Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 12, October 1969

On the eve of my departure from Paeroa, I am grateful for the opportunity of writing a message of farewell. The years I have spent in Paeroa have been happy and fruitful. Not the least of my delight has been in sharing in the foundation and development of the local historical society. Its growth has been largely due to the enthusiasm of its members, and in particular to the work of the editor of its Journal, Mrs. Climie, who possesses a journalistic and historical ability of rare distinction. During the years in which I was privileged to be president, I have been impressed by the width and depth of the historical facts presented in the Journal and by the various speakers at our monthly meetings.

Paeroa with Waihi as its partner in historical research, are communities with long and rich histories stretching far back beyond the first coming of the Pakeha. There is still much room for research into the history of both Pakeha and Maori in these areas.

On the Maori side, for example, there is need for research on the pa sites in our districts. Many of these are of ancient origin, and most of them are either in process of destruction or threatened with it. Some of this is due to the bulldozer, but even more of it is due to the modern scientific methods of farming. Before it is too late some effort should be made to record the sites of ancient pas, to give them more scientific archaeological investigation, and even to have some of them preserved as part of our national heritage. If action is not taken soon it will be too late.

Much information is still available on the early Maori history, the legends and the origin of place names in our districts. But it needs extracting from the records and the persons where the knowledge is stored. Much the same can be said of the period of Pakeha occupation.

My hope is that the two societies will long continue in their vigorous and enlightening work, and that many more of its members may exercise their personal sharing in the exciting search for buried historical gold.