Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 7, May 1967


The continued increase in numbers passing through the Centre gives evidence of the growing interest displayed by both local and visiting public. The total attendance of paying visitors for 1966 was 5,452; for January and February this year 1,769 and 518 respectively as compared with the total for 1965 of 4,221 and 1,351, 284forJanuary and February last year. Many visitors on holiday have formed a habit of calling in to see what exhibition is showing in the gallery and for another browse through the museum.

Last year the Governor General expressed the wish that he might have the opportunity to meet directors of the Art Galleries and Museums of N.Z. Our association was invited to send a representative, Mr N.F. Morton, President, was able to accept this invitation and attended the augmented council meeting of the Art Galleries and Museums Association of N.Z. Mr & Mrs Morton were present at the reception in Government House. Such contacts are invaluable, especially to the smaller museums, so we are grateful to the Art Galleries and Museums Association for these opportunities.

Another display has been opened to add to our museum collection. There has been great interest in this room devoted entirely to the growth of Radio Equipment.

Many exhibits continue to be added to the district history section. Two of the latest entries are the water colour paintings of Karangahake by the wandering artist C. Aubrey dated 1897. These are of special topographical value in providing details of mining activities which are not shown in photos already in store.

In the Gallery we try to provide as widely varied exhibitions as is possible. Last year, as well as the usual summer exhibition, there were selections from the Barry Lett Galleries and New Vision Gallery, the Manawatu Society of Arts touring exhibition and a display of Children's Art. During the summer holiday period Mr Campbell Smith exhibited wood engravings of local interest. In August this year an exhibition arranged by the National Art Gallery of facsimiles of Dutch drawings of l6th, 17th and 18th centuries will be on view.

The club rooms continue to be used by the Waihi Camera Club, Geology Group and the Historical Section. In February a Members' Evening was held to show slides and film of the 1966 National Bank Art Awards and the International Handicrafts Exhibitions in Stuttgart and N.Z. We again congratulate our local Artist, Mr Eric Lee Johnson on his well merited success his subject being the Waihi hills.

We do not claim that our growth has been in any way spectacular, but it is a steady growth with a congenial spirit pervading the entire work of the association, so any who wish to become members will be assured of a warm welcome.

M. S. Martin, Hon. Secretary.


During the last year the Society has again made good progress, its membership having risen to 223, including 71 families and two life memberships. It has held well attended meetings and meets on the second Monday of most months in the Waihi Arts Centre and Museum. They have been as follows :-

1966 September: Mrs Forsman and Miss J. Clark - The story of Mrs Ngoungou.

October: Mr Anaru -History of the Arawa Tribe and some legends from Rotoroa.

November: Miss C. Jefferson - History of the Moriorisand theChatham Islands.

1967 February: Mr L. Morgan - Talk on Machinery in Mining,

March: Mr E. Morris of Hamilton - Development in Mining.

Mr. Pitt - Archaeology.

On 12th November the Waihi and Waikato Societies held a field day at Maratoto. Mr Sparke described the workings of the battery and also showed how to pan for gold.

The Old timers Christmas Party on Saturday 10th December in the Arts Centre again proved to be a very happy and successful event. It gave then the opportunity to meet and talk over their early days.

At the November meeting it was with regret that we accepted the resignation of Miss Jean Clark who had been our Secretary since its inception, during which tine she gave us sterling service. We wish her well in her retirement to Whangarei.



Our membership has now reached 240 and we have continued to hold either monthly meetings or field days.

1966 September; MrAhi Royal's memorable talk on Maori Lore is reported in this issue.

October; Mr Les Morgan, President of Waihi Historical Society, gave a most entertaining talk on Waihi History with special reference to the early Business of the town.

November; Field Day to Thames where MrA.M. Isdale conducted the large party over the venue of the famous Gold Mines.

1967 February; Field Day - Rotokahu [Rotokohu ? – E] and the Old Te Aroha Road, led by Mr Fielden Thorp who spoke of the old Coaching Days and the subsequent development of both the swamp land and the hills. This is covered in his article, but it was a grand experience to view the country from the hill tops - Paeroa to one side and Te Aroha to the other - to visit the Air Strip and the Wool Shed (formerly the Anglican Church at Karangahake) to see the cattle gather on their "stamping ground", and to have lunch in a sheltered glade at the head of the Gorge.

March; Outstanding selections of coloured slides mostly pertaining to this area were shown by Messrs Garry Staples, and Norman Wynn (Te Aroha). This was photography at its best, ranging from coastal areas to rivers, gorges, hills, mines and hydro electric works.