Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 7, May 1967

Recently we enjoyed a visit from Mr and Mrs Jack Bigelow of Whangarei, both of whom had taught at the Paeroa School in the 20's. Mrs Bigelow, nee Josephine McCaskill, is a grand-daughter of the Donald McCaskill who wrote the Diaries quoted in our last Journal. It will be remembered that L.A. McCaskill was one of the first white settlers at Hikutaia in 1839. His brother Donald followed later and also purchased land there. Three of his sons were educated in Scotland but John Malcolm (Jack) and Christina were born in N.Z. Jack married Lily Crawford originally of Katikati, and their children were Colina (also Teacher at Paeroa), Madge, Donalda and Josephine (Mrs Jack Bigelow).

After the Tarawera Eruption in 1886 the Crawford family (6 girls and 1 boy) moved to Hikutaia near the Creek. The youngest, Sam was a 1st Pupil at the Hikutaia School. Josephine married Andrew Gibb who bought the home farm in 1890. The house he built was the first papered [wall papered? – E] one in Hikutaia. Their first child, Christina, became a Teacher and married John Brocket (Karangahake), subsequently moving to Paeroa where their daughter Josephine is still teaching. Other children were Jock (killed 1st World War), Arther (farming at Whangarei), Trevor (Garage Proprietor at Matangi. He and his wife were both Polio victims in 1950 and have not walked since but courageously live full lives with the aid of wheel chairs. They have 3 children). Other members of the Gibb family are T.A. Crawford Gibb, Gretchen, Samuel, and George and Grace Josephine, who still jointedly own the farm on the Maratoto Road.

Thus the name Crawford provides a link with several early familiesin thisdistrict, McCaskill, Buchanan, Gibb and Brockett.