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“101 years of Ormondville May 1878”
Part 2
transcribed by Elaine, For copies of any photos or articles contact Elaine

By Ormondville Centennial Committee 1978
Compiled and edited by F O PLAYLE
Researched by Mrs D ROPIHA and F O PLAYLE
Printed by The Daily Telegraph Co Ltd Napier NZ
Hastings District Libraries Tag No 167 3783
Dewey Numbers 993.469 Alpha One

The information on these pages is for genealogy research only. It may be linked to but not copied in any form without the owners permission

101 years of Ormondville Trees Axes

Ref pages 103 to 105

Ormondville, Trees, Axes & Sawdust

If the axe had never been invented there would have been no such things as centenaries — because each centenary is really only another footprint in the ever-shifting sands of human progress, and all human progress came from the axe and the trees.

The axe felled the trees that made the wooden boats, which carried the explorers around the world, and the pioneer settlers used the axe to clear the trees from the land so that grass could grow where they once stood. And the axe and the tree also made the fires that smelted the first metals.

One hundred years ago the land at Ormondville was part of the once famous Seventy Mile Bush.

Some of New Zealand’s greatest axe-men and sawyers learned the art and skill of their craft while clearing the bush at Ormondville.

The first wood chopping and sawing competitions there were held in the early 1900’s, and the sweat of many famous axe men and sawyers was shed on the sports ground at Ormondville . . . the blocks were BIG and TOUGH in those days!

Chris BERKAHN, Dave PRETTY, Tom WEST, Con CASEY . . . all world-class axe men of days gone by, chopped there.

Jack HAMMOND and Norman CLARK, both from Ormondville, were the fastest double-hand sawyers in the world. Their world record time of l7 seconds total time for three cuts through a fourteen inch log would probably be equal to running a mile in under 3 mm. 50 secs!

They established that record a long, long time ago. I saw these two old Knights of the Saw in action only once and I will never forget them! By that time they were both well over 70 years of age, and they came to the Hawke’s Bay Autumn Show at Hastings purely as spectators, but they enjoyed themselves so much that they decided to have “just one more go” at sawing. So they borrowed a saw . . . “just for fun”, they said . . . well, they had fun all right

I have never seen sawdust fly like that stuff did, and they won by the proverbial mile!

But now those two grand old sawdust makers, like the great trees of the Seventy Mile Bush, are dead and gone. And the names of BERKHAN, PRETTY, WEST and CASEY are no longer the talking point in the bush camps, because they, and the bush camps, too, are but nostalgic memories of bygone days.

But the great wheel of time, forever on the move, has brought sawdust back to Ormondville . . . with a difference . . . because in the days of yore sawdust was produced only with a sand-saw and the sweat of the brow, but today it comes with the song of the circular saw.

And the man who keeps the saw happy at Ormondville is Leo CLARK, son of the former champ.

Leo did, at one stage, follow in the old man’s footsteps. He wielded the axe and the saw in the competition arena, and he did it so well that his name is one of the exalted few that is inscribed on the New Zealand Axe man of the Year Trophy.

But now he has laid aside those two great tools of human progress and sweat, and he tends that mechanical saw as it sings merrily on its way, transforming the trees of today into the homes of tomorrow.

Contributed by old time axe man JOE DAHM, author of “The People of the Axe”.

101 years of Ormondville SAWMILLS

Ref Pages98 to 102


John Davies ORMOND, Provincial Superintendent of Hawke’s Bay wanted to make New Zealand a timber exporting colony and having seen the quality of timber in the Seventy Mile Bush pushed south acquiring timber rights and land for himself. He chose 7600 acres part of Manawatu No. 6 Tua Tua Block and encouraged the establishment of sawmills. The first timber to leave the district was transported on bullock wagons to Napier and Hastings and later a wooden tramway was constructed from the rail terminus at Waipukurau to Kopua. Further tramways led off into the bush to Papatu and the Manawatu River. The private wooden tramway was replaced by the railway, which followed the same route to gain the best access to the heavy standing bush area being milled for building timber, railway sleepers, and firewood for NELSON’s Freezing Works at Hastings.

S.B. FIRTH built a mill on the banks of the Manawatu River (now E. CLOAD’S farm) near Papatu before 1876 after owning a mill at Te Aute, which he had built in 1858.

Walter GUNDRIE later purchased FIRTH’S Mill and installed a two horse drawn whim for hauling timber from the Manawatu River. Mrs Rebecca Constance GUNDRIE later purchased a store built by S. B. FIRTH at Te Aute in 1888. Walter GUNDRIE owned water wheel powered mills on a property owned by the late S. BRABAZON, now owned by P. RIDGE, Esq. A tramway cutting can still be seen at the rear of Pedersen’s farm on the Norsewood-Ormondville Road which led to WILBURMAN’S Mill.

Other mill owners were GAMMON at Rakaiatai and Walter PARSONS who operated on McLeod’s Road until the mid 1940s.

F.H.DROWER a wholesaler and storekeeper of Waipukurau established a mill three miles south of Takapau in 1873 employing by 1877 eighty men most of who came from Ormondville. 100,000 super feet of timber was transported from this mill by drays to Havelock North, Meeanee and Taradale. It is reported that in 1890 there were 25 men from Ormondville working at DROWER’S MILL.

George GRANT had managed Drower’s mill from 1874 to 1877 when he took up a section and opened a mill on the banks of the Manawatu River at the end of what is now known as FOTHERGILL’S Road. The Waipawa County Council records a request from G. GRANT to run a tramway from the mill to Papatu and he later became a first warden of the Ormondville Highways District Board.

WILDING and BULL ran a mill at Whenuahou owned by NELSON Bros of Hastings from 1884 primarily producing firewood for the furnaces at NELSON FREEZING WORKS. A second mill owned by Wilding & Bull produced timber used to build the Church of the Epiphany at Ormondville in 1883.

C. R. BAINES’ mill between the Mangarangiora Stream and Papatu supplied MCLEOD’s Timber Yard in Hastings and produced timber used to build hotels, Post Offices and private dwellings.

W. H. EDKINS managed the Waikopiro Timber Company on C. F. BARKER’S property on the banks of the Manawatu River.

Directors and staff were: -


R. IRWIN, Ted EBDEN and Wilfred KING.

THE WAIKOPIRO Timber Co milled a giant Totara tree felled by Maoris about 1850 on the Waikopiro Block I. B. prior to part of the block being settled by C. F. Barker in 1910. After lying on the ground for about 60 years it was found to be in good condition and produced a large quantity of first grade timber. It was one of the few Totara logs that was not “dozy” or Kaicock when sawn.

The tree known to local Maoris as TAUPA-KI-HERETAUNGA was originally felled for a canoe but due to inter-tribal strife was never completed and where it lay indicated the boundary between the Heretaunga and Rangitane tribes.

When the Totara was cut into log lengths the first two boles had to be blasted in two before they could pass through the twin saws.

The small end of the top bole was almost three feet in diameter giving some idea of the immense size of this Totara.

Leo and Ron CLARK commenced milling in Ormondville in 1947 with a Pacific breaking down bench, two blue gum rails acting as skids to feed timber to the breast bench, which was built of timber with a wooden roller at each end. A used marine engine out of a Napier fishing trawler supplied power. A homemade winch hauled logs onto the breaking down bench and Leo and Ron CLARK staffed the mill only. In 1950 an electric motor was installed to drive the plant and approximately 2000 feet per day was cut. The mill operated until 1973 when merged with WHARMBY and WILLIAMS (1948) Ltd. of Waipukurau.

Page 100 Photo GUNDRIES logging team using bullocks and horses

Allan BURLING formerly a carpenter commenced business in 1948 with a 1913 Hermonce 6 ft. Sticker (made in U.S.A.) running mouldings and dressing timber. A Swedish 4 Sider was purchased in 1955 to cope with the demand for dressed timber moldings and installed in a factory of 1600 sq ft. A re-sawing machine was also installed about the same time and a furnace was used to dispose of sawdust and shavings. Gutted by fire in 1959 the building and plant were repaired and re-opened at a cost of $6000.00. A Boliden Multi Salt timber treatment plant was installed in 1962 and the buildings further increased in size. An output of one million super feet per year was possible by the company known as Timber & Mouldings Ltd.

Mr BURLING was seriously injured in an accident in 1968 and two years later a new company Burling & Son Ltd. took over the operation of the mill.

A forced hot air drier was installed in a new building on a ½ acre behind the SETTLERS ARMS HOTEL and had a capacity of 14,000 super feet every 12 days. A $24,000.00 fire on 30th July, 1976 extensively damaged the planing plant. On 13th December 1976

the mill was sold to the new Ormondville Timber Co. Ltd.

Mr John FALLOON, M.P., opened the new mill in July 1977 and it now produces over 8000 super feet per day and employs 14 men.

An all electric mill, the machinery adapted from the two earlier mills has been modernised and supplemented with up to date log handling facilities, water borne sawdust disposal and an automatic firewood docking machine.

A. L. ANDERSON in his book “NORSEWOOD — THE CENTENNIAL STORY” recorded his own impressions of the early mills and the following excerpts describe life as it was in those days.

“For a considerable time practically all the sawn timber was used in the district as churches, schools, houses, hotels, bridges, sheds and other buildings had to be erected. As the demand slackened off most of the timber went to Central Hawke’s Bay with a proportion reaching Hastings and Napier. Two mills were driven by water wheels and the remainder used the only other power available that of the steam engine. These engines could be heard working from afar especially when the big breaking-down saws and the breast bench were working together. There would be a heavy frost and as you approached the mill smoke from the big steam engine hung over it like a veil. The engine ‘puffed heavily as the big breaking-down saws bit deeper into the huge logs. The sound of the engine and saws working was music in the bush­men’s ears. The mill would be on a rise and the trolley would bring a load of logs into the mill. The huge logs were placed on trolleys along the tramline and drawn by four or five attractive horses tandem style. Only the best logs were chosen as anything inferior met no market. It was a magnificent sight on those mornings to watch the faithful horses bringing a load of logs into the mill. The horses worked hard under the strain of pulling the heavy load up the incline to the mill and as they renewed their efforts their breath hung in the air above them in the cold morning air. Always there was the familiar clank, clank of the wheels of the trolley under the heavy load. The horses were not driven with reins, but like bullocks they obeyed orders given by the driver. As in the case of bullocks the leader was specially trained.

As there were several mills in the district and timber was plentiful only the best would sell and it was most difficult to dispose of the inferior. The best heart timber cost six shillings and sixpence per hundred super feet and O.B. was four shillings and sixpence.

Today one often hears criticism of the millions of feet of timber that had been destroyed by fire. How could we blame the mill owners for not cutting the poorer quality trees for timber when there was absolutely no sales. At the mills every working day was long and arduous. Each morning the big timber wagons would come away from the mills loaded with timber, most of which was green and very heavy. The roads were narrow and uneven and extreme care was required not to pull too far over in letting other vehicles pass.

The sawn timber was delivered to the railway station and to people in the district on strongly built wagons, each with four big wheels and wide iron tyres. Heavy draught horses usually five in number with two in the shafts and three in the lead drew these wagons. All these horses together with those used in the bush were fed on chaff with oats added. The stables were always near the mill and bush rats, which loved the oats, were always a minor plaque. The driver’s day was a very long one. Up early in the morning, he had first to gather his horses from their paddock, feed them on chaff and oats and then groom them. After breakfast he harnessed the horses, attached them to the wagon and he was ready to commence the day’s toil proper.

The horses were heavy draught and consequently were never out of a walk. Often a horse had to be shod on the return journey and frequently a load of chaff had to be brought back to the mill. As soon as he arrived back the driver would load his wagon with timber ready for a punctual start next morning. His horses were fed again and rubbed down as they generally sweated freely. He then had tea and finally let his horses out in the paddock before he went to bed.

Drivers with big loads and doing long distances often had only three or four hours sleep at night and sometimes instead of going to bed would simply sleep on the bags of chaff for a few hours.

The life of the blacksmith was a very busy one and he was an important member of the community in those early days. The farmers’ horses had to be shod and their vehicles repaired. Then the entire mill horses had to be shod and the machinery at the mill repaired. The bullocks had an advantage over horses as they pulled more steadily and the strain was more evenly exercised. Thus in rugged country in the swamps and muddy areas where horses would have been useless the steady bullock performed an invaluable task in bringing logs out. The bullock driver or ‘bullocky’ as he was familiarly called, is now an almost legendary character. His language was often lurid but his bark was usually worse than his bite. He was invariably fond of and kind to his team. He knew his team as individuals and called each by name

101 years of Ormondville ORMONDVILLE

Ref pages 90 to 97

Photo Page 90 Ormondville 1890’s Courtesy Railway Locomotive Society

Part 5



Waipukurau Small Farm Association

On Thursday, 31st August 1876 by Order in Council Governor Normanby authorised the formation of the Waipukurau Small Farm Association for the purpose of settling 2584 acres as a Special Settlement. Known as Tua Tua Block it was boundaried by the Manawatu River and Makotuku Stream to form a triangle block surrounding the present town of Ormondville. Commonly known as the Seventy Mile Bush there was at the time neither rail nor road access.

A Secretary-Manager, Treasurer and five committee members, controlled the business of the Association.

All members were required to be married and when one settler lost his wife he was disqualified from staying on his block. The maximum size of any holding was 100 acres and the occupation of and enclosing of 10% of the land up to 10 acres and the clearing of that area constituted occupancy. Settlers were requested to erect a dwelling of at least £10 ($20.00) value within 2 years.

At least 20% had to be cleared and fenced, cropped or sown in grass within four years.

