Waihi Borough Council Diamond Jubilee Booklet 1902-1962

J. McCombie

J. McCombie

Waihi Borough Council Diamond Jubilee Booklet 1902-1962
J. McCombie
Mr John McCombie, A.I.M.E., N.Z.I.M.E., one of the first prospectors on the Ohinemuri field took part in the celebrated "rush" to Karangahake in 1875. In 1878 he discovered, opened up, and took out the first crushing from Waihi, and subsequently located the Silverton mine. Later he held many important mining positions being general-manager of the Woodstock, managing-director of Maratoto, manager of Talisman and superintendent of the Crown Mine. In his later life he did much reporting on mines.

Throughout his career Mr McCombie was a constant contributor to the press over the pen-name "Aboriginal". His articles were devoted chiefly to mining subjects, though he also wrote short stories and sketches of life on the gold fields. His scrap-books today make very interesting reading. He is survived by his family of five.

Charlie McCombie, after topping a Waihi School of Mines examination, became a analytic chemist at the Dominion Laboratory until the First World War, when he went overseas, later being an assayer at the Zeehan Mine, Thames. He served again during the Second World War and afterwards farmed at Trig Road, Waihi.

Olive McCombie nursed at the Waihi Hospital for some years before marrying Mr E. A. Wilson in 1916. He had been a dentist in Waihi since 1907 and served during the war. Mrs Wilson was president of the Red Cross for25 years.

Mr Wilson later bought part of the Shaw Estate at Waihi Beach and converted it into a flourishing farm. He put in Wilson's Road and had part of the property cut up for housing, presenting Wilson Park, and also the site for the Presbyterian Church.

Mr and Mrs Wilson were among those who did a tremendous lot of work when funds were being raised for the building of the Waihi Memorial Hall. Indeed, Mr Wilson overtaxed his strength during this time and died before the hall was opened in 1958. The Mayor, Mr C. Christensen, when extending his thanks to everyone said: "I have refrained from mentioning names but I feel I must mention Mr Bill Wilson. For his ability, friendly manner and untiring work we owe him so much, and we all regret that he was not able to see the fulfilment of his dream." A plaque was put in the hall to commemorate his work.

Mr Bruce Wilson took over his father's dental practice about 1953 and continues the supervision of the farm. His sister (Mrs Coe) lives in Auckland. Mrs O. M. Wilson, has a home in Auckland and a cottage at the Waihi Beach.