What to Expect
Everyone is welcome to come and commemorate the 175th anniversary of the foundering of the HMS Buffalo at this ceremony which will include local groups and representatives from the New Zealand Navy and the British Consulate.The HMS Buffalo is an incredible story of a significant shipwreck that occured very close to shore in the Mercury Bay. This ceremony will commemorate the 175th anniversay of the grounding and wreck of the ship, pay respects to the two lives lost and acknowledge the descendants of the sailors that remained in New Zealand.
As a mark of respect for the sailors that were lost wreaths will be delivered out to a buoy marking the site of the wreck.
Planned as part of the ceremony:
- Kapa Haka group
- Formal welcome to guests
- Wreaths to be taken out to the Buoy in the Bay
How to get there:
By 10am assemble at the HMS Buffalo Memorial (travel along Buffalo Beach the memorial is on the beach reserve)
Some quick history:
The HMS Buffalo (originally named Hindostan) was built in 1813 Calcutta, India and was purchased by the British Royal Navy as a storeship/timber carrier. Over its lifetime the Buffalo carried convicts to Australia, carried kauri timber, and transported settlers from Canada (known as the Hindmarsh settlers after the name of the ships Commander). The Museum often fields enquiries from descendants connected to the Buffalo.
On the 28 July 1840 the HMS Buffalo was caught up in stormy weather, grounded and broke into pieces. Of the crew of 93 sailors on board two crew (Charles Moore and John Cornes) were drowned and buried in Whitianga. Approximately ten or more of the crew who survived the wreck ended up settling in New Zealand and started new lives. The wreck of the boat still lies relatively close to shore in the centre of the Mercury Bay.