Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 16, June 1972


Our Contributor: Mr. CHAS. TOWNSHEND J .P., was born in Auckland, the son of Mr. Edwin Townshend. In 1922 the family settled on Pukahu Road, Awaiti and later established the highly successful Belwyn Jersey Stud (now carried on by son Bruce while son Gray has the Crescent Stud at Ngatea). Mr. Townshend retired to his Paeroa home in 1961 but has continued to live a very active life. He was Secretary of the Jersey Breeders Assoc. 1925-48, a member of the Vet. Club, the Dairy Assoc; and the Herd Improvement Assoc. for 21 years and the Waikato Pig Council and the Auck. Farmers Freezing Coy. for 10 years as well as being Chairman of the Hauraki Rural Credit Assoc. for 44 years. He is still a Registered Valuer and he and his family have always been active members of the Presbyterian Church and have taken a vital interest in everything pertaining to the well-being of Paeroa.


We are particularly grateful to Mrs. Waldegrave who has volunteered to help our publishing committee. Widow of the late W.E. Waldegrave, who for twenty years was editor of the Hauraki Plains Gazette, she is a comparative newcomer to Paeroa, though her father and brother took up land on the Orchard East Road at the opening of that block in 1916. For thirty years she lived in the vicinity of Hamilton where her first husband Mr. Cecil J. Brooke was a Soldier settler from World War I and farmed until his death in 1961. Both she and Mr. Brooke were foundation members of the Waikato Historical Society and together undertook the historical research for booklets concerning the districts and Schools of both Newstead and Kapuni.

Mrs. Waldegrave thinks her interest in history arises from the fact that her grandfather was headmaster of the Mercer School from after its establishment in 1876 and also that her father was associated with the pioneer surveyor Harry May Skeet in the original trigonometrical survey of the Taranaki Province (1881-1896) for the whole of that period. She possessed valuable photographic plates taken on this survey and recently donated them to the Alexander Turnbull Library. (Ed).