Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 33, September 1989

Norman Gregory Collinge


As the Journal goes to print we learn with regret of the sudden death on 18 June 1989 of Mrs Mary Fennell, a long serving and faithful Committee Member of the Paeroa Historical Society. Her knowledge of past local events has been of great assistance to the Editor.

Sympathy is extended to her daughter, Claire.


Charlie Townshend was born in 1901 at Mt Roskill and attended Devonport School until the age of 13 when his family moved to a 400 acre block of bush near Aria, south of Te Kuiti. Working alongside his father breaking in the farm, Charlie also earnt money for himself breaking in horses.

In 1923 he bought 107 acres of land on Pukahu Road, Netherton. Only 20 acres were in grass at the time but only 6 years later he had developed it all. In 1925 he married Margaret Gray who came from near Invercargill. They made their home on the farm and had two sons. Gray and Bruce.

Charlie's "Bellwin Stud" of pedigree Jersey cows was established in his earliest farming days and brought him a great deal of satisfaction.

In public service he always gave a great deal. He was involved with St Andrews Church right from the time that he arrived in Paeroa, taking Bible Class. He became Manager of St Andrews in 1925 and was Session Clerk from 1955 to 1973.

He served on the Hauraki Rural Intermediate Credit Assoc, and from this became involved in Valuation, in 1948 becoming a Registered Valuer. Other organisations to receive the benefit of his involvement included the NZ Farmers Union, the Herd Improvement Assoc., the NZ Co-operative Dairy Co., Netherton Home Guard, Ngatea Veterinary Club, Hauraki A & P Assoc (since 1926), the National Party (since 1937), the Masonic and Oddfellows Lodges, the Paeroa Beautifying Society and Rotary Club (since1955). He also served as a Justice of the Peace.

After Margaret's death he later married Mona Beattie in 1976.

During later years Charlie has been honoured with a number of Life Memberships and Distinguished Service Awards by the organisations he served so well. In 1907 he received the Queens Service Medal in recognition of his outstanding service to the Community.

Charlie was a much respected member of the Paeroa Historical Society and the Society extends its deepest sympathy to Mona and his family.


Mr N G Collinge died on April 22 1989 at Hastings. The late Mr Collinge was associated with School Committees for 15 years at Paeroa, holding the following positions:-

Secretary of Paeroa District High School Committee 1950-52

Chairman of Paeroa District High School Committee 1953-57

Chairman of Paeroa College Committee of Management 1958-59

Chairman of Paeroa College Board of Governors 1959-64

The father of five children, all of whom received their secondary education at Paeroa:-

John of Auckland - attended 1952-55

Jeremy of Havelock North - attended 1955-59

Hilary (Mrs N Doull) of Wellington - attended 1957-60

Janet (Mrs B Brown) of Kaihere - attended 1959-62

Brian of Wellington - attended 1960-63

Mr Collinge's wife, Mrs Hilary Winifred Collinge passed away on 28 January 1956 at the age of 41 years.

(Contributed by Gordon Mathieson)