Ōtira is a small railway settlement on the West Coast side of the Ōtira tunnel, which links the east and west coasts of the South Island. Ōtira residents and others along the railway line would meet for a Friday-night dance in the local hall. Dancers in their best clothes glide across the floor in this 1948 documentary on railway workers and their families, while a lone piano player supplies the music. People would travel to Ōtira for these dances on the slow train, which stopped at all the little local stations along the line. These events were one of the few ways single people could meet potential partners.
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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: Railway Worker. National Film Unit, 1948
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