Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 35, September 1991

The Waihi Historical Society have had two very interesting field trips during the past year.

The first one was to Matakana Island last November when members went by bustoTauranga and, on arrival at the Matakana landing, boarded a logging barge in the bus, and crossed over to the island. On arrival, after a half-hour journey, the bus was driven off and used to travel round the island. Unfortunately, the roads were not suitable for the bus to travel to several places of interest. However the party were able to visit one of the farms and from a high vantage point were able to get a good view from the elevated position of the farm house.

Lunch was partaken at one of the beautiful beaches on the western side of the island. Unfortunately, lunch had to be rather rushed due to a shower of rain coming on before folk had finished. Due to this, the party arrived back at the landing earlier than anticipated and had a long wait for the barge booked to take them back to the mainland. Several went over on an earlier barge but the main body waited and filled in time browsing along the beautiful sandy beach adjacent to the landing.

The next field day was a Kiwi Cat Cruise of three hours around the Tauranga Harbour, leaving from Mt Maunganui. Before the cruise started at noon there was time for a cuppa. Although there was little sun, it was a nice calm day on the water and the party enjoyed their lunch eaten on the boat.

During the trip, an interesting commentary was given. A bonus nearing the end of the trip was a sail round the boating marina where private yachts and launches were laid up for the winter and then past the various overseas ships tied up at the wharves. This extended the time allowed for the trip but was well worth it and most enjoyable.

The Society usually hold several field trips each year which are eagerly booked up by members and friends and they have been instrumentalinsecuring new members for the Society.


By C M Harper

Sometimes in lieu of a speaker, the Waihi Historical Society hold a "Bring and Tell" day when members bring an item of interest and speak about it. Items brought to the June 1991 meeting proved to be both curious and interesting. It was pleasing to have the privilege of having Patroness, Mrs Nell Climie present.

An ivory carved dragon's head with real rubies for eyes in the form of an umbrella handle was produced by Mrs Nell Cox. Jim Say had a sovereign case for both half and full sovereigns. He also had an advertising brochure for Marriotts, The Thrifty Grocery Shop which was dated 1945. Bargain prices listed included Butterfly Tea at l/6d per half pound (15 cents), and each packet contained a farmyard toy animal for the children. Mrs Carol Parker had a beautifully made Victorian silver travelling ink well. The tusks of a large leopard shot on the roof of her brother-in-law's bungalow in India were brought by Mrs Connie Harper.

An unopened bottle of Port wine was brought along by Mrs Nita Higgins who stated that it was left over from her wedding day of 40 years ago. She also had a school photo taken in 1922 and one of her two sisters, brother and herself mounted on a horse ready for school two miles away. This was the only transport they had.

A copy of the Auckland Star dated 8 May, 1945 was produced by Mrs Muriel Carbutt. This was the day the Second World War ended in Europe and it contained an account of a Civic reception in Waihi to welcome soldiers returning home. An advertisement of the Maple Furnishing Company of Karangahape Road advertised a walnut bedroom suite for £39 ($78). This evoked a remark from Mrs Gwen Berryman who was celebrating 55 years of marriage the following day, that they had bought their first furniture from this firm.

A number of other interesting items included a carbide bike lamp, a packet of wax matches and a matchbox holder; salts and peppers with wheels on; and an Egyptian £1 note.