Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 37, September 1993

JOYCE KINNAIRD: Paeroa Historical Society committee member, Joyce Kinnaird was awarded the Gazette's Community Service Award in August 1992. Joyce says she likes to be involved with the community and to help where she could. Mrs Kinnaird helped her husband, Bill, manage his garage at Hikutaia for 20 years. She has served on the Hikutaia School PTA for 12 years and the Paeroa College PTA for five years.

After moving to Paeroa she joined the Paeroa Netball Association and held the office of president for about eight years. Later she had a two year term as president of the Outdoor bowling club. When her husband died in 1981 she became more actively involved with the Paeroa RSA. For the past five years she has been secretary of the Paeroa Cot Death Society.

BEN & AILSA GWILLIAM: A well known Paeroa couple, Ben & Ailsa Gwilliam, celebrated their Diamond Wedding anniversary on 24 August 1992. Ben was born in Auckland in 1907 but later moved with his family to Ohinemuri where his father was involved in goldmining. After he left school Ben commenced a motor engineering apprenticeship and later operated his own garage for 40 years.

Ailsa was also born in Auckland but came to Paeroa with her family when she was a baby. She worked in Lily Marshall's sweet and music shop and later as an assistant in Master's Shoe Store. Ben and Ailsa were married in St Paul's Anglican Church, Paeroa, on 24 August 1932, by the Rev. Weadon.

BATTLE OF BRITAIN: In September 1992 the commemoration of the Battle of Britain was marked for the first time in Paeroa with a parade by Air Force Association personnel, Girl Guides, Scouts and Cubs, members of Morrinsville ATC Squadron and RSA members. There was also a fly-past by civilian aircraft from the Piako Aero Club and the Air Force Iriquois helicopter.

PAEROA WEST RUGBY CLUB: This club celebrated its 90th jubilee with a series of functions in September 1992. The club was founded in 1902 and since that year has continuously fielded teams playing in the same black and white colours.

PETROL TANKS: The Paeroa Gazette of 30 July 1992 recorded the disappearance of part of Paeroa's history - the dismantling of petrol storage tanks at the Flora Street depot. There had been a petrol depot on that site since the mid 1920's when the Socony Vacuum Oil Company established its depot to dispense Plume petrol. A railway siding serviced this depot.

Up until the late 1970's Paeroa was one of the largest petrol distribution centres in the country outside the main ports. The major companies. Shell, BP, Europa, Atlantic and Mobil all had large storage tanks, all serviced by rail tankers. Road tankers were then used to distribute the products throughout the Thames Valley, Coromandel Peninsula and as far south as Putaruru.

Some 14 years ago Brenan and Co., who were the Atlantic agents, closed their depot in Puke Road (where Tony Richards is today) and moved in with Mobil Oil in their Flora Street depot. Brenan and Co. joined with Waitomo Transport to form Waitomo-Brenan Petroleum Company and this firm distributes products throughout the Franklin, Waikato, Thames Valley, and King Country districts. It is based in Hamilton.

For the past ten years or so the storage tanks in Flora Streethave not been used and theirowners, Mobil Oil, engaged contractors to pull them down.

CALTEX OIL: A special plaque has been presented by Caltex Oil (NZ) Ltd to the Paeroa firm of Moore's Service Station to mark 60 years of distributing its products. Moore's Service Station's association with Caltex Oil is one of the longest in the oil company's history. Caltex was on the site for four years prior to the Moore family purchasing the outlet from the late George Neil, who opened in 1928. The late Harold and Eric Moore purchased the business in 1932 and named it H A Moore's Service Station.

LEN LEWIS: The Paeroa Historical Society learned with regret of the death, in June 1993, of a Society foundation member, Mr Len Lewis. Len and his wife Zelma came to Paeroa in 1951 from Palmerston North and Len worked at J P Gamble Ltd. Later he bought the furniture department and operated this business with his wife. The business was sold in 1972 and it became Paeroa Home Furniturers Ltd. They later retired to Mt. Maunganui. The Society extends sympathy to his wife, daughter and grandchildren.

WHANGAMATA: Whangamata lost a familiar part of its history when the launch "Te Kaahu" sailed away in January 1993. This launch had been based at Whangamata since 1947, days when only about six boats were in the Whangamata Harbour. The launch was built in 1909 and after spending her early days as a trading vessel was used as a fishing boat. The boat is now based at Kerikeri.

ALF JENKINSON: A long time resident of Paeroa and member of the Paeroa Historical Society, Alf Jenkinson, celebrated his 90th Birthday in March 1993. He was born in Thames and moved with other members of his family to Rahu Road, Mackaytown, early in 1904. His father worked in the Karangahake mines, continuing his trade as a carpenter. Alf started school at Mackaytown and later attended the Karangahake school and Thames High School. His first job was with Jack Hannah, a Paeroa solicitor, followed by a time with Marquis and Lamb, joiners. In June 1920 Alf was appointed as assistant clerk to the Ohinemuri County Council. In February 1932 he was appointed County Clerk, following the death of the former County Clerk, R W Evans. He continued in this position until he retired in July 1964. He also held the position as Acting Town Clerk for the Paeroa Borough Council for a short period.

In 1932 Alf married Kitty Forbes. She died in 1974.