Provision was made for Educational and Recreational Reserves and the Association provided for the building of a school and master’s house as funds became available. Successful allotment drawers were given one year to start clearing and fencing. Capital was raised by issuing shares at One Guinea (1. 1. 0.) each representing one acre per share with the first subscription being 2 pence per share and payments were made at the rate of 9 pence per share per quarter with provision for larger instalments and full payment after the clearing requirements were met.

Known Original Settlers under the above scheme are as follows: —













Photo page 92 MAYCOCK’s home Fothergill Road in 1880’s

Local Bodies


1876 saw changes in the structure of Government with the Abolition of the Provinces. As the Provinces had been responsible for the financial and administrative aspects of public works, education, etc. it moved that responsibility onto General Government. Thus in 1876 saw the passing of the Counties Act and the formation of Ridings and Road Boards to deal with road, bridge and rail construction.

The first representative from the combined Norsewood­-Ormondville Riding was Alfred Lysman LEVY, resident in Norsewood. He was also Chairman of the Ormondville Road Board and the Ormondville Town Board. Others who represented the Ormondville Riding on the Council were Messrs C. R. BAINES,


It is interesting to note that the first rate struck in 1877 for the formation of the 70-mile bush road was .025 cents in the dollar and this was considered high! The history is one of continual survey, contracts and metalling until 1st April 1908 the Dannevirke County Council was formed. The first Ormondville Riding Representative was N. NIKOLAISON followed by J. W. ELLINGHAM who served for many years ten of them as Chairman from 1919 to 1929.

Dannevirke County Council.

Ormondville representatives: —

1909-1911 J. W. Ellingham
1930-1938 J. C. Castles
1912 J. Neal
1939-1953 J. W. Ellingham
1913-1914 D. Mc Farlane
1954-1958 D. J. Castles
1915-1929 J. W. Ellingham (Chairman 1919-1929)
1959- C. C. Newling

Page 94 Photo FOTHERGILL family haymaking about 1900

In 1876 the first rate struck was 2 3/8d in the pound — Ormondville’s first rates amounted to £60 ($120.00) the unimproved value being given as approximately £1760 0s 0d. ($3,520.00) In 1977 the rates collected from Ormondville am6unted to $38,526.47 and the capital value of the district stands at $6,084,860.00. Spreading the $38,526.00 around the road works, maintenance and repairs is almost as difficult today as using the first $120.00. Today as in 1876 the maintenance and improvement of access is a prior concern of the County.

The Ormondville Roads Board was formed in 1877 members were Job Packer, Mathias Joseph Skinner, John Charles Davis, William Shuker, Charles Richard Baines, F. Forward and J. M. Callender, (Clerk).

The Ormondville Town Board founded in 1882 had jurisdiction over a narrow area extending along the railway line from Ormondville to Makotuku and included both townships. The Board was also Trustee for the cemetery and library. I. M. Callender, Snr., became town clerk in 1882 and was followed by his son C. Callender who held the post until 1911.

Later in 1913 H. J. Newling, J. J. Fitzgerald, N. Nikolaison and D. Mc Farlane became members of the Town Board under the chairmanship of G. D. May.

D.Wilson was Town Clerk from 1911 to 1928

Miss A.M. Webb from 1929 to 1937.

F. M. Dodunski held the post during 1938

Miss F. Hosking from 1939 to 1943 when administration was merged with Dannevirke County Council.

In 1906 the town had a population of 413 with 775 more in the outlying districts a total of 1188. By 1975 the town was down to 195 and the outlying districts 136.

Photo Page 95 An early bush bridge (circa 1870)

Jonathan Holden represented the district on the Dannevirke Hospital Board in 1923 and the present representative is Mr Jim Cload.

Page 96 Photo: - Ormondville Town Board 1902


Page 97 Photo: - Ormondville Town Board 1913


101 years of Ormondville Railway

Ref pages 105to 116

Page 104 Photo Mangarangiora wooden viaduct


The Colonial Treasurer Julius VOGEL in 1869 borrowed six million pounds (i.e. $12,000,000.00) for the purpose of developing the country and promoting public works as a means to create prosperity and to increase the population in New Zealand.

The General Government undertook an extensive scheme of railway construction with the assistance of the Provincial Governments. A railway between Napier and Palmerston North was projected and surveys of alternative routes undertaken in 1870.

There was a choice of two routes from the port of Napier to Paki Paki; the present one and another across the Meeanee Flats crossing the Heretaunga Plain some miles west of Hastings. From Paki to Waipukurau there was little room for argument and it seems incredible that there could have been any alternative to the present line from Waipukurau to the Manawatu Gorge. Yet trial surveys of three separate routes were made. It is amazing that a survey was made of the line to the east of Hatuma Lake up the Ngahape Valley to Tourere where there was a choice of crossing the Te Umu Opua Hills by the present Hatuma-Whetukura Road, thence through the Waikopiro and Ngapaeruru Bush to the junction of the Mangatoro and Manawatu Rivers and on to Oringi or continuing over MACKERSEY’S Lake Station along the east of the Raikatea Range to the Mangapuaka Creek thence through the bush to Mangatoro clearing and Otope and Oringi. This route with alternatives is described and numbered ‘3’ on Mr Carl Herman WEBER’S plan but it is difficult to follow, as most of the place names are now unrecognisable. Route No. 1 follows very closely the present main highway from Takapau to Matamau and No. 2 was roughly the present line. The surveyors J. STEWART and C. H. WEBER (Chief Surveyor) to obtain a bird’s eye view of the district climbed Rangitoto a prominent hill near Takapau and also a spur of the Ruahine Range to ascertain the most suitable route.

Construction of the railway connecting the Port of Napier with Woodville and later with Palmerston North and Wellington was started from Napier in 1874 the rails reaching Waipukurau on 1st September


In 1877 in a report of progress given to Parliament the estimated cost of completing the Napier-Manawatu railway was shown as £75,633 0s 0d. By 12th March 1877 Takapau had been reached and on 25th January 1878 the rails reached Kopua thus giving easy access to the centre of the area then known as the “Seventy Mile Bush”.

Photo page 106 D WILSON Stationmaster and Staff

Kopua was a large settlement even before the days of railway construction due to the extensive saw milling operations in the Seventy Mile Bush. Reputed to have a population of over a thousand persons the town had a hotel, the “Beaconsfield” and a resident policeman, Constable Schultz of the Armed Constabulary. Regular sittings were held in a Magistrate’s Court and a telegraph service was connected to the railway circuit moving southwards. Coaches provided a service to the railhead further north and the new settlements. The Beaconsfield Hotel site can be identified by a large Laurel hedge near the railway on the east side of the Takapau Road. The Beaconsfield Hotel was moved to Makotuku and finally to Dannevirke where the Masonic Hotel now stands.

The main-telegraph line from Napier to the south (opened 1869) by-passed the 70-mile bush by going from Waipukurau to Porangahau thence along the coast to Masterton. After the rail route to Woodville was opened in 1887 the telegraph lines were moved to follow the rail route south. Main toll and telegraph lines were transferred from the railway to the main highway in the early 1930s.

From Takapau the railway was constructed direct to Dannevirke instead of making a small detour to go through Norsewood. This was a great disappointment to the Norsewood people who had been agitating for the line to pass through their town. Whichever way the line was to go, it was obvious it would have to enter rugged country. This was in fact entered some six miles south of Takapau at Kopua and from here south to Dannevirke six viaducts had to be constructed some of them magnificent timber trestles unfortunately long since replaced. Immigrant and local labour mainly on the basis of numerous small contracts did most of the construction work going on at this time.

Petty contracts to relieve unemployment in the district were let in the 1880s for the excavation of cuttings and construction formations and often were for no more than two chains long.

No. 27 Petty contract — Kopua: Charles BAINES (formerly BELL & Co.)

22 Petty Contract Papatu Section George BUTLER.

10 Petty Contract Papatu Section C. BAINES.

29 Petty Contract Papatu Section, HANSEN & LARSEN.

18 Petty Contract Papatu Section HENRY SMITH.

19Petty Contract Papatu Section GEORGE BUTLER.

24 Petty Contract Papatu Section A. FREDSBURY.

8 Petty Contract Papatu Section C. BAINES.

Mathias BICK successfully contracted to fell 27 acres of bush around the Mangarangiora and Makotuku viaducts for £78/0/0d.

During 1879 a lot of trouble was experienced with wet weather causing slips on the Papatu Hill-Mangarangiora Stream section just north of Ormondville work not being completed until February 1880. The Ormondville deviation (which includes the well known viaduct) has since replaced this treacherous formation and by-passed the Papatu Hill. By 9th August 1880 the line had reached Makotuku six miles from Kopua but after this progress was extremely slow, as New Zealand was in the grips of a depression. Unemployment was rife and work on the construction of the ten mile Makotuku to Dannevirke section was offered to married men only at the low rate, even for that time of 4/- per day. The 4-mile section from Makotuku to Matamau was not opened until 23rd June 1884 and this was followed six months later by an extension taking in the Piri Piri Viaduct being opened to Dannevirke on 15th December 1884.

Page 108 Photo Steaming up the cutting

Contracts were let in 1884 for the completion of the Tahoraiti-Woodville section and after this work was completed the line opened for traffic on 22nd March 1887. Leaving Napier a special train for the occasion was made up of twenty carriages drawn by three engines but by the time Waipukurau was reached the train was so crowded that four more carriages had to be added. On arrival at Woodville a procession was formed and a great temperance banquet held, toasts being drunk in tea and lemonade. It was estimated that about 4000 people gathered to celebrate the occasion, 1200 of them off the train from Napier.

When the line opened in 1887 the maximum speed allowed was only 22 miles per hour; no wonder it took the fastest train three hours to complete its journey from Woodville to Waipukurau!

In 1886 Hon. James INGLIS, a New South Wales Cabinet Minister wrote while travelling this route: “Now we leave the undulating plains and grassy ridges and enter the bush country. We pass sidings with great logs ready for the trucks. Wooden tramways lead everywhere into dense forest. Here are magnificent wooded valleys and forest clad gorges; the silence of their dm recesses only broken by the ring of the timber man’s axe.

Dashing ever onward and upward we whizz across a high spidery wooden bridge on fragile looking trestles and now reach Ormondville. Such a township; with its acres of blackened prostrate logs, its giant trunks and stumps, the clearing fires, the rough back-woodsmen, the lumbering bullock teams, the distant peep of the wooded hills over the ever-widening circle of seemingly impervious bush. It recalls the stories of Fenimore COOPER and we could almost imagine ourselves away in the Indian wilds of Canada.’

The wooden trestle bridge over the Mangarangiora completed in 1880 was believed to have been constructed under the supervision of Mr J. T. CARR District Engineer who was in charge of survey parties in the area laying off sites for the new bridges south of Ormondville. It is known that J. SAUNDERS of Wellington built the Manga-te-Wainui Viaduct for which tenders closed on 23rd December 1881 for the contract sum of £17,780/16/0d. ($35,561.60c) Trestle bridges were built of tier upon tier of wooden beams and the Ormondville viaduct built with a curve in the line was reputed to be the highest in the world when constructed being over 100 feet high and about 600 feet long.

Bush fires were a constant worry to all especially during the summer when large areas were being burnt off for farming. In April 1886 flames swept in from the west and crossed over the railway line. Large parties of men were retained to watch the wooden trestle bridge and the fire was controlled within a few feet of the bridge following heavy rainfall.

The wooden trestle bridge over the Mangarangiora was replaced with a steel viaduct over a deviation completed in 1906 and was opened for traffic on 10th January 1907 after an official opening ceremony the previous Sunday. The new viaduct (still in use) known as bridge No. 156 is 921 feet long and 129 feet high. In 1935 the Viaduct was strengthened to take the heavy “K” Class locomotives weighing up to 140 tons fully bunkered then being built by N.Z. Railways. The line has a 1 in 50 grade approach on to both ends of the Viaduct from Ormondville and Kopua. An early timetable dated 16.10.1880 advised that the trains left Napier at 7.40 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. and arrived at Makotuku at 11.23 a.m. and 8.10 p.m. which must have been fairly good times for the 15 ton, 4 wheel Saddletank C Class locomotives used at that time.

From 1880 until 1883 when Ormondville was a flag station those intending to leave the train had to advise the guard. Intending travellers at the Flag Station had to wave down the driver and the guard collected their fares.

Photo Page 110 “Endeavour” crossing Mangarangiora Viaduct, 1977 (by Paul ANDERSON).

A fully staffed station was opened at Ormondville in 1883 and later a goods shed, freight and stockyards were built to cope with crossing North-South freight trains. The “Endeavour” passenger train stops on request daily.

Stationmasters who also held the duties of Postmasters included A. W. HUTCHINGS, H. MC DOUGALL and E. J. REID. Later Stationmasters included Davey WILSON who was discharged for leaving the station while on duty when his wife and daughter were drowned in the nearby Manawatu River. Percy BOX, A. J. Mc GRAIL, Geo. TAYLOR, D. CHAFFER served the station until 1976 when C. GUILLUM-SCOTT was appointed Stationmaster.

On the 17th April 1888 Governor NORMANBY by Order in Council over the signature of Foster GORING, Clerk of the Executive Council issued the following directive to N.Z. Railways. “Smoking is strictly prohibited in any of the railway sheds, offices, platforms, waiting room or any portion of the railway premises; and any person so smoking shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding ten pounds.

In 1884 N.Z. Railways issued the following order. “Officers are to be dressed in uniform and it is confidently asserted that the General Manager of Railways will be standing in magnificence and beauty. It is not anticipated that side arms be worn but gold spurs will be permitted.”

Ormondville Post Office

From 1880 until 1914 the business of the Post Office was con­ducted in the railway station.

