Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 5, May 1966


(The following article appeared in the Hauraki Plains Gazette last year)

84-Year old Expert helps in planting programme

Members of the Katikati Domain Board, who have carried out a vast amount of voluntary labour to develop the Bowentown Domain area, recently held a major working bee to plant out and provide protection for 100 young pohutukawa trees and Norfolk pines.

They were more than grateful for the assistance given by Mr. Archie Leach, well-known propagator of native flora, affectionately known to them as Johnny Appleseed.

Mr. Leach will be 84 in a week or two, but was as sprightly and enthusiastic as ever as he planted out shrubs, hydrangeas and fuchsia on the top of the hill overlooking the channel at Cave Bay.

His skill and interest in beautifying and tree-planting are well recognised, and illustrating his work in past years are the palms in Parry Palm Avenue at Waihi, the pohutukawas on the streets and foreshore at Waihi Beach, and the arboretum surrounded with hydrangeas at Pohutukawa Park.

A major contribution to the week-end's programme was also made by the children of Waimata and Waitawheta Schools, and the Kauri Point Sea Scouts who collected and supplied 110 old oil drums.

As Domain Board members planted the trees, they placed the drums to protect the young trees and encourage rapid growth. All told, it was a grand effort by some of the people for all of the people, and the domain is rapidly becoming a great asset to the district.

Mr. Archie Leach is a member of a very old Waihi family whose story will be given more space in a future Journal. He still resides at the Beach where his great services are widely appreciated.