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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 7, May 1967

It is fitting that we should this year step over the boundary of our own territory to honour the Centenary of the Opening of the Thames Goldfield. This was a momentous occasion which was the prelude to the opening of the Ohinemuri Field and the subsequent settlement and progress of these outlying areas of the Coromandel Peninsula. Commemorating celebrations began at Thames on January 1st and will continue for the whole of this year, though the Official Week will be observed early in August. On your behalf we heartily congratulate Thames on its century of achievement and are pleased to include in this issue some articles bearing on its illustrious past.

Again we record our very special thanks to the noted historian, 98 year old Mr T. W. G. Hammond who sent us his 20 page hand written article within a fortnight of our discussion with him. This was just after the Governor General had invested him with the M.B.E. awarded for his work on Maori History and Ethnology.

We are grateful also to Mr M. Wynn of Te Aroha who is responsible for the recent photographs in this issue, and to Mr A. M. Isdale who is seen speaking to a section of members at Thames. Many times he has given us valuable assistance, his historical interest and thorough knowledge being a "gold-mine" to us. An example of his painstaking research was evident in his review in our last issue of the intricate McCaskill Diaries.

On 25rd March, 1967, despite torrential rain a large crowd of officials and residents from both sides of the Colville Range assembled at the summit of the new Kopu - Hikuai Road to hear the Minister of Works, the Hon. P. B. Allen declare the highway open. He said that the function was symbolic of the faith of those people in and connected with this district who are seeing their dreams of better access fulfilled and of the dogged determination and ingenuity of surveyors, engineers, contractors and particularly of the workmen who endured so much to get this road through. This tremendous project will be regarded in the future as an historic event of great importance for the whole of the Coromandel Peninsula.

The new road led us to the story of "The Bushman's Home", Tairua,(an area rich in early endeavours) and we gratefully acknowledge Mr Campbell Smith's permission to reproduce his original Wood Engraving. After spending several years in Waihi where he shared in the sponsoring of our Art Centre and Museum, this N.Z. Artist is now working in Hamilton but maintains a lively interest in our district and the recording of our background.

We shall greatly miss the excellent services of Miss Jean Clark, both on our Publishing Committee and as Secretary of the Waihi Society, but we welcome Mrs M. Wells who has valiantly taken over these tasks.

ERRATA. - October 1966 Journal - Caption under Photo of Paeroa Fire Brigade. The Secretary was R. SEPHTON, not R. T. Bush who was Treasurer [correction made - E]