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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 55, September 2011

MACKAYTOWN RESERVE

Access to the Mackaytown Reserve is by the Taylor Memorial Drive, named after the late Bill Taylor a former resident and enthusiastic member of the wider Karangahake area when it came to preserving the history of the district. His wife, Vera, still lives in Mackaytown, where she and her late husband looked after the local post office. The Memorial Drive is part of the early road route to Karangahake, it crossed the ford over the Ohinemuri River and wound its way up the gully to Crown Hill to Karangahake. The Mackaytown Domain is popular swimming hole and over many years the Domain Committee maintain a toilet block, barbeque facilities and swings. However in recent years vandals have congregated in the reserve and they have wrecked the facilities and smashed the signage. Other inconsiderate people have used the area as a rubbish dump. Clive McDonald, a 12-year resident of Mackaytown, has endeavoured to keep the area tidy, but is becoming most despondent with the action of the vandals and rubbish dumpers.

DUNE RESTORATION

The Waihi Beach Coast Care group has received the top award for its efforts in preserving the sand dunes in its area from Dune Restoration Trust of New Zealand. The Waihi Beach group was named the best coastal community group for its restoration of the sand dunes. The award was made at the Trusts annual conference in Ohope last February. In addition to a certificate recognising the group's outstanding volunteer efforts in preserving the Beach's dunes, there was a $250 voucher from Taupo Native Plant Nursery. The Beach group centres around some eight volunteers, but this number more than often doubles when working bees are held about six times a year to undertake planting of special dune species.

SCOTS FROM FAR AND WIDE

The 18th annual Paeroa Highland Games and Tattoo drew Scots from throughout the Auckland Province last February. While weather threats came to nothing, there was a very large crowd to witness the mass bands' street parade prior to mid-day. During the afternoon there was a wide variety of dancing, music, super strength, and a blaze of colour as the various clans proudly displayed their tartans. The evening highlight was the tattoo involving the mass bands and marching teams with the finale being the lone piper atop of Paeroa Castle.

BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE

The Hauraki Tavern, on the corner of State Highway 2 and Wharepoa Road has been given a reprieve by its new leassee Red Morrissey. It has sat empty for the past two to three years after the previous owner failed to find a buyer. The tavern started life as a two-storeyed hotel in the middle of the Kerepehi Township just after the First World War (1914-18) when the Lands Department had a large depot there when it was draining and developing the adjoining swamp area to the south of the village, the Kerepehi Block. When this work was completed and the great depression struck many of workmen moved away, the hotel fell on hard times. In late the 1930s, after a fire destroyed the ground floor, the second floor was removed and re-sited in its present position as a tavern. With the closure of the local dairy factory some 15 years ago, there was an exodus of factory workers and the tavern struck hard times again. The new lessee has renovated the old building and proposes to have a 24-hour dinner, a licensed restaurant, accommodation mainly for truck drivers wanting overnight breaks and an ice cream parlour and a grass area for family picnics.

NATIONAL HONOURS

Gina Davis, 13-year-old from Waihi, was a member of the New Zealand junior team which took part in the Oceania in-line hockey championships held in Australia last April. A member of the Waihi Miner Inline Hockey Club, Gina has been playing the game for the past four years and for the last two years has been a member of the central region team, winning gold medals on two occasions.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Thames Valley Deerstalkers Association hosted the world English Sporting Championships at its range in Morrison Road, Paeroa during last February. Competitors, both men and women, came from Australia, Canada, France, England, Ireland, New Caledonia and Sweden along with a large contingent from New Zealand. The association had a large army of volunteers to ensure the two week-long event went off without a hitch. All visiting shooters and officials were warm in their praise for the facilities and the hospitality.