Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 40, September 1996

In the General Election of 1908 prohibition received the majority vote in the Ohinemuri Electorate and on 30 June 1909 the hotel bars closed for the last time until after Restoration was carried at the 1925 election. These "dry years" were difficult for those who liked a drink or two and many were the way they contrived to get around the "difficultly". The following is an extract from a letter written during this time, of one such system.

"A friend of mine from Paeroa was telling me just now that the place is very dead indeed consequent on prohibition. He thinks that it will be a very difficult matter though to get the licenses back. He says a certain class of the fellows take almost a pleasure in dodging the policeman when they want a drink on the principle that "stolen goods are always sweetest".

He gets whisky from us for a woman who keeps a fruit shop there and plants three cases at a time underneath the Wesleyan Church right adjoining the lock up in Paeroa. Her shop is near the Church and she goes along at night to bring away her requirements for the next day, so that should the police raid her place they would only find lemonade and probably half a bottle of whisky which she uses for herself. The irony of the "Wowser" praying on Sundays the salvation of the Paeroa people whilst they are standing top of this whisky strikes me as being very funny indeed and worth transmitting to you."

This extract was forwarded by one of the Society's new members, Mrs D Broadfoot of Mount Roskill, from her collection of old letters and newspapers.