Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 26, November 1982

The Paeroa Society arranged a surprise luncheon on 14th August 1982 in honour of Mrs Nell Scott Climie their Patron, on the occasion of her 85th Birthday. At the home of Mr and Mrs Reg Hughes, Thames Road there were some 42, guests including Mrs Climie's nephew Mr Glen Feigler and his wife Ailsa. A beautiful spring bouquet and a handsome birthday cake were presented by hostess Mrs Irene Hughes on behalf of the Society. The President, Mr Hamish Wilson paid tribute to Mrs Climie saying hers was a life dedicated to the teaching profession and who in later years, received considerable acclaim for her writing abilities, which included many historical contributions besides the founding of the Society's own Ohinemuri Regional Journal in 1964.

Those present toasted Mrs Climie and enthusiastically joined in singing "Happy Birthday" to which she warmly responded with heartfelt gratitude.

Mrs Climie is widely known throughout New Zealand as an historian extraordinary and besides recently completing the 20th edition of the Regional History Journal. She is Patron of the Waihi Historical Society and Waihi Art and Museum Society.

Mrs Climie was awarded the B.E.M. (British Empire Medal) in 1970 for her services to Education and Thames Valley Historical Societies. She was presented to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony in the Wellington Town Hall.

Nell Scott Climie was born in Paeroa and lived on the family property on what is locally known as Turner's Hill. She had two sisters but they lost their parents when they were still only youngsters. Encouraged by her grandfather, Mrs Climie pursued a teaching career which was to span over 50 years.

Educated at Karangahake Primary School she later attended the Paeroa District High School and became a pupil-teacher at Waihi East when she was aged 15. This was followed by 1st World War positions as sole teacher at country schools and after four years at Karangahake she spent 7 years as Infant Mistress at Dannevirke. The disastrous Napier earthquake in 1931 resulting in an influx of pupils to Dannevirke. Some teachers dealt with as many as 70 pupils. Mrs Climie then spent 15 months in London on a Teacher Exchange programme and after her return to New Zealand taught for eight years at Lower Hutt in the Wellington area, where she was interested in Education Research.

A further 8 years as Infant Mistress were spent at the Auckland Normal School where she was involved with Teacher Training and Lecturing until her retirement in 1949 when she again went abroad for 2 years. However, after moving in to her newly built house at Turner's Hill in 1952, she was persuaded into taking local relieving teaching positions before finally retiring in 1967.

Her new found "leisure" resulted in producing the Karangahake School Jubilee book and in 1962 the Waihi Borough Jubilee book in addition to the Ohinemuri Journal.

When asked what she considered was the highlight of her life, Mrs Climie emphasised that meeting people and making lasting friendships meant most to her.

She said that like other people, she had known sorrow, but enjoyed life and her career and deeply appreciated the warm friendships that now sustained her. At a young and gracious 85 years of age, Mrs Nell Climie has endeared herself to her many past pupils, friends and acquaintances through her gentle and unassuming manner.


On behalf of the Paeroa Historical Society a Monograph entitled "Karangahake The Years of the Gold 1875 - 1935" has been researched and compiled by Nell Climie and Gary Staples. A limited edition comprising about 80 pages will be published and available early next year. It will provide in sequence the illustrated Social and Technical Story of the Gold era in Karangahake. If you are interested, please ORDER your copy from your MUSEUM.

Retail Price: $5 and Postage.