Tauranga has lost one of its most well-known and well-respected historians, with the death of Jinty Rorke.
Husband David Rorke confirmed Jinty, aged 71, passed away last night very suddenly following a recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Well-known Tauranga historian Jinty Rorke died last night.
“She had had an operation and everything was looking alright and then suddenly yesterday it all turned down – it was all very sudden.”
“She had a big involvement with the Elms and anything to do with history,” says David.
Jinty was widely known for her role as Tauranga City Library archivist, which saw her help to preserve the region’s heritage for more than 30 years.
Jinty and David first arrived in Pilot Bay in 1976 after the couple first embarked on a maritime adventure in 1968, when graduating from St Andrews University in Scotland.
From studying languages at university, Jinty took a new direction in Tauranga as the city library’s New Zealand archivist – a role she held for 27 years.
Helping research a book on the area’s history for the Tauranga borough centenary, she soon built a reputation as a top local historian.
In 2007 she was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal – an honour she told The Weekend Sun was “great recognition for history”.
For the last 20-odd years she had been involved with The Elms Mission House – starting by helping plan the property’s preservation when last resident family member Duff Maxwell was about to shift into a retirement home.
“I was interested in history so it was natural that I got involved,” Jinty told The Weekend Sun in 2012.
“Duff had moved out just about that time. It was still full of family belongings, so one of the first things that we did was begin on interpreting the collection.”
Jinty was also a long-time member of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Elms Trust and a Tauranga Moana Museum Trust member.
At the Elms, her one of her focuses was documenting mission house materials for a conservation and maintenance plan so any repairs were done in an authentic manner.
“I think we have an obligation to make sure that the children of today and tomorrow understand the past,” she told The Weekend Sun in 2012.
Close friend Heather McLean says she met Jinty in 1980, when she became an archivist in the library.
“She was a good friend, she was very knowledgeable.”
“I always got on very well with her, she was always happy to help,” says Heather, who reckons Jinty also belonged NZ Society of Genealogists’ Tauranga branch at one stage.
Jinty was an expert when it came to Tauranga history and the knowledge old families of the region, says Heather.
“She was very willing to help people; there was lot of people she helped with information over those years.”