Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thames (NZ): 'The First Time' ANZAC DAY

In 1916 the New Zealand Government decided that there should be a half day holiday on April 25 in commemoration of ANZAC Day. It was hoped that local bodies would observe this day, (Thames Star 7/4/1916)

The ANZAC Commemoration at Thames was held in the Central Hall in Pollen Street, at 7pm on the 25th of April 1916. The Regimental Band, Territorials and Cadets meeting at 6.30pm at the Drill Hall in Mackay street; before proceeding to the Central Hall service.
Thames Star 26/4/1916

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thames (NZ) - "The First Time": Road trip from Hamilton

The development of roads around the The Thames, was erratic in the early years following the opening of the goldfields. Surveys were undertaken and plans drawn up for roads linking Thames to the principal towns. Delays were not unexpected given the reliance and reliability of sea transport. In many instances this was quicker than riding a horse or taking a horse and cart.

"In 1879 the road from Hamilton to Grahamstown (Thames) for the first time could be easily traversed on horseback, and vehicles could go as far as the Waihou River." (Settlers in Depression by H C M Morris)
A rider had gone to Waihou from Hamilton; from Waihou they set off at 7am, then reached Paeroa at 11am and Grahamstown at 1pm.  The journey from Waihou to Grahamstown taking 6 hours.

It was not until 1882 that the first wheeled vehicle trip took place from Hamilton to Grahamstown.

Waikato Times 10/1/1882

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thames (NZ): Thames Residents in the Old Colonists Register

The Old Colonists Association register is available via Auckland Library
"The Old Colonists' Association developed out of the reunion gatherings of those settlers who were passengers aboard the first two immigrant ships into Auckland - the Duchess of Argyle and the Jane Gifford. Membership was confined to colonists of fifty years' standing and their descendants.

It lists members of the association, including information relating to joining date, badge number, address at time of joining, when and where born, date of arrival in New Zealand, name of ship, and some miscellaneous remarks. It covers the period from 10 October 1919 to 16 November 1934.

It has a list of 13 early vessels with their arrival dates pasted on the register's front end paper, covering the period 1840-1842"

It can be downloaded for you to view at leisure. Arranged alphabetically, you need to search each page in the "letter" as there are additions, that mean the list is not always alpha sorted.
On the surface, there doesn't appear many Thames names, but remember...so many of these people will have spent some time living in Thames during the early boom years.

Here is an example from the register for JOSEPH ROBERTS:
Section from Old Colonists Register
It reads: Joined 1-10-31, Joseph ROBERTS, Edward St, Thames. Born Gt Barrier in NZ, Born 17/12/1856. Mother arr in Wellington 1839 ex "Bolton" Father arr in Wellington ex Duke of Roxburg
Above: View from Edward Street Thames 2009:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thames (NZ): New articles in 'The Treasury Journal'

Lots to see in the Journal, this week. Four new articles on a wide variety of topics.
THE BIG PUMP SITE by David Wilton
History of the Big Pump at Moanataiari and details on the recent 'pot hole.'

THAMES ORPHANAGE AND TRAINING SCHOOL by David Wilton and Miriam Heberley
Details on the orphanage that was up the Kauaeranga valley and recent site reports.

STORIES OF THAMES by Meghan Hawkes
Meghan is a published Author and writer, this is a collection of stories on the Thames area, taken from the old newspapers.

A history of the Ruffin family at Coromandel, mention of well known places connected to the name.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Thames Coast (NZ): Tapu Cemetery photos

Wonderful site that has cemetery photos from around the world. I did a search for a BARKER family member and the grave photo for Waikumete is available. These Photos are taken by volunteers all around the world, and you can also submit photos.

Great news for this area; special thanks to Caroline who has taken photos and indexed the TAPU CEMETERY, Thames Coast. There are 47 grave photos, with 109 names mentioned. "In the Tapu Cemetery, rest many of the early pioneers of the district, and on the headstones read the names of those whose descendants still live in the area. Many graves are unmarked. Apparently this place was always a Maori burial ground, and in the early days it was agreed between the local Maori and Europeans, that any residents could be buried in this sacred ground [this may indicate why the area is known as ‘Tapu’] generally in family plots."

The Tapu Cemetery page is accessed here - with a summary of surnames and details given.  Click on the far right column labelled GPR to view the headstone photo. You can then click another link to obtain a higher resolution photo.

Top: Earlier photo of Tapu
Bottom: Tapu Camping Ground on left and Tapu Point and Cemetery on the right
You will find information on the families buried at the Tapu Cemetery, at The Treasury, Thames. There are many relevant family trees, family pioneer forms and related material for the old families of that area. Plus some wonderful oral history recordings about life at Tapu, in the 1900s.

Thames (NZ): Court's Corner traffic

With all the talk of the 'new' road rules, one is left to ponder the rules of old. How did the horses, carts and bicylces manage? The postcard below shows a lady ambling across the road, did the man on the bike have to slow down..would road rage have eventuated had the lady cyclist slowed in her pace. A quieter time, when maybe these things did not matter....

The papers contain many reports of accidents containing horses, and horse and carts. Such as 3/11/1919, when a cart with two men, suddenly swerved across the Parawai Road in to a telegraph pole. Both men were thankfully unharmed.
In 1894, Mr & Mrs COWLING and their infant child had a narrow escape from a buggy accident. Remembering that roads and bridges were often in a poor condition, although traffic was not an issue - the challenging conditions often were.

Thames Star 24/3/1894