Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 55, September 2011

The 46th annual general meeting was held on Monday, March 28 last in the Paeroa and District Museum. President Lud Sparks welcomed some 27 members. Reports from the President, Treasurer, Museum Curator, Ohinemuri Regional History Journal Editor and the Museum Extension Building Committee Convener were presented and adopted.


Events of the Year: Through the year we held three general meetings of members during the year with interesting guest speakers and a museum quiz. The attendance at these meetings were relatively low compared to some previous years. For the annual luncheon on November 29 there was a good turn out and members appreciated a pictorial address by Dr Caroline Phillips, an archaeologist, on early Maori sites around Paeroa.

A street stall was held on March 12. Again thanks to those who contributed goods and made the day success. Again the Museum was opened and provided Devonshire teas, as part of the Jazz Festival in August. Our appreciation goes to the small group of ladies who helped with this occasion, resulting in a better response than the previous year.

Publications: Our Editor Graham Watton, once again produced a superb publication in the Ohinemuri Journal No. 54. Graham also continues his research in preparation for the publication of the history of Paeroa. This is proving probably a longer-term project than initially thought, but progress is being made and as Graham completes his research back copies of the "Gazette" are sent to the National Library for micro-filming.

Museum: While we are grateful to the folk who willingly volunteer to man the Museum each weekday, we are desperately short of folk available and as a result the Committee has had to continue with the arrangement of opening only in the afternoon. Our thanks to Rae Jordan for her work in supervising the roster.

It was with considerable regret the Committee accepted Graham Watton's resignation as curator at the end of year under review. The work Graham did in this role together with his local knowledge and the artifacts in the Museum was incredible. We trust that the relinquishing of his role will give him more time for researching the history book, editing the Ohinemuri Journal and as convener of the Society's Building Committee. Graham, thank you very much for your enthusiasm and interest as curator.

A special word of appreciation must be recorded to the women who assisted with the annual washing of the Royal Albert bone china display.

While there is no evidence of construction work on the Marshall Street section, some progress has been made during the year. The Building Committee is currently having plans drawn up to the stage where a submission can be made to the Hauraki District Council for their commitment of financial support.

Committee: My personal thanks to all the Committee for their loyal support through the year.

Lud Sparks. President.


The past 12 months for the Paeroa and District Museum has been one of steady-as-we go. This situation is mainly owing to the slow progress on finalising the proposed Museum extension. Two volunteers' afternoon tea meetings were held at which updates were given on the Museum's operations and the Volunteers were able to discuss any issues or suggestions they may have, as they the people at the "coal face" as it were.

Thanks to those members and the public who have donated objects. Even though storage space is at a premium it is essential that the Museum takes custody of these objects otherwise they could be dumped and lost forever to our community heritage.

The Museum has promoted itself to the local schools as an useful educational resource. Local principals were hosted to an afternoon tea and they were briefed on education resources held by the Museum.


For the past three years there has been little or no progress being made on the proposed building extension to provide specialised archival storage, general storage, together with a computer and research facilities.

Following a meeting, early last December, between the Hauraki District Mayor, John Tregidga and Paeroa Ward chair Julie Bubb and our Society President Lud Sparks and Curator Graham Watton it was agreed there was an urgent need to push ahead with the project.

The Society's Building Project Committee: Graham Watton (convenor), Lud Sparks (Society Society President), Lawrie Smith (Secretary), Ina Houghton (Society Treasurer), Peter Lowe and Tom Carden (Society Members). Also included are Heritage Management Consultant John Coster; the Building Contractor, Wayne Hooper of Baycraft Homes; architect Alister Goslin, of Ahead Buildings; Julie Bubb, Paeroa Ward chair, Hauraki District Council; Chris Linklater, Building Consent Manager, Hauraki District Council.

In February last a very full and frank discussion took place on the project which covered the location of the proposed building with the exiting building, toilet requirements, ground floor layout, the mezzanine floor, access between the floors and shelving. A final plan was agreed upon.

Since that meeting a survey of the two sections owned by the Society has been made, reports covering the ground structure under the proposed building for foundations, fire design and comments from council staff have been received. An estimate of the total cost, including furnishing and display cabinets, storage facilities and equipping the archival room have been compiled, this being in the vicinity of $450,000. A presentation has been made to the Hauraki District Council's July meeting, which was well received. The councillors were hosted to morning tea at the museum providing an the opportunity for them to inspect the cramped display space and view exhibits. It is expected that the council will make a decision on its financial commitment in September. Once this known then approaches will be made to the Lotteries Grant Board and other funding agencies for support.