Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 42, September 1998

By Gordon Mathieson

Since beginning to compile articles for the Journal in 1989, ongoing research continually adds to the store of historical detail. I am pleased to be able to add to my original findings, and to insert occasional corrections.

Journal 33 - 1989 - Page 7 - Headmasters of Paeroa School.

[see Journal 33: Early Headmasters Paeroa School (1875-1912) - E]

Mr Frank Murphy was a son of James Murphy (died 14/8/1889 aged 54) and Mary (died 1/8/1906 aged 62). They were buried at Thames Shortland Cemetery. Frank Murphy married during the school holidays of 1904-05 as a Gazette article dated 15 February 1905 records: "A very pleasing little ceremony took place at Paeroa District High School when pupils presented Mr F Murphy with a beautiful silver tea service suitably inscribed in honour of his recent marriage. Miss Eunice Thorp made the presentation on behalf of the assembled children and read an address expressing the feelings of love and gratitude they felt towards Mr Murphy and tendering both to himself and to Mrs Murphy, who was present, the best wishes for their future happiness".

After the Headmaster had thanked the children for their gift, three ringing cheers were given for Mr and Mrs Murphy. A presentation from the teaching staff was also made.

In my original article, I stated that Mr Murphy died in January 1945. This was assumed from an obituary that appeared in the Gazette of 12/1/1945. Subsequent research has shown that Mr Murphy died on 25 December 1944, aged 76, and Mrs Kathryn Emily Murphy on 1 September 1960, aged 93. Both are buried at Hillsborough Cemetery. The Murphys had no children.

Journal 34 - 1990 - Headmasters of Paeroa D.H.S.

[see Journal 34: Headmasters of Paeroa District High School 1912-1957 - E]

Mr David Walter Dunlop, was born on 13 July 1876, son of Thomas and Jane Dunlop of Parawai. Mr Dunlop started as a pupil-teacher in August 1891 at age 15 at Kauaeranga Boys' School, Thames. After three months he was transferred to Karangahake school where he remained from November 1891 until December 1893. (There is a photo with his pupils, taken during this period, in the "Karangahake 80th Jubilee Book - 1889-1969" opposite page 16.) From Karangahake he went to Tararu School (January 1894 - August 1895) then Kaiaua and Miranda half-time schools until the end of 1896. In 1897 he was promoted to Second Assistant at the Napier Street School, Auckland, were he remained until he joined the South Island Battalion in April 1902 and, as Major Dunlop, saw active service in the Boer War. Six months later, he resumed his teaching career at Northcote School, as my original article stated. Mr Dunlop retired on 31 July 1941 and died on 6 March 1942, aged 65.

Mr Robert James Hamilton, M.A., B.Sc., was Australian born, but came to New Zealand about 1883 when he was 11 years old. Another school he taught at, not previously mentioned, was Ponsonby. When the Auckland Technical School opened (23/3/1903) Mr Hamilton was put in charge of the "Physics and Chemistry of Plumbing " Department. While in Paeroa he was a member of the Golf Club, which in those days, was located at the race course, and Mrs Hamilton was a member of the Croquet Club.

Mr G H Taylor died on 12 October 1960, aged 83 and Mrs Clara Adeline Taylor died on 31 January 1945, aged 67, and they are buried at Waikumete cemetery in West Auckland. Their family consisted of Claude; Iris (Mrs William Smith); Clarice (Mrs Laurie Smith of Point Chevalier); Errol and Mervyn - the latter was killed in W W II.

Mr G H Gubbins was the longest-lived Paeroa Headmaster. He died at Wellington on 7 March 1995, aged 93. One of his two daughters, Dorothy died at the age of 13, in 1953 and his other daughter, Mrs Jennifer Chisholm, lives in Wellington. She taught for two years (1953-54) at Paeroa.

Journal 35 - Page 34 - Principals of Paeroa College.

[see Journal 35: Principals of Paeroa College - E]

Mr H W B Webber, died on 8 October 1997, aged 85.

Journal 39 - 1995 - Page 25-6 - The Paeroa D.H.S. Roll of Honour

[see Journal 39: Paeroa District High School Roll of Honour - E]

Additions to the roll are as follows:

Barrett, James, died 31/8/71, not 14/1/81. Buried at Morrinsville.

Gardner, Norman Frank, died 20/6/74, aged 79. Buried at Schnapper Rock Cemetery, near Albany.

Hart, George, died 25/5/57, buried at Hillsborough.

Ratliff, Alfred, died 19/9/73.

Runciman, Wm. C, died 20/8/58, aged 67, buried at Hamilton East Cemetery.

Journal 41 - 1997 - Historical Letter - Page 27

[see Journal 41: Historical Letter - Hoover - E]

Mr Herbert Hoover was incorrectly referred to as "Edgar". He was born in 1874 and died in 1964, aged 90. He was President of the U.S.A. from 1929 to 1933. The "Edgar", no doubt was derived from the long-time Director of the F.B.I., John Edgar Hoover, born in 1895. He lead the F.B.I. from 1924 until his death at age 77, in 1972. The two Mr Hoovers were not related.


Paeroa's longest serving Headmaster was Mr Maurice Flay, who served 21 years 8 months as Headmaster of Miller Avenue School, from May 1968 until he retired in December 1989.

The Wood Street School's longest serving head, was the only one to die in office - Mr Walter Sullivan who served from February 1885 until 5 June 1901, 16 years 4 months, followed by Mr Arthur Day, 13 years (1932-44), and closely by Mr Thomas Barrett, 11 years 3 months (February 1966 - May 1977), Mr G H Taylor, 11 years 2½ months (4 October 1920 - 18 December 1931) and Mr Frank Murphy, 11 years 1 month (26 July 1901 - August 1912).

At Paeroa College (since 1958), Mr Ian Kerr served 13 years as Principal (1970-82), followed by his successor Mr Brian Bradley, 10 years (1983-92).

However the district's longest serving Head, was at Hikutaia School, and with 23 years 2 months, Mr Ernest James Walters takes the honours (February 1897 to April 1920).