Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 18, June 1974



There is a house painted blue on the hill above the Waihi Road near the Paeroa Convent. Here, nearly all the time I was in Paeroa (1913-1923) lived the Capill family - (Jim Capill, council employee, one time pound keeper, went to school with my mother (Nancy Power) about 1888). Mrs. Capill was formerly Mrs. Parker whose first husband was a crew member of the ill-fated "Titanic" in 1912 when 705 were saved and 1490 people perished. Her son Wilfred Parker was my class mate from S.3 through to High School. Later, after taking Holy Orders, he joined the Royal Navy. For a time he was in the Medway, the mother ship of the Submarine flotilla, and served on the China Station. While on leave in N.Z. in 1931 he stayed with my people in Hastings where he was of considerable help to the authorities in the aftermath of the Hawkes Bay Earthquake. (His story was recorded in Journal 7, Page 9 [see Journal 7: W.G. Parker - E], and it will be remembered that he was the renowned Chaplain who perished in the H.M.S "Prince of Wales" which was sunk in 1941 during World War 2. - Ed.)

After 25 years the Capill family moved to Bradley Street in 1939 as the house on the hill was needed by its owners Mr. and Mrs. Alf Lawrence. Then in the 50's Mrs. Mailey Scutts, my first wife's cousin arrived in Paeroa and bought the property. In the mid 60's her aunt (who was also my wife's aunt) - Mrs. Sylvia Lightoller of London, visited N.Z. and stayed in the old Capill home where we visited her.

Here is the co-incidence:- In 1912, Mrs. Lightoller's late husband (Commander Herbert Lightoller) was the only surviving Officer of the "Titanic". He achieved some fame by organising (whilst still in the water himself) the rescue of drowning passengers, before being hauled into one of the boats. (This event was featured later as part of the film "A Night to Remember", Kenneth Moore playing the part of Herbert Lightoller. Both before and during the filming Mrs. Lightoller gave considerable assistance behind the scenes.) It is noteworthy that during the Evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, Commander Lightoller in his motor yacht "Sundowner" rescued 130 people. He died in 1952 but in 1965 on the 25th anniversary of the evacuation his wife in "Sundowner" led the "Amada" commemorative voyage.

It has always struck me as peculiar that such unusual circumstances should be linked with a little blue house on a hill in Paeroa. Many were the tales told while Sylvia Lightoller stayed there a courageous cripple who continued to move round the world till shortly before her death in 1968. A further co-incidence, not connected with Paeroa, was that when she was having treatment in Rotorua she discovered that her physiotherapist's father (Bates) was a seaman who expected to sail in "Titanic", but because his papers were not in order he was left behind. Mrs. Scutts has how moved from the hill but to me the little blue house will always recall the times we discussed the "perils of the sea" and the bravery of the men who risked them, particularly Herbert Lightoller, my Schoolmate Wilfred Parker and his father.


has early ties with Ohinemuri, his Grandfather having been on the scene before the opening of the Goldfield, and his eldest uncle was born in Paeroa in 1875 and his mother in 1880. The 1900 Cyclopedia records that his Grandfather, Maurice Power was the Proprietor of the Ohinemuri Hotel erected in 1896 on the corner of Normanby Road and Arney Street. It had been established in 1876 on a site in Cassrels Street overlooking the river, then the main highway. Early in the century the Power family moved to Waihi where they conducted the Central Hotel (later removed to become the Princes Gate Hotel in Rotorua). The Paeroa premises was burned down in 1907. (Mr. M.G. Power was Mayor of Waihi 1913-1915).

At the R.C. Church in Waihi, Nancy Power married Frank Budd who was a Battery Manager but in 1913 be was appointed Manager of the National Bank Refinery in Willoughby Street, Paeroa and remained there until it closed in 1923. The family lived on the corner of Thames Road and King Street (where Mr.& Mrs. Lauder live now). There were six children, Brick, Sybil, Molly (who died suddenly in 1970) Buzz, June and Margaret. Their parents were keen Golfers and Mr. Budd (Sen.) was made a Life Member of the Paeroa Club. Mrs. Budd became a Life Member of the Tennis Club on account of her great help when it was raising money to transfer from the Domain Courts to the present property near the College. She was an accomplished pianist and played for fund raising dances besides helping in other ways. In 1924 they moved to Hastings where Mr. Budd joined the staff of the A.M.P. Society a position he held until his death in 1957.

Brick had spent 1923 as a Pupil Teacher at the Paeroa School and continued for a year at Hastings, but joined the National Bank till 1930 when he thought his future lay with "oil"; War II decided otherwise and he went overseas with the Advance Party in Dec. 1939. He was Adjutant of the 19th Battalion for about 18 months and as a Comp. Commander was seconded to do a job for the British just after "Crete" but became a P.O.W. for four long years, returning to N.Z. in 1945 after which he was with "Insurance" for some years.

But Brick's real interest lay in Golf. In 1951 be became the first Secretary Manager of the Whangarei Club and in 1954 the Sec. Man. of the Rotorua Golf Club, retiring from there in March 1971. His father started him playing when he was about 7 years of age and he has been playing ever since. He recalls that he and Tracy Moresby were the first (and only) Junior Members of the Paeroa Golf Club in "Race Course" days during W. War I and he won the Paeroa Club Champ. in 1922 - his first - but subsequently he won 28 more though he played little competitive Golf after 1953. He put up one record that he thinks Stuart Jones may some day equal. That was by winning the Hastings Club Champ. in 1929 and '30, the Hastings Open Champ. in 1930 and the Hastings Veteran's Champ. in 1965. Now he has retired to Tauranga, and being nearer to his old "Home Towns" has joined our Historical Society. We say "Welcome!".