Friday, October 31, 2014

Thames (NZ): Thames has oldest arboretum in NZ!

John William Hall, why is this man so special to Thames and New Zealand?
Read below to find out.
Source: Behind the Dispensing Screen by M R Frost
Yes it is official Thames has the oldest arboretum in New Zealand!!!!

The Thames Coromandel District Council (TCDC) made the announcement on their website today:
New Zealand's oldest arboretum (curated botanical garden devoted to trees) received its most visible acknowledgement today with new signs installed renaming the former Thames William Hall Reserve as William Hall Arboretum...William Hall Arboretum has an incredible collection of nationally and internationally significant trees grown from seedlings in the early 1870s by Thames pharmacist and botanist William Hall, including the separate Totara species know as Hall’s Totara, named in his honour.
An article by D Wilton at The Treasury Journal covers the life and work of  Thamesite John William Hall (1830-1915), who established this great reserve. Hall came to the Thames goldfields soon after they opened in 1867 and was a chemist in the town.

It was for his love of amateur botany and work as a pioneer conservationist that he was best known, however, rather than his pharmacist profession. In Thames, he established one of the first botanical arboretums in NZ, had a species named after him (Podocarpus Hallii - Hall's Totara) and was an early advocate of biological conservation: unusual in colonial times, when the national focus was very much on exploiting resources for economic gain. (See full article by D Wilton)
Thames Star , Issue 10697, 27 August 1904, Page 3

Background Information at:
Forest & Bird    Walk Details    Map location
William Hall's obituary     The Treasury Index    NZETC reference list