Geoff Watson's talk will examine changing patterns of sport and leisure in Palmerston North since the 1870s. It focuses on three eras: a founding era c. 1870-1914; an era of consolidation between 1914 and 1945 and a period of diversification from 1945 to the present.
The talk will explore the ways in which sport and leisure have symbolised and reinforced individual, club, suburban, provincial and community identity. Among the sports discussed will be tennis and bowls, with reference to objects in Te Manawa's collection.
Tennis is significant as a sport played by both men and women from the outset while bowls had a cross class constituency and has a long, but underwritten presence in New Zealand's sporting history.
Indoor games will also get a mention, with reference to an item Te Manawa has: a game board for Holdson's Tours of New Zealand, from the 1950s.