During 1914 the Ormondville Post Office was transferred from the railway station and business was carried on in temporary premises until the present office was erected in 1920. The temporary building was subsequently transported to the Lines Depot, Dannevirke where it now serves as an equipment store. Sir George HUNTER officially opened the present office in 1921 the Member of Parliament (Reform Government) for the Waipawa Electorate.

Mr C. VIGERS, who was employed as a message-boy during the years 1910/11 at a salary of £32 (i.e. $64.00) per annum recalls that one clerk, a message-boy and porter, assisted the Stationmaster/Postmaster. Money order and Savings Bank facilities were provided and 25 subscribers were connected to the telephone exchange. Telegraph traffic was Morse operated over a Railway/Post Office circuit. During Parliamentary elections polling figures were received by telegraph and displayed for public information. Almost the entire population of the township gathered and interest was high. The large number of fights, which broke out between the supporters of the opposing political parties, highlighted the event.

Mr G. B. FOWLER, who was Postmaster during the years 19 17/19 recalls that the temporary office, which was perhaps twelve feet wide by some twenty feet long, accommodated the telephone exchange, telegraph equipment, mail hopper and public counter. Conditions were more than cramped and the proverbial cat could not be swung. The Postmaster who was Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, also performed marriages in what little space was provided at the public counter.

A Morse circuit was shared with Napier, Takapau and Dannevirke and a considerable volume of telegraph work was handled. All party lines connected to the telephone exchange were earth working type and required frequent maintenance by the line owners. Several mails were dispatched and received daily and the Railway Travelling Post Office was in existence at that time on this section but ceased during the early 1930s. A daily rural delivery and private bag service to the Whetukura-Te Un area was operated by Mr Dan RIGGIR and covered some 35 miles over very bad roads.

Telephone construction work commenced in 1914 and a short length of cable was laid from the railway station to the new Post Office. The main Ormondville underground cable system was constructed in 1926 and extends to Makotuku a distance of about 2 miles.

Mails to and from Norsewood were circulated by Ormondville and were carried by a twice-daily coach service operated by Mr Carl SCHMIDT.

The Ormondville-Norsewood mail service operated for more than 70 years and finally terminated on 30 September 1966. The contract was held by Mr CARL SCHMIDT from 1 January 1892 until 20th May 1912 and continued by his son, Mr Fred SCHMIDT until 1927. The service during those years was performed with a coach and pair and is believed to have been one of the last horse-drawn coach services in New Zealand.

Motor vehicles were used by all subsequent con­tractors who were: -

Mr. C. L. NEILSEN 1927-1929

Mr MILLAN 1929-1930

Mr J. LEGARTH 1 January 1931 to 30 September 1966.

The Kopua Post Office opened on 1st March 1878 mainly to serve railway construction workers. After closing on 15th February 1883 postal facilities were transferred to Ormondville. Kopua was opened again on 19th January 1884 to serve saw millers and it operated until 28th February 1885. After being opened again for the third time on

13th July 1896 as Otawhoa it was on 29th May 1916 moved three miles to the Kopua Railway Station where it was renamed Kopua and finally closed on 30th November 1967. A copy of the final date stamp is illustrated and the letter slot inscribed with “V.R.” for Queen Victoria can be seen in the Norsewood Museum.

Following the final closure of Kopua Post Office postal services were transferred to Ormondville.

The Whetukura Store Post Office was opened in 1901 and served that district until the store was destroyed by fire in 1916. Mail was carried from Ormondville by a horse-drawn wagon driven by Mr A. HEGH who drove from Ormondville to Te Un where he stayed over­night and returned to Ormondville the following day. The Whetukura Post Office provided postal facilities and also contained a small tele­phone exchange catering for private line owners in the Whetukura-Te-Uri district. Following the fire in 1916 all mail and telephone services were transferred to Ormondville.

Today the Ormondville Post Office provides a full range of postal, money order and savings-bank (non-ledger) facilities. A rural delivery service catering for 32 box holders and 7 private bag holders in the Whetukura area, operates 5 days weekly and covers 33 miles daily. Direct mails are dispatched to and received from Dannevirke, Palmerston North, Wellington and Napier each day, Monday to Saturday. Morse equipment was removed in 1959 and all telegraph traffic is now telephoned between Ormondville and Dannevirke.

An automatic unattended exchange was installed in 1971 and has been enlarged to provide services to 175 subscribers. Fourteen toll circuits are provided to Dannevirke and direct dialing to Dannevirke is possible over the 14 lines.

At the time of writing Mr Ian HARRIS operates the daily mail service (and general delivery) and Mrs D. HARRIS is Postmistress having taken over from Mr Tom HARLOW. Business hours are now 10.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. The Post Office erected in 1920 has been well maintained and is of similar design to the Takapau Post Office featured on the 1977 Hawke’s Bay Telephone Directory.

The Post Office provided jobs for school leavers and many former Ormondville personnel have gone on to higher positions in Post Offices throughout New Zealand.

Stationmasters who also completed the duties of Postmasters were: —

-1879: -J.W. GRANT

1904-1909: -A W. HUTCHINGS.

1909-1913: -H. MC DOUGALL.

1913-1914-: -E.J. REID

From 1914 to date the Postmasters up to Mrs D. HARRIS taking over in 1973 were: -

1914-1917 — D. HUTTON.

1917-1919 — G. FOWLER.

1919-1923 — S. BURKE.


1942-1945 — Ranee FIELDS.

1946- — H. BECKER.

1955-1959 — W. MC KINNON.

1959-1967 — A. WHITING.

1967-1971 — C. L. BEILBY.

1971-1973 — T. HARLOW.

Law and Order

Darner Septimus REDWARD 7th son of Fred REDWARD an early settler who is now 81 years old and resident in Levin remembers the populace as generally law abiding people.

“The jail cells were not used very often and then mainly for the occasional drunk or disorderly person who had appeared before the local Justice of the Peace Mr R. R. Groom.

A number of the settlers around the surrounding district farmed what was known as Maori Land, and large numbers of natives congregated at the Courthouse in Ormondville periodically to collect their rents. Most of them were tattooed on their faces, arms and legs. Many wives accompanied their husbands carrying their children on their backs, held comfortably in place by Maori mats or blankets. All married women were tattooed on their lips and chins. One man was so terribly stout (28 stone) that he had difficulty in walking and was brought to the Courthouse in a tip-cart which was duly tipped up to get him on to his feet. How they loaded him back on the cart I cannot remember or ever witnessed. Most of these Maoris came from Takapau and the Waikopiro districts.”

A Courthouse was built on the site now occupied by the pensioner flats. Every second Friday each month in the early 1880s monthly sittings of the Court were presided over by Capt. PREECE, Resident Magistrate of Napier who travelled by train arriving on the morning and returning the same evening on the afternoon return train. On Court days the local school children rushed to the Courthouse during their lunch hour to see who was in trouble and appearing before the Magistrate. The Courthouse was closed in the 1930s and was shifted to its present site where Mr and Mrs A. SAIL now occupy it as a private dwelling.

On one occasion two Scandinavians appeared before Capt. PREECE one being accused of shooting his neighbour’s dog.

The Magistrate: “How do you plead?”

Accused: “I shot ze dog alright — but let him prove it!”

Magistrate: ‘‘It seems to be a simple claim for damages.”

(To owner): “How much was your dog worth?”

Owner: “Ze dog vas vorth nothing but I will have ze full value of him.”

Magistrate: “So you shall” said Capt. PREECE “The case is dismissed.”

The first Constable in the Ormondville District : -

Was CONSTABLE SCHULTZ of the Armed Constabulary who resided at Kopua from 1879 until 1882, when he moved to Makotuku, where he resided until 1884.

In 1884 the Station was moved to Ormondville

Constable James SIDDELLS No. 231 became the first resident policeman.

The first Constable from the New Zealand Police Force following the Police Force Act 1886 was

Thomas Johnson DRAKE No. 385 who was also the Clerk of the Court and Inspector of Factories.

Constable DRAKE appointed in 1898 served in Ormondville until

Constable William John BUTLER took over on 13th March 1902 holding the same posts as his predecessor. Capt. SCULLY of the Armed Constabulary supervised Hawke’s entire central and southern Bay and -most of the prosecutions were under the Gaming and Lottery Act. On one occasion a gig, harness and horse were raffled illegally in the local stables.

On 18 October 1907 Constable Donald Mc LEOD No. 799 was appointed to Ormondville and was an officer under the Sale of Food and Drugs Act.

Constable James MURPHY No. 1652 was appointed on 30 May 1923 and his extra duties consisted of Inspector of Factories, Clerk of the Court, Probation Officer and Bailiff. Constable MURPHY was replaced by William Dunlop THORN No. 1964 on 19 March 1930 and had the same extra duties as

Constable MURPHY.

Constable Alec Howard BARNES No. 1969 was appointed on 11 September 1934 and was also Inspector of Factories and Probation Officer as was his successor John Rickard RUAN No. 1984 who was appointed on 21 March 1935.

The last Constable was John William BRADFORD No. 2137 was appointed on 19 February 1941 remaining until the Station closed on 17 August 1942 and Constable Bradford transferred to the new station at Norsewood.

Mrs M. FORWARD as a private home now occupies the former Police Station.

The substantial two cell wooden jail was moved to Norsewood in 1975 and is being restored as part of the Colonial Museum. The structure ensured no escapes and indeed an elephant would have difficulty in getting out of the building.

The story is also told about Constable MURPHY who used the jail cells as a poultry house and when required to accommodate a prisoner or offender there were rapid preparations including the transfer of poultry out of one cell and a bit of a clean up and fresh straw to restore the cell to a habitable condition!!

The first solicitor to hold consultations in Ormondville was J. C. WESTALL, LL.B., a former Ormondville schoolmaster who in 1901 met clients in the home of David WILSON, Town Clerk and Commercial Agent. The first resident solicitor was Edwin HOSKING who practiced in Ormondville next door to the first town hall, opposite the railway station.

On Sunday 10th February 1884 tragedy struck Ormondville when Herbert Roland EDWARDS who had been arrested twice previously for violent behaviour over imbibed in the local hostelry and after returning to his home about one mile south of the town caused the death of his wife Mary Ann 33 years and their four children Roland seven years, Ellen five years, Arthur John three years and Maud Emily 12 months old.

EDWARDS who was apparently deranged was later located under the Makotuku Railway Viaduct in a very distraught and cold state. After being arrested by Constable SCHULTZ, Edwards was tried before Capt. PREECE (in front of whom Edwards had appeared twice before) on 10th June, was convicted and hanged in the Napier Prison on 15th July 1884. The event reflected on Jeremiah LINEHAM the publican who left the district never to return although many years later he arranged for a tombstone to be erected in the cemetery where it can be seen today. The EDWARDS’ home was later destroyed by fire, which according to locals was not accidental.

101 Years of Ormondville Cont’d

Ref Pages 117to 133

Page 116 Photo Ormondville-Whetukura coach service changing horse Page 116 Photo Ormondville-Whetukura coach service changing horse

One of the first bullock drivers in the district was Thomas Spango NICHOLLS who arrived in Norsewood in 1872 and worked the Kopua, Norsewood, Ormondville, Makotuku districts and as far south as Dannevirke. While transporting the Beaconsfield Hotel building formerly of Kopua and later of Makotuku to Dannevirke he arrived at Mangatera at Easter. Forbidden to travel into Dannevirke on Good Friday he unhitched his bullocks and left the wagon with the Beaconsfield Hotel on board on the road until the following Tuesday morning. Certainly no person to be trifled with and typical of the colourful “bullockies” of earlier days.

S. Mc GREEVY of Waipawa transported many of the early settlers into the district with his two horse and five horse wagons.

William JONES drove the coach from Kopua when it was the southern rail terminal through Ormondville and on to Woodville. His descendants now own and operate a major transport business in Napier.

David CARMICHAEL, who spoke fluent Maori, was a bullock driver in Ormondville during 1879. He was mainly engaged in the transportation of sawn timber and firewood to the railhead for the Freezing Works at Tomoana near Hastings.

Alick HEGH established a livery stable in Milly Street during the 1890s contracted to the Te Uri sawmills and bush camps and delivered stores from R. R. GROOMS General Store in Ormondville.

Dan RIGGIR serviced the Whetukura and Te Uri Districts from 1910 until the 1930s using a four-horse team. He carried mail between the Whetukura Post Office Store and Ormondville and delivered stores to settlers and mill and road construction gangs. Later Charlie SCHMIDT a son of Carl SCHMIDT operated a carrying business between Norsewood, Ormondville and Whetukura.

Charlie SCHMIDT had contracts to carry butter and cheese to Ormondville Railway Station, carted farmers wool and delivered lime and artificial fertilizers. He employed an assistant and as there was no motor transport available was the only service in the district at that time with his 2 horse drawn wagons. Goods railed to Ormondville were carted to the Norsewood Stores and he carted many tons of oats and chaff for the many horse teams being used to break in the land for farming. A freight carrier’s life was a strenuous one in those days sitting on a hard seat of a wagon and driving day after day in adverse weather conditions over extremely rough and inadequate roads.

Carl SCHMIDT operated the Ormondville mail contract from 1st January 1892 until 20th May 1912 when he passed the contract on to his son Fred SCHMIDT four days before his death. He spoke broken English and had a knack of saying things back to front. After running over a dog he said, “Now I have me the wheel the dog over”! The coach provided transport for local parties travelling to Dannevirke to see plays, to Waipukurau to play cricket and for tennis teams and wedding parties. Commercial travellers used the coach service and Mr Carl SCHMIDT had a habit of taking the opposite view to his passengers for the sake of argument. During 35 years operations the only accidents were minor involving the loss of a wheel on two occasions. Fred Schmidt who was well known for his courteous and obliging manner maintained the mail contract and passenger service until 1927 when it was taken over by John LEGARTH. During World War IL John LEGARTH owned a Willys seven-seater car, which at times doubled as an ambulance to Dannevirke Hospital. John Legarth retired in 1966.

