Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 20, June 1976

By Beth Collins (nee Buchanan)

On October 14, 1915, the first Wedding ever to be held in the newly established area of Kaihere was celebrated at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. Benny. The marriage was that of their eldest daughter, Mable Dove, to Lennox Buchanan, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Buchanan of Maungawhero Road. This story is to tell of the difficulties encountered by the bridegroom to procure the marriage licence.

In 1915 Len was living at Pipiroa; so he returned to his parents' residence at Maungawhero Road to reside for the required 3 days before the Marriage. On the morning before the Wedding he rode his horse to Morrinsville, where he caught a train to Thames with the idea of obtaining the licence, having already received a letter confirming this. However, on arriving at Thames, Len was told that he would have to go to Te Aroha for the required licence as Kaihere was not in the Thames area. He arrived at Te Aroha by train and was told that he would have to go to Huntly as Kaihere was not in the area allocated to Te Aroha. From Te Aroha he rang the Officiating Minister in Morrinsville, before boarding the train for Huntly.

On arriving at the Morrinsville station Len was met by the Minister who persuaded him to leave the train as he, the Minister, was sure he would be able to get the required licence. However, once again, Len was refused a licence and as the train had left the station he set forth to Huntly, riding a horse. After this long and tiring ride, he arrived at Huntly at 5 p.m., only to be told that a licence for a Wedding to be held at Kaihere should be issued at Ohinewai. At Ohinewai he was assured that Rangiriri was the place to get it. Leaving his horse in a yard at Ohinewai, he caught a train to Rangiriri arriving after 9 p.m. He then walked from the station to the store-come-Post Office where the store keeper was waiting for him, having been contacted by phone from Ohinewai. Here it was that he finally received the licence, a long way from home with no transport, and only darkness for company. He had no option but to walk back to Ohinewai and pick up his horse.

Worse was to happen, for he found his horse had foundered. So he walked back to Maungawhero Road (which is between Patetonga and Kaihere) arriving at 9 a.m. - the family almost ready for the Wedding. The sequel to this story was 55 yrs. of marriage and a family of 8 sons & 5 daughters, of whom I am the eldest. My memory recalls that our first home was at "The Wires", "the Back of Beyond", between the Maratoto Valley and Whangamata. My mother died five years ago and my father Len Buchanan now lives at Foxton.