Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Thames (NZ): John William Hall Arboretum & Memorial Seat

While the heat descends on the town and country, a walk through the bush may be a pleasant activity. On our backdoor is the world renown arboretum - established by John William Hall, a chemist on the Thames Goldfield from late 1867.

Drive up Mount Sea Road to the top car park and you will see the two entrances to the arboretum.

There is a seat to stop and rest on (before or after), which has some glimpses of the sea through the trees below.

ABOVE: The rest area at the carpark at the top of Mount Sea Road. The track top right leads up the hill to the top of the arboretum and a lookout area. There is a track beyond, that is not complete and not recommended at this stage. You walk back down the track to the carpark area.

BELOW: Left: The seat has a memorial plaque - "In Loving Memory of RON HALL 1938 - 2017 Forever in our hearts" Right: View down to the lower track that does a circuit from Currie Street to Brunton Crescent Entrance and back up to Martin Street. There is a link to Korokoro Crescent entrance.


Enjoy the bush walks around Thames!

Further information:
The Thames-Coromandel District Council has details of the John William Hall Arboretum, including a downloadable pdf document.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Thames (NZ): Old Friends and School site

1. Many people were devastated when the 'Old Friends' site was removed from the Trademe Group. A substitute for this is the Facebook site "Old Friends Aotearoa New Zealand Schools'.

You can ask questions, connect with other old school mates, browse and load photographs. Great for your own and genealogical research. Personally, I find it impossible to search for Thames School photos, but I am pointing out the site incase you can master searching through nearly 2000 albums.

2. There is a National Library project to save the information that was on the 'Old Friends' site.

See the progress of the project as at January 2019

To find Thames schools, click on Waikato on right hand side of map of North Island.

The next step is temperamental for now. CLICK on the yellow School label, Then click on T and scroll through till you get to Thames schools.

NB> For the following stage you will find it easier to always select open in a new window, otherwise you can end up going back to square one each time!!!

Parawai Playcentre - members and photos.

Thames South School - members, and photos. 

Thames Parawai School - members, and photos.

Thames North School - members and photos.

Thames Kindergarten - members and photos.

Thames Convent School - members and photos.

Thames Central School - members and photos.

Thames High School - members and photos.

EXAMPLES BELOW: (not sure if the links will all work?? It doesn't seem that at present you can enlarge the photos???
Home > Waikato > Schools > Thames Central
Thames Central  
Members (192)  |  Photos (28)  |  Lost & found (44)  |  Notices (8)  |  Reunions
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Thames Central school (1936) Uploaded by Philip Quayle
If you are in this photo then you can link your name to your profile

Row 5 
gibson dunlop doug carruthers morris preece merv rhodes jack dovell colin camerom brian McClloyh rex lomas selwyn robinson desmond dickinson 
Row 4 
shirley wood winnie nicol phillip goldworthy phyllis moody kath nicol pat nightingale eva mathews margaret douglas marie royal ida she cheang 
Row 3 
dorothy doven ann thorn nan nicol john twentymen audrey carruthers nola roberts dot johnson flo jennings pam kennedy 
Row 2 
owen sutcliffe reg Mccarthy les brown colin hindman earl ockley philip quayle barry jensen daug sheppard 
Row 1 
? reg fronice ken thorn ? noel spurdle allan sutcliffe lloyd gooder

This one for Thames South 1934 is a larger photo.

Parawai School Foundation Year 1967

Give it a go and see if you can find some old school photos - relevant to your schooling and your ancestors / family from Thames. Good hunting :)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Thames (NZ): 150th Commemorative Sculpture Update - Te Tau Kōtare

On 12 March 2018, the statue to commemorate the Thames' 150, was placed on a site just south of the Kauaeranga Bridge, on the west side of the Ngati Maru Highway, just past Rhodes Park (and the WWI Commemorative Forest). (Full story on previous blog) 

A plaque has now been placed adjacent to the footpath that explains the details and meaning of the sculpture. (photo left)

The sculpture is called Te Tau Kōtare - The Sentinel.

