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Waihi Borough Council Diamond Jubilee Booklet 1902-1962

Robert Worth was a Cornishman who was very young when he arrived in New Zealand. After being in the South Island and Thames he took part in mine work at Owharoa in the 80s, married Amanda Garner of Thames, and the two rode to their first home in Waihi. In 1886 Mrs Worth went to her people at Thames for the birth of her first child (well known in Waihi as Mrs Harry Armour).

Shortly afterwards, Mr Worth took over the house ofMrRussell, who had been manager of the Martha Mine. It was at the foot of Clarke Street and a new house was later built near by. There were about 15 acres of land and a fine orchard and for many years the property was known as Worth's Paddock and was often used as a sports ground. The family milked cows there and ran a "town supply," sometimes having to supplement the milk by getting some from Paeroa because fodder was so scarce.

Meanwhile, Mr Worth lived a nomadic life as a Prospector on many fields, notably Komata, Waitekauri (Jubilee Mine) and "Te Omaramara," riding horseback over the rugged roads. Later he worked at the Union Battery, trucking hot quartz and probably it was there that he contracted lung trouble. He was the discoverer of Muir's Reef at Te Puke and spent many years there, often narrowly escaping death. On one occasion, when a fall of earth buried him to his neck, his son George, then a lad of sixteen, had the terrible job of digging him out from moving earth and anchoring rock.

The family was a large one and anyone who knew Mrs Worth realised what an exceptional woman she was. She not only bore thirteen children, but it was she who was mainly responsible for their rearing. Her warm, generous nature and sense of humour, coupled with great capability, enabled her to surmount tremendous difficulties while maintaining a home that was a credit to her in all circumstances. One who knew her then, recalls the huge "wash" when "boiling" was done in kerosene tins out of doors, after the arduous carrying of water; and the huge basketful of weekly "mending" which left never an idle moment. Later the family bought Hind's house further up Clarke Street and finally Mrs Worth lived alone in Kenny Street, where she toiled incessantly in her wonderful garden. She died in 1949, in her eightieth year, still much loved by her many descendants whose photographs she displayed with pride.

After Minnie (Mrs Armour, now 76, Waihi), there were Les (Otorohanga), Ern (Auckland) and George, who still resides in Waihi after years of mining. He married Mary Thompson and they had eight children — a lovely family. Next came Nell (Mrs J. McIntyre), who with her retired husband returned to Waihi. Jack (who died in his prime), Charlie (Auckland), Ted (killed during First World War), May (died in infancy), Harry (now a retired farmer at Putaruru), Zoe (Mrs Newman, Whangarei), Allan (Headmaster of St. Heliers School, Auckland) and Lillis (Mrs Smyth, Te Aroha).

There are living today sixty-three descendants of Mr and Mrs Robert Worth, among them some very talented young people.