Geoffrey THOMPSON operated a carrying business out of Ormondville during the 1920s with a Daimler or Brockway truck and later was engaged in agricultural contracting.

Page 118 Photo Fred SCHMIDT outside “ALPHA” factory.

A Mr ENGEBRETSON with a horse commenced the Makotuku-Ormondville road service and dray and Ted WRIGHT maintained a service with a truck from the early 1930s until 1957 when THE CLARK Bros purchased the business

HAYCOCK, FOTHERGILL and MACKAY took over the run in 1968 and their fleet at that time included five trucks when the name was changed to HAYCOCK and FOTHERGILl Transport Ltd. in 1969.

In 1927 PORT Bros. commenced a carrying business with a Model T Ford based at Ormondville. Alf JACKSON of Matamau joined the business in 1936, which then became PORT & JACKSON. The fleet grew to three trucks by 1939 and the business carried on until 1944 when Alf JACKSON sold his interest to Mr PERRY and the name became PORT & PERRY. Following the departure of Mr PERRY in 1948 E. G. PORT carried on until it was sold to K. J. OLSEN Transport Ltd. The fleet included three stock trucks, two trailers, and two super trucks. A. B. PORT operated the garage opened in 1945, which was also part of the business. By 1965, 15 children at Ormondville School were from drivers’ families.

An amalgamation in 1972 with Haycock and Fothergill Transport Ltd. resulted in a change of name to Southern Haulage (HB) Ltd. who in 1973 purchased Norsewood Transport from John RAWSTHORN adding four more trucks and two trailers to the fleet.

Today the fleet includes 14 trucks and 12 trailers. Seventeen fulltime staff employed being added to by casual drivers during the haymaking season when the number of employees ranges between 35 and 40.

In 1964 the total fleet had a capacity of 650 lambs at any one time and today one truck and trailer can move 600 lambs giving some idea of the growth in size of the vehicles in a modern fleet.

Page 119 Photo Geoffrey Hawthorn Thompson, Carrier.

In 1964 the total fleet had 39 tyres on the road at any one time compared with 230 tyres at this date. Eighty per cent of the perm­anent staff of Southern Haulage (HB) Ltd. either live in the district or have been employed for more than 10 years and the wage bill exceeds $125,000. Twelve of the 15 members of the Ormondville Volunteer Fire Brigade are employees and two staff members have built new homes in Ormondville during 1977.

Page 120 Photo Nikolaison’s First Alpha Dairy Factory

Jack BENBOW (upstairs) P C OLSEN and C L OLSEN (on “Scandi” wagon.), Christian and Ann NIKOLAISON (on landing). Others left to right, BAI, PRINCE, J D THOMPSON, MRS. HAHN

Nikolaisons Alpha Butter Factory

Olaf and Katrina NIKOLAISON were born in Sweden and emigrated to Denmark where they lived for 25 years before coming to New Zealand on the “Fritz Reuter” in 1875 and settling on one of the 40 acre blocks on the Danish Line as it was then known (now the Norsewood Road). Their son Niels married Laura Matilda JENSEN, a daughter of Christen and Gydine Christine JENSEN, also local settlers on the Danish Line.

Mrs NIKOLAISON was an expert butter maker supplying many Ormondville homes from her cottage industry.

The butter was made in a cool dairy dug into a hillside like a cave with slab shelves at the front.

While pushing her pram after the arrival of her family Laura Matilda NIKOLAISON would make her deliveries with a basket of butter hanging from the handle.

Later as more dairy farms were developed in the district Niels NIKOLAISON built a butter factory in 1889 and the concrete remains can be seen on the north side of the Danish Line about one mile from Ormondville.

Page 121 Photo “Alpha” milk collection on Dennis solid tyred truck


Left to right: - Charlie GAMBLE (Mechanic/driver), Stan BURLING (driver), Howard HODGSON (butter maker), Alwyn BENNETT (factory) Olaf NIKOLAISON, Harry MOFFATT (store man), Percy BENNETT (Manager), Septimus STEPHENSON (driver), Harry THORESON (store man), Alan MUNRO (driver), Bert ANDERSEN (factory), Alf BENNETT (driver), Hugh TARLETON (factory), Canute FREDRICKSEN (butter maker).

Originally a single storey wooden building the factory was later enlarged by the addition of a top floor and in 1922 a brick building was added. The cream factory was equipped with a steam-driven separator to which local farmers brought whole milk, a big improve­ment on the earlier pan skimming.

Cream was collected by Dennis solid tyred trucks (see photo­graph) from as far a field as Foxton and Weber and the butter in 56 lb. Kahikatea Boxes was railed to Napier for shipment to the London Market and sold under brand No. N.N. 735. For a few years cheese was also made in the same factory. In 1906 three persons were employed. By 1923 the number had grown to 13 all being from the local district. Staff included a milk testing officer, butter makers, storekeepers, drivers and a cook.

Sam BURLING who drove one of the Dennis trucks while they were fitted with solid tyres (before being converted to pneumatics) found his arms swelling while driving over rough and corrugated roads collecting cream

Page 123 Photo “Alpha” butterchurn


The Factory Store owned by N. NIKOLAISON & Sons stocked a wide range of goods including clothing, hardware, farm tools, supplies and provisions until the store closed in the early 1930s.

A price list dated 1928 (Boom Times) includes mousetraps at 3d each. Cabin bread was 8d a lb. and tinned sausages 2/2d lb. Fish-hooks were 4d a dozen and a quality watch 6/6d. Gingham was quoted at 1/4d per yard and wooden butter churns 30/-d ($3.00) each.

“Big Tree” petrol from the pump was 2/3d per gallon or 9d per bottle! Eight-gallon drums of “Big Tree” were 24/- ($2.40) each which included the drum.

“Voco” petrol was cheaper at 20/- per 8 gallons and Texaco petrol cheaper again at I 8/6d per 8 gallons.

In 1906 NIKOLAISON’S Factory was producing 550 lb of butter per day and was believed to have the biggest output of any factory in New Zealand.

A reversal in fortunes with low prices on the London Market saw the factory close in 1936 after which butter and cheese pro­cessing was centred on the Norsewood Co-operative Dairy Company until that factory closed in 1960 and milk tanker collections serviced all local dairy farms.

Peace Memorial Hall
On the 16th July 1919 a meeting was held in the Rechabite Hall under the Chairmanship of Mr H. J. NEWLING to consider a permanent peace memorial to remember those who had served in the Great War.

A Committee comprising H. M. SANDERS, Chairman; G. E. FOWLER, Secretary; W. Love, C. R. BAINES, P. BOX, G. MCKECHNIE, E. W. EDKINS AND Miss MORGANTI were elected. consideration was given TO various alternatives including the purchase of the Rechabite Hall, the Foresters’ Hall, a bare 1-acre section and the site between the bakery and Rechabite Hall. Several meetings were held to discuss the various alternatives and finally in 1921 it was decided to purchase the Rechabite Hall and land and build a Shell hall 50 feet by 36 feet at a total cost of £900 ($1800.00). £277/16/1 was collected by public subscription and Mr H. M. Saunders guaranteed £300 ($600.00) as long as Ormondville people subscribed more liberally.

Building proceeded and the hall was opened in 1922 a piano being acquired by Mr H. J. NEWLING from the Patriotic Society. By 1923 the total costs involved were £921/2/3 ($1842.25). The hall was later renovated, dressing rooms added and the site fenced.

Electricity was installed in 1926 for $45.00 and provided power for

Mr DONGHI’S still picture evenings.

In 1928 the committee lost its energetic chairman Mr H. M. SAUNDERS who had been a tower of strength since 1919. Mr SAUNDERS would accept only $238.00 in full settlement of his $600.00 loaned to the hall committee and his inspiration and drive was sorely missed.

In 1928 the hall was moved back on the site but due to stringent times and insufficient funds the committee could not pay insurance premiums, electricity charges and general repairs. The Coronation Miniature Rifle Club was formed in 1937 with weekly shoots. Later Mr C. R. FOREMAN showed “talking pictures” and a lively Social Club and Country Women’s Institute assisted to maintain the hall.

Footlights were installed in 1937 the cost being shared by Country Women’s Institute and the Hall Committee. 1938 saw a copper and “Zip” hot water heater in the supper room and a “Caseo” chemical closet installed.

Over the years the ball has seen a procession of local talent (Mrs Jean BAINES’ staging plays) concerts by the Social Club, fancy dress balls and concerts of the Ormondville School, Clubs, dances, cards (Euchre and Whist), religious meetings and political meetings, Fire Brigade socials, and the continued interest of Country Women’s Institute.

Volunteer Fire Brigade
In 1953 Messrs C. NEWLING and W. EARL convened a meeting to discuss the formation of a fire brigade and later led a deputation to Wellington to put their case before the Fire Services Council. Following approval to form a brigade early in 1954 over $2000.00 was collected by house-to-house canvass. The Dannevirke County Council made available a section and the brigade’s men began milling the timber for building a fire station.

Foundation members were A. B. PORT (Chief Fire Officer),

L. A. CLARK (Deputy Chief Fire Officer), B. ANDERSON, V. C. BENBOW,



The first fire attended by the newly formed Brigade was a chimney fire in a dwelling opposite the Railway Station, which was extinguished by the Chief, and Deputy Chief Fire Officers before the Brigade had any equipment.

The first test of the new brigade was the KELL’S house fire on 24 September 1974, on the 3rd Line at Norsewood.

A Gwvnne trailer pump and hose equipment were purchased out of the funds available and this unit served Ormondville for 20 years. A 1914 Dennis 4 cylinder fire engine complete with all brass fittings and a hose reel, which had been in service in Napier, was purchased late in 1954. Following the 1931 Earthquake the Dennis had pumped five days and five nights nonstop at the Iron Pot, Ahuriri.

In 1955 David THOMPSON’S hay-barn burnt out and a Railway House was damaged by fire in 1959. Burling’s Moulding Factory was gutted in 1959 and a further fire occurred at Burling’s in the planing plant on 30th July 1976.

On 19th February 1959 ‘the 17 room Rakaiatai Homestead owned by Jonathon and Annie HOLDEN owners of some 6000 acres between Whetukura and Matamau was destroyed and the brigade was power­less to control the fire due to lack of water. The fire was visible seven miles away in Dannevirke.

A 1939 Chevrolet Fire Engine was purchased in 1960 from Gisborne and this appliance was in service until a G.M. Isuzu Appliance replaced it in 1976.

In May 1960 while the brigade was banqueting at the Ormondville school Jubilee a fire occurred in the Domain and the recently purchased Chevrolet was christened that night.

Page 126 Photo DENNIS Fire Engine and GWYNNE Pump


On the 5th May 1960 the Dennis was sold for $100.00 to Mr Des HUNTER a vintage car enthusiast of Napier and was later purchased by Mr Ron ROYCROFT leaving Napier on 30th January 1968 to become part of a private vintage vehicle collection at Glen Murray, Auckland.

On 9th April 1962 Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Co-operative Association Ltd. Store in Ormondville was extensively damaged by fire with a major stock loss but fortunately structural damage was relatively minor.

Twenty-fourth April 1960 the Chief Fire Officers’ team won a “friendly” shoot between Ormondville Fire Brigade and the Waikopiro Defence Rifle Club by 670 points to 663 points.

Since 1954 generous donations from the public supported the brigade but there was a continual financial worry to maintain equip­ment. Councilor NEWLING obtained assistance from the Dannevirke County Council and the Council’s support was always welcome and well received.

The New Zealand Fire Service was gazetted in 1973 and the administration of the brigade was taken over by the Fire Services Commission, the area commander being K. Ledbrook based in Napier and all equipment being owned by the Commission.

Present members of the Fire Brigade are: —









In 1967 A. B. PORT resigned as Chief Fire Officer and the Dannevirke County Council as controlling authority appointed

Deputy Chief Fire Officer L. A. CLARK to the position of Chief Fire


Both B. ANDERSON and L. A. CLARK will receive their 25-year Star in 1979.

By 1878 several businesses had been established in Ormondville. R. R. GROOM opened following an itinerant store operated by Alfred LEVY to cater for Bushmen and railways workers the first permanent store.

T. NICHOLLS provided a cartage service

J. T. BLACK-more owned the engineering shop.

W. BEALE the local carpenter and B. HARDING the blacksmith provided much needed services.

It is recorded that C. BOLTON’S Mill was working in the town.

Page 128 Photo Ormondville F.G.R.2734

SUGDEN’S Store, Saddler, Settler’s Arms, Butcher, Library, Bakery, Hall, General Store, Grain store, Solicitor, Barber, Drapery.

As time moved on around the turn of the century the business area had grown and there were three general stores selling hardware, fencing materials, tools and provisions. R. R. GROOMS’ store was opposite the railway station and J. J. BROWNE was on the Norsewood Line on the corner of Newton St. leading up to the Anglican Church. SUDGEN & Sons were east of Harry Street having moved from Makotuku. F. W. REDWARD had a butchery next to MARTIN’S Fruit-shop and Sweetshop, which was next door to the Settlers’ Arms Hotel. HARDY Bros. ran an early bakery later taken over by Joe SKINNER’S Bakery and Cake shop between GROOM’S Store and the Town Hall, Library and Reading Room. Mrs BEALE opened a confectionery selling aerated waters in her boarding house next to SUDGEN’S store. FORBES’ Drapery and Wiseman’s Drapery competed for business with the general stores.

G. MAY, Saddler was to the west of SUDGEN’S Store and Alick HEGH’S Livery Stables behind the hotel included a blacksmith’s shop believed to be worked by a Mr CODLIN.

