Newspaper Article 2018 – Historical stories entertain

Historical stories entertain

Author and columnist takes new direction to explore Bay’s colourful past in latest book

Georgia May

Hawke’s Bay author Michael Fowler has released his ninth book, filled with rich and colourful history of Hawke’s Bay.

Based in Havelock North, Fowler describes himself as a self-employed historian with a key focus on the region’s social history.

The stories in his latest book, Historic Hawke’s Bay, have been adapted from his Saturday columns which have appeared in the Hawke’s Bay Today through the years.

From the history of McLean Park to the War Memorial Hall in Napier, there’s an array of quirky and informative stories in the 160-page book.

From archived photos to more colourful memories provided by members of the public, Hawke’s Bay residents will be entertained, enlightened and amazed.

If anyone disagrees with it, they will soon let me know and I can adapt it.
Author Michael Fowler

Fowler’s latest book stretches away from his usual works from Napier’s earthquake history to Art Deco to the history of movie theatres.

Fowler is a chartered accountant and wrote his first book on the history of accounting in Hawke’s Bay.

“That sale didn’t go so well, as the release was at the same time as the first Harry Potter.

“I’ve always done about three historical Hawke’s Bay-type format books and they always sell the best because the column has got quite a good following,” he said.

The book is mainly a mixture of Napier and Hastings stories, with a few guest appearances from Waipukurau, Waipawa and Wairoa.

“There’s a story there about one guy who was promoting motorcycles, he raced an express train down to Wellington about 100 years ago.

There’s also stories about the beginning of Comwall Park and Napier’s Marine Parade.

The information for these stories was hard to find. Each tale could take at least six to 10 hours of research.

“The good thing about these articles going in the newspaper first is that if anyone disagrees with It, they will soon let me know and I can adapt it.

“When you’ve put all the effort into something like this and the book arrives for you to look over, it’s just something to be very proud of.”

Fowler will be selling his book at the Peace Makers Market in Havelock North on December 15. It will be for sale in the Hastings Community Art Centre, or contact Fowler directly to purchase the book at [email protected]

Photo caption – Michael Fowler with his new book, Historic Hawke’s Bay.
Photo / Warren Buckland

Original digital file


Date published

10 December 2018

Format of the original

Newspaper article


Hawke's Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • Warren Buckland
  • Michael Fowler
  • Georgia May

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