The inscription reads: "Created in 2018 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Thames goldfields, this sculpture combines contrasting motifs: past and present, male and female, exotic and native, industrial and natural. But it tells one overarching story - of people coming together and making our land what it is today." (continued below)

PLAQUE for Te Tau Kōtare - The Sentinel
Located south-west of the Kauaeranga Bridge.

Transcription of plaque continued from above:
"Exotic and native timbers represent two cultures and reflect the region's logging history.

The crossed taiaha and pick reflect the mana (prestige) of Ngāti Maru who made local land available for infrastructure and goldfields.

The bounty of land and sea are both showcased in the sculpture's base, carved from local basalt in the shape of a black mussel.
The Pinnacles of the Coromandel mountain range.

Metal tools used by the industrious pioneers, men and women who helped shape Thames.

The kowhaiwhai pattern represents the spiritual (black) and earthly (red) existence of the people."

See plaque above for the 'pointers' to the sculpture diagram to aid identification

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Thames (NZ): Photographic project at Totara Cemetery - the missing headstones?

There are a group of researchers / genealogy helpers who take photographs of headstones at our local cemeteries. These are then posted on sites such as Find A Grave that I have previously mentioned and linked. See Thames Cemetery Information Page.

Often descendants / relatives are disappointed when there is no grave marker, and wonder what went wrong? Was the family short of money? Were they waiting until both partners passed? Has the stone been stolen or broken and not replaced? This week I found one block that appears unique.

At the most southern boundary of the Totara Memorial Park Cemetery, Thames - is a block that has not one marker.  The block is 75, full Id from the TCDC Cemetery site is: 2PUBL-075-0001 to 2PUBL-075-0022. Council have no records of an event happening that could have damaged the markers, so the mystery remains. Further below are the names and details of those interred in Block 75.

The location of Block 75, circled below.

It is interesting that from aerial views of the cemetery it is possible to make out the change of terrain and some of the plot locations. 
Above: Aerial View of Block 75, and the southern boundary of the Totara Cemetery - there are no headstones or signs of old markers on the ground.
Below: View of the area from the ground. Lines drawn to indicate area of plots in Block 75.

Above: View looking north from Block 75, towards the parking area at the top.

Left: Block 74, Block 75 centre right, with no headstone markers. Right: Looking eastward along Block 75.

Interments in Block 75:
JENSEN, Agnes, Date Of Burial 19/10/1962, Aged 57 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0001
JENSEN, Clifford Arnold, Date Of Burial 17/05/1969, Age not recorded, Plot 2PUBL-075-0001 (1963 NZ Electoral Roll: Residence Willoughby Street, Thames, occupation pensioner)

Plot 2PUBL-075-0002 to 2PUBL-075-0008 inclusive - unused plots

LOUDEN, Richard Lepper, Date of Burial 08/04/1964, Aged 63 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0009

LUND, Arthur, Date of Burial 14/01/1964, Aged 52 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0010

Plot 2PUBL-075-0012 - unused plot

MARTIN, Edward Henry, Date of Burial 25/10/1955, Aged 73 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0012

Thames Star 6 December 1955
MARTIN, William Bowden, Date of Burial  7/12/1955, Aged 83 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0013. William was the son of Katherene and William Martin, and lived in Karaka Road, Thames. (see death notice right)

HAYS, Matthew, Date of Burial 5/3/1956, Aged 82 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0014

LEPS, Henry, Date of Burial 30/7/1956, Aged 80 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0015 (1954 NZ Electoral Roll: Residence Waiotahi Creek, Thames, occupation retired)

NEGUS, Charles Bernard, Date of Burial 5/3/1957, Aged 95 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0016 (1949 NZ Electoral Roll: Residence Puriri, occupation pensioner)

TREMAINE, Leonard, Date of Burial 7/9/1957, Aged 78 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0017 (1957 NZ Electoral Roll: Residence Tararu Road, Thames, occupation pensioner)

FLYNN, Leonard Francis, Date of Burial 21/3/1958, Aged 65 Years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0018 (1957 NZ Electoral Roll: Residence Tiki Road, Coromandel, occupation pensioner)

KING, Joseph Henry, Date of Burial 15/9/1958, Aged 80 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0019

KELLY, Jack, Date of Burial 24/4/1961, Aged 37 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0020

BALLE, Emanuel, Date of Burial 13/1/1962, Aged 80 years, Plot 2PUBL-075-0021

Plot 2PUBL-075-0022 - unused plot

Maybe you have one of these people in your extended family tree or perhaps recall a time when a headstone was on the site. If you have any further information please let me know.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thames (NZ): Photographs from Sir George Grey Collection - Have you seen these?

