I had news in early July of the sad death of Pete Davis ('Aussie Pete'), who together with his partner Penny Golias, was the inspiration behind the Bunkhouse Theatre on Rakiura/Stewart Island. This little cinema sat idle for some years, before Pete and Penny came along to provide a much-needed venue for locals and visitors, screening a regular programme of films (with an emphasis on the local) and daily screenings of "A Local's Tail", their own amusing and informative 40 minute film about life on the island. This film 'narrated' by Lola, a local dog (assisted by Pete), is a highlight of many who take the challenging trip across the Fouveaux Strait.
Pete was a first-rate bloke and the island will miss him, rattling around Oban in his bright yellow Fiat Bambina. My hope is that the Bunkhouse will continue to play an important role on the island, as testament to Pete's contribution to this lovely part of New Zealand.
Pete with his beloved self-operated popcorn machine, at the Bunkhouse Theatre, Feb 2018.
Geoff Lealand was an Assoc Prof in Screen and Media Studies at the University of Waikato from 1992 to 2017. Now retired (not a word he favours), he writes social history, maintains this site, its Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as going to the cinema at least twice weekly.