Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 29, October 1985

The Waihi Historical Society celebrated its 21st birthday on Wednesday, May 22 with a luncheon for members held in the Presbyterian Centre, when a total of 72 members and guests sat down to a delicious luncheon prepared and served by the Presbyterian ladies.

The Historical Society first started on 12th May 1964 when a meeting convened by Mrs. Climie was attended by over 20 people. A Committee with Mr. D. McPherson as convenor was appointed and the Society began its career. There were 19 of the original members at the luncheon.

Invited guests included the Patron, Mrs. N. S. Climie B.E.M., Waihi's Mayor and Mayoress, Mr. and Mrs. Owen Morgan, past presidents Mr. Hank Hanlen, Mr. Lance Deverill and Mrs. D. Heath, life members Mr. and Mrs. D. Adams, Miss Ruth Gamble M.B.E. of Auckland, and Mrs. M.D. Smeaton as well as representatives from the Paeroa Historical Society and Waihi Arts Centre and Museum.

The President, Mr. B. J. Cunliffe, extended a welcome to all present and called on the Mayoress, Mrs. Rosemary Morgan to say Grace. He then asked Mrs. Climie to cut the birthday cake.

The Guest Speaker was Mr. Hank Hanlen who, as a past president, outlined various achievements of the Society since its inception. There had been 28 Journals; a B.E.M. (Mrs. Climie); the Society had taken an active part in the Waihi Borough Centennial celebrations and, at the same time published a book edited by Mr. J. B. McAra "Goldmining in Waihi". He mentioned that it was Mrs. Climie who first conceived the idea of a historical society in Waihi, called a meeting and so started the Society.

Mayor, Owen Morgan, said that Waihi had a very colourful and interesting history both in mining and the social side. There had been a number of distinguished people from Waihi in the political, medical, educational and other spheres, he said. He recalled that Mrs. Climie had compiled a booklet giving the history of the town and which was published for the Waihi Borough jubilee in 1962.

The celebration was a great success and included a number of members from Auckland, Taupiri and other places out of the town as well as local members who were now not able to attend meetings regularly. One of these was Mrs. Nezzie Morris who had recently celebrated her 90th birthday and had been a member of the Society since its inception.