In the 1950s, when this photograph was taken of the Southern Cross about to leave a Wellington wharf, the flow of people between New Zealand and Europe was strong. Europe was the source of many new migrants, and with wages rising more people could afford to travel back and forth. The streamers stretching from the ship symbolised the parting that was about to take place. Rolls were thrown from ship to wharf; as the vessel pulled away the line stretching between those going and those staying would break.
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