The venerable Mr Binsted

In May 1910, Mr Henry Binsted was appointed headmaster of Puhoi Public School. He immediately became involved in all aspects of community life, as well as achieving unparalleled results with the children’s education and behaviour. He became secretary...... Read More

Blacksmith pioneer

Blacksmith and wheelwright Joseph Treadwell, his wife Elizabeth and two sons, Joseph Jnr and Walter, sailed to New Zealand aboard the clipper ship, Invererne, and arrived in Auckland in January 1875.  Also on Invererne were Elizabeth’s brother,...... Read More

Mahurangi’s first schools

An inkwell and pieces of broken slate, brought to the surface by a plough, confirm that an early school once stood on the headland inside Bradley Point near Cowan Bay, on the Mahurangi River. Open from 1858-62, the school is recognised by historians as...... Read More

Mystery of the missing child

Terence Kennedy left Ireland, aged 24, in 1844. He came to New Zealand via America and Australia and purchased 300 acres of bush where Schollum’s Access Road, off SH 1, now is. He arrived five years before the Bohemian settlers of Puhoi. As soon...... Read More

Characters of Mangawhai

Bullocks in front of courthouse, policeman’s house and chandlery. The courthouse being demolished. In 2013, I recorded a group of friends – Paddy Whynn, Judith Brown, Ivan Urlich and Jim Woods – who were descendants of early...... Read More

Call the midwife

Midwife Maggie Cramp with Daisy Farmer, the daughter of one of her patients, in 1905. Photo, W H Marsh Collection As one baby in particular has been in the news lately, I thought it appropriate to recall what childbearing was like for pioneer women....... Read More

A mystery, by gum

Gum washed ashore at Snells Beach. Radio New Zealand recently broadcast a BBC series, A history of the world in 100 objects. The objects were sourced from the British Museum. If such a programme were to be devised about New Zealand, then one of the...... Read More

Honouring the first settlers

Every year, Puhoi celebrates the anniversary of the arrival of the first European settlers on June 29, 1863. In former times, in addition to church services, banquets and dances, a public meeting was usually held. In 1872, it was decided that John Schollum...... Read More

Flight times

Some notes on flying experiences in Mangawhai through the decades. 1910s: Forced landing One of the first two Boeing aircraft ever built was constructed of timber, linen and wire, and had a wingspan of 52 feet.  It was purchased by the New Zealand...... Read More

Gone, but not forgotten

February 3, 1917, was long remembered as the day of the big flood, which carried away the Bone Mill Bridge in Warkworth. By late afternoon the sloping streets were awash. Water roared down Hill Street, making a deep pool at the junction of Matakana and...... Read More