Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 38, September 1994


In 1958 the formation of an historical society in Paeroa was initiated by Mr D G Sinclair and Mr Fielden Thorp was elected President. This is the earlier society referred to in the newspaper report of 29 April 1964. This society lapsed because of lack of interest and did not produce a Journal.

Following the meeting of 21 April 1964 the society grew rapidly from 116 members in the first year to 240 by 1967. The number of members continued to increase steadily for some years but in recent years there has been a decline. However the achievements of the Society have continued progressively. The activities of the Society over the years and its participation in events with the community are numerous. In 1965 the Society assisted with displays of local historical pictures at the 50th Jubilee of Paeroa Borough and played a great part in the 1975 Centennial of the Opening of the Ohinemuri Goldfield. In 1983 The society published the book "The Years of the Gold - 1875-1935" and in 1986 played a part in the Police Centennial. In 1990 as part of the New Zealand Celebrations members took part in the Re-enactment of the visit of Samuel Marsden, the Library 50th Anniversary and staged a show called "Fashions of Yesteryear"

The continuing goal of the Society over the years was to establish a museum and that was achieved with the opening of the museum on 22 April 1979 and the opening of an extended and remodelled museum on 16 May 1993. All these events and others are recorded in past Journals.

Presidents of the Paeroa Society:

Rev L M Rogers

1964 - 1968

F Thorp

1969- 1978

H Wilson

1979 – 1982

R Murdock

1983 – 1984

S Orr

1985 – 1988

A Reid

1989 - Present


In Waihi the Waihi Arts Centre and Museum (WACMA) was established 1961/62 and this is recorded in the article by Mrs Elizabeth Lee-Johnson. Initially members of WACMA were fully occupied in establishing the Museum and Arts Centre, but there was provision in the constitution to publish journals, books, etc. relating to the history of the district. Following the establishment of the Historical Section in 1964, the production of a combined Journal with the Paeroa Society began. At first the Journal was produced twice a year. This continued until 1970 by which time 14 issues had been produced. Since 1971 the Journal has been issued once a year.

From 1964 to 1983 the Journal was produced using stencils then a change was made and the Journal was printed by a commercial printer using printing plates made by photographic process. This allowed maps and diagrams to be reproduced and photos could be printed with the relevant text rather than on separate pages. From the September 1990 issue of the Journal, computer typesetting has been used, resulting in a considerable improvement in print quality.

The Waihi Society like the Paeroa Society has achieved much and has taken its part in various local celebrations. In 1976 the Society initiated the Waihi Miners Reunion and in 1978 published the book "Goldmining at Waihi" by J B McAra. This was the year of the Waihi Goldfield Centennial. Full accounts of the Society's activities, as with the Paeroa Society, are recorded in the Journals.

The membership of the Waihi Society has shown a similar pattern to Paeroa. In 1965 the membership stood at 150 increasing to 233 by 1977 and declining in numbers in more recent years.

Presidents of the Waihi Society:

D McPherson

1964 - 1965

L Morgan

1966 - 1967

L Deverell


A C Hanlen

1969 – 1971

M Roycroft

1972 – 1976

E Cunliffe

1977 - 1978

M Roycroft


D Heath

1980 - 1981

E Cunliffe

1982 - 1986

M Wells

1987 – Present


The publication of the Journal is the responsibility of the Publications Committee comprising of the Journal Editor together with the President, Secretary and Treasurer from each Society and the Sub-editor of the Waihi Society.

The Journal Editors have been:

N Climie

1964 - 1976

G Staples

1976 - 1982

G & E Staples

1983 - Present