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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 2, October 1964

Mr Norman Morton J.P.

President W.A.C.M.A. was born and educated in Waihi, matriculated early, was student and Laboratory Assistant at School of Mines and then motor mechanic. He spent some years in Australia, returning to Todd Motors in Auckland and later in Hawkes Bay. After War Service, re-established a garage business in Waihi and was Borough Councillor for some years. Has been Deputy Mayor, Chairman of the Fire Board, President of School of Mines, Golf Club and Thames Valley President R.M.T.A. His wide knowledge and understanding give him vision and an appreciation of the past.

He is a tower of strength to every worthy cause and his willing help has greatly strengthened our efforts to establish a cultural centre and to record the history of the district.


Mrs Nell Climie (nee Scott)

Was born at Turners Hill, Paeroa-Waihi Road and was the grand daughter of James Turner the original settler there. Attended Karangahake School and Paeroa District High School. Pupil Teacher in Waihi in 1913-1915. Owing to loss of Parents and War emergencies, relieved in country schools, chiefly sole charge, until 1920 when she began her career as an Infant Mistress, first at Karangahake, then Hawkes Bay. From there she went to London on exchange. Returned to Wellington (Mrs Donaldson) and taught at Lower Hutt. Finally she was Infant Mistress at the Auckland Normal School (Teacher's Training College) until her retirement in 1949. After two years overseas she once more made her home at Turners Hill. Local history, native trees and landscape gardening (somewhat neglected) are her hobbies.


Mrs Alison Drummond

of Gordonton, a farmer's wife, takes a warm interest in Ohinemuri. A daughter of the late Dr Craig she was born in Waitekauri and lived in Mackaytown, Karangahake and Waihi.

Mrs Drummond has a distinguished record as an historian and author. Her first book, "Married and gone to New Zealand" was annotated from letters and diaries of pioneer women of the 1880s - her "Early Days in Waikato" was published recently in connection with the Hamilton Centenary. Mrs Drummond's youngest brother Elsdon Craig, is also an author. His "Man of the Mist", a biography of his great-uncle, Elsdon Best, is to be published this year.


Mr William Hammond

our 95 year old ex-teacher, historian, was born at Thames in 1869 and has lived over 92 years in the district. He is a member of the Polynesian Society and an authority on Maori and local history. We are deeply indebted to him for his continued great help and inspiration.


Mr Dan McPherson, J.P.

was born in Coromandel but in 1899 his family moved to Waihi where he commenced his school days in the old Waihi Central School. His education was completed in Auckland where he also began his teaching career. He returned to Waihi in 1923 as First Assistant at the District High School (12 years). His past pupils all acclaim him as a wonderful teacher whose depth of insight and understanding has helped hundreds. In 1935 he moved to the Hamilton area and was Head Master of the Horotiu School for 28 years. During this time he was President of the Waikato Head Masters Association, Waikato Branch of New Zealand Educational Institute and numerous sporting bodies, proving that his fine executive ability has not lacked recognition. Mr and Mrs McPherson retired to Waihi Beach in 1962 but he is once more giving of his talents by teaching at the Waihi Intermediate School - a site which has claimed him at three different stages of his life - and by his able leadership of the Waihi Historical Society.


Mr Jack Milroy

was born in Mackaytown and at an early age lost his father who had contracted "Miners' Complaint". Jack was educated at the Karangahake School and Thames High School. There he qualified for a Civil Service Position in the Taxes Department, Wellington. After four years of office routine he returned to the hills of Ohinemuri (farming, the Golden Dawn Battery and the building of the Dubbo Battery where he helped to instal the Machinery).

During the Slump, he began private enterprise and toiled to good purpose as his large poultry farm witnesses. He has always made time for wide reading and mental pursuits as well as practical explorations. His sister Jean has spent most of her life on the Maori Mission Field and Grace is a teacher at Paeroa College.


Mr George Chappell

of Walmsley Road, Waihi, is the only mining "Official" left in Waihi today. He was trained at the Thames School of Mines and before the turn of the century was an assayer at the Talisman Battery at Karangahake, a position he held until going to the First World War. On his return he spent a year with the National Bank at Paeroa. Mr Chappell the spent 35 years as Chief Assayer at the Martha Company's Refinery at Barry Road, Waihi. This was officially closed in 1953, but Mr Chappell was employed by the company for two years after that and retrieved £48,000 worth of gold from the ruins. The position was always one of very great trust and responsibility. It was part of his job, accompanied by police to escort thousands of pounds worth of gold from the Refinery to the National Bank in Auckland. In the old days it was taken via steamer from Paeroa.