The Perry Brothers Circus offered new and amazing entertainment for the working class people of Te Aro during the depression in the 1920’s.
Ref: Eph-E-CABOT-Circus-Perry-1928-02. Alexander Turnbull Library
This circus advertised as the greatest ring show on earth, held the Famous Five Lorenzo’s with their mid-air marvels, in pride of place. Vaudeville acts and tight rope walkers entertained the adults and the travelling zoo was a huge draw card for the children.
Captain Wizard the wild animal trainer kept the animals in line with his whip. Performing artists with fabulous names and entertainment options drew in the local crowds. The Flying Dunbars, the Jingling Jumpers, Miss La La Selbinie the Contortionist, Mulldoon Ramp, Freddie the Clown, the Henry Arco Troupe with their balancing act, Miss Doreen the trapeze artist, Alva Zalva the somersault artist and Ridiculous Gordon, the cycling comedian all entertained the crowds.
When the circus arrived in town they would parade up the street with their miniature elephant on the back of the flatbed truck. Captain Mozalo the ringmaster bought a tiger, a lion and a miniature elephant named Tommy all the way from Europe. Tommy performed the Charleston and Black bottom dances and played his own music.
Ref: 1/2-113980-F. Alexander Turnbull Library
I am inclined to think that poor little Tommy was a baby elephant. Thankfully today society no longer tolerates the incarceration and training of wild animals as a form entertainment.