Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 38, September 1994

Mrs Morris (nee McLeod), a resident of Hetherington House for the past six years, celebrated her 99th birthday earlier this year, and has plenty of tales to tell of the old days around here, having moved to Whangamata in 1945 and watched it "grow from rushes" into a bustling town.

Mrs Morris's father at the age of seven, with his parents were immigrants from Novia Scotia who settled at Waipu in 1860. Mrs Morris and her nine siblings were born there. When the government granted two years free secondary education for girls in 1908 there was no hesitation in the McLeod household and Nezzie was one of the first girls to go into the new AucklandGirls' Grammar School in Howell Street. She stayed there two years before becoming a probationary teacher. Following two years as a probationer, she became a teacher and moved around to a variety of places before meeting her husband, Bennett Morris, while working in Netherton.

Bennett Morris was a Gallipoli veteran who came from a Karangahake mining family. Badly injured during the First World War, he suffered terribly from the effects of it and never fully regained his health or strength. The couple became involved with the Returned Servicemen's Association and Mrs Morris is a foundation and Life Memberofthe Waihi RSA women's section.

The newly married couple settled in a one room tin shanty in Whangamata, where she set up another women's section branch. There was hardly anyone there then, just a few baches and one road down to the wharf. If anyone wanted to visit they had to go through the "scrub". Supplies were brought through from Morrison's general store in Hikuai every so often and there was a cream lorry which came over the rutted track from Waihi. Also there was a passenger bus. To begin with, cooking was done on an open fire in the paddock. A daughter, Isabel, was born and the one room shanty grew into a house, but slowly as the couple built it themselves. She moved to Waihi in 1966.