Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 51, September 2007
TRACING DECENDANTS. Department of Conservation staff, while upgrading the old Kauri timber tracks in the Waitawheta Valley have found one of the tramway bogie or wheeled platform used to bring the logs from the upper Waitekauri Valley down to Owharoa. The find triggered an investigation into an accident in 1928 when six men who were riding on the logging bogie derailed throwing its passengers some 4m down into a dry creek bed. No one was badly injured. DOC staff would like to contact descendents of those men to invite them back to area as the tracks are restored. The men were John "Kaikohe" Wellsford; Albery Proudlock, John Stace Jnr., George J. Honey, Harold Skinner and Arty Skinner. Contact Stephenie Twaddle 07 578 7677.
PLATINUM ANNIVERSARY. Well-known and respected Paeroa couple Harold and Dallas Prout celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last October. Both are long-time residents of Netherton and Paeroa respectively and met at a Caledonian dance in the Netherton Hall. After 12 months courting they were married on October 23, 1941, in the registry Office at the Paeroa Post Office. They farmed on the family property at Netherton where they brought up a family of seven children. A full part was taken by both in the Netherton activities with Dallas being a member of the Netherton CWI for many years. Their sports-minded children received their parents' full support. Both played indoor bowls in their district while Harold played outdoor bowls and golf at the Paeroa clubs. They also owned race horses and followed them throughout New Zealand and also in Australia. They celebrated their wonderful occasion with children and their families of 21 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
HAURAKI BOWLERS CELEBRATE. The Hauraki Bowling Club celebrated its diamond jubilee last season with many of the early members attending a mini-tournament and special celebratory luncheon. A public meeting in 1946 led to the formation of the club on the Mangatarata Reserve. This reserve is also home for the Hauraki Golf Club and the two sports have paved the way for an excellent sporting amenity for the Hauraki Plains. The club was joined by a women's club in 1952 and the club pavilion was built and opened in 1955, which serves as public hall for the Mangatarara community. The club's oldest surviving member Jos de Jongh, (87 years) who still plays bowls in Auckland was joined by the member who travelled the greatest distance to attend, Dave Reynolds, to cut the anniversary cake. Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga congratulated the club on reaching its milestone through a culture of friendship, enjoyment of the game and comradeship among members. "The club has been built on a sound foundation and has a good future," he said.
60 YEARS SERVICE. In early November 2006, the Kerepehi Brass Band celebrated its diamond jubilee with a special concert in the Paeroa War Memorial Hall. The band was formed as the Kerepehi Boys Brass Band and one "those boys" Rowan Garrett is still full playing member today. He is one of five inaugural members to attend the concert and take part. The band has given sterling service to the Hauraki Plains and the Paeroa communities, attending many and varied functions. Anzac Day has always been and still is extremely busy, in Paeroa for the community service and then pack-up and to Ngatea for their service, and has been going on for many years.
MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN. The Owen Morgan Memorial Fountain in Waihi's Gilmour Lake, was unveiled on November 25, 2006, at a special lake-side ceremony. Mr Morgan was the last Mayor of Waihi (the borough was amalgamated with Paeroa Borough and the Counties of Ohinemuri and Hauraki Plains in 1989 to form the Hauraki District Council) and his grandfather, Thomas Gilmour, was the second Mayor of Waihi, after whom the lake was named. The family of Mr Morgan, who passed away in November, 2003, offered to donate a fountain as a memorial to him. Mrs Rosemary Morgan officially handed over the fountain to the Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga. The fountain plays for 24 hours a day and should the wind-blown spray reach the lakeshore it will be automatically switched off. Originally there was a white light to illuminate the fountain in the evening, but the Waihi Rotary Club, of which Mr Morgan was a long-serving member, upgraded the lighting to colour and these will switch on at 8.30 p.m. and continue until midnight.
125 YEARS OF WORSHIP. St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church held special services to mark its 125th anniversary on December 8, 2006. As the population of Paeroa grew with the rapid development of the Karangahake goldmining activities, a number of members of the Catholic faith joined forces and in 1881 purchased land from the local Maori and erected St. Mary's Church on its present day site. Originally the Church was called Te Puru o te Rangi—Gateway to Heaven. The present church was built in 1968. St Joseph's School was opened in 1900 adjacent to the Church.
