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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 6, October 1966

MR. J. B. BEECHE

Mr. Beeche has had a long association with this district, his family having moved from Reefton to Paeroa in 1896. During his early period in Mr. Porritt's Office, he not only studied Law but was so keenly interested in the work of the Methodist Church that he prepared for the Ministry, later serving the Church for several years. However, after a period of ill health he was transferred to the Waihi branch of Porritt & Mueller in 1914, taking over the practice himself in 1924. Throughout his Legal Career he was a fine example of the old time Family Solicitor whose reliable service was more friendly than monetary. Mr. H.L. Boughton joined him as a Partner in 1941 and since the retirement of Mr. Beeche in 1960 has conducted the practice now known as Boughton, Grant and Grey, Barristers and Solicitors, Waihi.

Mr. Beeche has been a tower of strength to Education, serving on School Committees for many years. He has been a member of the Upper Thames Circuit of the Methodist Church since 1898, and Waihi Trust Secretary and Treasurer since 1917 and 1919 respectively. His deep interest in the Church was recognised when at the 1949 Conference he was elected to the Office of Vice President. He was able to bring his experience and sympathy to a succession of Pastors, and worthily represented the Circuit at Conference or Synod. Now a widower, Mr. Beeche was married to a sister of Mrs. A.A. Jenkinson, nee Kitty Forbes, whose father Mr. Arthur St.John Forbes was formerly an accountant in Mr. Porritt's office. Since his retirement he has spent his time between his son Lloyd, of Waihi, and his daughter Mrs. Kepple of Tauranga. He has devoted much patient research to the writing of the History of the Methodist Church. We would venture to say that he is a natural Historian, his retentive and analytical mind delighting in the recording of facts. Our Historical Societies have much reason to be grateful to him.


MR. HARRY ARMOUR

now almost 82, is one of the best known, respected and versatile of Waihi's old identities, came here from Tauranga with his parents 70 years ago. His sea-faring father had captained boats running between Tauranga and Katikati, but secured work at the Waihi mine so that he could spend more tine with his wife and five children, only two of whom are now living (Mrs. Nell Gallie and Harry). He completed his schooling under Miss Truscott and Mr. Benge and in 1900 - the days of the horse and wheel - was apprenticed to blacksmith with Mr. W.J. Grey of Katikati. Fifty-seven years ago he married Minnie Worth and they have resided in Waihi ever since, spending summer holidays at the Beach, their cottage being one of the first erected there 50 years ago. They have three daughters - Marjorie (Mrs. A. Dixon, Auckland), Sylvia (Mrs.A. Plummer, Paeroa), and Alison (Mrs. R. Broadbent, Hamilton), nine grand-ch., and 3 great g.c. Mr. Armour was a tool sharpener for 5 years, returning to blacksmithing in 1911 with D. Morrow and later W.J. Verry. In 1915 he launched his own business in Kenny St., selling out to Mr.Furey after the 2nd World War. Until recently he continued to work on one of his own inventions - a double-purchase horse hoof-cutter, which has had a market all over N.Z., over 6,000 pair being sold.

Mr. Armour a reliable historian has always had wide interests and considerable talents, especially in public speaking, humorous recitations, drama, photography, music and singing. He has played a prominent part as a member of the Masonic Lodge and Rotary and he and Mrs. Amour have travelled extensively, having three times circled the world.

It is noteworthy that Mrs. Armour is now the oldest resident who has spent a whole life time in Waihi, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Worth, having arrived there on horseback from Thames in the 80's.[1880's - E] Mr. Worth was a Cornishman with mining in his blood, and spent most of his life prospecting, notably at Owharoa, Waitekauri and Komata, where he discovered the Te Omaramara Mine, later selling to Mr.Russell whose house and 15 acre property he took over in Clarke St. "Worth's Paddock" became famous as a Sports ground, and the family milked cows there running a town supply. Meanwhile Mr. Worth managed Muir's Reef Mine at Te Puke for many years.

The family was a large one, Mrs. Worth being a remarkable woman who surmounted tremendous difficulties in the rearing of 12 children, Minnie being the eldest. Then came Les (Otorohanga), Ern (dec.), George, (who recently celebrated his Golden Wedding in Waihi and who remembers more about mining than most folk), Nell, Mrs. Mclntyre (Waihi), Jack (dec.), Charlie (Auck.), Ted (died 1st W.W.), Harry (Putaruru), Zoe (Mrs. Newman, Whangarei). Allan (Auck.), and Lillis (Te Aroha). There are living to-day some 70 descendants of Mr. & Mrs. Robert Worth, among them some very outstanding people.