We are always on the hunt for new photographs, so it always pays to browse whats available at Auckland Libraries in their Sir George Grey Collection. Here are a few photos that I had either not seen before or at least forgotten!

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-2
Showing an overshot waterwheel and associated buildings, probably part of a gold mining operation in the Thames area, possibly Brown and Campbell's Battery in the lower Tararu Valley.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-20
Showing the Billy Goat Creek at the base of Billy Goat Falls? in the Kauaeranga Valley, Thames

'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-23
Showing a view south along the Kauaeranga Valley

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-31
Showing kauri logs on the bed of the Maungarehu Creek, with the water race on the hillside above

NB There are many more in this series relating to the Kauaeranga River and Valley.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-65'
Donkin's garage (right), on the corner of Walter and Pollen Streets, Thames, looking south

A blurred photograph, but a great view just north of Walter Street intersect with cars lined up getting petrol from Donkin's garage.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-66
Showing the Thames School of Mines and neighbouring buildings in Cochrane Street, Thames

This is a beauty looking across at the school of Mines, east along Cochrane Street. Well's had a butcher shop for many decades in the two storied building centre right, a few doors past that is the old Cornwall Arms Hotel. The houses top centre are in Princes Street, an extension off Upper Albert Street, with Broad Street below.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-67
Looking east along Richmond Street, Thames near Brian Boru hotel. Old Oddfellows' hall (right), later used as picture theatre, ballroom, skating rink and auction mart.

Great view looking up Richmond Street, to the Karaka (Una) Hill. For some reason these main side roads were so rarely photographed. As you can tell, there weren't many cars in Thames, and this was the case for decades. Old Thamesites could virtually recite who were the 'wealthy' families who had cars! Many will remember the old auction mart that is in the vicinity of where Te Korowai is today. A great place to go and swap comics and an amazing place to skate!

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-68
Showing houses in Albert Street, Thames

Another great view along Albert Street to Upper Albert Street in the distance. What year do you think this could be? 1940s or 50s? Look closer and you can get a good feel for the town and the hardship that was and had been endured. Thames was bankrupt in the 1920s and then hit hard by the 1930s Depression. The state of the streets and general maintenance is a window into these hardships. Victoria Park south is on the right. On the left is the Park Hotel, unless it is the 1950s, then the name had changed to the Lady Bowen Hotel.

There is a selection of photographs taken from the Waiotahi Hill also of interest - some are blurred in the series but this is a great one below.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-70
Showing a view of the Firth of Thames from Monument Hill. Albert Street (left) and sewer pipe, Lady Bowen Hotel (previously Park Hotel). Williamson Street and Royal Hotel (right). Remains of Burke Street Wharf protection wall still visible top right.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-81
Showing a view of the Firth of Thames from Monument Hill. Showing the remains of the old Burke Street Wharf and the sea walls. Moanataiari flat on right later reclaimed.

Now to one of the best, a photo of the old Moanataiari flume, that still stands at the Hauraki Prospectors Association grounds, at the northern end of Queen Street, before the Moanataiari Creek Road.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-74
Showing a water race at Thames, the site of the former Golden Crown Battery, now the Thames Gold Mine Experience site [Hauraki Prospectors Association] adjoining the State Highway, across the road from Haven street. The area was formerly known as Tookeys Flat. 

The view today thanks to google maps (below).

So remember, keep exploring, new photos are going online all the time!

Share your favourite finds, and I will add them to the blog.

NB. I am on the hunt for any photographs taken during 1939-45 in Thames, particularly if war related. Maybe soldiers going or home on leave, Parades, VE and VJ Day etc...

Monday, January 7, 2019

Thames (NZ): Thames Star Newspaper notices

Researching your family in Thames? Then one of the best places to start to look for information is the newspaper.


