Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 34, September 1990

The Waihi Mayoral Chain has not been put away in a cupboard with mothballs and left to languish and be forgotten. Instead it has been handed to the Waihi Arts Centre and Museum for safe keeping. It is now displayed in a glass case in the foyer of the museum together with photographs of former mayors of the town which had previously graced the walls of the Council Chambers. The chain has been worn by successive mayors since 1941 when the council of that time commissioned it to be made for the then Mayor, Mr W M Wallnutt. It has been worn by each succeeding mayor at council meetings and official functions ever since then.

At a small ceremony held in the Waihi Borough Council Chambers, the mayoral chain was handed to the President of the Arts Centre and Museum by the Mayor, Mr Owen Morgan, before interested members of the public and historians.

Mr Morgan admitted that he was lucky it had not been lost over the years as he had left it behind on numerous occasions in practically every public building in Waihi. Each time it had been returned.

Mr Owen Morgan and Waihi Borough Council Mayoral Chain

Mr Owen Morgan handing the Waihi Borough Council Mayoral Chain to Waihi Arts Centre and Museum President, Mrs Hilary Timanus.

Waihi's Mayoral Chain
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 34, September 1990
Mr Owen Morgan and Waihi Borough Council Mayoral Chain

"Over the last 12 years I have worn it with pride. Each name on the chain represents a former mayor. Each has left his mark on the town. They were strong and purposeful men. I have been proud to have followed their footsteps."

Mr Morgan said that he hoped he would not be remembered as the mayor who allowed the borough to lose its identity. "The council had tried very hard to fight against forced amalgamation but the powers higher up had decreed the town should become part of the new district."

The Maori inscription on the mayoral chain reads: 'The wearer of this chain is a great chief.' "And this great chief is taking it off and will then just be another citizen of the team", Mr Morgan said. He then handed the chain over to Mrs Timanus, following a unanimous decision by borough council members.

Mrs Timanus said that she was very honoured to be presented with the chain which had a value far beyond its monetary value. "It has so much cultural and sentimental value", she said. It would be displayed in the museum with honour and she hoped that one day it could again be hung around the neck of a Waihi Mayor.