John and David Mc FARLANE were blacksmiths and also ran a boot and shoe shop next to the Rechabite Hall.

The cabinetmaker David MUDIE was also the town’s undertaker making his own caskets (with rope handles), all being painted black, as was the custom at that time. Local carriers horse drawn vehicles and later motor trucks were converted to a hearse by using six black posts and chains and black clothe covering.

About 1910 the Bank of New Zealand opened a branch office in Ormondville, which is still standing next door to H.B. Farmers’ Store. For many years Mr COTTERILL of Dannevirke who travelled by motorcycle attended the office one day each week. In 1913 Mrs POLIS’ Sweetshop was near the then Methodist Church and the most westerly of all the stores opposite the Railway. Mr BLOOMFIELD owned the Chemist Shop.

“Bricky” CROSSLAND used bricks from the BAI and MILDON Works building a great number of the chimneys in the district.

H. J. NEWLING butcher’s shop was adjacent to the Rechabite Hall and his slaughterhouse was on Newling’s Road.

Mr H. J. NEWLING (or H.J. as he was better known) was by repute a public-spirited man with the welfare of others at heart. Many a family had cause to bless his generosity in supplying meat during the early 1930s when they were not able to pay due to prevailing economic conditions.

A paddock (now CLARKS) was for many years known as Slaughterhouse Flat. Situated on the south side of Te Uri Road near the Takapau turnoff it was evidently the site of the first slaughterhouse for Ormondville operated by F. W. REDWARD.

Edwin HOSKING, Solicitor, practiced in a small house opposite the Railway Station and later it was used as a cobbler by Mr JACKSON a boot maker. William ROSE, agent of Dannevirke, conducted regular stock sales in Ormondville and an advertisement dated 12 February 1901 listed 150 ewes, 12 cattle and eight weaner pigs for sale. In addition to the town stores, Nikolaison’s “Alpha” Dairy Factory Store was an almost universal provider of farm and household requirements, reciprocal trading with clients and trade Discounts being an accepted practice.

The 1914 fire took a heavy toll of the commercial buildings and due to war conditions, lack of insurance and shortage of funds most were not rebuilt or repaired. A further fire in 1939 levelled shops as well as the hotel and again these shops were not rebuilt. One store to survive over the years is that now occupied by H.B. Farmers’ Co-operative Association Ltd. and that was damaged by fire in 1962 but repaired. At various times owned by DONGHI, HILL and BROOKS, OLIVER and TWISS, GILMORE it was sold to H.B. Farmers by Bill Oates.

Ernie HYDE’S Bakery filling the air with the delicious smell of fresh bread between H.B. Farmers’ Store and Settlers Arms Hotel serviced the district for many years until it closed in September 1963.

When ASKEW’S Bakery was destroyed by fire in 1938 Mr Ernie HYDE made daily trips to Takapau to maintain bread deliveries.

Page 130 Photo Settler’s Arms, Library, and Bakery fire.

Settler’s Arms Hotel

The first hotel built about 1800 was of two storeys close to the Harry Street corner and without verandahs. Following the trial and conviction of Roland Herbert EDWARDS for murder in 1884 the licensee Jeremiah LINEHAM (who had followed the first publican L. SMITH) fled the district and the license lapsed. The windows and doors were nailed up and it was several years before alcoholic liquor was again allowed in the district. Destroyed by fire sometime before 1900 the hotel was rebuilt further back from the corner and included a ground floor verandah and upstairs balcony. It was twice the size of the first hotel and had a billiard room at the rear run at one time by L. VIVIAN.

A sad tragedy befell a local workman through sheer ignorance. Some workmen were engaged by Tom BENNETT the publican to dig a very deep well at the rear of the hotel building. It was sixty feet deep when it was noticed that the man working down below was lying in a state of collapse, apparently unconscious. The boss called in Constable Butler — fortunately, for he suspected that the man had died from suffocation through lack of oxygen. He promptly lowered a lighted candle to the bottom of the well and the flame went out. “No oxygen down there” he said. Means had to be provided to pump the stale air out and fresh air in before anyone could go down there again. A costly lesson had been learned. After leaving the Settlers Arms Tom Bennett farmed at Whetukura near the Mana­watu River.

Other proprietors in ‘the late 1 800s and early I 900s included A. Cuttler, R. F. Jackson, C. Remington and C. Leach. Following the formation of the Waipawa Licensing Committee in 1904 the licensees have been (until 1928) T. J. BENNETT, P. H. JOLLEY (1909), JOHN FRASER (1912), W. C. LOVE (1916), W. R. PARKER (1919), H. H. WEST (1921), 0. C. DUNCAN (1921), H. MANN (1922), R. C. Mcnair (1923) and from 1925 J. M. SMITH.

The two-storied hotel was burnt down while Bill Senk was licensee in 1930 and later rebuilt in a Tudor style single storey with a stucco exterior and became the focal point of the community for eight years.

Through the alteration of boundaries the “Settlers Arms” was transferred from the Waipawa to the Pahiatua Licensing District in 1928. An annual license fee of $40.00 per annum was payable to the Ormondville Town Board until amalgamation with Dannevirke County Council the fee then being increased in 1940 to $50.00 per annum. Since 1928 licensees have been: -

J. M. SMITH (1929)

W. M. SENK (1930)

C. S. LE FEVRE (1934) and G. E. HEWALD (1937).

Ces BADLEY a 1924 Invincible All Black was licensee in 1938 when the Tudor style building burnt down.

G. THOMASEN took up the license in 1939

G. MANGOS (1940).

L. DARRAUGH (1946)

W. J. EARL (1950)

T. J. O’BRIAN (a former Whetukura School Head Prefect) (1963)

W. F. MARSHALL (1967), T. A. Doughty (1968), E. A. Needham (1970),

E. LARSEN (1972) and

C. J. P. ROSIER (1974).

Mine hosts in 1978 are David and Beth ORMANDY.

Wally EARL purchased the Settlers Arms in February 1950 and held the license for 14 years but continued to own the hotel until he sold to Dominion Breweries Ltd. in 1975. Wally EARL relates the story of a local wife who called on him very late one evening requesting the loan of a rifle. When questioned she revealed her intention to shoot her husband who had apparently been bestowing affections on another woman. Wally declined to lend the rifle!

Eric LARSEN who was licensee from March 1972 to May 1975 was a former locomotive driver with No. 2 Railways and on more than one occasion was called upon to assist with railcar breakdowns.

The hotel originally had a small private bar as well as a public bar but was remodelled several years ago to provide for a lounge bar complete with oil heater and a pool table.

Health and Medical Care
For many years the lack of local medical care was of great concern as the nearest doctors were either at Dannevirke or Wai­pukurau. The 18 to 20 mile journey on a horse-drawn wagon was not an enviable lot for the seriously ill or injured. Tombstones in the Ormondville Cemetery bear witness to the many that did not survive due to illnesses such as influenza, scarlet fever and accidents.

The first resident medic in Ormondville was Dr Allen in the 1890’s. Later Dr. VEITCH and Dr WOOD of Norsewood provided services for the district. Later Dr GODFREY of Waipukurau completed his rounds on horseback with inevitable delays and there was often a considerable wait for medical attention.

Dr FRASER-HURST resided in Ormondville following the Boer War. There has not been a resident doctor in the town since Dr QUINN in the 1950s.

The first midwife was Mrs SMITH (known as Granny SMITH) who took over the complete household including washing, cooking and tending other members of the family during confinements. Mrs SMITH’S fee was usually $4.00 for all services including delivering the baby!

After he passed away Canon A. S. WEBB’s home was used as a cottage hospital catering for surgical and maternity cases up to the 1930s. Sister Annie WEDD of Otane and Sister Olive WILLIAMS of Te Uri ran the hospital for many years providing a much needed service for the Ormondville District.

The local people had always been fairly self sufficient, used to growing their own vegetables and keeping a cow and hens. They had their own fruit trees and led a fairly healthy life. Working hard and keeping fit they had a certain amount of the original pioneering spirit in them. Good food and a bracing climate all played their part in maintaining a reasonably healthy community. The climate was of such repute that tuberculosis and other similarly affected patients were regularly sent to Ormondville to convalesce from other centres including Hastings and Napier.

Sports and Recreation
The hardy rural community where men, women and children worked hard, produced unsophisticated habits and simple tastes. By all reports young and old were sports minded and obtained great enjoyment from participation in the various activities around the district.

Page 133 Photo Axemen’s Carnival 1880’s


The axe men’s carnivals, most probably the first form of sport or competition in the 1870s and 1880s, proved popular and an early photograph shows 10 blocks set up for a competition chop. Christian BERKAHN was a Hawke’s Bay champion jigger chopper and Norman CLARK and Jack HAMMOND were Hawke’s Bay champion pit sawyers for many years.

101 Years of Ormondville Rifle and Sports’ Clubs

Ref Pages 134 to 141

Page 134 Photo Rev A.S. WEBB and Union Rifles 1903.


A Union Defence Rifle Club was founded in 1903 under the leader-ship of Capt. G. FORBES with Messrs F. B. CURD and W. JOHNSTONE of Ormondville and Makotuku as lieutenants. Rev. A. S. WEBB was Chaplain and Donald McGAVIN M.D. was surgeon. Camps were held on Amundsen Farm. When Colonel NEWALL of Wellington inspected the troop at Ormondville he spotted Tony WEBB and asked him where he had seen him last. “Near Ermels when I passed you sitting by the road Sir.” Tony Webb had been in Colonel Newall’s Regiment in South Africa and later returned there to live.

Later in 1906 Union Defence Club competed for the Hon. Cowper-Smith Cup, success being recorded in 1906 by Geo. MAY 1908 G. C. CALLENDER, 1909 H. J. NEWLING, 1910 R. G. BAINES, 1911 J. NEAL, 1912 V. CASTLES and in 1914 by C. F. BARKER. After being in recess during the 1914-1918 Great War the club was reformed as the Waikopiro Defence Rifle Club and again competed for the Hon. Cowper-Smith Cup. Successes were recorded as follows:

1928 G. DASSLER, 1929 W. H. RENDLE, 1930 W. H. RENDLE, 1931 E.MCLEAN,

1932 W. H. RENDLE, 1933 C. D. FAIRBROTHER, 1934 H.D. KING, 1935 C. 0. FAIRBROTHER,

1936 A. HEALEY, 1937 R. CHADWICK, 1938 C. M. BARKER, 1939 J. CLEGG, 1940 R. CHADWICK, 1950 G.DASSLER, 1951 R. CHADWICK, 1952 W. A. SUCKLING, 1953 G. CLEGG,

1954 J. C. CASTLES, 1955 E. MCLEAN, 1956 M. PEDERSEN, 1957 C.PEDERSEN,

1958 C. PEDERSEN, 1959 G. JONASEN, 1960 R. MCKENZIE, 1961 F. HERBERT,

1962 R. MCKENZIE, 1963 G. CLEGG, 1964 G. CLEGG, 1965, M. PEDERSEN, 1966 G. CLEGG,

1967, G. CLEGG 1968, R. MCKENZIE, 1969 A. BOLTON.

The FG. HOSKINGS Cup presented 1911 was won by:

1911 R. BURTON, 1912 d. MCFARLANE, 1928 A. THOMSEN, 1929 I. R. WILLIAMS,

1930 W. EDGECOMBE, 1931 A S. BAINES, 1932 W. J. EDGECOMBE, 1933 A. S. BAINES,

1934 M. BARKER, 1940 E. MCLEAN, 1948 c. L. BARKER, 1949-50 C. PEDERSEN, 1951 J. CASTLES,

1952 E.MCLEAN, 1953 F. CLARK, 1954 C. CASTLES, 1955 R. CHADWICK, 1956 R. CHADWICK,

1957 C. PEDERSEN, 1958 M. PEDERSEN, 1959 M. PEDERSEN, 1960 J. C. Castles,

1961 P J CASTLES, 1962 MRS H. MCKENZIE, 1963 G. CLEGG, 1964 G. CLEGG, 1965 G. CLEGG, 1966 0. CLEGG, 1967 R.MCKENZIE, 1968 D. DUNCAN, 1969 W. PEDERSEN.

Union Defence Rifle Club. Winners of the Challenge Belt for Champion Shot, presented by

W. ROBINSON, Esq., Makotuka, were:

1903 PTE RANDERSON, L/C I. J. WEST, 1907 Geo. WEST, 1908 D.Mc FARLANE,

1909 G. C. CALLENDER, 1910 D. Mc FARLANE, 1911 D. Mc FARLANE, 1912 M. CASTLES.

The Waikopiro Defence Rifle Club also competed for the Challenge Belt after 1928, winners being:

1927 E. Mc LEAN, 1928 R. M.CASTLES, 1930 R. M. CASTLES, 1931 R. CASTLES,


1936 E.CASTLES, 1937 1.CASTLES, 1938 E. CASTLES, 1939 E. CASTLES, 1940 C.BAKER,

1949 B. J. CASTLES, 1950 G. CLEGG, 1951 C. M. BARKER, 1952 G.CLEGG, 1953 N. A. OLSEN, 1954 N. A. OLSEN, 1955 N. FRANCE, 1956 N.FRANCE, 1957 G.JONASEN, 1958 G.CLEGG,

1959 N. FRANCE, 1960 G.CLEGG, 1961 G. CLEGG, 1962 G. CLEGG, 1963 G. JONASEN,

1964 L.SHEFFIELD, 1965 G. CLEGG, 1966 MRS V. CLEGG, 1967 MRS V. CLEGG,

1968 GEO..CLEGG, 1969 GEO..CLEGG, 1970 GEO. CLEGG.

The Waikopiro Defence Rifle Club wound up its affairs in 1970 and the trophies were put into custody of the Norsewood Museum. A financial contribution was made to the Museum and the balance of the funds presented to the Ormondville School, the concrete volley wall being built with the proceeds.


