Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 9, May 1968


It is with deep regret and sense of loss that we record the passing on December 4th 1967 of our esteemed friend Mr. Hammond of Thornton's Bay. He was born at Thames in 1869 and after gaining a Scholarship spent many years teaching in that area, contributing a great deal to its community life through his wide activities, including Sport and 31 years as Secretary of the Volunteer Fire Brigade. Perhaps he was best known as an eminent authority on the early days of the Goldfields, and Maori History and culture of pre-European years, his lifelong interest beginning when, as a small boy he accompanied his father who was building a house at Ohinemuri (Paeroa) for the famous Chief Te Hira .

Mr. Hammond became almost legendary in his lifetime for he reached the great age of 98 years and retained his wonderful faculties till the end. He helped innumerable Students and Societies and his accumulated mass of material and fund of knowledge was always readily available to assist every seeker. His life's interests were capped when in 1966, he was awarded the M.B.E. and was invested in a private ceremony by the Governor General, Sir Bernard Fergusson. The work that he did will stay on record - his memory will stay fresh in the minds of the many who received his willing help and inspiration.

The Thames Volunteer Fire Brigade paid its last tribute by bearing the uniform draped coffin through the town on a Brigade vehicle and his body lies where he wished it to be, on the heights of "Totara" amidst his old friends, both Maori and Pakeha. Fittingly, the centre-piece on the flower-decked grave was a spray of scarlet and green pohutukawa.

To Mr. Hammond's family we extend our heartfelt sympathy.


an outstanding, witty and highly respected citizen of Waihi and the Beach over the past 65 years died in January. Born in England in 1879 he had a colourful life from the time he left School at the age of 12 to work on a farm. Then he spent some years on a coal barge until at 18 he took charge of some bloodstock enroute to Australia. He worked on "Dangers Station" and spent two years droving before sailing with a contingent towards the end of the Boer War.

Subsequently Mr. Pipe decided to try his luck in New Zealand where his fiancée joined him a year later. They were married in Auckland and settled in Waihi where occupation continued to be varied and included mining. One of his very dangerous jobs was sinking shafts in which the cages travelled to underground workings. On one shift he saw his mate. Shorty Stevens, killed alongside him in the bucket they were travelling in. Always keen on debating Mr. Pipe became President of the Miners Union when the membership was 1,200, and the delegation he led to Wellington was responsible for the Government bringing in the law which made it necessary to use water while drilling underground. He served several terms on the Waihi Borough Council, and was Deputy Mayor under Mayor Donaldson.

Always keen on the ocean, Mr. Pipe had one of the first baches at Waihi Beach and owned his place at the northern end for over 50 years, for the last 30 years living there with his daughter Bonnie. Until he was over 80 years of age he played a big part in all sport including Golf, Bowls and Fishing, and his friends were legion. A widower for 47 years, he had reared a family of nine to whom we extend our deepest sympathy. He was an unforgettable character.