ORDER OF ST. JOHN AWARDS. Lyn Bryant of Waihi, has been made an Officer of the Order of St. John in recognition of her outstanding service to the Order. For many years she was a paramedic with the Order of St, John at Whangamata. On her retirement she became a full time phlebotomist and she has continued being a member of the committee. Along with Meredyth McCracken and Maureen O'Hara of the Hauraki Plains Order, both of whom received Members of the Order, Mrs Bryant received her award from the Governor General Anand Satyanand at a special function held in the Wellington Town Hall on May 20 last.
WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPS. Waihi Beach teenage surfer Alexis Poulter did extremely well on her first visit to the World Junior surf championships held in Portugal as a member of the New Zealand Surfing team. Alexis, who started her sport at Waihi Beach, is now based in Raglan and attends the Raglan Surf Academy. Although not among the top placing she gained valuable experience at this level of the sport which will be of benefit in the coming years.
LONG MEMBERSHIP. Colleen Reddy of Paeroa reached a notable milestone in the New Zealand Country Women's Institute when she completed 50 years as member and for this received the much sought after gold button. Colleen joined the Kerepehi Institute in December, 1956, and gave 34 years serving as president, secretary, reporter and committee member. In 1990 Colleen and her husband Keith, retired to Paeroa, where she joined the Paeroa Institute and took on the task of secretary and assists with organising various activities, including the annual Guide Dog Appeal. In 1998 she was awarded the Institute's Good Service Badge.
COMMONWEALTH POST. Former Hauraki District Mayor and now president of Local Government New Zealand Basil Morrison of Paeroa was elected unopposed as Vice-chairman of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum at its recent meeting in Auckland. He currently represents the Pacific Region, which includes New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and a range of other nations which are members of the Forum. He is at present Hauraki and Piako-Matamata Districts representative on the Environment Waikato, a position which will be dissolved at the end of the present session once the Local Authority elections are held in October. Mr Morrison will have a big part to play in two year's time when the Forum meets in the Bahamas, West Indies. The Forum represents some 160 organisations from 40 countries and provides supporting and advocacy roles for local government throughout the Commonwealth.
PLATINUM WEDDING. Wally and Joan Heappy celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with their three daughters, their families and friends in May last. Married in Thames on May 1, 1937, they have lived the Paeroa and Hikutaia districts since that happy day. In those early days Wally rode his bicycle from the Hauraki Plains to Hikutaia to take Joan to the pictures on his bike. They settled in Hikutaia where Wally was drainage contractor for many years.
TWO NZ CHAMPIONSHIPS. Ngatea's 16-year-old Luke Temple has had a very successful motorcross season, taking two New Zealand Junior championships. Riding at Mosgiel Luke won the Junior two-stroke 125cc on his Yamaha. A couple of weeks later in April he was at Otorohanga and, after a really close finish, took the 14-16years four-stroke title on a 250cc Yamaha.
CROQUET WIN. Waihi's Geoff Duckett, in his second season of competitive croquet at association level won the Arthur Ross Memorial Trophy. There were 16 competitors, each having won at their club and regional level to advance to the national final.
WORLD CUP MEDALS. Two Paeroa touch players came home from the World Cup championships at Stellenbosch, South Africa, with gold and silver medals. Dean Williams (21) was a member of the Touch Blacks open mixed team which defeated Australia in the final and take the gold. Renee Wickliffe was in the Touch Black open women's team which was pipped on the post by Australia in the final and finished with a silver medal. Dean's brother Miah Williams travelled with the NZ contingent as a tournament referee and controlled the open mixed final between New Zealand and Australia.
RETIRING PRINCIPAL. Mrs Lois Craill joined the Paeroa College staff 34 years ago and at the end of the second term this year she retired as principal, a position she has held for the last 14 years. During her career she has seen many major changes in the way children are taught, and these changes will continue into the future. Mrs Craill said Paeroa College was recognised nationally as being a successful school, through the Ministry of Education Review Office reports, but unfortunately the same level of appreciation was absent within the community the college serves. One thing she would like to see the community being proud of their college and primary schools.
