Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 11, May 1969

E.G. Lockington

When, as a tiny child, I went to Waihi, we lived for a while in part of a small cottage, with another family in the other half, until our homes were built. It was situated in the grounds of a house belonging to an elderly couple, named Unthank.

Mr. Unthank used to say proudly that he was born in England on the same day as Queen Victoria; and Mrs. Unthank, who wore long, wide skirts and side-curls, was a little older. The first Sunday School which I attended, was held in her sitting-room, with herself as teacher.

Looking back, it seems strange that such an elderly couple should have gone to live in such a new, raw place as Waihi was then, but perhaps the spiritual needs of the place appealed to them; for, having no family, when they died they left their property to the Presbyterian Church, on which was built a Manse, that did duty for many years.

Not far from the Unthanks lived a couple named Pennell. Like many people of his age the old man could not read, and in the evenings they could sit on the verandah while Mrs. Pennell read the newspaper to him.

Mrs. Pennell used to sit hemming sheets by hand, and when Mother offered to do then on the sewing-machine, she would say, "No thank-you, hand sewing is stronger". She had been married before, and they had living with them a grand-daughter, named Fredrika (we called her Freddie). Her mother, a widow, was house-keeper for one of the doctors.

E. G. Lockington