The Ormondville Company of Territorials was formed in 1911 under the Compulsory Military Training scheme. The Company met once a fortnight for drill in the Rechabite Hall from 1912 to 1919 and later in the Peace Memorial Hall.


Mr LEACH, licensee of the Settlers Arms, was the prime mover in the formation of the Ormondville Racing Club. Due to the lack of suitable flat cleared land in or near Ormondville, meetings were held in a natural clearing at Te Whiti near Norsewood. Mr LEACH owned a fine roan named “Tommy Dodd” and

Mr SKINNER the baker raced a lanky bay called “Fagh-a-ballagh”. Patrons travelled by the dray load to attend the races. Unfortunately due to lack of financial support the Racing Club did not last very long.


Golf was played at Makotuku and in the 1930s Mrs Alice Stevens of Ormondville was Ladies’ Champion of Champions in a major tournament held on that course.


Annie and Jonathan HOLDEN owned approximately 6000 acres between Whetukura and Matamau including “Raikaiatai”. Mrs HOLDEN stocked the Mangarangiora and Manawatu Rivers with 50,000 finger­lings to provide good fishing for Bushmen, settlers and children. Many a fresh fish meal was poached out of the rivers and trout fishing is excellent in these rivers today.


The first tennis court was at Mrs BOVAIRD’s (now CARKEEK’S) and after some wild and hilarious matches a tennis club was formed.

The committee raised funds and laid a hard court in the Domain, which was in regular use until 1968 when the club was wound up and the funds donated to the school.


The earliest recorded Rugby team in the 1 890s shows a look of grim determination although their football gear shows a wide variety of style. The coach was Ben MEARS, linesmen Jack LEACH and George MEARS. Players were: Harry ROBINSON, George MARTIN, Bart LORRIGAN,


T. W. ELLINGHAM and W. CALCOTT of Waikopiro became Hawke’s Bay Rugby Representatives. Club rugby is now centred on Dannevirke but annual “friendly” matches are held each year between Ormond­ville and Makotuku on the Makotuku Sports Ground.

Mr Job PACKER a football enthusiast was impressed with the net interest shown in sports and donated the Grandstand on the Domain.

Photo page 137 Rugby








The Annual Sports day at the Domain always attracted large crowds and was attended by the Dannevirke Municipal Band. One of the outstanding events of the early 1900s was the mile race usually won by Alec CAMPBELL a farmer from Tikokino who was New Zealand’s champion miler at the time. Charlie WEENINK was Ormondville’s sprinter while Raymond REDWARD was Ormondville’s threat to Alec CAMPBELL. The athletics events attracted the “bookies” and several would arrive on sports day and could be heard laying the odds “2 to 1 — bar 1” money changing hands mostly into outside hands.


Cricket was a favourite and players from Whetukura and Ormondville from 1905 to 1910 travelled and made a name for themselves in Southern Hawke’s Bay. Known cricket players included: -





(now Mrs A. PATERSON)


Hockey was always a popular sport and three members of the Waikopiro team were included in the Southern Hawke’s Bay side, which played a touring team from India at Dannevirke in 1926.

FREDA RENDLE (NOW PATERSON) played for Dannevirke High School and later for Ruahine-Dannevirke travelling throughout New Zealand.

A North Island representative she was in 1927 selected for the N.Z. Women’s team to tour South Africa. Unfortunately due to lack of funds this tour was cancelled. Captain of the Norsewood ‘A’ team in 1932 she played with Joyce Newling of Ormondville who was also a member of the same team.


The Coronation Small bore Rifle Club was formed in 1937 being so named in honour of the coronation of King George VI. Mr Kingsley Port was the first secretary and keen marksmen included John LEGARTH, CHRIS PEDERSEN, H. ANDERSEN, GORDON and Arthur PORT. In 1942 the range was moved to the Norsewood Town Hall and all members of the Home guard were ordered to attend the weekly shoots for rifle instruction. Kingsley Port was president from 1940 until 1945. A new range was opened at Mathew’s Park (Norsewood) in 1955.

In 1955 C. MONTEATH, A.PEDERSEN, B. EARL, M. CASTLES and V. CLEGG won the Earl Ladies Cup. In the same year W. EARL, J. MCALEESE, B. EARL won the HOLYOAKE Men’s Cup, GURZINSKI and B. ANDERSON.

In 1957 the ‘A’ team W. Earl, J. Mc ALEESE, B. Earl, J. GURZINSKI and G.JONASEN, won the HOLYOAKE Cup.

The ‘B’ team won the McKay Cup in the same year they were M. PEDERSEN, L. HERBERT,



Miss Annie WEBB daughter of Canon WEBB formed the first Scout Troop in Ormondville.

In 1926 C.NEWLING, 0.LAY and A. HOSKING of this troop attended the Jamboree at Dunedin.

In 1958 the troop was amalgamated with Norsewood.


For many years a Drama Club flourished in Ormondville. One of the earliest and most enthusiastic supporters was Mrs Jean BAINES. She brought experience of the English stage to Ormondville and spared nothing in her production of first class entertainment. The Drama Club suffered from lack of support and folded about 1968.

In 1911 a cinematograph was installed in the local hall and “talkies” were a regular feature. From 1920 and for many years “The Gloom Chasers” provided music for dances and social functions. Well remembered are Bill Te TAU (piano), Tommy BENNETT (saxo­phone), Johnny BROWN (drums), Ivan ‘Chalky’ ELLISON (violin) and Rita ANDERSON (piano accordion).


Recently Mr and Mrs W. HYDE have revived interest in an enthusiastic table tennis club well supported by local talent.


Golf is played at Takapau and Norsewood and there are many private tennis courts. Unfortunately the Domain has fallen into disuse and at the present time being leased by the Board for grazing rights.

A regular annual sports day is held at Makotuku, which attracts pony club and other supporters reflecting the changing times brought about by better transport and roads.

This small rural community has produced sports men and women who have carried on the tradition of participation and enjoyment of the many and varied interests over the past 100 years.

Page 140 Photo 1963 Basketball Team

Sandra CLARK (Captain), Janice Mc KENZIE (Vice-Captain), Diane SAIL, Brenda GOODEVE, Marion CHADWICK, Ann BURLING


Ormondville Women’s Institute

On 3rd November 1931 a meeting of ladies was held to consider the formation of a branch of the N.Z. Women’s Institute in Ormond­ville. Miss BIBBY travelled from Waipawa to explain the aims and objects of the Organisation and two members of the Waikopiro Women’s Institute also attended to help and advise.

From this meeting the following members were enrolled: —


Conveners were: - Mesdames A. HALL, A. BAINES AND L. KENT

Mrs H. R. BENBOW was elected first president, Mrs Kent first secretary.

The first meeting took place 23rd November 1931 and has met on the 3rd Thursday of each month since then.

Over the last 47 years the Women’s Institute has raised funds for many and diverse needy causes, e.g. the School Dental Clinic and the Wairoa Earthquake Relief Fund. During the war year’s parcels were sent to local boys, patriotic funds and Corso benefited. The Women’s Institute has materially helped local functions by providing curtains for the Peace Memorial Hall and also by keeping the Hall cleaned regularly. There have been flower Shows, Drama Festivals, Ping-Pong tournaments and Euchre evenings — children’s fancy dress dances and Christmas trees.

The members today meet regularly and continue the aims and objects of the Institute.

Present members — President: Mrs Sandra HAYCOCK;

Secretary: Mrs E. DAVIDSON

Mesdames E. AHERN, H. WATTS, H. SMYTH, J.POLLARD, E. GENET, J. BENBOW, E. RITCHIE, B. MCCULLOCH and Mrs A. BAINES — a foundation member who has attended for 47 years
101 Years of Ormondville Churches

Ref Pages 141 to 147

Church of the Epiphany

On Monday 18th April 1881 a meeting of those interested in the building of an Anglican Church was held in the Schoolhouse. Follow­ing tea the Rev. E. ROBERTSHAWE of Dannevirke delivered an address and appealed for funds. £54/12/6d. ($109.25) was subscribed by those present and guarantees were given for the following: —

Church Site: W. RATHBONE of Waipawa and J. J. BROWNE, Storekeeper.

Vicarage Site: Henry SMITH, Saw miller

Timber: Wilding and Bull, Mill Owners, Kopua.

House Blocks and Shingles: George HANSEN, Sawmiller Kopua.

Timber Frame: Mr GILMOUR, Settler.

George HANSEN, J. BRABAZON and H. SMITH were appointed Trustees with C. Baines as Treasurer and R. N. THOM as Secretary.

Tenders on a labour only basis were called on 21st November 1881 and the completed church was consecrated by Bishop STUART of the Waiapu Diocese in 1883 about 6 months before the arrival of Rev. A. S. WEBB the first resident vicar. The Parochial District of Ormondville was formed out of part of the Dannevirke and Wai­pukurau Parishes in 1884 and the new cure was offered to Rev. Anthony Spur WEBB, M.A. St. John’s College, Cambridge, who had arrived in New Zealand with his family on 2nd July 1884.

The home occupied by the WEBB family was purchased for £157/0/0d. ($314.00) and as it was too small for James and Robert YOUNGMAN enlarged the family of eight it. With homemade furniture and the necessity for four children to sleep on the kitchen table combined with cooking in a camp oven conditions must have been very trying for the resolute Mrs WEBB. As time went by new furnishings were obtained and Canon WEBB purchased surrounding sections until he owned 100 acres later farmed by his sons. Members of the Webb family were regular attenders at church for over 64 years. The former Webb home on the Norsewood Road was later used as a nursing home (during the 1920s) and is today owned by the RITCHIE Family and its excellent condition is a credit to the builders and materials used.

After the Hawke’s Bay Earthquake on 3rd February 1931 surviving pensioners from the Park Island Men’s Home were accommodated in the former WEBB Home, which at the time was being used as a hospital.

Makotuku was part of the Parish and Canon WEBB raised the money to build in 1890 a church named St. Saviour’s, which was unfortunately burnt down in 1898. Later rebuilt St. SAVIOUR’S was reconsecrated in February 1899. Removed in the early 1970s the Church is now the LINTON MILITARY CAMP CHAPEL.

St. James’ Church at Whetukura was consecrated on 16th August 1925. Canon Webb had commenced fund raising in 1903 and a grant from the RATHBONE Estate ensured that the church opened debt free. A flag, which had flown over a Church Army Hut in Cologne, was presented to St. James’. Designed by

W. J. RUSH, Architect of Havelock North it was built by Messrs. CARVER and PATON. The Church finally closed in 1968 and was later sold to Mrs M. TEMPLE of London who holidays there during the Christmas and New Year, sketching, reading and writing.

One of Canon WEBB’S brightest moments occurred at Whetukura after conducting a service. A local man arrived requesting that his son be baptised. As the child was 18 months old the Canon suggested that he could wait until the next service. The father replied “I might n’t be able to catch him. I’ve caught him now!” A bowl of water was obtained from Walter Junius KING the schoolmaster and the child duly baptised.

Being of temperate habits Canon WEBB joined the Independent Order of Rechabites and an annual service was held being supported by other invited lodges.

The church was very unstable in high winds due to its steep roof structure and the walls would move in and out about 8 in. to 12 in.

As fears were held for the safety of worshippers on occasions the services were held in Rev. Webb’s home and on one occasion a wedding ceremony was transferred from the church. After the church was redesigned Mr Robert LAMB of Napier enlarged it, strengthened and a bell tower added, largely due to the efforts of Rev. Webb and a generous gift from Archdeacon Samuel WILLIAMS.

Robert LAMB, an English Architect, whose ill health had driven him to seek the mild climate of NAPIER, favoured Gothic Revival styles in his domestic, commercial and church architecture. Other buildings designed by Robert LAMB included St. PATRICK’S CHURCH and J. D. ORMOND’S (town house) “TINTAGEl” in Napier.

Bishop Stuart rededicated the Church of Epiphany on 10th March 1891.

Canon WEBB returned to Ormondville to semi retire but due to the failing health of Rev. T. J. WILLS, was again appointed to the Parish. On 19th October 1903 Canon WEBB passed away and was laid to rest in the Ormondville Cemetery two days later. A firing party from the Rifle Club bearers caused some anxiety as they could not obtain blanks and live ammunition was used much to their Captain’s concern!

Following the departure of Rev. WEBB (who was appointed a CANON in 1890) in April 1892 the following were appointed vicars of the Ormondville Parish :—



(2nd term).






The last resident vicar in Ormondville in 1944 was the Rev. Father MIDDLEBROOK who had a great love of church architecture and studied the science at Auckland University and in an architect’s office before beginning training for his ordination at St. John’s College in Auckland.

Born in 1903 in the Bay of Islands, he moved to Auckland and attended the Mt. Eden Primary School and the Auckland Boys’ Grammar School.

His first appointment on leaving St. John’s College was as curate at St. Luke’s Church, Mt. Albert.

In 1934 he became a deacon in the Waikato Diocese and was admitted to priesthood in 1935. He served in Taumarunui between 1934 and 1936 first as curate and later as priest-in-charge.

For two years following his service in Taumarunui he was curate of Tauranga and was then appointed vicar of Ormondville (Hawke’s Bay). He served there until 1944 when he began his first term in Gisborne.

Between 1952 and 1957 he was vicar of Waipiro Bay and then became curate of New Plymouth a position he held until he left New Zealand in 1962 when he toured England and Europe studying church architecture.

