial lanes, so to speak. He found intermarriage with the Samoan natives to be abhorrent, as observed by Peter Hempenstall and Paula Mochida in their 2005 book, The Lost Man – Wilhelm Solf in German History...




Dr. Funk, like many of the old time settlers and small plantation owners, had married native Samoan women. That made them all moral degenerates in the view of Solf, who likewise discounted their claims and ties to Samoa as a new home. In part, Solf felt a fatherly obligation to protect the native Samoan people from corruption by these settlers.

On the debilitating effects of climate, Leilani Burgoyne in “Going ‘Troppo’ in the South Pacific: Dr. Bernhard Funk of Samoa 1844–1911” noted that Solf believed in a condition referred to as Troppenkoller, a form of tropical madness affecting settlers from northern climates brought on by the sustained exposure to high heat and humidity in Samoa and other South Seas islands. This condition caused those affected to lose their sense of perspective and react psychologically in incomprehensible ways. In his view, twenty five years was the maximum limit of exposure before even the hardiest of Europeans succumbed either to the effects of the climate or the seductive wiles of native women. On the latter point, I’d say that Solf was being way too generous. Based purely on elapsed time of exposure, Dr. Funk was on the verge of going “Troppo.”

Hempenstall and Mochida in The Lost Man – Wilhelm Solf in German History go on to explain the underpinnings of Solf’s native policy...




Dr. Solf seriously underestimated the native Samoans, especially the wily intelligence of one of their great orator chiefs, Lauaki Namulau`ulu Mamoe. The orator chiefs (tulafale) were the kingmakers among Samoan royalty, and Solf’s policies disenfranchised their position. Solf would later bitterly regret that miscalculation, as subsequent insurrection forced him to ship the great chief, supporting chiefs and families (nearly seventy people in all) into exile on the German Mariana Islands in the far North Pacific…

Lauaki Namulau'ulu Mamoe and other chiefs, aboard a German warship, 1909
Reference Number: PAColl-3799-07

Lauaki Namulau'ulu Mamoe (left) and other chiefs, aboard a German warship taking them to exile to Saipan, in the Mariana Islands. Photograph taken by Alfred John Tattersall in 1909.



After taking office as Imperial Governor of Western Samoa in March of 1900, Dr. Solf established a permanent post for a government medical officer. Solf had serious reservations about the obvious candidate, Dr. Bernhard Funk, due to the issues cited above and Funk’s stubbornly independent, even “cheeky” nature, according to the evidence uncovered by Leilani Burgoyne. In the end, Dr. Funk’s popularity across all elements of the community and his solid medical reputation caused the administration to award him the post of Harbor Doctor. At the time, Dr. Funk was 55 years old. Interestingly, Leilani found that Dr. Funk was unable to produce his medical papers, so he was forced to share his official responsibility with another German physician. None of this bode well for a happy working relationship between the Imperial Governor and his new employee.

Dr. Solf and his new medical officer, Dr. Funk, went on a diplomatic and trade tour of New Zealand and Australia in 1901, according to these newspaper articles of the time...

The Wanganui Herald March 18, 1901




The Evening Post March 23, 1901




Dr and Mrs Solf at Vailima, 1900s
Reference Number: PAColl-3799-05


(Vailima, Robert Louis Stevenson’s former home, was the Governor’s official residence)


Once Dr. Funk accepted his government post, the Imperial Governor and his administration determined who Dr. Funk’s patients were, and these were typically Samoans of significant political influence. As he feared, Solf repeatedly found his doctor unresponsive to his requests. Leilani cites a 1903 letter from Solf to Funk demanding an explanation as to why he, Funk, had not attended to the Ali`i Sili (High Chief), Mata`afa Iosefo, as urgently requested. Mata`afa suffered from asthma. Funk replied that he wasn’t able to personally attend but had sent suitable medicine and advice. This undoubtedly infuriated Solf, who had to keep peace and order in the colony, currying favor among those who could facilitate that goal. In a previous post, we saw that Dr. Funk had blatantly violated the law by releasing goldfish into Lake Lanoto`o after direct warnings not to, then had gone absent without leave as he built his health resort on the lake. All this considered, Dr. Solf would appear to have been pretty tolerant to the eccentricities of his old medico.

