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

Puhoi fighters in France

On November 4, 1918, several battalions of the 3rd Rifle Brigade of the New Zealand Division began to liberate the town of Le Quesnoy, an old fortress town occupying a strategic position in Northern France. A moat surrounded the town. It was comprised...... Read More

Changing schools

From the mid to late 1850s, Mangawhai has known many schools. They have popped up wherever and whenever the population demanded. The first known school was formed to educate children of the 58th Regiment and their families, and other early arrivals, living...... Read More

Ringing in school changes

In a recent issue (MM December 13), notice was given that the old Warkworth Primary School buildings would be demolished to make way for the new. “We’re mindful that many people are emotionally attached to the school,” said Principal...... Read More

Jolly good show

In my memory, the second Saturday of February was always Waitemata Show Day, held on the Puhoi Pioneers Memorial Park and generally known as the Puhoi Show. The woodchopping carnival, horse events, cattle, sheep, goat and calf club competitions, indoor...... Read More

Pioneering women

Nathaniel Wilson, second left, middle row, at the time of his golden wedding in 1913. The role played by pioneer women in the settlement of the district is to be the subject of a display at the Warkworth Museum later in 2018. Every family has a unique...... Read More

Puhoi pioneers

Paul Straka was a single man of 33 when he emigrated from Bohemia to Puhoi in 1863. Being one of the younger immigrants, he took a leading part in clearing bush to enable the settlers to begin to be self-supporting. He built a 10-ton punt to transport...... Read More

A legendary stockman

Big Bob Ross, around 1902, from the Harold Marsh collection. Robert (Big Bob) Ross was a renowned stockman in Albertland during the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was the eldest son of Robert S. Ross, who moved to Kaiwaka after working as a shepherd...... Read More

Early Innovation

The first echelon of new land owners to Mangawai* arrived after land sales of 1856. There were huge trees to contend with but logging was underway and the pioneers were folk of mighty ‘mettle’, who set about creating a lifestyle that would...... Read More

Memorable yarns

These stories were told to me by Lucy Moore, Al Hamilton, Mervyn Morrison and Frank Hudson – all old friends from the Warkworth/Kaipara flats area and all now deceased … During the First World War, spinster Phoebe Southgate lived in a villa,...... Read More