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New Zealand's National Press Club Restores Green Parrot Jug to South Seas Longest-Operating Restaurant

Handover conducted by Peter Bush, Australasia’s longest-practising journalist

NAPIER, HAWKES BAY, NEW ZEALAND, March 26, 2016 / -- Australasia’s longest-practising journalist Peter Bush has returned to Australasia’s longest continuously-operating restaurant which is Wellington’s Green Parrot its signature and founding artefact, a green parrot ceramic jug made in Japan.

Mr Bush’s career as a photojournalist and war correspondent began in 1946, a mere 20 years after the founding of the Green Parrot restaurant which on this occasion of its founding artefact restoration formally celebrated its 90th birthday.

Mr Bush is vice president of the National Press Club which staged the ceremony. In fact the green parrot jug had lain in the memorabilia of the club for many years. It had originally come into the club’s possession via an early stalwart, Tony Poynton.

He had intervened at a tense moment during the club’s post war years when it served as a de facto or curb exchange, most notably among scrap metal dealers such as Mr Poynton then was. A commanding presence, Mr Poynton’s intervention earned him the gratitude of the proprietor who stood to lose their trading licence if found to have conducted an unruly house.

The proprietor gave the late Mr Poynton the signature jug which Mr Poynton, by now a newspaperman himself, had donated to the club to adorn any future premises.

Mr Bush who is pictured handing back the jug to Green Parrot proprietor Chris Sakoufakis, noted that the occasion would in future years be viewed as recording also the transition from the colourful heyday of print journalism to the present technology-pressured one.

He noted that someone such as Mr Poynton could in those earlier days switch from metals trading to newspapers and in the process bring with them a variety of new approaches and ideas along with real-world experience.

The timing of the ceremony also saw the era approaching of the 40 year envelope from the advent of a technology on the consumer market, in this case the internet and associated technologies, to the point at which it became pervasive and thus fully transformational.
He cited electricity and automobiles as two earlier examples of this 40 year take up phenomenon.

The chairman of the ceremony Wellington city businessman and National Press Club treasurer Bryan Weyburne noted that Mr Bush’s enduring career marked him out as a South Seas journalistic institution.

Mr Bush was thus ideally qualified to restore to the South Seas’ pre-eminent hospitality institution its long-absent defining artefact in the form of the green parrot jug.

The Green Parrot restaurant was begun in 1926 by a United States merchant seaman paid off in Wellington who had acquired the jug at Yokohama and who then named his new restaurant after the fashionable ceramic ornamental piece of kitchenware.

Peter Isaac
64 6 870 4506
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