Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 5, May 1966



As another year comes to a close we cannot but feel proud of the growing interest in oar Museum and. Arts Centre. The number of paying visitors who passed through the Centre for 1965 was 4,221. This does not include attendances at the regular meetings of the Camera Club, the Historical Section or the Geology Group, or, members of W.A.C.M.A. who have free access to the Centre. There are now 211 financial members of the Association. We have catered for a number of School Parties some coming long distances by bus.

MEMBERSHIP. The annual subscription remains at 10/6, but to encourage and maintain a growing interest already displayed, by young people, the Association has decided to open membership to include Juniors. This will include any interested school children who, for an annual subscription of 2/6 will be entitled to free entry into the Centre and a possible tour of another Museum or similar Centre. With this aim in view, teachers of the district have been approached, and some have already commended the Association on this forward move.

New exhibits are continually being donated and, with a fuller system of cataloguing, we are gradually building a centre of historical interest for future generations. Included among the latest exhibits are: a clock which has been in continual use for over a hundred years and is still ticking the minutes away; a colonial oven as well as furnishings which were in use in homes of the Ohinemuri district, besides more photos, books, newspaper cuttings etc. We propose to give detailed accounts of exhibits from time to time.

GALLERY EXHIBITIONS: During the year we have had several successful and interesting exhibitions. Last Summer Exhibition was followed by one of Children's Art. This appealed to parents, teachers and pupils alike. For the Winter months, the local Art Societies provided us with a colourful exhibition of paintings and weaving. Societies represented were - Hamilton, Matamata, Kawerau, Te Puke and Tauranga, with weaving from Mrs. Bange and Mrs. Sawyer, both of whom are becoming well known in this field of Art.

In November we were fortunate in being able to show contemporary Czech Paintings on loan from the Association of N.Z. Art Societies and supplied by the Czech Legation. This exhibition was opened with a members' evening when slides of the National Bank Art Awards and exhibition of the N.Z. Academy of Fine Arts were shown.

On display at present is the current Summer Exhibition of paintings, prints and pottery. This was opened by the President of the Waikato Art Society, Mr. Campbell Smith, followed by a members' Preview and Luncheon. It proved a most happy occasion. The Exhibition itself is wide and varied in its appeal, consequently, most visitors to the Centre find something of interest to them.

As the Sunday attendants are on a voluntary basis we would be grateful for some more names to swell the list so that the same few do not have to be called on too often. Most who help in this way appear to get considerable enjoyment out of the experience with an opportunity of a chat with visitors from many parts of the world.

In conclusion the Council of the Association would like to express appreciation for the loyal support of members and friends over the past year and hope that 1966 will show an even greater expansion in numbers and. interest.

M. S. MARTIN (Mrs.) Hon. Secretary. W.A.C.M.A.


The Society has continued to hold well-attended monthly functions. In August Mr. C. Gwilliam of Tauranga gave a lecture on gold-mining and processing in Waitekauri. This was followed up by a most successful field trip to the Waitekauri and Golden Cross mining areas of former days (now converted to prosperous farmlands).

In September Miss J. Clark showed colour glides of historic interest throughout New Zealand, and in February Mr. T.J. Gordon also showed slides of his South Island gold-fossicking expedition. In November Mr. L. Morgan gave his second address on early businesses in Waihi and in the same month a special afternoon at the Museum was arranged to entertain the older residents.

In March the Paeroa Historical Society visited us and showed us a silent film of early Paeroa and also put on a tape recording by Mr. Hammond of his walk through the Hot Lakes District in 1886.

Then in April members of the Waikato, Paeroa, Tauranga, Auckland and Whakatane Societies joined with Waihi members in a most interesting field trip to the sites of former gold-mining activity in the Ohinemuri Valley.

Financial membership has risen to 162. This includes 44 families and 2 life memberships.

JEAN H. CLARK. Honorary Secretary.


Our membership has increased to 200 and attendance at meetings has been encouraging. After the Annual Meeting in April 1965 our President, Rev. L.M. Rogers, quoted from original Journals when he gave an interesting talk on the journeys of the early Missionaries, particularly Marsden and Henry Williams, who explored the Waihou River beyond Paeroa visiting the Te Aroha and Matamata districts. In May, Mr. Martin Wilson of Te Aroha College, spoke on the Maori Rock Carvings in the Kaingaroa Forest, a subject to which he has devoted much study. At the June meeting Mr. Howse H.M. of the Turua School, who has taught on Pitcairn, showed a wealth of coloured slides when graphically describing life on the Island, and explaining its historical significance.

Our July meeting was a memorable one held in the Maori Meeting House - "Pai-o-Hauraki". It was sponsored by Mr. Ahi Royal and Mrs. Iri Baker, the Maori members of our Committee, arranged by Mr. G. Kaa, C. of E. Missioner, and included a talk on the historic house and Maori customs, as well as items by Mrs. Owens and the Youth Club, and demonstrations of tuku tuku work and flax kit making by talented artists (Mrs. Reedy and Mrs. Te Moananui). Supper including home-made bread (baked by Mrs. Tungia) was served by the Youth Club, all being deeply appreciative.

In connection with the 50th Jubilee of the Paeroa Borough Council our Society assisted with the display of local historical pictures and at a subsequent meeting old identities were invited to give short talks about those scenes with which they were most familiar. This was a very rewarding evening. At the Oct. meeting Mrs. B. Baker gave a well-informed talk about her outstanding collection of rocks and semiprecious stones. The field day arranged for Nov. is reported elsewhere. In Feb. 4 interesting geographical films were shown, and in March we were the guests of the Waihi Society at the Museum, where we provided a programme and received a cordial invitation to be present at their Field Day on the 2nd April. This was a carefully planned tour of the old Goldfields and reflected great credit on its promoters, earning the gratitude of representatives of several Historical Societies.

R. HUGHES, Hon. Secretary.