Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 35, September 1991

By C W Malcolm

Anyone interested in the history of the great shipping days on the river at Paeroa should have a copy of the excellent book "Servants of the North" by the late Cliff Furniss. It is a detailed account of the Northern Steam Ship Company, is profusely illustrated, and has two splendid chapters dealing with Paeroa and its shipping. No more thorough book has been written on the subject.

In such a detailed and extensive work it is possible that errors can creep in and, for the record of history, I wish to point out two mistakes. On page 52 is an excellent photograph of the well-known "Taniwha" swinging round at a Paeroa wharf which the caption says is the "Puke Wharf". In fact it is the Junction Wharf that is depicted and not the Puke Wharf. My evidence for this is to be seen at the extreme left hand of the picture where, aided by the use of a magnifying glass, one can see a two-storey building, the Shaw residence, which once stood there until later unfortunately destroyed by fire. Other features, including a poplar tree, identify the area as the Junction.

A further error which could be easily overlooked by the wording appears at the top of page 39 continued from the bottom of page 36. It says "a short distance upstream (from the junction of the Waihou and Ohinemuri Rivers) the winding Ohinemuri has cut such a deep bend it is almost an island" and here the author states this to be the site of the pa (Raupa) where Marsden spent a Sunday in 1820. The pa is, of course, actually in the curve of the Waihou at its junction with the Ohinemuri and not upstream from that point.

The late Jim Silcock Jnr and I discussed the foregoing just before he died and we agreed upon them. His father was for years the agent of the Northern Steam Ship Company in Paeroa and the son was interested in the subject.