Five Firsts I Did Not Know

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November 9, 2012 by astraltravels

When you start dusting off the hard-backed history books, look beyond the facts and figures and start investigating the stories behind the dates and glory, you can find so much treasure! I lost track of the number of times my workmates would roll their eyes when I mentioned a ‘First’ that I’d recently discovered and thought was in any small way relevant to everyday discussion.

Here (in no particular order) are five great Kiwi firsts that impressed me because they just seemed so odd and impressive:

  1. Two Kiwis were pioneers of the medical practice of plastic surgery (alongside the invention of saline baths and one of the first group occupational therapy institutions) — see Chapter 6: Either Elemental or Plastic.
  2. A Kiwi lead the NASA programme of space exploration in the late 1950s and was featured twice on the cover of Time magazine. For the details, please turn to Chapter 2: Through the looking glass to infinity and beyond.
  3. An overworked school principal was the first person to bring the fruit we now know as our national fruit to our shores. Find out how why she ended up in China in Chapter 4: Games we play and things we say.
  4. New Zealand was the first nation in the world to have air mail stamps. In typical idiosyncratic Kiwi style, the stamps were for pigeon post — see Chapter 11: First on the Cards.
  5. Our first National Librarian was an All Black — see Chapter 11: First on the Cards.
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