Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 13, May 1970

By Margery Dixon (nee Armour)

The announcement of Royal Honours can rarely have been received with more general delight and satisfaction than the award making Mrs. Nellie Scott Climie a recipient of the British Empire Medal. The award was given to Mrs. Climie, the honorary editor of this journal, for her services to Education and to the Historical Societies of the Thames Valley. This recognition of her work in collecting and collating first hand accounts of and documents relating to the early history of this district, from their now rapidly diminishing sources is well merited.

When one opens the Journal and reads an interesting article on material provided by an "old-timer", one is apt to overlook the amount of time spent in writing letters, travelling weary miles over bad roads (often more than once), and going from one person to another before the source of the material is tracked down. This has been willingly and regularly undertaken by Mrs. Climie. The letters written, miles travelled, phone calls and visits made, and hours spent in writing articles must run into many hundreds. Such devotion, enthusiasm and personal sacrifice are all too rare, and we who share the aims of our Society are deeply in her debt.

Born at Turner's Hill; educated at Karangahake and Paeroa, she has returned after many years to the district she knows and loves so well. It was as a teacher that Mrs. Climie first achieved success. Having a natural flair for establishing a bond between herself and children, and a marked ability to impart knowledge, she progressed from country schools to the Auckland Normal School, where she was involved in student training until her retirement in 1948.

Her career began as a pupil-teacher at the East school Waihi during World War 1. This was followed by a period as sole teacher at several county schools before she became Infant Mistress at Karangahake. From 1924 to 1931 she was Infant Mistress at Dannevirke. The following year she went on exchange to London, where she travelled widely on Educational Research. Among many interesting people she met was John Masefield, later Poet Laureate, with whom she corresponded until he died. From 1933-41 Mrs. Climie was at Hutt Central, where she wrote for various journals, was president of the Exchange Teachers' Club and also an executive member of the N.Z. Educational Institute. Then followed her appointment to the Auckland Normal School, where she remained until 1948. In 1949 she again travelled overseas, after which she retired to the new home she had built on the old family property at Turner's Hill. From 1951 to 1967 she has relieved intermittently at local schools, including doing remedial work at Paeroa College. In 1959 and 1969 she compiled and edited the Karangahake Jubilee Books and in 1962 edited a similar book for the Waihi Borough Council.

Mrs. Climie is a foundation member of the Waihi Arts Centre and Museum Association which sponsored the historical societies in Waihi and Paeroa. Her aim is to record the local Maori and European history while it may still be obtained from old identities who know the facts of this most interesting district.

As a Society we offer to Mrs. Climie our warmest congratulations on her Royal Decoration, and our thanks for all the loving work that merited it.

OUR CONTRIBUTOR: Mrs. Dixon 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.

Nell Climie, B.E.M., reads the Governor-General’s telegram at her home

Nell Climie, B.E.M., reads the Governor-General's telegram at her home. 1st January, 1970.

Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 13, May 1970
Nell Climie, B.E.M., reads the Governor-General’s telegram at her home