Friday, September 19, 2014

Thames (NZ): Electorate History

As the town poises to vote in the 2014 Elections, as part of the Coromandel Electorate, it is timely to look back on the area's election history. Noting that in-depth review is necessary to confirm many boundary details, but the below are a start for possible electorates that Thamesite voted in. (excluding Maori Electorates)

Over the years the boundary lines have varied as population fluctuations cause changes to all New Zealand Electorates. The present Coromandel Electorate described as:
The current Coromandel seat is based around the Coromandel Peninsula, and contains the main Coromandel towns of Thames, Whitianga, Whangamata. To the south of the electorate is the Hauraki District which contains the main townships of Paeroa, Waihi and Ngatea. It also extends an arm down into the Bay of Plenty, to take the town of Katikati, with its southern boundary on the edge of the Tauranga urban area. (Wikipedia)


Once the goldfields were established, the first Thames eligible males, were on the 1869 Franklin Election Roll.

The Thames Electorate existed 1871 to 1946. The Members of Parliament were:
Then the people of Thames were included in the Hauraki Electorate. This existed 1928 to 1987 and 1993 to 1996. The Members of Parliament were:
The Coromandel Electorate was in existence 1881 to 1890, 1872 - Thames may not always have been included. The Members of Parliament were:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thames (NZ): Roll Call for Tunnelling Company descendants

On Saturday 27 September, there is a ceremony to officially open the Arras Tunnel under the National War Memorial Park at Wellington.

From the NZETC facebook page:
On Saturday 27 September we are taking the Tunnellers to the Capital. We have been invited to take part in the official proceedings on the occasion of the naming and public walk-through of the Arras Tunnel. The new road tunnel runs beneath ...the National War Memorial Park. This occasion is one of huge significance to our Tunnelling Company family. We are delighted that our Tunnellers and their story will be formally recognised as part of this event. Many of the Tunnellers were Public Works Department Civil Engineers and miners. The construction and subsequent naming of the Arras Tunnel is a fitting tribute to these men in particular. We are thrilled to advise that the Ministry of Culture and Heritage will be hosting a gathering of officials and Tun Coy descendants following the tunnel walk-through.
The TCDC area was well represented in the New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company during WWI, so it would be great to see any family members able to represent their family and the area.

Contact Sue for more information, plus full details online.

Further information on the Tunnellers:
TCDC names
At The Treasury: Tunnelling folders WWI
NZETC New Zealand: TCDC men

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thames (NZ): Nurses of Thames

I am currently updating the booklet, Nurses of Thames Hospital and would love to hear from any nurses who may not be included or secondly have their details incorrectly recorded!!!

There are still missing graduate photos for in particular the 1950s and earlier.  Also there are many years where there are no photos for Community Nurse/Enrolled Nurses graduates.  Please contact me, so we can check your details are correct and if you have photos to share. Or drop any contributions to The Treasury for their photographic archives.
View from Bird-in-Hand Hill over hospital campus (centre left), Bella street and Bailey Street in the foreground

Below: 1956 View of the Hospital campus. Note construction work on Block 1 to 3 (top centre)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Thames (NZ): Thames Motor Camp 1954

A delightful envelope on an auction site with a stamp of Prince Charles on the cover. Timely, given the announcement in New Zealand today that Prince Charles will again be a grandfather in the months to follow.
A popular camp and meeting area from the time the Thames Goldfields opened. Names have changed over the years from Tararu Gardens, Thames Motor Camp and Dickson Park.

In 1930 the Thames Council made the decision to provide cooking facilities at the grounds. "At a meeting of the Borough Council last evening, it was decided that further conveniences be installed at the Tararu Domain for motorists, who freely used the camping ground last year. A shed is to be erected to house electric grills, which are to be made available for cooking at a small cost."

For further information:
The Treasury: Pre 1930 Business Folders, Street Directories, Oral History recordings
Paperspast for early information on Tararu Gardens
1972 Whites Aviation view of Tararu - Dickson Camp middle left
Source: Tararu, Thames. Ref: WA-70459-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Thames (NZ): Then & Now - Burke Street and Beach Road

In some ways, nothing much has changed down Beach Road (north end).  After-all A & G Price Ltd's large foundry site is still in operation and the majority of the buildings unchanged externally for decades. The reality though is that the large collection of businesses have long gone and the area is but a ghost town of its former glory.