In 1904, Dr. Funk was accused by the Imperial Governor of doing the unforgiveable, consorting with his arch political foe, Dr. Richard Deeken, a reserve army officer and head of the small planters’ association known as the Planters’ Society (Pflanzerverein). Malama Meleisea and Penelope Schoeffel Meleisea summarized Solf’s situation with Deeken in their 1987 book, Lagaga: A Short History of Western Samoa...




Dr Richard Deeken, his wife Elisabeth and their first child "Else Josepha Moana,” 10 month old godchild of the last king of Samoa, Josefa Mata'afa (1903)



According to Leilani, the records reveal that Solf accused Dr. Funk of “showing off with Deeken in the street” after having him over for dinner. Dr. Funk proclaimed his innocence, saying that he knew Deeken in his capacity as physician only and that he was willing to swear an oath that he had no part in slandering the German administration. Solf evidently decided he’d had enough. He declared Dr. Funk had gone “Troppo” and abolished his post as Harbor Doctor on July 1, 1904. Dr. Funk was almost 60 years old at the time and had been in Samoa more than twenty four years. Solf did allow Dr. Funk to continue in an official capacity collecting meteorological data for the Seewarte in Hamburg, as well as for the German Firm (D.H.P.G.). He also allowed Dr. Funk to intermittently serve the administration when other doctors weren’t available to attend patients.

Here’s how Hempenstall and Mochida described the action in The Lost Man – Wilhelm Solf in German History...




Dr. Wilhelm Solf left Samoa in 1910 to be appointed Colonial Secretary at Berlin. Dr. Erich Schultz, his deputy and the former chief justice in the protectorate, succeeded him. Dr. Solf died in 1936...

Rochester Journal February 6, 1936 (page 63)




Samoan address to outgoing German Governor, Dr Wilhelm Solf, 1910
Reference Number: PAColl-3062-3-12

Photograph of an illustrated address given by Samoans to the first German Governor, Dr Wilhelm Solf. Photographed by Alfred John Tattersall



For the rest of the story on Dr. Solf, see this Samoa Observer online article. Dr. Solf was a political moderate and opposed the rising National Socialist (Nazi) party in Germany. His wife, Johanna Solf, and their Samoan-born daughter, Lagi (So`oa`emalelagi), were ardent anti-Nazis and responsible for hiding many Jews, providing them with documents to emigrate safely. They were betrayed by a spy and sent to concentration camps awaiting a trial and presumably execution. The Japanese ambassador, who knew the Solfs from the time that Wilhelm had been posted as German ambassador to Japan, managed to delay the trial, and then an air raid destroyed their files. In the confusion surrounding the Red Army’s arrival in Berlin, they were released in error and both lived until the mid-1950s.

German Postcard of Samoa (1907)



-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 667
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-09 4:12 pm   Permalink

Before Dr. Wilhelm Solf (Dr. Funk’s old boss) left his post as Imperial Governor of German (Western) Samoa in late 1910, Christian Wilhelm Allers, a well-known German artist, made a portrait of him while in Apia, dated April 22, 1910, that clearly shows his dueling scars (“schmiss”)...




Thirteen years later found Dr. Solf in Tokyo as German Ambassador to Japan at the moment when the devastating 1923 Yokohama earthquake hit in the midst of a typhoon...

Southeast Missourian September 6, 1923 (page 1)











Back in Samoa at the time, the native Samoans were extremely unhappy with the way New Zealand was administering the protectorate and longed for the old days when Germany ruled the colony under Dr. Solf. Having learned that Dr. Solf survived the earthquake in Japan, a group of Samoan chiefs sent him telegrams begging for his return as their Governor, according to Hempenstall and Mochida in The Lost Man – Wilhelm Solf in German History, as well as Hermann Hiery in his 1995 book The Neglected War: The German South Pacific and the Influence of World War I, excerpted below...



