Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 13, May 1970


(nee Hennah) may not be one of the oldest settlers but she has certainly qualified as a real country pioneer. Not only has she contended with hard work but also with periods of serious illness, and is the mother of 14 children - 8 girls and 6 boys; the youngest child is now helping on the farm. There are 33 grandchildren.


President of the Jubilee Committee and Headmaster of the Karangahake School since 1965 was born at Whitianga and attended Auckland Grammar and University before teaching. He spent 2 years overseas before coming here where he and his wife are very valued members of the community.


Past President of Waihi Society is still on the sick list but never fails to help us in our search for articles. We are most grateful to him!


The Thorp brothers - Fielden and "Hal" have deep roots in this district where their Grandparents were the first white settlers in 1842. They have first hand knowledge of farming and toil but have also made a great contribution to the cultural life and progress of Paeroa. Their father, a Farmer and Surveyor, died in 1912. Their Mother who was born at Hikutaia School House, was the first Pupil Teacher at Paeroa School in 1881 and some of her descendants have followed that profession. She also took a great interest in the Paeroa Public Library.

Hal Thorp's work on behalf of Sport, particularly tennis and squash during the almost 50 years he has been Groundsman and Life Member of the Club has been publicly acknowledged by the naming of the playing area as "Hal Thorp Park". He is also a valued member of the local Repertory Society (a man of many parts!) His article in this Journal was the subject of a Talk at one of our meetings.


accepted responsibility at an early age and after serving in World War I further developed the land and built his home "Seven Oaks" on Rotokohu Road. He has been a member of the Federated Farmers for 36 years and Chairman of the Paeroa branch continuously. A member of the County Council for 12 years he was Chairman for 4 and has been a member of the Waikato Anglican Diocesan Synod for 18 years. He has travelled widely and is President of the Paeroa Historical Society which is grateful to him and to Mrs. Thorp for opening their beautiful historic home on various field days.


of Waihi (Assayer and Photographer!!) is the oldest surviving member of the Masonic Lodge in Paeroa. Last year on his 90th Birthday he was delighted to receive a visit from five past and present members of Lodge Ohinemuri 107 which he joined 56 years ago in 1913. They were Messrs Dave McWatters and John Craig (both over 80), C. Townshend, K.R. Goodwin, and W.E. Waines. A great reunion!

MR. A.C. (Hank) HANLEN

is the son of a Karangahake pioneer. He was educated in Auckland and joined the Relieving Teaching Staff but in 1947 came to live at Waihi Beach and was appointed to Waihi South School. Later he was Headmaster at Waihi Beach School until 1965 when he resigned to take up farming, but returned to teaching in 1969. Now the popular and capable President of Waihi Historical Society, he and his wife and family are greatly valued in the district and help in all community efforts.


spent his early life on farms and in 1936 joined the staff of the N.Z. Co-op. Dairy Co. Ltd. at Pukekura where casein was manufactured. After a conversion to cheese in 1939 he was appointed 3rd assistant, became 2nd in 1942, 1st in 1945 and Manager in 1949. In 1953 he was transferred to the new Waihi Factory then in the final stage of construction and is rightly regarded as the top cheese maker in the country.


wife of the Rev. A. Dixon, was well known in Waihi as Margery Armour the eldest daughter of two of our best known old identities. She has not only reared a family but has given outstanding service both to her Church and to Education. She is still teaching and as a talented Musician her services are much in demand not only in Schools but by Choral Societies and Music Groups in Auckland.

Special thanks to Mr. Eric Lee Johnson for permission to use his drawing "House at Paeroa". Members are invited to attend an Exhibition of his work shortly to be held in Waihi.


has "officially" retired from his Teaching career but is still engaged in part-time duties in Russell. His brother, Mr. Glen Hall, M.A., is a master at Mt. Maunganui College, but their wonderful old parents still live in Paeroa (Nahum St.) They came from England about 60 years ago and contributed to the musical life of the district, Mr. Hall by his singing, and his wife by her violin playing and elocution. We saw a "Newspaper cutting" of 1913 extolling Mrs. Hall's rendering of "Ring Out Wild Bells" - described as an "elocutionary treat" because of "excellent voice, wide range of tone and mastery of gesture". Even now her 91 years and failing health cannot hide her professional pride in memories of the days when hard-work was the hand maiden of culture.


has been on the Staff of the Hauraki Plains Gazette for 15 years, first as a Linotype Operator and Sports Reporter but has been the editor since Mr. Waldegrave's death last year. He was Jubilee Secretary for the West Football Club in 1962, has been Secretary of the Oddfellows Lodge both in Paeroa and Waihi and is a Past President of the JayCees.


a Paeroa boy, had a distinguished career as a Teacher for 45 years. He began it at Paeroa in 1922 and after 14 years was Head Master at Netherton (1937 - 45) and later at Forest Lake. He was Principal at Wesley Intermediate (Auckland) from the time it opened in 1953 till his retirement in 1967, leaving an impact of sound scholarship. For 19 of his 21 years service with the Paeroa Fire Brigade he was Secretary. (See Journals 5 and 6). Since his retirement he has spent a year abroad but continues to help worthy causes - including our Journal!