Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wallis Island, early 70's

Palelei and Tahialiki with our mother Tagimaitoga

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Herbert James Munro ('Burt')

Born : 25 March 1899 Edendale, New Zealand
Died : 6 January 1978 (aged 78) Invercargill, New Zealand
Resting place : Invercargill, New Zealand
Nationality : New Zealand
Occupation : Carpenter - New Zealand Home Guard - Speedway rider - Motorcycle salesman -
Mechanic - Land Speed record holder
Spouse : Florence Beryl Martyn (1927 - mid-1940s)
Children : John Munro, June, Margaret, Gwen

Herbert James "Burt" Munro (Bert in his youth) (25 March 1899 – 6 January 1978) was a New Zealand motorcycle racer, famous for setting an under-1,000 cc world record, at Bonneville, 26 August 1967. This record still stands today. Munro was 68 and was riding a 47-year-old machine when he set his last record.

Working from his home in Invercargill, he worked for 20 years to highly modify the 1920 Indian motorcycle that he had bought that same year. Munro set his first New Zealand speed record in 1938 and later set seven more. He travelled to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats, attempting to set world speed records. During his ten visits to the salt flats, he set three speed records, one of which still stands today.

His efforts, and success, are the basis of the motion picture The World's Fastest Indian (2005), starring Anthony Hopkins, and an earlier 1971 short documentary film Burt Munro: Offerings to the God of Speed, both directed by Roger Donaldson.

Early life :

Munro was born in 1899 in Invercargill. His twin sister died at birth and Munro grew up on a farm in Edendale, east of Invercargill.

Munro's interest in speed began at a young age, riding the family's fastest horse across the farm, despite the complaints of his father. Trips via train to the port at Invercargill were a rare source of excitement, and the arrival of cars, motorcycles and aircraft added to Burt's eagerness to join the world outside of his farm. As Munro's family discouraged his endeavours outside of farm life, he became constantly bored with daily routine, and at the outbreak of World War I, he intended to go to war as soon as he was old enough, for a chance to see the world.

Munro remained on the family farm until the end of the First World War, when his father sold the farm. At that time, Munro worked on the Otira Tunnel construction until recalled to work with his father on a newly purchased farm. After this he became a professional speedway rider, but returned home to the family farm at the start of the Great Depression. Finding work as a motorcycle salesman and mechanic, he still raced motorcycles and rose to the top of the New Zealand motorcycle scene, racing on Oreti Beach and later in Melbourne, Australia.

After World War II, Munro and his wife divorced, and he subsequently gave up work to reside in a lock-up garage.

Challenges :

A replica of the 1920 Indian (with half the exterior removed to show detail) that Burt Munro used to set his record in 1967

Munro's Indian Scout was very early off the production line, being only the 627th Scout to leave the American factory. The bike had an original top speed of 55 mph (89 km/h). But this did not satisfy Munro, so in 1926 he decided to start modifying his beloved Indian.

The biggest two challenges for Munro to overcome while modifying his bike were his lack of money and the fact that he worked full time as a motorcycle salesman. He would often work overnight on his bikes (he had a 1936 Velocette MSS as well), then he would go to work in the morning, having had no sleep the night before.

Because Munro was a man of modest means, he would often make parts and tools himself instead of having them professionally built. For example, he would cast parts in old tins, make his own barrels, pistons, flywheels, etc. His micrometer (a precision measuring instrument) was an old spoke.

In its final stages, the Indian's displacement was 950 cc (as built it was 600 cc) and was driven by a triple chain drive system.

The "Munro Special," as Munro called his bike, is now owned by a motorcycle enthusiast in New Zealand's South Island, and is on display at E Hayes & Sons, Invercargill. There is also a second motorcycle purported to be the original "Munro Special" in Te Papa Museum (Wellington).

Bonneville Salt Flats and Speed Week :

The Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah, are known worldwide for their many miles of flat, compacted salt, perfect for testing speed machines. During Speed Week, usually in mid-late August, vehicle enthusiasts from around the world gather at Bonneville.

Munro travelled to Bonneville ten times, the first time for "sightseeing" purposes. In the nine times he raced at Bonneville, Munro set three world records, in 1962, 1966 and 1967. He also once qualified at over 200 mph (320 km/h), but that was an unofficial run and was not counted.

Following the misspelling of his name in an American motorcycling magazine in 1957, Bert Munro changed his name to Burt.

Personal life :

Munro had four children—John, June, Margaret and Gwen—with his wife Florence Beryl Martyn, whom he married in 1927. They were divorced in 1947.

Having suffered from angina since the late 1950s, Munro suffered a partial stroke in 1977, and was admitted to hospital. He found his co-ordination had diminished. Frustrated, but wanting his motorcycles to remain in Southland, he sold both machines to a local dealer.

Munro died of natural causes on 6 January 1978, aged 78 years.