Since the major part of the Parish was added to Takapau Parochial District and the western area to the Dannevirke Parish in 1944 the Rev. OULDS, HODGETTS, J. S. WILLOUGHBY, S. WILLINK and A.ARROWSMITH served the district until 1975. The Rev. P.KAPA of Takapau (after 1975) holds regular services at the Church of Epiphany at Ormondville at the present time.

Salvation Army

In its 87 years in Norsewood the Salvation Army has had many associations with Ormondville and Whetukura.

In 1923 Capt. Elsie WARD and Lieut. Doris CHRISTIANSON often journeyed by horse and gig to Te Uri returning to Whetukura and staying overnight with the Atkinson family.

The first recorded Sunday school was held at Whetukura in 1927 with 10 pupils — but was of short duration. A fortnightly Sunday school was held at Ormondville in 1932 followed by an adult service once a month in the Oddfellows’ Hall. Capt. Edith FANTHAM, Lieut. Nellie GOLDSACK and Mrs FREDERICKSON as their organist travelled by horse and gig suitably painted in Salvation Army colours red, yellow and blue. The leather-padded seats ran length-wise and on each corner of the gig was a 12 in. x 12 in. Salvation Army flag. A highlight was Christmas carolling around the districts. Sunday school was also held in both the old and the new Ormondville School.

In 1938 Lieut commenced Sunday school and services again in the Waikopiro Institute hall. Earl Home. Later the services were transferred to the ATKINSON home.

After the death of Mr Sam. ATKINSON Capt.. Nellie PORT, Lieut Valda COLES and Miss Alice ATKINSON recommenced the youth work in the district in 1953. From small beginnings numbers rose to 45 coming from Ormondville and the surrounding areas.

Envoy and Mrs Bert STAPLES of Norsewood, Miss Alice ATKINSON, parents and kindred Salvationists continued the work for 21 years.

At the 75th Jubilee of the Salvation Army in Norsewood in 1966, 28 young people from Tawa led a morning service at Whetukura filling the hall. End of year Anniversaries and prize givings will be remembered in the Fire Brigade Hall, Norsewood and the Christmas parties with films. With the demolition of the Waikopiro Institute hall in 1975 there ended many years of service in the district.

The many miles travelled every Sunday by Mr Bert STAPLES and his willing helpers reflects the devotion and dedication of a very willing band of people to whom many families must be for ever grateful.

Methodist Church

Known as the United Free Methodist Church the opening on Sunday 9th October 1881 was celebrated with three services taken at 11 a.m. by Rev. J. W. WORBOYS and at 3.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. by Rev. C. Penney. Mr WORBOYS was the first regular minister and rode on horseback from Woodville to conduct services. The building, which was approximately 30 feet by 20 feet, was fully lined and fitted with a ceiling was opened debt free as was the harmonium used to provide music for services.

On Monday 10th October 1881 approximately 200 people were addressed by Revs WORBOYS, NEILSON and BONN and attended a high tea. Admission was one shilling and six pence and the evening included music and singing by a choir of 15 under Mrs GRIBBLE.

Mr W. HARKER of Waipawa was in the chair and announced that the generosity of local people had enabled the Church to be opened debt free.

Regular services were held for many years until they were com­bined with the Methodist Church at Makotuku and the building later became a private home being now occupied by

Mr and Mrs J.D.P. CONWAY.

Presbyterian Church

Norsewood has served the Ormondville district since the first services in 1903 in the Norsewood School.

The Rev. J. PATERSON of Wellington opened the first church in Norsewood 1905.

From 1905 Takapau, Norsewood and Ormondville became an independent combined Home Mission Station, the Rev. J. Mc CAW being the resident minister in Norsewood.

In 1916 Matamau left the Dannevirke charge and joined Norsewood and Ormondville. Takapau at this time became a separate charge.

In 1924 the districts combined to become a fully sanctioned charge and the first minister under the new combination was the Rev. A. F. HUNT. The present incumbent is the Rev. J. DOIG. Combined Anglican and Presbyterian services are held throughout the year.

Seventh Day Adventist Church

During 1892 and 1893 Pastor Stephen Mc CULLAGH from Dannevirke held services at Ormondville. The founder of the Church from U.S.A., Mrs F. G. WHITE and her son, William WHITE stayed with the GRANT family during a visit in 1893. On 8th October 1893 it was decided to build a church, which was opened debt free. Sited on Nelly Street behind the Settlers Arms hotel it was eventually moved to Dannevirke.

Catholic Church

Father REIGNIER travelled on foot from Wellington to Hawke’s Bay in 1851 and was the first Catholic Priest to pass through Southern and Central Hawke’s Bay. He is known to have ministered in Central Hawke’s Bay in 1857 and solemnized a marriage in Waipawa on 10th September that year. On April 11th 1857 Father REIGNIER acquired his horse “Bob” who conveyed him many hundreds of miles “Bob” died in honourable retirement on 20th January 1884. As the railway advanced south Father Reignier and the occasional priest who relieved him went by train from Awatoto (near the Meeanee Mission). He is known to have been in Central Hawke’s Bay in March and May 1867 and he baptised a Moroney child at Waipawa on 9th February 1868. As late as 1874 Father Reignier officiated at a burial in the Waipawa Cemetery. The many transient rail and bush workers in the Ormondville district were serviced from Waipawa and an Irish Priest Father KORRIGAN (born 1839 arrived N.Z. 1876) paid pastoral visits from Napier. In March 1880 an Irish Priest, Father Patrick McGUINESS (born 1843 arrived N.Z. 1875) was sent by Bishop REDWOOD as first resident priest in Central Hawke’s Bay, with headquarters at Waipawa. Ormondville was listed as a “station” (nothing to do with railways) and he served in Waipawa until 1881 when he was transferred to Greymouth.

From 1881 until 1898 Father J. L. AHERN who lived in Waipawa conducted spiritual forays in Southern Hawke’s Bay and arranged for St. BRIGID’S to be built in Ormondville by Mr Denis VAUGHAN. The Irish rail and bush workers provided most of the money for the building, which stood on Nelly Street, until it was dismantled about 1973 due to general deterioration after being closed for many years.

A wooden fence can be seen in front of the old church site, now overgrown with pine trees. In 1898 Dannevirke became a separate parish including Ormondville and local services were conducted by visiting


In 1915 Ormondville district was added to the Takapau parish.

It had been the ambition of Norsewood people for many years to have their own place of worship particularly as the Ormondville building was beyond repair. In 1968 a modern church “St. Anskar” was built under the direction of Father Stanley LORRIGAN who attended the Ormondville School 1920-1927 and was descended from local Scandinavian and Irish families. Father LORRIGAN suggested the new church be named after the Scandinavian Saint ANSKAR, a French monk who volunteered to try to convert the lawless Vikings. Father LORRIGAN and Sister MONICA MURPHY served the people of Ormondville until 1972 and now Father HUGHES from Takapau serves the district.

On 9th July 1954 the Very Rev. Father BASIL O.C.S.O. and six Cistercians followers arrived at Kopua from Ireland to found the Southern Abbey on a farm donated by Mr and Mrs Thomas PRESCOTT. The 24 to 30 men at the Abbey refrain from eating meat and live a frugal but rewarding life. A dairy farm is supplemented by the growing of crops and vegetables. The Abbey is renown for the quality of the potatoes grown every year, some of which are available to the public.

101 Years of Ormondville Lodges

Ref Pages 147 to 150



In 1879 the “Hope of Ormondville” Tent No. 31 of the Independent Order of Rechabites was founded as part of the Central District No. 86 New Zealand.

The first Secretary was W. DEAN and the first Treasurer F. REDWARD. Based on a type of religious order among the Israelites they abstained from wine and other alcoholic beverages. The early Rechabites lived in tents in the desert and represented a protest against the contemporary civilisation of their time. They eschewed the settled life refusing to grow grain or plant vineyards.

Their “father” or founder JEHONADAB son of RECHAB is referred to in the Bible in Jeremiah, chapter 35.

Other early members of Tent No. 31 were: -

Jeremiah NEWLING, D. HALL, T. Jones HARVEY, R. CAMPBELL, F. A. FRASER and R. R. GROOM. This Lodge flourished during the ardent prohibition years around the turn of the century and apparently became a victim of the Great War when interest declined. Unfortunately the Lodge records are not available to determine when it closed but it is believed to be sometime around 1920.

Photo page 148 Independent Order of Rechabites Scroll 15th Feb 1888 with name of Edmundsen WEBB Tent No 31 member of HOPE and ORMONDVILLE


Twenty-eighth January 1887 saw the formation of the Loyal Forest Home Lodge No. 6797 being part of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows whose motto was “Unity is Strength”.

The name was very fitting as most homes were in the forest at that time.

Lodge meetings were looked forward to and membership included both men and women. Meetings concluded with an appropriate humorous story. Thirteen members saw service during the Great War one paying the supreme sacrifice. During World War II eleven members saw service overseas and two members paid the supreme sacrifice.


At the Diamond Jubilee (60 years) Dinner held in the Peace Memorial Hall at Ormondville in 1947 it was recorded that the Lodge had 69 members at that time and Brother H. J. NEWLING was specifically honoured for the work he had done on behalf of “FOREST HOME” over the previous 54 years. Entertainment included two songs by Mrs A. L. ANDERSEN a contralto, Mrs G. FOTHERGILL’S humorous recitations and two songs by Mrs A.HALFORD a soprano.

All the original members who founded the Lodge in 1887 had passed on before the Jubilee.

Known members of the Lodge during 1944 included F. CULLIFORD, A. PORT, J. LEGARTH,


Now part of the Manchester Unity Order the Lodge inculcated the principles of education of members, provided against sickness, assisted with funeral expenses and formed a bond of unity with those admitted to its ranks.


In the 1890s a move was made to form a Masonic Order in Ormondville. Chartered on 4th April 1899 as Lion Lodge No. 114 the foundation members were: -

John SCHOLES (sawmiller, Makotuku),

R. GROOM (storekeeper, Ormondville),

C. R. BAINES (farmer, Ormondville),

D. G. ROBERTSON (road inspector, Ormondville),

Samuel CHADWICK (farmer, Whetukura),

Henry A. ALEXANDER (engineer, Ormondville),

W. J. BROAD (commercial agent, Palmerston North),

A.S. WHITSON (stationmaster, Makotuku),

James HAY (surveyor, Napier),

H. M.LUND (stationmaster, Waitara),

H. BECKETT (farmer, Matamau),

W. H. COOPER (commercial agent, Napier).

Lion’s Lodge has been strongly supported over the years and the Lodge Rooms stand adjacent to the Church of Epiphany on Newton Street, Ormondville.

101 Years of Ormondville Part Six Early Settlers

Ref Pages 151 to 169

Part 6



The Honourable John Davies ORMOND, who was the last Superintendent of Hawke’s Bay was born in the year 1832 at Wallingford, Berks, and England and was the youngest son of the late Captain Frank Frederick ORMOND a captain in the Royal Navy. He was educated in Plymouth, England and came to New Zealand when he was sixteen years of age by the ship “RALPH BURNELL”. For two years Mr Ormond was private secretary to his brother-in-law, Lieutenant Governor EYRE but in 1852 settled in Hawke’s Bay as a pastoralist, when the district was included in the province of Wellington and when the settlers were less than twenty in number. A few weeks later he entered political life and he continuously took an active and prominent part in the administration of the public affairs of the colony. He was a member of four Ministries: as Minister of Public Works in the Fox Ministry in 1872 and again in the WATERHOUSE Administration in the same year for a few days; as Secretary for Crown Lands and Minister for Immigration in the short lived ATKINSON Government in 1876. In the reconstituted Ministry that followed he was Postmaster-General and Commissioner of Telegraphs for a short time but took his old portfolio of Public Works, which he held till the resignation of that Government on the 13th October 1877.

On the passing of the New Provinces Act in 1858 Hawke’s Bay was constituted a separate province and

Mr ORMOND warmly espoused its cause. He held the office of Superintendent from 3rd September 1869 and with the late Sir Donald McLEAN made Hawke’s Bay interests a special care up to the abolition of the Provinces on 31st October 1876. Mr ORMOND also acted as Government Agent having charge of the East Coast district up to East Cape on the one side and as far as Taupo on the other. Throughout the trying time when Te KOOTI threatened the inhabitants of Hawke’s Bay, East Coast and Taupo, Mr ORMOND directed operations and was specially thanked for his services in the Governor’s speech to Parliament. He described this period as the “most responsible and trying time of his life.” Sir Donald McLEAN the Native Minister was his friend and associate. Except for one Parliament Mr ORMOND had continuously held a seat in the Legislature since the year 1861 when he was first returned to Parliament as member for Clive. After representing this constituency and Napier for many years he was called to the Upper House in 1891. He was a member of the Napier Harbour Board, the Charitable Aid and Hospital Board and almost every other local body in Hawke’s Bay.

In 1859 at Te Aute J. D. ORMOND married Hannah the sister of G. E. G. RICHARDSON a Napier merchant and founder of the RICHARDSON Line of coastal steamers and they had three sons and two daughters. By 1871 J. D. ORMOND was owner of six large runs and two smaller farms.

He also had other joint interests one being ORUANUI Station on the shores of Lake Taupo, which had previously been owned by Governor George GREY with whom there was a deep-seated feud, which lasted throughout his political career. J. D. ORMOND was a member of the Legislative Council from 20th June 1891 until his death in Napier on 6th October 1917.

Following the passing of the Education Act in 1877 J. D. ORMOND became the first Chairman of the Hawke’s Bay Education Board. His interest in education extended to personally inspecting schools and assessing conditions in the many outlying districts. He was a man of terrific personality and energy and his enthusiasm ensured the success of the education system in Hawke’s Bay.



