Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 37, September 1993


Well known Paeroa identity, Elsie Wylde died on 28 November 1992 aged 88 years. Elsie was born in Devonshire, England, daughter of Robert and Nancy Westlake. At the age of four months she was brought to New Zealand and lived in Auckland where her father held a position as an architect.

She returned to England at the age of ten, and for a short period attended a Church of England school for girls then sailed back to New Zealand and attended Auckland Grammar School. After a period at Training College she studied modern language at Auckland University. Following a short period as a reporter, she took a secondary school position as an English and French teacher.

In Whakatane she met Harry Wylde and they married in 1935. Their first home was atPort Jackson where Harry was in charge of surveying the Colville to Port Jackson road. Next they resided at Fantail Bay for a year before Harry was transferred to the Public Works district office in Paeroa. Mr Wylde died in 1958 at the age of 52.

Elsie returned to teaching until 1965 when she retired but was often called upon to relief teach at various Paeroa schools. Church life was important to Elsie. She was editor of St. Paul's (Paeroa) parish magazine for 26 years and organist for 30 years in addition to being a vestry member.

She had joined the National Party at the age of 18 and was elected as the first secretary to the Coromandel electorate. She was a foundation and life member of the Paeroa Drama Club.


Grace Morran who died in 12 October 1992 was born in Mackaytown in 1907. She was the second of three children of Alexander and Ann Milroy and apart from the period 1912 to 1917, when her family resided at Thames, she spent all her life at Mackaytown. She received her education at the Karangahake and Thames High School.

Grace married Albert Morran on 6 June 1936 and had two daughters, the late Rosalie and Margaret (Mrs Brian Sayer), also of Mackaytown. Mr Morran died in November 1954. Mrs Morran who had been trained in office work, was appointed secretary to the first principal of Paeroa College in 1958. Later she was enlisted to teach commercial subjects part-time. She was acting senior assistant mistress from 1962-65. After the appointment of Mina Jones as senior assistant mistress, Grace taught typing and commercial practice, and continued to coach many sports. She retired in 1974, but continued to lead an active life until shortly before her death at 85 years of age.

Her funeral service was held at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Paeroa, on 16 October.