Paddy the Wanderer by Dianne Haworth
Learn all about Wellington’s best-loved dog! Paddy the Wanderer is a well researched and endearing non-fiction account telling the remarkable story of Paddy, the wharf-dwelling dog who became a local legend.
Paddy the Wanderer was a black and tan Airedale Terrier who lived in Wellington during the Great Depression. Mourning the loss of his human, in his case a little mistress who died of pneumonia, Paddy headed for the waterfront. He lived as a stray who wandered the wharves and was beloved by all the watersiders and seamen. He also became a favourite of the taxi and bus drivers of the Central City. The wharfies would take turns paying his registration so he wouldn’t be taken to the pound.
Paddy the Wanderer earned the name because he spent much of his time with the cabbies, driving around town. He also had crossed the Tasman Sea many times, and had flown in a Gypsy Moth. Paddy was even rumoured to have made it all the way to San Francisco and back. The Wellington Harbour Board adopted him under the formal title of Assistant Night Watchman, whose job it was to keep guard for “pirates, smugglers and rodents.”
After he died in 1939 he was taken to his funeral in a parade of twelve taxicabs and a traffic officer; the city was brought to a standstill for the ceremony. Today he is honoured in Wellington by a memorial celebrating his status as a much-loved local legend. The memorial is made from stones from Waterloo bridge in London which were shipped across the world for the purpose.
Not bad for a stray dog!
Paddy the Wanderer makes a great read for young and old alike.
Author: Dianne Haworth
Illustrator: Frank Victoria
This product is also available for purchase in store at Wellington Museum.