Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 28, September 1984


1984 reminds us that 20 years ago in June 1964 we launched our first Ohinemuri Historical Journal and for some years issued two copies annually. Prior to that, various Schools in the district produced Historical Booklets in connection with Reunions. The Ohinemuri County Council put out a valuable souvenir (edited by Mr A. Jenkinson, C.C.) on the occasion of its Diamond Jubilee in 1945 and the Waihi Borough Council celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in 1962 by a Booklet edited by N. Climie.

The year 1962 saw the founding of the Waihi Art Centre and Museum Association and because I was a member of the Committee I was delegated to inaugurate an "Historical Section" on the lines of those in places such as Whakatane, Tauranga, Te Awamutu and Auckland. This proved no easy task until I learned that the Rev. L. Rogers, an experienced Historian, was coming to Paeroa to serve the Presbyterian Church. He was then at Whakatane and when I wrote to him begging advice his reply was heartening. He agreed to speak to an initial meeting convened at the Waihi Art Centre, and a strong Historical Committee was formed with Mr Dan McPherson, President; Miss J. Clarke, Secretary; and Mrs F. Clark, Treasurer.

A similar meeting followed in Paeroa resulting in Rev. Rogers being elected President, Mr Fielden Thorp, Vice President, Mr Bob Hughes, Secretary and Mrs Ann Wheeler, Treasurer of the Paeroa Historical Society. It was agreed that Waihi and Paeroa should combine to produce a regular Journal edited by Nell C1imie.

The matter was urgent because Old Identities with authentic knowledge of pioneering days were becoming fewer, so at first we concentrated on their stories. Hence the early Journals featured Articles contributed not only by Historians such as Hammond, Isdale and Vennell but also by elderly people who had spent a lifetime in the embryo settlement. These were interviewed personally but their stories needed little editing because they were not only authentic but often beautifully hand-written "Works of Art". We still retain some of the Manuscripts under names such as Chappell, Hammond, Armour, Gwilliam, Morgan, Royal, Kennedy, Kinsella, Silcock, Meagher, Wylde, Nicholls and many others not now with us.

We are grateful to the work of Mrs Elaine Barron and her late husband Sid. for the work they put into producing the Journals, both typing and stenciling. We are also indebted to the many faithful Contributors who have helped us over the years in the building of a comprehensive mosaic of the Maori - European History of Ohinemuri, and to our Editor, Gary Staples who so ably maintains the standard of our Journal.

Correction and Apology


In my article on page 23 of Journal No. 26 [see Journal 26: Paeroa's History Garbled - E] I stated that the "TANIWHA" never arrived at Paeroa with passengers and cargo on a Sunday. This is incorrect and I apologies for my error. It was on a Sunday, 11 August 1912 that just such a voyage ended with the sinking of the ship on her arrival at the Puke Wharf.