Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 8, October 1967


Early in June 1963, an impromptu meeting was held in Mr. R. Chibnall's shop premises, Kenny Street, Waihi, to discuss the possibility of forming a club or group for the keen rockhound enthusiasts of the district.

It was decided at this gathering to call a public meeting in the Waihi Arts Centre and Museum for those interested in geology, and on the second Thursday in June 1963 the first group of 25 interested members assembled to hear Mr. D. Haszard give the first of a series of weekly lectures on quantitative and qualitative analysis of gold. These were followed by talks on mining, metallurgy and local geology, by various other speakers.

It was decided from the beginning that meetings would be completely informal, that apart from a fee of 1/- per member each meeting, no subscription fees would be called for, and all meetings and lecture arrangements would be in the hands of the organisers, Messrs. Chibnall and Haszard.

After twelve months, Mr. Chibnall regretfully had to resign, and Mrs. Audrey Young took over his responsibilities as programme organiser and honorary secretary.

Although attendances vary, interest and support for the Group has been constant, as is shown by our record of holding weekly lectures on geology and lapidary subjects since the inaugural meeting four years ago. A workshop has been equipped in a small back room in the Museum building and here members for a nominal fee can work on their rocks. The purchase of more equipment has been proposed and it is hoped to have a fully equipped workshop before very long.

The Waihi Geology Group has always considered itself an extensionofMuseum activities, and is fully appreciative of the help and interest shown by W.A.C.M.A. towards the Group.

Meetings are held in the Museum, Kenny Street, every Thursday night at 7.30 pm, and visitors are always welcome.

Please note though, that we close down during school and public holidays.




The council is grateful to the publishing committee of the Journal for the opportunity to include a short report and to record that an Honorary Life Membership was awarded to Mrs. N. S. Climie at the annual general meeting in recognition of her outstanding service in the interests of the Museum and Gallery.

Although we are sure grants will be cut to a minimum this year our organisation is not deterred and is continuing to expand to a greater extent than was envisaged five years ago. New cabinets are being installed and a steel tower, one of many erected to carry the electric power lines from Hora Hora to the Waihi Gold Mines, provides an imposing and historic landmark out side the Museum.

This Museum is your Museum to help build and maintain andwewould like to urge members of Historical Societies to become supporting members of our Association.

M. S. Martin, Hon. Secretary


Our membership has risen to 229 including 68 families and 2 life-members, and we continue to hold some very interesting meetings on the second Monday of each month.

April - Mr. R. Skinner gave the History of Akrad Radio Corporation; the story of a great achievement which will later be recorded in our Journal.

May - Mr. E. V. Reisterer talked on a trip he made to the East Coast with the Whakatane Society.

June - A Tape Recording on Queenstown and Skippers was played.

July - Mr. H. Armour gave a very interesting talk on his early days in Tauranga and Waihi - the days when roads were paved with shell and big Maori Canoes racing in the Regatta provided a wonderful sight; when Black Hill was always black because of repeated fires, and when it was used by the Volunteers for shooting practice.

August - Mr. N. Wynn of Te Aroha who was earlier intimately associated with Waihi showed his photographic records of those days.

Gradually we are accumulating excellent material for permanent records and this will be used as space permits but again we would emphasise the importance of putting into "writing", legends which might otherwise be lost.



Meetings held since our last report have been some of the best in the history of our Society, but although Membership has increased attendances continue to be only a small percentage of what they might be. However "Field Days" are always popular but these can not be arranged during the winter. It is always heartening that a few stalwarts come from a distance.

April - Visit to Tui Mine and the T.V. Station on Mount Te Aroha. A perfect day for both viewing and interest. About 25 cars in convoy.

May - Annual Meeting. Address by our President Rev. Rogers on the background of the Maoris of this Area.

June (a) The principles of practical Mining - underground work demonstrated by Mr. Jack Milroy.

(b) A demonstration of assaying by Mr. Ben Gwilliam.

July - Mr. Phil Jones, a keen photographer, showed some of his own pictures of wild local scenery and a selection of enlargements made from the glass plates of Mr. George Chappell. Many of these were taken over 60 years ago and were a revelation to those who did not know Karangahake in its hey-day. A wonderful record excellently presented.

August – Mr. A. Anaru, Headmaster of the Waihi Intermediate School, gave a most interesting talk on the Food Resources of the early Maori, (This will be reported later). He mentioned that the Coromandel Range was once known as "Te Paeroa - o - Toi", = The Long Range of Toi, hence the meaning of the name "Paeroa".