SCHOOLS BENEFIT. Waihi district schools have benefited this year from $110,000 from Newmont Waihi Gold's annual distribution of funds. The Waihi College received $40,000 which will be spent on Information and Community Technology for the benefit of all students. A further $2000 senior scholarship each is available for the five top students for tertiary education. The district's primary schools, Waikino, St. Joseph's, Waimata, Waihi Central, Waihi East and Waihi Beach, received $10,000 each. Over the past 15 years the mining company's annual contributions have totalled of $450,000.
SHOT AND HIT GOLD. Paeroa's Richard Foster was a member the New Zealand team at the 19th Oceania Federation Internationale de Tir Aux Armes Sportives de Chasse (FITSAC) shooting competitions held in Launceston, Tasmania, over Easter. Taking part in the super veteran age group Richard gained an individual and team gold medals. He was joined in the New Zealand team by father and son Allen and David Alley from Hikutaia. Allen went as a reserve shooter while David gained a silver in the senior teams' shoot.
HAURAKI DISTRICT CITIZENS AWARDS. The 2006 Hauraki District Council Citizens Awards, recognising services given to the community were present on October last. The recipients were: Outstanding Citizens Award: Homer Stubbs, Waikino; Graham Watton, Paeroa. Citizens' Award: Joe Mathieson, Paeroa; Tewi Nicholls, Paeroa; Hillary Hayson, Paeroa; Ian Costello, Ngatea; John Reta, Kerepehi; Dudley and Jessie Troughton, Turua; Jim Courtney, Waihi; Dorothy Baker (Waihi); Frances Bicknell, Waihi. The Hauraki District Council's Young Achievers Awards were also presented to: John Garrett, Ngatea; Brett Dalgety, Ngatea; Rickey Clark, Ngatea; Phillipa Gray, Turua; Simon Hill, Ngatea; Paul Milner, Paeroa; Holly Dove, Paeroa; Anja van de Wetering, Paeroa; Kima Isopo-Williams, Paeroa; Miah Williams, Paeroa; Brad Gould, Paeroa; Joel Tossingh, Paeroa; Allan Stewart, Waihi; Sam Crompton, Waihi; Trevor Maton, Waihi; Sam Cooper, Waihi; Ed Tawhiti, Waihi.
DEDICATION REWARDED. Mrs Molly Buckeridge received one of 10 Commendations and Badges presented by the Minister of Veterans' Affairs Rick Barker, in recognition of services to war veterans at the conclusion of the Year of the Veterans last December. Molly moved to Waihi Beach some 20 years ago and, after having Second World War service in the as a instrument repairer in the Air Force, joined the Waihi Beach RSA 14 years ago. She immediately took a keen interest in the welfare of the local veterans. She assisted with their pension matters, transported them on their doctor and other such visits, tidied their homes and ensured their needs were look after at all times.
NGATEA PRIMARY SCHOOL SUCCESS. Five senior students have received a world award for their short film Polluted River. Kayla Leonard (13) and Theresa Speedy (13), last year, wrote the documentary based on the Piako River and with fellow students Harry Smit, Ethan Reed and James Tomlinson produced the video. With local success they entered their excellent documentary in the Pasanonic Kid Witness News awards in New York. Their effort was chosen ahead of hundreds of schools from around the world. Their teacher Jonathan O'Neil accompanied Kayla and Theresa to the presentation in New York. Their fellow school pupils watched the presentation ceremony at school on a big screen which was connected to the internet programme.
SAMOA VISIT. Sixteen senior students from the Paeroa Christian School made an end-of-year 10-day visit to Samoa to experience life in that country after it was part of their social studies programme earlier in the year. They were accompanied by 12 adults and the party acted as ambassadors from their church and school. They took a variety of sports equipment, stationery and two guitars, which they donated to the Peace Chapel School. The visit provided and excellent insight for the Paeroa children into the Samoan culture and life-style.