Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 39, September 1995


Contributed by A D (Laddie) Walker

On Sunday, 12 November 1994 a group called 'The Waihi Connection' assembled at the Pinnacle Club Rooms, St Benedicts Street, Auckland for a get together. Unfortunately the Farmer's Santa Parade was being held with the result that many of those who would have attended were otherwise engaged with their grandchildren in Queen Street. However, around 40 to 50 old Waihi-heathens came along to swap yarns, look at old pictures, photos, etc.

The Secretary, Maurice Chappell, opened the proceedings with advice of future happenings and a welcome to all. The group is very alive and aware of happenings in our old Town and it is proposed to try and arrange a visit shortly with the idea of making sure that those living there now are keeping things just how the Group would like it. What a marvellous place to grow up in, with our many creeks, rivers and beach; who could want for anything more?

Maurice asked all to make sure that they had their name tag in position and pointed out that each tag had a number on it and as he had some 'goodies' to distribute, he would call out some numbers and if you were lucky, you would receive a box of chocolates. In total about a dozen of us present were the lucky ones.

It was nice to see Margaret and Eileen Gordon who came from Waihi for the 'do' receiving a box each. Then Maurice mentioned that Kathy Adams (nee Dean) came to our meetings each time from Waihi and he asked Kathy to come forward and receive a token of our appreciation of her efforts.

Names of regular members of the 'Connection' include:

Tommy Spearing

Herbert (Ginger) Butler

Frank O'Neill

Delia Walker (nee O'Neill)

Avis Norris (nee O'Neill)

Ada Stewart (nee O'Neill)

Gilbert O'Neill

Val O'Neill (nee Morel)

Toni Taylor (nee Mair)

Mavis ? (nee Rowney)

Artie Ryall

Win Durie

Maurice Robertson (of International Rugby League Fame)

Roly Armitt

Jim Hayes

and many others whose names elude me at this time.

The register of the Group contains approximately 300 names, and there are many others from Waihi who perhaps do not know we exist. The Secretary, Maurice Chappell was born at Walmsley Road, Waihi, a few years ago, and is a terrific supporter of Waihi. Maurice's father, George Chappell, was the Chief Assayer for the Waihi Goldmining Co. at the Refinery in Barry Road for many years. Anyone wishing to learn more of the Group activities can get in touch with the Secretary who lives at 36 Sussex Street, Grey Lynn.

As the afternoon wore on Maurice asked those present to move into the afternoon section and partake of an array of goodies. This was greatly appreciated and the function closed with Christmas greetings from all to all.