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Showing posts from July, 2011

Snow on Rimutaka Hill: sightseers cause chaos - 1939

Evening Post, 31 July 1939

Snow on the Rimutakas! Great fun. Let's get to it! And they did, a thousand or so car parties yesterday afternoon, for it takes all sorts of foolishness to keep mankind amused, but what happened on the hill road yesterday went beyond foolishness. It was mass motoring stupidity. No one was hurt, but it is not the sort of thing that the patrol officers want to have to untangle next weekend.  The first cars, a few hundreds, made for the top and packed the flat there to the last square yard; those who got the best places by avoiding the rush were there long after they had had enough snow. Later, cars parked on the roadside, two and three deep, and stretched half-way down on either side. For an hour there was complete confusion at the bend at the wind-break, with cars at all angles, bumpers and mudguards locked. On some bends the snow became slush, on others, where the drifts were deeper…

Snow in the Wairarapa - 1918 and 1939

The Wairarapa experienced spectacular snowfalls  in 1918 and 1939. The 1939 snowstorm, which affected much of the country was described as the worst in New Zealand's history.

On 22 July 1918 the Evening Post reported
It has been snowing in the Wairarapa for the past thirty hours. The storm is unparalleled for severity and duration in the memory of the oldest settlers. There is over a foot of snow in the streets of Masterton, and in the back country the roads are impassable.

Telegraph and telephone communication is interrupted. Snow is still falling heavily, and it is feared there will be heavy loss of stock. The schools in Masterton were dismissed for the day. Settlers are anxious concerning the aftermath of the storm, and floods of great magnitude are regarded as certain. The Postmaster at Featherston reports: "Snow falling continuously here for three days. The road to Pirinoa is reported to be impassable, and the mail coach is unable to start to-day." The Postmaster at…

Mary Ann Cave - obituary - 1933 (daughter of pioneer Richard Iorns)

Evening Post, 11 September 1933

An. old and respected Wairarapa resident, Mrs. Mary Ann Cave, died at her home, "Nympsfield," Masterton, on Saturday night.

The late Mrs. Cave, who was 85 years of age, had borne with fortitude for many years the lot of a confirmed invalid. No one was more thoroughly respected and esteemed.

Mrs. Cave was a liberal contributor to many charities, and it was said of her that she was never appealed to in vain in a good cause.

Born in Wellington in 1848, Mrs. Cave was brought to the Wairarapa by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Iorns, when she was a child. At the age of 22 she was married to Mr. A. W. Cave, who died thirteen years ago.

She was a grand-daughter of Mr. Joseph Masters, after whom Masterton is named, and her mother was the first storekeeper in Masterton.

The late Mr. Cave farmed a property at Te Ore Ore, and he and his wife lived there for many years until he retired, and they took up their residence at "Nympsfield" 28 …

Epiphany Church 25th anniversary - 1936

Evening Post, 19 November 1936
The Church of the Epiphany, Kuripuni, was filled to capacity last evening when a special service was held in celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the foundation of the church.

The service was conducted by the vicar, the Rev. E. J. Rich, assisted by the Rev. J. E. Jones, and the Rev. E. M. McLevie, vicar of Roseneath, and formerly of St. Matthew's, was the preacher. The lessons were read by the Revs. W. J. Durrad, of Featherston, and C. H. Issacson, of Greytown.

It was an impressive service, attended by many associated with the activities of the church over a lengthy period of years. After the church service a most successful and enjoyable anniversary social was held in the Epiphany Hall when there was again a very large attendance. --

The Church of the Epiphany celebrated its centenary on the weekend of 12/13 November 2011

Carterton Vicar departs - 1898

Evening Post, 4 July 1898
The Rev. W. Ballachey, Vicar of St. Mark's, leaves here in a few days, During his 10 years' residence in the district his consistent life and kindly nature have endeared him not only to his parishioners but to a wide circle outside of them. Mr. Ballachey, Mrs. Ballachey, and family have been the recipients of many mementoes of the love and respect in which they are held by the school children, Bible-class pupils, and church members.
From The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Wellington Provincial District)
Rev. William Ballachey, Vicar of St. Mark's Church, Carterton, was born in Canada in 1846, but was brought up and educated in England. After a successful scholastic career he was in 1865 selected by Dr. Codrington, Bishop Paterson's commissary, to go to New Zealand. Mr. Ballachey was ordained by the Bishop of Wellington in 1872, being appointed to Karori, where he remained till 1882. After eighteen months at Bulls and six months at Papanui he served t…

Wairarapa parishes rearranged - 1898

Evening Post, 4 July 1898

The Bishop of Wellington has paid a visit to Wairarapa to discuss with the vestries of St. Mark's and St, Luke's districts the question of rearranging the parish boundaries.

It is thought, now that St. John's Church, Featherston, is open, that a large district including Martinborough can be better served from Featherston than from Greytown, and that the latter town and Carterton can be worked together.