-------------

The Samoan warriors in the photo below appear to be in an ugly mood. They’ve likely had their fill of the crazy papalagi (foreigners) and their rules, so heads are about to be taken. Photo, dated ca 1900, is a post by ookami_dou (Wolfgang Wiggers) on Flickr...




-Tom


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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 270
Posted: 2012-04-09 6:03 pm   Permalink

This is all well and good, and I mean no disrespect, but inquiring minds want to know what is the definitive historically accurate Dr. Funk cocktail? I like Trader Vic's Dr. Funk of Tahiti but what was the good doctor actually drinking?

 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 667
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-10 4:13 pm   Permalink

TropicDrinkBoy, quite a reasonable request, considering the title of this forum. I’ve been winding my way through Dr. Funk’s life story and the side trails connected to it, but I’ll put the final few posts about that on hold to cut to the chase on your question...

The earliest known Dr. Funk cocktail recipe is that which has already been posted by Mr. Bali Hai from Frederick O’Brien’s 1921 book, Mystic Isles of the South Seas.

Leilani Burgoyne’s paper from the University of Auckland is the most meticulously researched work on all things about Dr. Bernhard Funk, yet she could find nothing earlier among unpublished and published papers. I’ve made an extensive search myself, combing through both online and physical books, even the 1907 Cyclopedia of Samoa, with no better result. So, I circle back to that recipe given by Dr. Funk to Joseph, the steward at the Cercle Bougainville in Papeete, Tahiti about a century ago and recorded in Mystic Isles of the South Seas...





Note that this recipe contained no rum at all.

Here’s where O’Brien made it clear that it was to Joseph that Dr. Funk directly confided the recipe...




The cocktail’s popularity was enhanced by the fact that a real physician had concocted it (from online copy of Mystic Isles of the South Seas)...




Here are various other snippets about the cocktail in Mystic Isles of the South Seas...












Among factors supporting the recipe as authentic are that it is contemporary to Dr. Funk’s lifetime and all the recorded details about the doctor himself are accurate.

It’s almost 20 years after Mystic Isles of the South Seas was published that Dr. Funk appears next, in altered form...

Beachbum Berry’s Intoxica! (page 32) has a Doctor Funk recipe cited as originating from Don the Beachcomber circa 1937. It adds dark rum to the mix and alters proportions. Absinthe (no longer legal) has been replaced by Pernod.

Earlier in this thread, we saw where Trader Vic already had a dark rum and absinthe Dr. Funk cocktail on the menu of his Honolulu Trader Vic’s, circa 1940.

-Tom

[ This Message was edited by: tikitomd 2012-04-10 16:40 ]


 
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 270
Posted: 2012-04-11 01:13 am   Permalink

Thanks very much Tom for the recipe and all the background info. I love a drink with a story and this one is a doozy! I'll make an original Dr. Funk in the next day or so. The first Dr. Funk of Tahiti I had at Trader Vic's was perfect with the float of Pernod in balance. That's hard to get right.

 
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TropicDrinkBoy
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Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 270
Posted: 2012-04-11 01:14 am   Permalink

Thanks very much Tom for the recipe and all the background info. I love a drink with a story and this one is a doozy! I'll make an original Dr. Funk in the next day or so. The first Dr. Funk of Tahiti I had at Trader Vic's was perfect with the float of Pernod in balance. That's hard to get right.

 
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Club Nouméa
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Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 340
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2012-04-12 01:46 am   Permalink

Wonderful thread with lots of amazing research. This section raised a smile:

Quote:

Leilani Bargoyne in “Going ‘Troppo’ in the South Pacific: Dr. Bernhard Funk of Samoa 1844–1911” cited Otto Riedel, a German plantation owner, as recalling “that Funk was well-known in Apia for parties he hosted in his two Samoan huts (fale) at the back of his house.” In Sven Mönter’s PhD thesis, “Dr. Augustin Krämer: A German Ethnologist in the Pacific,” he states “Krämer, as his diaries illustrate, was also a guest on numerous parties and Bierabende (“Beer Nights”) organized by Dr. Bernhard Funk."



