Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 17, June 1973

Most members will realise that each Journal brings us nearer to an important milestone in the European History of this area. In 1975 we shall celebrate the centenary of the "Opening of the Ohinemuri Goldfields" - an event which heralded both industry and settlement. Various Authorities are already considering ways and means of marking this occasion.

The Historical Society has paved the way by arousing interest and recording findings over a period of 10 years. It will soon be time to make a synopsis of these and with this in view several valuable pieces of research are already on file.

Naturally any comprehensive history should begin with the story of the original Maori people of the area and here we have the help of various writers and Mr. Murdoch's outstanding Artifact Museum at Hikutaia. There followed the Advent of the white man - Explorers, Traders, Missionaries and Settlers. We are greatly indebted to Mr. C. W. Malcolm, not only for his painstaking Articles, but also for undertaking the heavy task of compiling a Chronology of important events. It forms a wonderful basis from which to work and we hope to publish it in our next Journal.

Another major piece of Research has been done by Mr. Gary Staples whose particular interest has been Mining in Karangahake. (Did you know that there were originally over 20 working claims?) The Bibliography is impressive and the record covers over 70 pages of typescript.

It should not be assumed that Ohinemuri is now fully documented. Your editor is well aware of many stones yet unturned, hence the repeated plea for "volunteer Articles" - (before the sand runs out). Even if a book on the wider issues is published in due time it must be obvious that our Journals record details which might otherwise be lost.

We sincerely thank those who have responded by contributing, and are grateful to readers who have heartened us by expressing appreciation of the efforts of fellow members. Thanks also to those who have sent us "old pictures", particularly Mr. London (Ed. Whakatane Historical Review) who saved for us some fine "Weekly News" scenes of long ago. (Even some "not so old" would increase in interest with the years!)

May we again appeal for unwanted back numbers of the Journal, especially Nos. 2 and 3. (We have reprints of No. 1).

Finally a word of appreciation to all who help in any way in the production and distribution of the Journal, for the co-operation especially of Mrs. Elaine Barron who types the stencils and her husband Sid. Barron who does the duplicating.


During the last year the district has suffered a number of bereavements among older residents or members of the Historical Society and we extend to relatives our sincere sympathy.