At present there are only two clergymen to attend to the spiritual requirements of the Anglicans of the whole of the extensive district of South Wairarapa. The result is that the outlying districts are neglected. The problem to solve is how to supply the needs of the back-block settlers without neglecting the more thickly-settled areas? "Ways and means" is the key-note, and his Lordship, who has very businesslike ideas, has come into the district to learn at first hand its capabilities in this direction. He has discussed the position with …

Martinborough, 1950

Looking along Jellicoe Street from Memorial Square, Martinborough, [1950s]
Reference Number: 1/2-055141-F
Looking south down Jellicoe Street from Memorial Square in Martinborough. Shows a pedestrian crossing, cars and trucks, and business residences on either side of the street (including Pain & Kershaw Ltd on the corner). Photograph taken in the 1950s, by an unidentified photographer.

Source: Manuscripts and Pictorial, Alexander Turnbull Library

Erasmus B. Hawkins - Obituary - 1941

The Evening Post, 22 April 1941

The death occurred last week at Greytown of Mr. Erasmus Bowerman Hawkins, in his eighty-ninth year.

Mr. Hawkins was born at Wellington in 1852 and came to Greytown 74 years ago. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Hawkins, arrived in Wellington in 1841 in the brigantine Harrington, his father being part owner and mate of the vessel. The family settled first in Webb Street, Wellington, neighbours being Captain Mercer and Mr. George Hunter (first Mayor of Wellington), and later on a farm property at Makara purchased from the Hon. W. B. Rhodes.

In his early life in the Wairarapa, Mr. Hawkins built many well-known buildings, including the Roman Catholic Church in Masterton and the Carterton Railway Station. Before his retirement to Greytown, Mr. Hawkins was a successful farmer, being a foundation shareholder and director of the Greytown-Wairarapa Dairy Factory.

Mr. Hawkins was a keen angler. He was twice married and is survived by Mrs. Adamson (daughter) and …

Greytown weddings: (Bright/Ticehurst and Greathead/Bright) - 1872

Wellington Independent, 23 November 1872

At St. Luke's Church, Greytown, on the 21st November, by the Rev A. Knell, Mr Richard Bright, Jun, to Louisa, fourth daughter of Mr E.Ticehurst, Greytown.

At St. Luke's, Greytown, on the 21st November, by the Rev A. Knell, Mr John Greathead, carpenter, to Mary, youngest daughter of Mr R. Bright, Senior, Greytown.

GreytownWedding: Balfour/Humphries - 1909

Evening Post, 1 April 1909

A wedding of some local interest took place this afternoon at Greytown, when Miss Elsie Mildred Humphries, eldest daughter of Mr. Henry Humphries, was married to Mr. Alan Bidwill Balfour, dentist.
The bride was attired in white Swiss embroidered muslin over a Mastese underskirt, and wore a beautiful embroidered veil and wreath of orange blossoms. She carried a sheaf of white Japanese anemone and maidenhair fern, and was given away by her brother, Mr. William Humphries.

There were four bridesmaids, Miss Constance Ethel Keedwell and Miss Zillah Humphries (sister) were the two principal ones, and wore frocks of pale blue crystalline, trimmed with roses, with hats of crinoline straw to match. They carried shower bouquets of anemones and lilies.

Ruby and Nellie Humphries (sisters of the bride) were dressed in blue, carrying pink flowers. The bridesmaids received bamboo bangles, the gift of the bridegroom.

Mr. Athol Rhodes (cousin of the bridegroom) filled th…
Evening Post, 21 February 1917

There is a fascinating interest about the history of Presbyterianism in the Wairarapa, and when it is considered what an important part that Church has played in the development of the district, and the worthy place it occupies today, the account of its rise will, no doubt, be eagerly followed by all who are interested in this part of New Zealand.

Somewhere about 1859 the Small Farm Settlement Association of Masterton set aside one acre sections in the town area for each of the four denominations, viz., Methodist, Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Presbyterian. This may be said to be the beginning of the Presbyterian Church in the Wairarapa.

Greytown correspondent reports on progress - 1889

Evening Post, 1 February 1889

It is now time that some remarks should be made as to the progress we are making in this district.

Since the holiday of the New Year there have been very few exciting events to chronicle, and as harvesting, wherever there are any crops to gather in, is now proceeding with much vigour, there are very few idle hands to be found.

So far as this part of the Wairarapa is concerned, the present season has been very favourable to the crops, oats especially, and some very heavy yields have been the result at Papawai and other places.

On the road to Carterton from Greytown Mr. Buchanan has some splendid crops, and should yield at least when cut 60 bushels to the acre. The weather being so very hot and dry has given splendid facilities for ripening, and everything has combined to make cropping this year a striking success, consequently I should not wonder if next year there will be more land sown in oats, wheat, amd barley than ever attempted before—probably eve…

Martinborough wedding: Evans/McLeod - 1939

Evening Post, 13 June 1939

A wedding of interest to a wide circle of friends took place at the Martinborough Presbyterian Church recently when Mary (Bunty) Werner, youngest daughter of Mrs. McLeod and the late Hon. A. D. McLeod, "Mangapari," Martinborough, was married to Neil Evans, only son of Mr. and Mrs. P. F. Sinclair, Kelburn, Wellington.

