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Paddy The Wonder Dog


Sun 1 Mar 2015, 3:00pm–3:25pm
Sun 1 Mar 2015, 11:00pm–11:25pm

Where: Wellington Museum, 3 Jervois Quay, Queens Wharf, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


Listed by: Museums Wellington

Celebrate Children's Day on March 1 at Museum of Wellington City & Sea with two free puppet shows starring life-sized pooch, Paddy The Wonder Dog.

Presented by the acclaimed String Bean Puppets, Paddy The Wonder Dog tells the story of Wellington’s most adventurous canine, who went on to become a national icon. Wellington puppeteer Anna Bailey will also be running puppet-making workshops following the premiere performances, which begin at 11am and 3pm.

A ginger and brown Airedale terrier, Paddy started life as Dash, the pet of a young girl whose father worked on the Wellington waterfront. After the girl’s death in 1928, Paddy, as he became known, began to wander the wharves, some say in search of his lost playmate.

Paddy The Wanderer became a much-loved fixture on the waterfront, with harbour board workers, seamen and taxi drivers taking turns in paying his annual dog licence. A well-travelled dog, Paddy became known outside the city as he journeyed by sea to New Zealand and Australia and even took to the skies in a Gypsy Moth biplane.

As his fame grew, Paddy was awarded the ‘Freedom of the City’ by Wellington City Council while the Harbour Board made him ‘Assistant Night Watchman responsible for pirates, smugglers and rodents’.

Paddy’s death in 1939 prompted a very public outpouring of grief; obituary notices were placed in the local papers and a radio tribute was broadcast. A fleet of black taxis accompanied his coffin from Queen’s Wharf to the city council yards for cremation. A drinking fountain opposite Museum of Wellington City & Sea commemorates Paddy’s life, while a life-size statue inside is one of the Museum’s most popular attractions.

Due to the popularity of previous shows, bookings for Paddy The Wonder Dog and the puppet-making workshops (at 11.30 and 3.30pm) are recommended. Bookings can be made by calling 04 472 8904. Entry for the shows is free; participation in the workshops is by koha.

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