Examples from 1954 Thames Star newspaper above

Over the years I have collected many notices, some of which have been indexed. For instance this is an index example of Thames Star notices 1946 to 1955. LETTER SORT 'A' - If you would like me to do any searches, email me the details.

ABERCROMBIE N D 11/05/1953 News 1953
ABERHART H E 11/05/1953 News 1953
ABRAHAM Budgie 16/12/1954 In Memoriam 1954
ABRAHAM N/R (from T W) 21/12/1953 Bereavement Thanks 1953
ABRAHAM N/R (mother) 15/10/1948 In Memoriam 1948
ABRAHAM Rangi (Budge) 17/12/1953 Death 1953
ABRAHAM Rangi Molly (Budgie) 16/12/1954 In Memoriam 1954
ADAMS E F (Mr) 10/05/1955 News 1955
ADAMS E F (Mr) 16/05/1955 News 1955
ADAMS E F (Mr) 16/05/1955 News 1955
ADAMS E M (Mrs) 27/12/1950 News 1950
ADAMS Eliza 9/09/1949 Death 1949
ADAMS F (Miss) 9/11/1951 Bereavement Thanks 1951
ADAMS Florence 5/11/1951 Death 1951
ADAMSON Anne 21/04/1954 Death 1954
ADAMSON David James 20/01/1953 Death 1953
ADAMSON H (Mrs) 23/07/1946 90th Birthday 1946
ADAMSON Hannah Jane 23/04/1951 Death 1951
ADAMSON Hannah Jane 11/05/1951 Bereavement Thanks 1951
ADAMSON Hannah Jane (Mrs) (nee Smith) 24/04/1951 Obituary 1951
ADAMSON N/R (From Mr & Mrs D) 11/02/1953 Bereavement Thanks 1953
ADAMSON N/R (From Mr D) 7/05/1954 Bereavement Thanks 1954
ADAMSON N/R (Mrs) 7/05/1954 Thanks 1954
ADAMSON - EDWARDS Helena & Albert 30/12/1946 Golden Wedding 1946
ADDICOAT N/R (From Mrs E) 3/02/1950 Bereavement Thanks 1950
ADDICOAT Phillip 23/01/1950 Death 1950
ADDISON N/R (Mr) 26/04/1954 News 1954
ADLAM N/R (Averill & Pax a dau) 21/06/1955 Birth 1955
ADLAM N/R (Averill & Pax a dau) 22/06/1955 Birth 1955
AFFLECK - HOPPING Doreen & Victor 1/11/1954 Engagement 1954
AGNEW Samuel 12/07/1951 Death 1951
AGNEW Samuel 12/07/1951 Obituary 1951
AGNEW - WENZLICK Mervyn & Daune 5/08/1952 Engagement 1952
AIREY Henry Watson 9/09/1954 Obituary 1954
AITKIN Ann A (Mrs) 8/08/1947 Obituary 1947
ALDIS W 11/05/1953 News 1953
ALEXANDER E K 11/05/1953 News 1953
ALEXANDER Ethel (Mrs Hamilton) 16/02/1948 Golden Wedding 1948
ALEXANDER N/R (Mr) 26/04/1954 News 1954
ALLAN G S 11/05/1953 News 1953
ALLEN Carol 14/06/1954 Death 1954
ALLEN Charles Carrol 24/03/1952 Death 1952
ALLEN Charles Carrol 18/04/1952 Obituary 1952
ALLEN Edith 30/07/1952 Death 1952
ALLEN Edith  29/08/1952 Bereavement Thanks 1952
ALLEN Joy (Miss) 6/07/1950 News 1950
ALLEN Maureen 19/02/1954 Thanks 1954
ALLEN N/R (from Mr H H) 30/11/1951 Thanks 1951
ALLEN N/R (From Mrs Edith Allen) 4/04/1952 Bereavement Thanks 1952
ALLEN N/R (Max & June a son) 17/08/1954 Birth 1954
ALLEN Thelma (Miss) 31/05/1951 News 1951
ALLEN - NIGHTINGALE Hugh & Florence 27/02/1950 Engagement 1950
ALLEN - RADONICH Evelyn & George 31/08/1950 Wedding Bells 1950
