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“Land of a Thousand Sorrows Revisited” - New Zealand Premiere


The Mercury Bay Museum, Mercury Twin Cinemas and documentary maker, Deke Richards, are proud to announce the Canadian documentary, “Land of a Thousand Sorrows Revisited”, will be making its Aotearoa New Zealand debut in Whitianga on Saturday, 11 June at 3:00pm.

The documentary follows the unknown and untold story of the Canadian Patriots from Lower and Upper Canada who were exiled to an Australian penal colony on HMS Buffalo from 1840 to 1848 and their legacy today. “The documentary tells another story of the Buffalo that is the international link,” says Rebecca Cox, Mercury Bay Museum manager and member of the HMS Buffalo Re-examination Project. “We are very honored and excited to be premiering the film for Deke as it has been a long time in the making.”

The documentary having its New Zealand premiere in Whitianga is significant as the Buffalo is interwoven in the town's history. The ship was built in India in 1813 and originally named “Hindostan”. Not long after her completion, the Royal British Navy purchased the Hindostan and as part of this acquisition, she was renamed HMS Buffalo to serve her newly found purpose as a transport, timber carrying, quarantine and immigrant ship that would travel between England, Australia, Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand.

On one of the Buffalo’s New Zealand trips in 1840, she anchored in Mercury Bay. She was caught in a storm and became a complete loss. The shipwreck now lies 50m off Buffalo Beach and is a protected archaeological site under the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act.

In early 2021, the HMS Buffalo Re-examination Project began. It aims to complete a detailed site survey to provide an accurate interpretation of the shipwreck.

Tickets to the premiere, which will take place at Mercury Twin Cinemas in Lee Street, Whitianga - cost $10 each. After the premiere, there will be a Q&A session with Deke and members of the HMS Buffalo Reexamination Project. To book, please phone (07) 866 0730 or pop into the Mercury Bay Museum. Tickets are limited.


Pictured is an artist’s image of HMS Buffalo foundering on Buffalo Beach.

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