Several years ago I nearly bought a house off a Samoan family in Porirua, and they had built one of these evening drinking & entertaining fales out in the back yard!!! Unfortunately they hadn't got a building permit from the City Council, and also the house had dry rot, so I had to walk away
_________________

Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 667
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-13 12:35 pm   Permalink

TropicDrinkBoy, please be sure to share the results of your experiment with the original Doctor Funk recipe, including ingredient proportions, as there is quite a bit of ambiguity in “a portion of absinthe.”

Club Nouméa, the fale seems the perfect pre-Tiki architecture for entertaining in tropic climes. Interesting that you would find one in a New Zealand back yard.

--------------

Picking back up with the tale of Dr. Funk, the person...

Recall that the Imperial Governor of German Samoa, Dr. Wilhelm Solf, had found the fiercely independent Dr. Funk to be every bit as difficult to control as he had initially feared. However, compared with the major league troubles he faced in balancing the interests of the German Empire and those of the native Samoans, Dr. Solf likely found Funk to be a relatively minor and sporadic irritation... that is, until Funk socialized with Richard Deeken, head of the small planters’ association and arch political foe of the Governor. With that transgression, Solf was highly offended and hurt; it was beyond belief that anyone in his own administration would be associated in any capacity with Deeken.

So, in July of 1904, the Governor dismissed Dr. Funk. The newly unemployed Funk was nearly 60 years old. The Deeken affair convinced the Governor beyond a doubt that Dr. Funk had gone “Troppo” and was no longer up to handling the rigors of the job.

Wilhelm Solf must have retained a soft spot for his old medico and a degree of professional respect, for he continued to employ Dr. Funk as a physician on a casual basis. He also allowed him to continue making meteorological observations for the government. In a much earlier post, we saw that in 1910 the German administration officially acknowledged Dr. Funk’s lifetime meteorological contributions by awarding him the Order of the Red Eagle (4th Class), a major civilian honor. This could only have happened with Solf’s endorsement and approval. In The Cyclopedia of Samoa of 1907, Dr. Funk was observed to have retired in 1904 (not been fired), another accession on the part of Solf, under whose authority this work was published...




I love the publisher’s note at the beginning of The Cyclopedia of Samoa, which reads in part...






Here’s an excerpt from the biographic sketch of Dr. Schwesenger, who replaced Dr. Funk as Apia health officer...




From the biographic sketch of Dr. Funk, we get a snapshot of our irrepressible medico in his early 60s, as well as a sense of how attached he was to Samoa and Samoa to him...




Quote:
An able medico and a staunch and jovial friend, Dr. Funk would be missed if he ever took his departure from Samoa; but he never will; he loves the land; he is wedded to it, and to leave it now, after a residence extending over a quarter of a century, would be as big a wrench to him as to his many friends. Dr. Funk is a landmark and a fixture.



On his assessment, in part, of the health threats to the native Samoans...

Quote:
Dr. Funk expresses a decided opinion – an opinion, he says, confirmed by his long experience – that tuberculosis carries off a tremendous percentage of the native population. There is, however, another and more loathsome disease, which is known among the natives as “the white curse,” from which the natives suffer. Dr. Funk declares that half the natives have been contaminated by it, a statement the serious import of which cannot lightly be passed over.



Curiously, there is no mention of Doctor Funk, the cocktail, not even in the accompanying The Cyclopedia of Tahiti...

-Tom


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
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From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-04-13 2:04 pm   Permalink

One can maybe assume that, from a German and European standpoint, compared to all the scholarly research into culture and other scientific aspects of the locale worthy of being published, the mention of a recreational alcoholic beverage was viewed as too trivial, or maybe even reprehensible. It fell to other places and peoples to raise it to a level of legendary stature.

So Tom, when is YOUR book coming out?


 
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thePorpoise
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Joined: Jan 23, 2011
Posts: 1079
From: Tampa Bay
Posted: 2012-04-13 2:07 pm   Permalink

book? he's negotiating the screenplay and movie rights!



