Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 10, October 1968

Many countries can trace their history for centuries, the chequered history of change, but perhaps no country has changed the face of its landscape as much as New Zealand has done in the course of one century. Ohinemuri is no exception. Fortunately we still have a few bush-covered hills to our credit but many of these are no longer readily accessible to the "not so young" of both races, who nostalgically remember the cool fern-fringed creeks and rivers that nourished an astounding variety of vegetation. Even the great swamps that the European was inclined to regard as "wasteland" were a valuable asset to the early Maori. Also, before the "gorse" came, the less fertile bracken-clad spurs furnished not only a natural food, but a bed for the traveller - albeit an early prospector in search of hidden fortune.

The late Mr. Jack Norris who occupied an early Surveyor's cottage in Upper Seddon Street, near Waihi's Martha Hill, had a fund of interesting information about old days and in his opinion "the real miner was the prospector, the fossicker, the man who packed his belongings into a swag, along with stores, a drill or two, a pick and a dish, and took to the distant bush, creek or outcrop knoll in quest of the elusive gold". We shall be quoting Mr. Norris again at a later date, but because it is about a century since gold was discovered in this district we propose to embark on the stories of some of the early prospectors, and of the progress or recession that came in their wake.

In all pioneering communities, when organised social services were virtually unknown, people helped each other to a very great degree, and we are pleased to begin a series of articles dealing with Nursing. Miss Clarkin's chronicle of the famous "Teams" introduces road transport which provides an interesting field. Just as Mr. Lowry's "Railway Era" goes to press we have received from Mr. Tracy Moresby one of the earliest Train tickets - Waihi Paeroa, 1st Class No.000 dated 10.10.05". He and Mrs. Silcock are to be congratulated on reminding us of 'Early Music' a topic to be continued. It has been pleasing to receive constructive comments on articles but we regret that space sometimes forbids the immediate use of material.

We are always grateful for old pictures and thank the donors of those used in this issue:- Owharoa, (Mrs. Gillan, Auckland); Paeroa (Mr. Hynes, N.P.); Talisman House (Mr. J. Wilson, the present owner); Waihi Golf Club, (Mrs. Hazel Bishop, nee Holmes); KatiKati, (Mr. Middlebrook) and Karangahake Station, (Mrs. Connie Bernard nee Searle, Raglan, who relates, "In a second-hand shop in Melbourne a cousin bought a picture to use its old frame for her painting. Behind the scene, was this Karangahake photograph, bearing the name "Johansen", possibly a member of the train crew - of over 60 years ago".)

New members continue to join and we are repeatedly asked for "back numbers" of the Journal. We shall be grateful for any help in this direction.