Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 36, September 1992

MERV PARKER: Mr Parker, this year, received Athletic New Zealand's Long Service Medal in recognition of his involvement in the sport for more than 40 years. Mr Parker was first a competitor in the Paeroa Amateur Athletic Club and then from 1953 to 1958 was treasurer, secretary from 1951 to 1961 and president from 1961 to 1979. He was then made club patron, a position he holds today. The club also honoured him with life membership.

ARTHUR KINSELLA: The Hon. Arthur Ellis Kinsella, a long standing member of the Waihi Historical Society, was awarded the Q.S.O. in the New Year Honours List. He was born in Waikino, the son of the late Mr & Mrs Jim Kinsella, and educated at the Waikino School and the Waihi District High School. Later he attended Teachers Training College. It was while he was teaching at Paeroa that he became the National Member of Parliament for Hauraki and served the area for 15 years until 1969. During his terms of office he was Postmaster General, Minister of Education and Minister of Broadcasting. The Waihi Historical Society congratulates him on his award.

NEW J.P. APPOINTMENTS: In February 1992, Mr Graham Watton, member of the Paeroa Historical Society, was appointed a Justice of the Peace. Mr Graeme Lee, MP, stated his appointment is a recognition of Mr Watton's high standing in the community. The Society congratulates him on his appointment. Another Society member to be appointed as a J.P. was Mrs Julia Lowe. She was sworn in as a J.P. in April. Mrs Lowe is Head Librarian at the Paeroa library and is also actively involved in her church where she is a parish steward for the Paeroa Methodist Church. She is the Paeroa District Support Leader for the Guides and Brownies and was the District Commissioner from 1978/79 until 1986/87.

JOHN COTTER: A member of the Paeroa Historical Society, Mr John Cotter was presented with the Gazette's Community Service Award in August 1991. This was in recognition of his contribution to the Karangahake and Paeroa communities. One of his first appointments was as secretary for the Karangahake Cricket Club almost 60 years ago. Since then he has been secretary of the Mackaytown Domain Board (over 20 years), Member of the Karangahake School Committee and Chairman for two years, member of the Hall Committee, first chairman of the St Joseph's Convent Home and School Association, member of St Mary's Parish Council, Chairman of the Paeroa Primary School Rugby Union, President of the Paeroa Cricket Association (still Patron), Chairman of the Paeroa College Board of Governors, member of the Ohinemuri County Council (12 years), and is Patron of the Mackaytown Pony Club. He also served on a number of Karangahake Jubilee Committees. It was announced in April 1992 that a road on Crown Hill, Karangahake is to be named John Cotter Road. This was approved by Council in response to a petition by residents who wished to honour the work Mr Cotter has done for the community.

NOEL THOMPSON: Another member to receive the Gazette's Community Service Award was Mr Noel Thompson in February 1992. In May 1991 Mr Thompson retired from the Paeroa Fire Brigade after 40 years service, being Fire Chief since 1973. He joined the brigade in 1971 [1951? – E] and received his Gold Star in 1976. He was also made Life Honorary Member of the Brigade. In 1982 he was awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal in recognition of his service to the brigade and the community, particularly during the flood of 1981. In 1986 he was presented with the Paeroa Borough Council's Outstanding Citizen Award. Mr Thompson retired from the Thames Valley Electric Power Board in 1987. He is now a voluntary driver for the Red Cross and ambulance.

JIM & EUNICE BROWN: Seventy years of marriage were celebrated by Jim & Eunice Brown, Paeroa Society members, on 3 May 1992. A function was held in their honour at Ohinemuri House. An interview with Mr & Mrs Brown was recorded in Journal 35 (1991) [see Journal 35: Jim and Eunice Brown - E].

GOLD EXTRACTION WORKS: Clearing the site of the former Paeroa Gold Extraction Plant on Mill Road, Paeroa was undertaken during 1991 by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. The site and remains of the plant were also photographed by local Trust member Graham Ball. Permission to clear the site was obtained from land owner Paul McCormack and once Trust headquarters in Wellington had given its approval, work on clearing the site commenced with assistance from Periodic Detention workers. While cyanide tanks and concrete bases are all that remain of the plant, the site is of such historical significance to warrant its restoration and preservation as a potential tourist site. Details of the plant's history are recorded in Journals numbered 11 and 30 [see Journal 11: Waihi Paeroa Extraction Works, and Journal 30: Paeroa's Own Gold from the River; also Journal 38: Turning Back the Pages - E].

TAIRUA HISTORIC PORT: A historic seaport, blending aspects of the region's history, is being developed at Tairua in conjunction with Pacific Paradise's marina. Tairua's oldest building, the 110 year-old general store, has been renovated on its new site beside the marina jetty. The town's timber history is represented by the old mill, complete with restored remains of early timber and shell lime mills on the site.

REUNION, DEHAR FAMILY: A reunion of the descendants of Louis and Erena DiHars (now Dehar) was held at the Paeroa racecourse over Easter weekend, 1992. The official ceremony on Saturday morning was attended by some 2000 family members. Louis Dehar arrived in New Zealand in 1842, first living at Akaroa and then moving to Tauranga. In 1845 he married Erena Pareraukawa and they had eight children. They moved to the Ohinemuri district and had a small farm near Paeroa. Mr Ron Clifton of Tauranga, who prepared the family tree, found he was able following the reunion, to add another 300 to 400 names to his records. The family tree already had 4600 names of descendants of Louis and Erena.

MOTOR CYCLE RACES: Paeroa's historical first "Battle of the Streets" motorcycle race meeting on Sunday 23 February, 1992 was an unqualified success. An estimated 6500 people watched the motorcycles on the main street circuit reaching speeds of up to 200Kph. Many riders considered it to be the best street circuit in New Zealand.

CONTRIBUTORS DEADLINE: Contributors of articles for the next Journal should note the deadline date - 15 June 1993.

KARANGAHAKE HISTORY: Copies of the book published in 1989 are available from Mr G Staples, P O Box 92, Paeroa. The book is of 92 pages, printed on glossy paper and includes chapters on the history of Karangahake and Mackaytown as well as present day historic walks. It contains many photographs and a number of maps. Price, including postage is $26.00.