The bride wore a silver brocaded lame gown, with a full train, and a beautiful embroidered tulle veil which fell in folds from a coronet of orange blossoms and pearls. She wore pearls, and carried a sheaf of white lilies and maidenhair fern.

The matron of honour was Mrs. Gordon McLeod, Martinborough, and the bridesmaids, Miss Mary Sinclair, Wellington, and Miss Barbara Morgan, Stratford. They were dressed alike in gowns of oyster lace, with scarlet velvet sashes and carried bouquets in scarlet tonings.

Mr. Glyn Evans, Wellington, was best man, and Mr. Digby Cooper, Wellington, and Mr. Robert McLeod, Martinborough, were the groomsmen…

Solway Old Girls fundraise for a school chapel - 1939

Evening Post, 13 June 1939
A large crowd gathered in Nimmo's Hall recently for a bridge and Mah Jong evening organised by the Wellington branch of the Solway College Old Girls' Association as part of their campaign to raise funds for a school chapel. Colourful bowls of scarlet berries and hydrangeas, together with glowing heaters, created a cheerful atmosphere in the hall, and made a pleasant setting for an enjoyable evening. Tables were arranged by Mesdames Longuet, Revers, Avann, Rix-Trott, Carter, Misses Murphy, Mazengarb, Smith, Beale, and Gellatt.

The prize-winners for the evening were Mesdames Gilbert and Standford and Mr. Elias. A novel idea was the quaint supper cloths — each bearing card symbols in bold design with which the tables were set for a home-made supper.

At the conclusion of the evening, guests were thanked for their generous support by Mrs. R. Avann, president of the association. A vote of thanks was also passed to Messrs. H. Nimmo and Sons for their gratuit…

Greytown Presbyterian Church celebrates - 1892

Evening Post, 19 April 1892

The annual tea and public meeting connected with the Greytown Presbyterian Church was held last night, when there was a large gathering.

A sumptuous tea was provided by the ladies of the congregation, and at the after meeting the pastor of the church (the Rev. Charles Murray) presided.

In his opening address, Mr. Murray said the condition of the church financially was very satisfactory, and the members were happy and harmonious together. Very little was required to place them beyond liability of any kind, when he hoped they would be able to provide something for their poor, and contribute more liberally to the Foreign Mission Fund.

The Rev. Mr. Lymburn, of Martinborough, the Rev. W. Rouse (Wesleyan), and the Rev. Mr. Hope, from the Hutt, also spoke.

The choir sang some anthems very sweetly, and a lady and some gentlemen contributed solos. The Sunday-school connected with the Church, under the superintendency of Mr. Black, has an average attendance of be…

Josiah Viles - pioneer - dies

Evening Post, 21 February 1931



One of the few remaining pioneers, Mr. Josiah Viles, passed away peacefully this morning at his residence at Featherston at the age of 91.

The late Mr. Viles was born at South Petherton, Somersetshire, England, in 1840, and when he was nine months old his parents with their three sons and two daughters emigrated to New Zealand in the sailing ship Arab. The voyage took five months. The late Mr. Viles's father died on board the ship on the voyage.

Mrs. Viles and the family landed in Wellington in 1841, and settled on the Kaiwaira Flats, and experienced the big earthquakes of 1848 and 1855.

Mr. Viles was of an adventurous nature, and travelled over a considerable portion of both Islands of New Zealand. During his travels he had many experiences with the Maoris. He also served in the Maori War, for which he was given his first piece of land. Very often he and his companions were in extreme danger from the Maoris, an…

Funeral - Sir Walter Buchanan

Hawera and Normanby Star, 23 July 1934



Although the weather was bitterly cold and stormy, the largest number of people ever gathered in this district assembled to accord a last honour to a deceased fellow-settler at the Clareville Cemetery at noon to-day, where the interment of the late Sir Walter Buchanan, K.B., M.L.C., took place.

The main cortege started from the late residence of the deceased at Lansdowne, Masterton, and was joined all along the road by units from outlying places, while very many more from the neighbourhood of Carterton, Greytown, Featherston. Martinborough and Lower Valley, with which portion of the district Sir Walter had been more closely associated during the greater portion of his life, met and joined the procession at the Clareville corner. A special train from Wellington brought the Prime Minister (Mr W. F. Massey), other 7 members of Cabinet, members of both Houses of Parliament, and prominent Wellingto…

Martinborough Presbyterian minister killed while motoring

The Colonist, November 9, 1914

Wellington, Nov. 9. The Rev. E. C. Tennent, Presbyterian minister at Martinborough, was killed while motoring to Hinakura, 17 miles from Martinborough, on Saturday afternoon. When driving along the main road a few miles from Hinakura the car swerved into a ditch, and after proceeding a few yards, overturned, pinning the reverend gentleman to the ground.

Sir Walter Buchanan, M.P., was motoring along the same road, and saw the accident. He went to, the rescue, and relieved Mr. Tennent, who was seriously injured, and died a few,minutes later.

Deceased, who was formerly minister at Port Chalmers, is survived by a wife and grown-up family.