News | 18 January 2021
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Top 10 quirkiest queries found in the City Archives

Are you being served? We help hundreds of residents daily with all kinds of questions, but sometimes there are those questions that really stick in your mind…

Black and white photo of woman using old telephone at desk in an office.
Wellington City Council Archives, 00158-2623-b

The team at City Archives have dug out some of the most curious queries we’ve received in the past 60 years. Was one of them you?

  • Someone asked if permission was necessary to stage a marathon hand shaking contest? (Obviously pre-COVID times)
  • A boy from Japan had heard we had beautiful butterflies in New Zealand and asked if he could be sent one in exchange for a Japanese doll. We did indeed send the butterfly and received a doll in return!
  • “Can you arrange for someone to meet my wife from a plane?”
Black and white photo of planes parked on ground at Rongotai airport.
Wellington City Council Archives, 00138-8675
  • “Can you tell me of a registered Siamese cat dealer in Wellington??
  • There was a request for a goatherd to milk someone’s goats…
Black and white photo of white goat lying on grass in backyard.
Wellington City Council Archives, 00158-4014-f
  • “Do you know of a fortune teller in Wellington?”
  • A boy from Kaiapoi asked for some quick sand - “about a little jar full”


Black and white photo of people sunbathing on Oriental Bay beach.
Wellington City Council, 00155-152
  • “What is the groaning noise at the end of Lambton Quay?”
  • There was a request to get new dentures made in a hurry… oh dear
  • A boy in Lower Hutt wanted to know where he could buy a mule as he intended to take a trip around the South Island on one

These are just some of our favourites, but if you want to read the rest of the list of unusual enquiries from 1959, head to the Wellington City Archives website. 

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