ALLINGTON Gordon 7/07/1954 News 1954
ALLINGTON - BEECH Marie & Douglas 7/06/1955 Wedding 1955
ALLISON Russell (Mr) 28/05/1954 News 1954
ALLWOOD Millicent Mary Ann 2/10/1946 Coroners Report 1946
ALSTON J (Mr) 17/07/1953 News 1953
AMADIO Albert (Dick) 13/02/1953 Death 1953
ANDERSEN Mary 20/10/1948 Death 1948
ANDERSEN N/R (wife & mother) 20/10/1949 In Memoriam 1949
ANDERSON Azilla Rose  14/03/1952 In Memoriam 1952
ANDERSON Azzila Rose 20/03/1951 Obituary 1951
ANDERSON Edith (Ina Anihana) 12/08/1955 Death 1955
ANDERSON Edith (Mrs) 19/08/1955 Obituary 1955
ANDERSON George 1/07/1953 News 1953
ANDERSON N/R (From Norman) 10/11/1948 Bereavement Thanks 1948
ANDERSON O (Mrs) 12/01/1949 Thanks 1949
ANDERSON Otto 22/12/1948 Death 1948
ANDERSON William (Professor) 9/08/1955 Obituary 1955
ANDERSON - WETZEL John & Frances 29/10/1954 Wedding 1954
ANDREW N/R (From Mrs G Tarr) 12/08/1954 Bereavement Thanks 1954
ANDREW R L 3/05/1955 News 1955
ANDREW R L (Mr) 9/10/1950 News 1950
ANDREW R L (Mr) 7/06/1955 News 1955
ANDREWS Henry John Howard 31/01/1947 RSA Notice 1947
ANDREWS Henry John Howard 31/01/1947 News 1947
ANDREWS R (Mrs) 9/06/1950 News 1950
ANDREWS - MARTIN Ellis & Amelia 28/02/1947 Wedding Bells 1947
ANDREWS - TURNER Henrietta & William 29/06/1951 Wedding Anniversary 1951
ANGUS - KERBY Myrtle & Mervyn 4/10/1951 Silver Wedding 1951
ANNAN A H 5/06/1953 News 1953
ANSELL - STANDEN Trevor & Elaine 9/09/1955 Engagement 1955
ANTONOVICH John 23/05/1955 Birthday 1955
ARBURY J E 11/05/1953 News 1953
ARCHER Agnes (Mrs) 8/08/1947 Obituary 1947
ARCHER K (Dr) 2/12/1949 News 1949
ARNOLD N/R (Mary & Gilly a dau) 31/05/1951 Birth 1951
ARNOLD - MCENTEER Gilbert & Mary 16/01/1948 Engagement 1948
ARNOLD - MCENTEER Gilbert & Mary 17/12/1948 Wedding Bells 1948
ARNS Herman 16/12/1947 Death 1947
ARO Jason 27/05/1952 Roll of Honour 1952
ARO Jason Victor 28/05/1951 Roll of Honour 1951
ARTHA Ellen Sophia (Nell) 9/11/1950 Death 1950
ARTHA N/R (Mother, friend) 8/11/1951 In Memoriam 1951
ASHBY - HEATH John & Ruth 14/04/1953 Wedding 1953
ATKINSON Lillian 17/06/1955 Death 1955
AUDLEY Matilda (Mrs) 15/02/1952 Obituary 1952
AUSTEN John 25/07/1951 Death 1951
AUSTEN N/R (From Mrs S) 6/08/1951 Bereavement Thanks 1951
AUSTIN N/R (Evelyn & Morgan a dau) 15/04/1953 Birth 1953
AUTRIDGE C 11/05/1953 News 1953
AUTRIDGE Louis (Mr) 27/05/1953 Obituary 1953
AUTRIDGE Louis Edward 13/05/1953 Death 1953
AVERY C (Mr) (MC) 29/12/1955 News 1955
AVERY George Albert 4/05/1949 Death 1949
AVERY George Albert 13/05/1949 Obituary 1949
AVERY George Albert 13/05/1949 Funeral Report 1949
AVERY  G (Mr) 30/09/1949 News 1949
AYLWIN - ROSE Edward & Beverley 27/11/1953 Engagement 1953