 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 667
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-14 06:37 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-04-13 14:04, bigbrotiki wrote:
One can maybe assume that, from a German and European standpoint, compared to all the scholarly research into culture and other scientific aspects of the locale worthy of being published, the mention of a recreational alcoholic beverage was viewed as too trivial, or maybe even reprehensible. It fell to other places and peoples to raise it to a level of legendary stature.



Sven, I’m thinking the “or maybe even reprehensible” predominantly applied. Missionaries were early or earliest on the scene throughout Oceania. Then, from the mid 19th century on into the 20th century, temperance movements were gathering strength all over the world, to include Oceania, especially New Zealand and Australia. It probably was not a good time to publically glorify your prize cocktail, lest you become a target...

Band of Hope Temperance Society. Blenheim Blue Ribbon Branch :This is to certify that [Lottie Maria Brewer] is a member of the above society having signed the following pledge. [Luther Shelford, June 1886. no 6]. Published by Campbell & Tudhope, Glasgow.
Reference Number: Eph-D-ALCOHOL-Temperance-1886-01

Shows text in inset oval, flanked by figures of Industry and Temperance, with beehives below, cornucopia and sheaves of grain, as well as homilies which include: "Resist temptation"; "Be ye steadfast, unmoveable"; "Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess"; "Wine is a mocker - whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise"; "Work while it is called to day".



The Clutha Leader December 5, 1890







Disclaimer: The following graphic containing “Groggy” is not intended as a reference to anyone living or dead (not you either, GROG).

Artist unknown: The Groggy Goddess of Liberty; a symbolic design for the newly-formed Liberty League, dedicated to the promoters and their friends. ... Remember the Newtown job, and vote No License! [1890s?]
Reference Number: PUBL-0107-001[/b]
Drawing on a leaflet promoting temperance, titled `The Groggy Goddess of Liberty!', depicting a drunk statue of liberty, atop a stack of rum, gin, beer, whisky and wine barrels. Text above the image reads "A symbolic design for the newly-formed Liberty League" Text below reads "Dedicated to the promotors and their friends. Messrs T Kennedy MacDonald, J T M Hornsby, John Plimmer, Staples & Co, and All Representative Liquor Sellers, who deserve the Thanks of their Country for their Glorious Defence of Liberty - to get Drunk.



Temperance Ladies' Brass Band, possibly in Auckland, [ca 1910s]
Reference Number: 1/2-000336-G

Temperance Ladies Brass Band, possibly in the Auckland area. Photograph taken by William A Price, ca 1910s.


----------------

Quote:

On 2012-04-13 14:04, bigbrotiki wrote:
So Tom, when is YOUR book coming out?



As much fun as this is, that may have to wait awhile, as I have a demanding day job launching rockets. I’m quite happy to be a contributor.

Quote:

On 2012-04-13 14:07, thePorpoise wrote:
book? he's negotiating the screenplay and movie rights!



Porpoise, you’re on to something there. Oceania in the 19th and early 20th centuries had all the elements to make a multitude of great movies: gorgeous scenery, conflict among indigenous peoples of many origins among themselves and with the colonials, intrigue among the traders and three major colonial powers, interesting historic characters (native and papalagi), and it had pirates! In Papeete, the Cercle Bougainville with it polyglot steward, Joseph, seems a South Seas incarnation of Rick’s Café in the movie Casablanca.

-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 667
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-14 11:56 am   Permalink

It was bound to happen. There were so many South Seas adventure stories and travelogues being published around the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century that someone saw an opportunity to cash in on satire. That someone was George Shepard Chappell, a professional architect and friend of the publisher George Putnam (husband of Amelia Earhart). Using the pseudonym Dr. Walter E. Traprock, he published in 1921 The Cruise of the Kawa: Wanderings in the South Seas. This book poked fun in particular with Frederick O’Brien’s South Seas travelogues. Here’s the Amazon.com description of the book...


