Paddy the Wanderer (Wellington)
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This cache is located near the entrance to Queen's Wharf, an area that is one of the busiest parts of the waterfront and the primary symbolic entry to the waterfront through the Queens Wharf heritage gates. Described by some as the epi-centre of the Wellington inner-city area, the various attractions include the Museum of Wellington City & Sea, NZ Olympic Museum Gallery, NZ Academy of fine arts, TSB Bank arena, Ferg's Kayaks (and indoor rock climbing wall), Helipro helicopters plus a number of popular restaurants and bars.
It is also home to an unusual and almost un-noticed monument which is the subject of this cache, a memorial to Paddy the Wanderer. The story of Paddy was the inspiration for a recent (2007) children's book by Dianne Haworth, and is briefly described on an adjacent plaque as follows;
Paddy the Wanderer was a ginger and brown Airedale (terrier) dog who became a well known and much loved identity on the Wellington waterfront in the 1930's. His original name was believed to have been "Dash", the favourite pet of a little girl called Elsie Marion Glasgow, whose father was a seaman. Elsie Marion and her mother Alice would often bring their dog to meet John Glasgow's ship when he was returning to port. In this way, "Dash" soon became familiar with the wharves.
Tragically, Elsie Marion took ill and died of pneumonia in 1928, aged three-and-a-half years. Bewildered and lost, "Dash" strayed from home and took to wandering the wharves, seemingly in search of his lost playmate. He never returned home, deciding instead to remain at the waterfront.
Paddy came to be a familiar sight on the wharves in the 1930's, and began to feature regularly in newspaper articles. He was cared for by watersiders and Harbour Board workers, seamen and local taxi drivers, who all took it in turn to pay his annual dog license fee. The taxi drivers would often take him for rides around the city, and sometimes up country. Paddy also made voyages to some of New Zealand's coastal ports, and to Australia.
Paddy was said to have good sea legs and "a really keen nose for impending storms". In 1935 he made a flight in a Gipsey Moth biplane, and apparently enjoyed the experience of flying in an open cockpit.
In his last few years, Paddy held the honorary title of Assistant Watchman, keeping an eye out for smugglers and pirates as well as rodents. Paddy became good friends with the nightwatchman, both being glad of each other's company during the long, cold nights.
By the time he was 13 years old, Paddy began to show signs of old age and refused to travel far. He was now usually to be found on the Tally Clerk's stand inside the Queen's Wharf Gates. Then, when his health deteriorated, he was placed in a sickbed in Shed 1, and attended to by a vet, with people calling to see him and to enquire about his welfare.
On July 17, 1939, Paddy died. Obituary notices were placed in the local papers to inform everyone of his death. A fleet of black taxis, led by a traffic officer formed a funeral cortege to carry his coffin from Queen's Wharf to the City Corporation yards for cremation.
Funds were gathered by Paddy's old friends for a memorial drinking fountain. In 1945, the fountain was erected. It is set in stone from London's bombed Waterloo Bridge. When the drinking bowl overflows with water, it fills the two drinking bowls below, for any dog who passes to quench a thirst.
The wharf area falls just outside the WCC central city dog restriction area so geohounds, (and our few 4 legged account holders) are permitted at all times but must be on a leash and controlled by their owners. Nearby parking in the central city area, however , may present a problem if you bring your dog. You will probably need to park in the Cable street area or Waterloo Quay ends of the wharf area, or visit outside the hours of 8am to 6pm when dogs (on a leash) are permitted in the central city area.
Any photos of your dog at the memorial would be most welcome.
Log only cache, BYOP. Thanks to the original owner for placing the cache to mark such a significant location. The cache was originally a Sistema container under a drain cover but as this was covered over the cache is now an Eclipse container in a nearby location.
I have gone to some trouble to obtain accurate co-ordinates and am confident they are correct. You are likely to experience some wander on your GPSr in this built up area but you will easily spot the memorial , the cache is close-by .
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