Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 3, April 1965



3736 persons passed through the building in 1964, one third of this figure being children. This number is calculated from the paying visitors so that the number of members who visit and do not pay would swell the figure to well over 4000. The Visitors Book includes the names of people from Sydney, Geelong, Western Australia, California, Canada, New Guinea, Bangkok and Tokyo as well as from practically every town in New Zealand. Our most efficient attendant Mrs. Martin is giving yeoman service by her personal interest and attention to detail, thus greatly assisting the whole project. Her help to visiting school parties has also been greatly appreciated.


New exhibits are being donated all the time. Waihi's past in the form of objects, books and photographs and keepsakes are being displayed. Two old hanging kerosene lamps of the porcelain chandelier type are to be hung in the museum. The mine whistle, known as the "Horn", that sounded between shifts is now on display and the wages book from the Waikino Battery has also arrived in the last year. During the year several Maori artifacts were donated and a gold pan used in this area is also on display. New exhibits are always welcome. Of special interest are photographs, especially if the places depicted or the people portrayed can be named by the donor. We constantly have enquiries by visitors who are tracing their families and named photographs make it so much easier for them.


This Exhibition was opened by Mr. George Woller, Managing Director of Pye N.Z. Ltd., on 6 December. There were about 80 members at this luncheon and Mr. Woller's opening address was of interest to all. The exhibition, which will continue till Easter, comprises of a selection of paintings from New Zealand Artists. Christchurch is represented by Andre Brooke, Wellington by Sue Skerman, Jacky MacDonald and Roy Cowan, New Plymouth by Michael Smithers, Hamilton by Para Matchitt, Campbell Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Geoff Fairburn and Auckland by Sue Goldberg, Helen Brown, Alison Pickmere, Garth Tapper, John Ritchie. A selection of pottery was also shown, mainly the work of Barry Brickell, Guy Mountain, Jocelyn Wilkie, Juliet Peter and Roy Cowan. After Easter it is hoped to show an exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Graphic Art.

Nicki van der Meijden, Hon. Secretary.


Our membership has reached 150, which includes 10 Family Memberships and several Schools and Libraries. A friend is saving for us a year's copies of the local newspaper - something of interest in years to come. The October meeting was held in conjunction with the Horticultural Society in the Paeroa Memorial Hall where we arranged a display of Historical Pictures which created much public Interest. In November a most enjoyable Field Day was held at Waitekauri when Mr. Kinsella (Sen.), Mr. Mann and Mr. Cyril Gwilliam were delightful guides over the scenes of the old town and gold field. The February meeting was devoted to listening to tape recordings of four of Paeroa's oldest identities - Mrs. Denton, Mrs. Innis and Mr. and Mrs. Silcock.

On Saturday 20 March the Paeroa and Waihi Societies were privileged to join the Tauranga Society in a Field Day at Athenree. In every respect It was a wonderful day beginning with the viewing of the Athenree Homestead and a picnic lunch at the Camping Grounds. About 60 people assembled in the lovely garden of Mr. and Mrs. Goodyear to hear the outline of the story of the first settlers, then proceeding to the famous old Pa at Bowentown Heads and later to Mount Stewart near Ongare Point. A most wholehearted vote of thanks was accorded Mr. Goodyear by the Presidents of the three Societies, Mr. D. McPherson (Waihi), Rev. L.M. Rogers (Paeroa) and Mr. L. Adams (Tauranga).

R. Hughes, Hon. Secretary.


Since last September our membership has increased to 158 and this number includes forty-four family memberships of 15s.

The October meeting was devoted to the biography of William Nicholls, early gold prospector of the Coromandel area and to an address and films presented by Mr. Clark, visiting mining engineer from Central Africa. In November a visit was made to Hikutaia to see Mr. Murdock's museum containing a splendid collection of Maori artifacts. The 1965 season began In February with an address by Mr. Morgan, Fire Chief, on the history of fires In Waihi. In March Mr. Les Morgan presented a paper on early businesses in Waihi.

Meetings are normally held on the second Monday of each month at the Waihi Arts Centre and Museum.

Our Society in conjunction with the W.A.C.M.A. and the Geology Club was given an opportunity to augment funds through the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. T. Gordon of Pukekauri Road, Waihi. On the four Tuesdays and the last Saturday of February the Gordons' beautiful water-lily gardens were open to the public and the joint committees of the three bodies organised teams of workers to receive visitors to provide them with refreshments and to sell them produce and raffle tickets. Buses and cars came from far afield and a total of £175.12.8 net was raised, a welcome addition to the funds of the three organisations.

Jean H. Clark, Hon. Secretary.