March 2004 Newsletter
Growing Up in Birkenhead in the Early 1900s - Vera Inglis
Greetings in 2004
The trip to the Awhitu Regional Park was cancelled again because of the weather. (You need to come to Christchurch - the weather here is great.)
Since the last newsletter, two people have died who both contributed to preserving the history of our community. Pat Allison passed away early in January. Our sympathies go to Percy. Late last year, Valerie Roundthwaite died. She was a Librarian at Glenfield for many years and wrote the only book I have on the history of Glenfield (see the back page of this newsletter).
On December 14th 2003, a special function was held at our Museum to present Edward Farrington's Lodge Collar and the Honours Board from the Arohatia Lodge to the Museum. This was attended by a number of members of the local Lodge.
Work has been continuing at the Museum. Late last year, the trees were trimmed and the paintwork was waterblasted to get it ready for painting. Over the Christmas break the Rotary Club repainted the building. Many thanks for your help, guys. It looks great now.
We need your support for the Museum. You may still "Buy a Brick" for $20. Your name is then recorded on the 'brick' wall in the entrance to the Museum. Contact Glad.
Planning is well advanced for 2004. It will be a great year. I'm just sorry I can't be with you.
History of Te Aroha
Cadman Bath House
11th January 1840: Less than a month before New Zealand became a British Colony, Richard Fairburn, acting on behalf of Henry Taylor & Alexander Brodie Spark, bought 8100 hectares at Te Aroha. Fairburn paid five Ngati-paoa chiefs trade goods & cash amounting to £252.
1845: Sir George Grey, on an extensive journey, arrived at Te Aroha Block after being told by his Maori escorts of the place where the salt water springs of great healing power existed.
1873: First large scale European settlement.
1877: J C Firth finished clearing 63 kilometres of the Waihou River making it suitable for steam navigation by iron steamers with a draft of 750mm. A ton of dynamite was required to blow up the Te-Au-o-Tonga rapids near Wairongomai. The total outlay for demolishing the obstacles was over £7000, which was a considerable sum of money. However, Firth has seen his dream come true for the Morrin Estate.
1880: First school begins January, 1st town lots auctioned in Auckland July/August 1st official gold prospecting November 21st Mr G O'Halloran appointed Postmaster November 25th 9am. Te Aroha Goldmining District opened.
1881: Wesleyan (Methodist) church built
Te Aroha Museum - South Wing
1882: Catholic church built
1883: June 23 Te Kooti and 52 followers passed through June, new Post office in Rewi Street
June, original Hot Springs Hotel burnt down, rebuilt within 3 months
1884: David McLean Wallace established a blacksmith shop at Wairongomai. Domain Board appointed to oversee the domain and 18 springs, 15 of them hot. As the population increased and became more settled, timbered baths were constructed, and a Government Vote in 1884 of £200 meant that a women's bath house was completed. For year ended 1884 1200 people experienced the baths, 1885 23,224, 1886 exceeded 30,000
1886: Anglican church built March 1st Railway between Morrinsville & Te Aroha opened (apparently there was a private rail connection operating between Paeroa & Te Aroha which closed in 1886 but reopened in 1890 by Mr H Adams of Thames)
1888: September 18th, 1st Town Board elected
1898: Presbyterian church built May 2nd Borough of Te Aroha constituted. (population 600) May 24th Cadman Bath House officially opened
1899: Creameries (dairy factories) opened
1900: September volunteer fire brigade formed.
Saturday 20th March - 9:00am Te Aroha - $25
Bus leaves Verrans Cnr 9.00am Museum 9.30am.
Come along on this trip to Te Aroha. See page 2 for a short history of Te Aroha. This will give you a background to the area. Bring your own lunch and hot drink. It will be a great day. Seats are limited so contact Glad or Betty (Ph. 483-7545.) now.
Saturday 17th April - A Tribute to Anzac Day
Zion Hill Methodist Church Lounge - 2pm
This talk will feature stories of travels by Brian and Julia Potter while tracking the travels of the 1st & 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Forces in France, Belgium, and Italy during World Wars One and Two. It will be highlighted with then and now photos.
Brian is currently our minute secretary. His talks are always informative, amusing and interesting. This is not a talk to be missed.
Saturday 15th May - Annual General Meeting
St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Hall - 2pm
Mark this in your diaries now. There will be an interesting speaker.