Quote:
1921. With seventeen illustrations and a map. Walter E. Traprock is the pseudonym for George S. Chappell. The Cruise of the Kawa is a professional, carefully crafted joke in the form of a parody. Towards the end of the story it introduces the several authors whose work it has aped: Fred O'Brien, Martin Johnson, William Beebe, MacQuarrie, Captain Bligh and Joseph Conrad. The actual author was George S. Chappell, a professional architect trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris after graduating from Yale in 1899. He was also known as George Shepard. He wrote a series of similar books over a 15-year period, into the 1930's.







In the excerpt below, the crew of the Kawa has been lost for some indeterminate time, having intended to land in Tahiti. Giving up all hope, they abandoned the tiller and proceeded to consume the last of their food and drink in a final party, described as a wild orgy that lasted two days before they exhausted all supplies. During that time, the Kawa sailed free of crew intervention and, just as the supplies ran out, crashed onto the shore of their intended destination, Papeete. In the onshore celebration that follows, Doctor Funk’s are the alcoholic beverage of choice...





This web site has more information on George Chappell, including a comic strip based on Dr. Walter E. Traprock, world renowned explorer and adventurer.




-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 667
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-15 10:55 am   Permalink

Dr. Funk apparently has a greater footprint in modern fiction than I previously thought. In an earlier post, you found that he told his story as one of five real-life physicians who treated Stevenson in The Strange Case of R.L. Stevenson by Richard Woodhead, published by Luath Press Limited in 2001.

In 2011, Dr. Funk had a starring role in a radio play broadcast on Radio Germany, Die Teufel auf Samoa or, in English, The Devil in Samoa, by Holger Teschke...





The play is described as follows...

Quote:
The Devil in Samoa
Robert Louis Stevenson in the South Seas
A radio play by Holger Teschke

Robert Louis Stevenson, writer, 43 years
Fanny Vandegrift Stevenson, his wife, 53 years
Dr Bernhard Funk, physician and meteorologist, 50 years

The action takes place from July to August 1893 at Stevenson's Vailima plantation above the port city of Apia, Samoa.



For those who can’t read German (like me), here’s a place where the online Google translator provides outstanding service. The Google toolbar will offer to translate the web page
above or you can go directly to the text version of the radio play here, again asking Google to translate from German to English.

A small excerpt...

Quote:
Stevenson:
Do you also feel homesick?
Dr. Funk:
It has its limits. Samoa is not the way the Garden of Eden was.
Stevenson:
Why not?
Dr. Funk:
No snakes.
Stevenson laughs:
I did not think the Germans also have black humor.
Dr. Funk:
After thirteen years of the South Pacific? But I will not complain. When I arrived here, I felt like an old man who had seen too much death and destruction and wanted only his red wine and its peace. But then I am once again in love and whistling in my old age...



There’s even an exchange between Dr. Funk and Robert Louis Stevenson about a Tongan Goddess Tiki!

-Tom


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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 340
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2012-04-15 7:59 pm   Permalink

And Dr Funk came to Wanganui in 1901! The Rutland Hotel (rebuilt in brick circa 1910) burned down in the 1990s, but the Rutland Arms stands on the same spot.

What amazes me even more is that there was a German Consul in Aramoho in 1901. Whatever for? It looks very suspicious to me... (shades of John Buchan's The 39 Steps)

For those not familiar with it, Aramoho is upriver from Wanganui. In those days it was a mere village and is now a somewhat down-at-heel suburb. There was an unsuccessful attempt at establishing a zoo there a hundred years ago, but they had to close it down because the neighbours complained about the roaring lions waking them up in the middle of the night.

The temperance movement was very strong here, although prohibition was never introduced nationally, as the drinking culture is even stronger. A referendum on introducing prohibition was included in national election ballot papers here from 1911 up until 1987. My mother always used to vote for it, and then come home and tell me "that'll teach the so-and-sos for going out drinking and neglecting their wives!"

_________________

Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !

[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2012-04-15 21:09 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2012-04-15 21:17 ]


 
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