In his younger days Alf played cricket and rugby. Surfcasting was also a favourite pastime.Hejoined the Paeroa Rotary Club in 1946 and during his long association with this service club has held all offices. Two years ago he was presented with the Paul Harris Fellowship, Rotary's highest honour.

Alf's 90th birthday was celebrated at a morning tea organised by the Presbyterian Women's Fellowship.

WAIHI MINERS REUNION: A reunion, held at Waihi, on 11 March 1992 was attended by old time miners. They were taken on tours of the Golden Cross Mining project and the Waihi Gold Mine. The miners enjoyed meeting their old work mates, some whom they had not seen for 45 years.

"OUR FIRST 100": A book tided "Our First 100" was published in December 1992 at the time of the centennial of St. Paul's Church, Paeroa. Consisting of 38 pages divided into 13 chapters the book gives a very readable account of the history of St. Paul's Church. It is available at a cost of $12.00 (including postage) from St. Paul's Church, Box 169, PAEROA.

KARANGAHAKE HISTORY: Copies of the book published in 1989 are available from Mr G Staples, Box 92, PAEROA. The book is of 92 pages, printed on glossy paper and includes chapters on the history of Karangahake and Mackaytown as well as present day historic walks. It contains many photographs and a number of maps. Price, including postage is $26.00.

BERT & RUTH BARTON: The Paeroa Society congratulates members, Mr and Mrs Barton who celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary on 23 November 1992. Mr and Mrs Barton became well known through their Paeroa shop from which they retired in 1990.

SELWYN & MAISIE PENNELL: The Waihi Historical Society congratulates members, Selwyn and Maisie Pennell who celebrated their Golden Wedding on 5 June 1993. The occasion was celebrated with a surprise party attended by many friends and relatives.

KEN & JOAN SUTTON: The Waihi Historical Society congratulates members, Joan and Ken Sutton who celebrated their Golden Wedding on 25 February 1993. They were married in 1943 and spent most of their married life breaking in and working a mixed farm in Woodlands Road. Ken had moved there to a scrubland farm in 1932 which he worked hard to transform. Ken remained there for 42 years until he and Joan retired to their Barry Road home 19 years ago.

PHIL JONES: Mr Phil Jones, a well known member of the Paeroa Historical Society, was recipient of the Paeroa Gazette's Community Service Award in April 1993. Mr Jones joined the Scouting movement in 1960. He helped Mr Lawrence Gleadow restart Scouting in Paeroa after a long recess. From being committee member he held various warrants including Cub Leader, Assistant Scout Leader, Leader, District Scout Leader and District Commissioner. He was also a member of the national training team. Mr Jones retired from Scouting in 1992. It was when he went camping with the scouts at Komata in 1960 that he became interested in the district's history, flora and fauna. This interest continued to grow and he is now well known as a leader of tramping parties. He was made an honorary member of the West Auckland Tramping Club and is a member of the Forest & Bird Protection Society and the Historic Places Trust.

PAEROA MARITIME PARK: The Maritime Park held a well attended "live day" on Saturday, 8 May 1993. The steam boat "Scotty" was the star attraction and was kept busy all day giving people rides on the Waihou River. It was among a group of visiting vessels which included an older motor-sailer which went on short excursions. The "Koura" was 'fired up' at its moorings, attracting groups of spectators. The organisers were pleased with the interest shown by the public and intend to hold more "live days" in spring.

NORMAN MCMILLAN: The Paeroa Historical Society congratulates Mr McMillan on his being awarded an MBE. Mr McMillan who has recently retired from his business as an accountant received the award for his services to local body and community affairs. Mr McMillan started work as an accountant in 1946, forming a partnership with Ron Nicol and later becoming a partner with Murray McPherson. He served the former Paeroa Borough Council as deputy-mayor for several terms and has made significant contributions to rugby and tennis as a player and administrator.

CONTRIBUTORS DEADLINE: Contributors of articles for the next Journal should note the deadline date - 15 June 1994.

NEXT YEARS JOURNAL: Next year, 1994 will be the 30th anniversary of the Society and will be the 31st year of the publication of the Journal. It is hope that members will contribute articles or smaller items for publication which record and reflect on the aims and achievements of the Paeroa and Waihi Historical Societies.

JOURNAL INDEX: With the completion this year of 30 years of publication a comprehensive index (of 25 pages) has been prepared covering all the issues. The index, with many cross references, contains over 1200 entries. It may be purchased from the Editor, Mr G Staples, Box 92, PAEROA. The cost is $10, including postage.

ALBERT W CLARK: Mr Clark died on 14 June 1993 whilst out walking at Karangahake. Mr Clark began his working career as assistant town clerk for the Waihi Borough Council and became a qualified accountant. After the Second World War he studied and qualified as a pharmacist and joined his sister, Freda, and brother, Ruskin, in the family business at Waihi, "Clark's Pharmacy". After his retirement Mr Clark assisted the Presbyterian Church in many ways and assisted many voluntary organisations with his skill as an auditor and financial advisor.Mr Clark's father, the late Ernest Clark, was the founder of Clark's Chemist, Waihi.

"Stop-press note" The death of Mr JIM BROWN occurred on 18 June 1993 and the Paeroa Historical Society extends sympathy to his wife, Eunice.