Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 38, September 1994
For many years a piece of kauri burl timber lay safely under the church because no one could be found who could polish it tor a table top. A minister came to the Parish in 1937 who had been a gun layer in the British Navy during the 1914 -1918 War. These men had to learn lathing in steel to the utmost in exactitude. If they made a mistake, the person in charge of them would make them put it aside and begin again, such was the exactness of their work.
After leaving the Navy this gentleman felt called to Ministry in the Church and eventually came to New Zealand. From a South Island Church he received a Call to come to our Paeroa Church. He found out about this piece of mottled kauri and asked permission of the Office Bearers to trytopolish it. His efforts were most successful. A kauri burl is not part of the timber in the tree but grows on the outside under the bark and grows in many sizes. This one was very large and is very valuable and bushmen search the forest for them.
They are quite unique and hard to find.
Rev. McEwan was an excellent cabinet maker and once he had polished the beautiful table top he designed the rest of the table to compliment the pulpit plus three Communion Chairs to match.
To commemorate the presentation of this furniture a memorial silver plaque with the following inscription was dedicated:
"This Tablet commemorates the Start of Presbyterianism in Paeroa by the Rev. T A Norrie in 1881. Presented and dedicated by The Rev. R D McEwan & unveiled by Mrs Norrie on 10 September 1939.''