Records :

    •    In 1962, he set a world record of 288 km/h (178.95 mph) with his engine bored out to 850 cc (52 cubic inches)
    •    In 1966, he set a world record of 270.476 km/h (168.066 mph)
    •    In 1967, his engine was bored out to 950 cc (58 cubic inches) and he set a class record of 295.453 km/h (183.586 mph). To qualify he made a one-way run of 305.89 km/h (190.07 mph), the fastest-ever officially-recorded speed on an Indian. The unofficial speed record (officially timed) is 331 km/h (205.67 mph) for a flying mile.
    •    In 2006, he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
Sunset Beach, 2009

 Tuitokelau, Hirohiti, Tagimaitoga & Heitiare
Flowering Ice Plant (Carpobrotus edulis)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Las Vegas, 2009

 Tuitokelau, Hirohiti & Heitiare
The Bellagio
Stanton, 2009

 Heitiare, Tuitokelau & Tagimaitoga under BRISTOW's flags
Wallis Island & United States Colours
Wallis Island, 2000

Motu Faioa (little island in the south of Wallis)
Left to right : Tahialiki, Heitiare, Piele, Hirohiti, Manave & Heifara
Tahiti Island, 2012

 Engine No.1 - PIELSTICK PC4.2 - 12 cylinders - 18,000 hp
 Engines No. 2, 3 & 4
 Engine No. 4 during overhauling
 Engines No. 5 & 6 - WÄRTSILÄ 18V46 - 18 cylinders - 22,800 hp
 Engine No. 7
 And the last one, engine No. 8
Manave at crankshaft level of No. 7
Note : the power plant has started its service in 1986
Tahiti Island, 2010

 Manave & Teva
 My 1990 FXSTC


Stanton, 2004

Lou BRISTOW & Manave

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tahiti Island, 50's

Tahiti Island, 1950

Tagimaitoga - Tahialikiitonafenua - Alexis - Tahialikiitonafenua
Note : My aunt have the same name as my grandma.. My daughter have the same name as my mother
Tahiti Island, 40's

My grandpa, Alexis Gustave Alexandre BERNAST (WWI veterant)
 Born in Roubaix, France, in 1895
Died in Mata'utu, Wallis Island, in 1978
Wallis Island, 1962

Renault Dauphine (green colour)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pateete - Tahiti island, June 2009


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stanton, 2009

Tuitokelau - Lou BRISTOW - Manave - Tagimaitoga - Hirohiti
Harbor City, 2009

Tagimaitoga & Heitiare in front of California Harley-Davidson
memoirsban.GIF - 11787 Bytes

Another history about Captain Steve BANCROFT :

Tom Kewin :

My first training flight on the B314 was in April, 1943. When an airplane came out of overhaul it was sent on a 12 hour "slow time" flight before being put back into service. That was probably a good idea, with four newly overhauled engines. So I was assigned to the flight as a student engineer. There were so many students and observers on board that they put on two stewards to prepare our meals. It was an ideal first exposure, since we students had ample time to explore the wing tunnels and nacelles, sit at the engineers station for a few hours, and even take a nap. Captain Steve Bancroft had his own agenda. After flying over Mount Shasta, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite he headed for Fresno, his home town. He put down partial wing flaps, descended to about 400 feet and while the co-pilot circled over a friends ranch, Steve took some rocks out of his briefcase and pelted the barn!
Pan American Airways Boeing B-314 CLIPPER

NC-18602 – California Clipper (renamed Pacific Clipper for a few months in 1941) arriving over the San Francisco Bay

 View of cockpit of the full size replica B314,"Yankee Clipper" NC-18603 (located in the Foynes Flying Boat Museum)

 A view of the Flight Engineer's station on the museum's Boeing 314 full size replica aircraft, "Yankee Clipper" NC-18603

View of the flight deck of the museum's full size Boeing 314 replica, "Yankee Clipper" NC-18603

The flight deck of the Boeing B314 Clipper was very large, so room to move around was quite abundant, as you can see. To the left is a full size navigational chart table and above (not visible) is a bubble so that the navigator can take star-shots with a sextant for calculating the aircraft's (boat) position. In the lower right is the flight engineer and the engine panels are in front of him, while just behind the flight engineer is the radio operator.

More info :
Address of Foynes Flying Boats & Maritime Museum : Foynes, Co. Mimerick - Ireland -

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wallis Island, 40's

Littles islands in front of Hahake district, vue from Liku
Wallis Island, 1943

"This was our STILL to make liquor 100 per cent. We used sugar, peach, yeast,.. We got real drunk. Fano should remember this"
Wallis Island, Halalo beach, 1943


"This 4 motor Pan American seaplane landed on top of a reef at Halalo and tore a hole in the bottom. The pilot ran the flying boat 4 motors up on the beach next to fuel ramp. It took 30 days to fix.
Steve BANCROFT, pilot Pan American Airways. I am in the picture, Lou BRISTOW.
In 1944, Steve flew this same plane UNDER the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. He was a real dare devil."

Wallis Island, Gahi beach, 1942


 Lou and Ci, Washington D.C. - 2004.. 62 years after
Chica Custom Cycles, 2011

A dream garage...
 Manave & Chica
Chica Custom Cycles
7522 Slater Ave., #126, Huntington Beach, CA 92647 U.S.A.
Phone: 714-842-9587 Fax: 714-842-9087