Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 39, September 1995

A Tribute to the Mayor of the Town

(Excerpts from the Waihi Telegraph of 1 July 1940)

Despite the bitterly bleak weather there was quite a large gathering of citizens at the official opening of Waihi's attractive new park at the intersection of Kenny Street and Rosemont Road. The area is to be known as Wallnutt Park.

Before the actual opening ceremony took place the Salvation Army Band marched down the street playing a spirited tune en route. The Federal Band then opened with "God Defend New Zealand." After this the Mayor, Mr W M Wallnutt, welcomed Mr J Thorn, M.P. for Thames, and made reference as to how the park came into being. The prime movers were the Waihi Pensioners' Association and wonderful support received from the citizens had enabled the whole idea to be carried out to a successful conclusion. The Mayor read a message from the chief postmaster at Thames, Mr R E Williams, congratulating the town on the establishment of the rest park and expressing regret at his inability to be present on the occasion. He was represented by the postmaster at Waihi, Mr V G Grinlinton.

Mr Thorn then addressed the gathering thanking all the people and organisations that had contributed to the establishment of the park. These included: The Martha Gold Mining Co., The Thames Valley Electric Power Board, the timber mill at Ngongotaha (for timber), the Borough Engineer and all the individual citizens who had contributed labour and materials. The park was named in honour of the Mayor and two wallnut trees were planted and Mr Thorn said he hoped Mr Wallnutt would live long enough to enjoy the park when they were fully grown.

The Postmaster, Mr Grinlinton, thanked the speakers for their kindly references to the Post and Telegraph Department, which had granted the piece of ground that now comprised the park for the use of pensioners and others.

At the conclusion of the speeches the Federal Band played the hymn, "For Those in Peril on the Sea", and "God Save the King".