On the North-eastern intersect of Burke Street and Beach Road/Tararu Road, now (and for many years) has been an extension of the foundry. A past business on the site was Hawkes stable and carting business.
The above scene shows a horse and cart travelling east along Burke Street from the wharf. On the left is Hawkes' Livery Stable and on the right A & G Price Ltd. Proceeding along the road and can be seen the sign "Governor B[owen Hotel]. This is in Owen Street, at the back of the foundry.
James Hawkes is in the Thames Street Directories at Burke Street during the 1890s-early 1900s.
In the distance are the houses on the Waiotahi spur/creek, along with the mining operations. At this time the Golden Crown Mine and later the Waiotahi Mine. To the upper left of the livery stables can be seen the large overhead flume coming from up the Waiotahi.
Below is the full photo. The hive of activity clearly shown via the large plumes of smoke from the foundry's many chimneys.
Caption: View of Moanataiari, Thames from the Goods Wharf. Price, William Archer, 1866-1948 :Collection of post card negatives. Ref: 1/2-001545-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
 Now with the view above and below, we can contemplate the changing times..from carriage to iron horse.
Further information available:
At The Treasury: see pre 1930 Business Register, Electoral Rolls and Street Directories 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thames (NZ): The reality behind Mining paintings

Only the residents of Shortland and Grahamstown (Thames), could really comprehend the reality of life on a goldfield. The uniqueness of having mines literally on one's residential doorstep. The noise...the pollution...long work hours, all must have been a challenge.  It is interesting to consider this in context with the idealistic photographs and paintings that appeared and circulated around the world.
 The painting above, is by Walter Boodle of the Moanatai[a]ri Creek c1880. Labelled on the back of the painting held at the Auckland Art Gallery: March 3rd 1880. "Moanatairi Creek on the Thames Goldfield, New Zealand.

The view suggests that miners meander to their diggings along a fairly decent track. The reality below, can be seen in the view up the Moanataiari Valley. The land cleared to allow for the prolific mining that was taking place on any vacant land. Many of you, will have ancestors that lived in these conditions. Not just single men, but families who raised children amongst the mining activities.
Moanataiari Creek
Source: 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A16668'
When the mining settlers arrived on the Thames goldfields, they certainly must have been in awe of the beautiful landscape - but many of these areas were quickly attacked in the search for the illusive GOLD. The painting below is by John Hoyte (1835-1913). It is of the Kopu area south of Thames. The description reads: 1868...Shows the tunnel entrances to a gold mine on the left, with three miners outside, one carrying a shovel. Tree ferns and the smoke from a fire, then a goldminers' tent with two men and a small fire, centre foreground. Hills and a plain with the Waihou and Piako rivers in the distance.
Source: Hoyte, John Barr Clark, 1835-1913. [Hoyte, John Barr Clark, 1835-1913] :[Gold mining near Kopu. ca 1868]. Ref: C-052-009. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thames (NZ); One Hundred Years ago 24 August 2014

In the Thames Star one hundred years ago today - 24 August 1914:
  • Death notices for: Louisa Dufty of Parawai and George Ripley of Waihi.
  • Mr A Williams of Kopu was organising a patriotic concert for Thursday 27 August in the Kopu Hall.
  • The weather was cloudy, with the barometer falling. Seas rough and tides high!
  • Land agent Mr C D Wright had a centrally located, 11 roomed house for-sale for 500 Pounds
  • The Thames Star's War news displayed outside the office had been destroyed overnight. The paper had taken to displaying the latest war news over the weekend to keep the town informed. Someone had deliberately torn down and destroyed the last night's news.
  • War news revolved around the fall of Brussels and the large number of German troops entering the area
  • Mr Vivian of Mt Pleasant had Cauliflower, Cabbage and onion plants forsale.
  • Coad's had a number of items listed to tempt the customer, in their Bookshop at the corner of Pollen and Sealey Streets. Mechanical toys and mechano were proving popular.

  • Hardware merchant Jas RENSHAW was reminding people that this was the time to spray for woolly aphis and scale.
  • Additional supplies of coal from the Westport mines, were urgently needed to meet the increasing imperial needs for the war effort.
  • The Thames Cricketers Club played the Paeroa Hockey club in a hockey game at Dodd's paddock at Parawai. Thames won eight goals to three.
1907 Thames Hockey Team, who had played Auckland at Remuera in September 1907. Score: Thames 2 Auckland 4.
Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19070912-10-3
Click here  and here for Thames Star reports on above hockey match