Born at MALTON in YORKSHIRE in 1845 he first came to New Zealand in 1863 as a cadet ON MOKOPEKA Station. He returned to England in 1866 where he became renowned as a field geologist. He secured some valuable unknown specimens — one a fossil sponge — CORYNELLA CHADWICKI — being named after him. He also lectured on Bee Keeping under the auspices of the East Riding County Council.

He returned to New Zealand in 1895 with his wife and family arriving nine days before the WAIKOPIRO block was opened —to be catapulted into an area of virgin bush.” In 1903 he died suddenly at the age of 58 having left his mark on district affairs. He was an original settler and originator of the scheme for establishing the WAIKOPIRO Institute and Library being first president and trustee. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Whetukura School in 1898 and was first chairman of the School Committee. He was a prime mover in securing good roading into the area and general amenities for the new district.

The Chadwick descendants still farm in the Waikopiro District at “MOASTONE”.

Charles Selwood PLANK, J.P.

Born in Ormondville 1877 son of a foundation pupil of Ormondville School. After 23 years’ service with the P. & T. Department became Chief Telegraph Engineer in Wellington. Died in Karori 1957.

Charles Richard BAINES

Born at WIDDINGTON, Essex, ENGLAND 1844 and brought up to farming. Came to New Zealand in 1876.

Mr BAINES came to Hawke’s Bay where he successfully contracted for many of the railway cuttings between Te Aute, Waipawa and later between Takapau and Ormondville. In 1881 he settled at Papatu and ran the 700-acre “PROSPECT Farm” in conjunction with the timber trade as an agent for McLEOD’s Timber Yard of HASTINGS. He was a member of the Ormondville Road Board and represented the Ormondville Riding on the WAIPAWA County Council before the formation of the Dannevirke County Council. Mr BAINES was a foundation member of the MASONIC Lodge and a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters. Mr BAINES married Harriet Elizabeth the eldest daughter of Mr Chas TASSELL, Rochester, Kent, ENGLAND and they had 10 sons and two daughters. His family down to the fifth generation still reside in Ormondville. He learnt to read from the Bible of which he could quote chapter and verse. Unable to write he required the assistance of one of his sons when signing cheques but he had an ability to estimate costings in his head when tendering for railway formation contracts. Mr BAINES died aged 86 years on 14th February 1928 and Mrs BAINES passed away on 12th September 1928 aged 89 years.

Frederick William REDWARD

Born at PORTSEA, HAMPSHIRE, and England 1831. Mr REDWARD went to the Australian goldfields 1852-54 before coming to New Zealand. He lived at Te ORE ORE in the Wairarapa and at Wallingford and had a brief speculation into farming. Following several business ventures he opened butchery at Norsewood in 1874 then in 1880 moved to Ormondville on to a section of the TUA TUA block. He was a member of the School Committee and treasurer of the Tent of RECHABITES Hope of Ormondville No. 31. His family continues in farming and business in Ormondville and surrounding districts. MR REDWARD was also a member of the Waipawa County Council. He died aged 79 years on 3rd November 1919.

Robert Read GROOM, J.P.

Was CHAIRMAN of the ORMONDVILLE Town Board from its inception in 1886 until 1898 and was a JUSTICE OF THE PEACE since the previous year. He was Chairman of the DOMAIN Board and of the Cemetery Board and a member of the Hawke’s Bay Land Board. Mr GROOM was born in DARTFORD, KENT, ENGLAND in the year 1846 and was educated in his native place and at the Church of England School in London. He subsequently served an apprenticeship to the milling trade with an uncle and in 1874 came to New Zealand by the ship “WINCHESTER”. Landing at NAPIER he went inland to WAIPAWA, where he remained until 1876 when he settled in ORMONDVILLE and started one of the first stores there. Mr GROOM was also CHAIRMAN of the ORMONDVILLE School Committee. He was a Foundation member of MASONIC LODGE “LION” NO. 114 and a trustee of the Oddfellows in which society he passed through all the chairs. For a number of years he was a member of the Waipawa County Council and took the greatest interest in public matters generally. He married a daughter of the late Charles BEALE of LONDON and had six children.

He was a member of the Independent Order of Rechabites No. 31. “Hope of Ormondville” Mr GROOM held various offices including secretary. He became REGISTRAR OF BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES. Mr GROOM’S family operated his store after his death in 1911 until the 1930s and some descendants, the FOTHERGILLS, still farm in the district.

William Joseph CASTLES, 1863-1939

Born in NORTHERN IRELAND. Came to New Zealand with his family in 1875. Lived at ROTHERAM in South Island working on a sheep station. Came TO WAIKOPIRO when block was opened in 1897 and later farmed 1100 acres known as CAVE FARM.

Jeremiah NEWLING

Was born in SAWSTONE, CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND and immigrated to New Zealand in 1874. An original settler of Ormondville he farmed in NEWLINGS Road named after him. By sheer hard work and determination Mr Newling cleared his land of some of the heaviest bush in the district. His pride was a garden of fruit, flowers and vegetables and Mr Newling was renown for his great love of horticulture.

Mr Newling was a FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF RECHABITES and was an office bearer for 49 years until his death in 1927.

A vestryman of St. Saviour’s Church at Makotuku, Mr Newling was also a member of the Roads Board and formed the first Creamery near the Makotuku Viaduct.

Horace James NEWLING

Was born in CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND, in 1872 and arrived at NAPIER, New Zealand in the ship WINCHESTER in 1874. His parents brought him to Waipukurau and thence to Palmerston North later returning to Ormondville where his father took up a section on what is now NEWLING’S Road, MAKOTUKU (TUA-TUA block) in 1876. He was educated at the Ormondville and Makotuku schools. In 1898 Mr NEWLING started farming (Mr John BRABAZON’S property) and in~ 1905 commenced the butchery business which he carried on successfully until 1943. He joined the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows in 1893 and rose to be District Grand Master in 1914. He became a member of the Ormondville Town Board in 1908 and was chairman of the board from 1914 until it merged into the Dannevirke County Council. Throughout this period he was very active in all that concerned this township and in both great wars was the leader of committees that were engaged in patriotic work. He did much for the Ormondville School and was chairman of its committee for 10 years. In 1925 Mr Newling had the honour of being made Justice of the Peace.

Mr NEWLING was married to Miss Elisabeth PLANK, of Ormondville, in 1901.


General Storekeeper, Ormondville. Mr SUGDEN took over his business in March 1906 having previously conducted it since the year 1902 in partnership with his father under the style of Messrs SUGDEN and Son. The building was substantial with a commodious billiard room at the rear. A large stock of general merchandise was kept in stock and a good trade was done in the surrounding district. Mr SUGDEN also conducted a large boarding house in conjunction with his business. He was born at ROSS, WESTLAND in 1868 and was educated at HOKITIKA. He was afterwards employed for some years in the butchery trade on the West Coast in Christchurch and in Auckland and then moved to Hawke’s Bay. For four years Mr SUGDEN conducted the BEACONSFIELD Hotel at MAKOTUKU and for three years subsequently was engaged in dairy farming at Norsewood before taking up his own business. The store was later taken over by SMITH Bros.


Proprietor of the ALPHA DAIRY FACTORY was born in DENMARK on the 8th January 1863 and came to NEW ZEALAND at the age of twelve. He was afterwards employed for several years in bush work, chiefly in connection with saw mills and afterwards settled at Ormondville. Mr NIKOLAISON subsequently turned his attention to dairy farming. By 1906 his property consisted of 600 acres in two blocks on which he pastured 1200 sheep, 120 head of cattle and a dairy herd of 60 cows. Mr NIKOLAISON settled on the first section outside the Norsewood Suburban Sections on the Danish Line. The name “Alpha” was chosen because it was the first section in the TUA TUA Block.

Mr NIKOLAISON was a member of the Ormondville School Committee for about 10 years, four years of which he was chairman. He was a member of the Hawke’s Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society and the National Dairy Association. He married Laura Matilda JENSEN and had two sons and three daughters and died on 15th March 1935.

A granddaughter Mrs Cecily CHARLTON -JONES now occupies “Alpha Farm”.

John Charles DAVIS

Formerly a member of the Ormondville Town Board represented the Makotuku Riding and was for some time a member of the local school committee. Mr DAVIS was also the popular host of the MAKOTUKU Hotel. He was born and educated in AUCKLAND where he learned the blacksmith’s trade and on the completion of his apprenticeship left for TARADALE where for three years he worked for Mr ROBERTSON and was for some time with Mr LAWTEN. Mr DAVIS commenced business on his own account first in Taradale and in 1889 moved to Makotuku. He married a daughter of the late Mr W. BURTON of Taradale and had two sons and two daughters.

William SHUKER

Formerly a member of the Ormondville Town Board was a native of SHROPSHIRE, ENGLAND where he was born in 1845. Educated at SHEFFIELD he was apprenticed to the butchering trade and came to New Zealand in 1864 by the ship “PORTLAND”. Landing IN AUCKLAND at the time of the Maori war Mr SHUKEr joined Major JACKSON’S Forest Rangers and afterwards served on the West Coast under the gallant Major Von TEMPSKY. He received the New Zealand war medal and a grant of land at RANGIAOWHIA. Mr SHUKER visited various parts of AUSTRALIA returning to NEW ZEALAND to settle IN ORMONDVILLE in 1882. He married Elizabeth Rebecca the second daughter of James BEARD of Marton and had two daughters and one son and died on 7th May 1912. A son Spencer SHUKER lives in retirement in Dannevirke.

Job Packer

Chairman of the Ormondville Town Board was born in GLOUCESTER-SHIRE, ENGLAND, in the year 1845 and was brought up to the plastering trade. He came to NEW ZEALAND in 1872 and landed at Napier. For a few years he worked at pit sawing and timber milling and in 1876 took up his farm of 103 acres at Ormondville. Mr PACKER was a member of the Ormondville Town Board for several years, also a member of the library committee and cemetery board and a member of the local lodge of Oddfellows. He was a member of the school committee for about 14 years. Mr PACKER married Anne Mary and had five sons and five daughters and died on 18 May 1914 at 68 years.

Members of the Packer Family resided in Ormondville until 1970.

Mr PACKER was so impressed with the sporting ability of local young people he constructed and donated a grandstand in the Recreation Ground.

Matthias Joseph SKINNER

Member of the Ormondville Town Board was born in LONDON, ENGLAND, in the year 1856. He received his education there and at 14 years of age went to a brother in ONTARIO, CANADA, with whom he learned the bakery trade. Returning to ENGLAND soon afterwards he came to NEW ZEALAND then to MELBOURNE where he remained a year and then came back to NEW ZEALAND. He worked at NAPIER for about eighteen months and in 1877 settled in Ormondville. Mr SKINNER was for many years a member of the school committee, and was a past grand of the Independent Order of Oddfellows. He married and had five daughters and four sons.

Walter Junius KING

Was born at STOKE-BY-NAYLAND, SUFFOLK, ENGLAND on December 11th 1848 and emigrated to NEW ZEALAND with an aunt and uncle in the “MAORI” in 1858 at the age of 10.

The family settled at HEATHCOTE near CHRISTCHURCH for a short time and later moved to KAIAPOI Island. Later

Mr KING lived at EAST EYRETON with his uncle Fred DENTON. Later while living at WAIMATE he married Elizabeth Sarah BOWLES and worked as a carpenter for several years in WAIMATE and later in SOUTHBROOK, RANGIORA.

During this time he studied and in 1878 he obtained his first appointment as a teacher at PLEASANT VALLEY near GERALDINE. His next school was ELGIN near ASHBURTON and in 1887 he moved to TE ARAI in POVERTY BAY before becoming head teacher of ORMOND SCHOOL from 1893 to 1898.

After taking up the appointment at Whetukura in 1898 he bought a property opposite the school and built a house in which he lived until his death on 19th May 1927. Mrs Elizabeth Sarah KING survived her husband and passed away on 9th January 1930.

Mr King was renowned for his oat stack building ability (a very necessary craft in those days) and was in demand for measuring land areas and also driving machinery while in Canterbury. Later Mr King became Secretary of the Waikopiro Brass Band and served on the School Committee for many years. He also preached in the Methodist Church.

Hedley Ormond KING a son (who was born at Ormond near Gisborne) settled on part of the WAIKOPIRO Block after his return from the Great War and his daughter now owns the farm. Mrs KING the mother of eight children taught sewing and handcrafts to schoolchildren at WHETUKURA. She also attended many confinements and nursed in the district.

Charles and Alice WEST

My father, Charles WEST, was born in Milton-under-Wychwood, in OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND. WYCHWOOD was one of the King’s forests, and was bounded on one side by a wall enclosing the Duke of MARLBOROUGH’S estate. Several small villages surrounded it, all called Something-under-Wychwood. The inhabitants were all farm workers, on such small wages that they barely earned a living. As one wag put it, they had to resort to poaching to gain an honest living!

After trying in vain to improve their lot by banding together to force their employers to pay higher wages, many of them decided to immigrate to New Zealand. My grandfather, William WEST was one of these. He and his wife ELIZABETH, their five sons and two daughters set sail in the “WARWICK”, and arrived in AUCKLAND in 1875. The new arrivals were all accommodated in the MOUNT ALBERT MILITARY BARRACKS till they could be sorted out according to their intended destinations. The day after they landed, Mrs WEST gave birth to another son, they called him Warwick, after the boat that brought them safely to the other side of the world.

Some time later, William WEST was granted a bush section in ORMONDVILLe on the TUA TUA BLOCK. At that time, there was no access to the section, either by road or rail. So for a time, Grandpa told me, they all lived in a dugout at Waipawa. Finally, a track was hacked through the bush, and they moved on to the site of their new home. Their first house was built of slabs, with a shingle roof. Much later, after the mills had been through the bush, they built a much better house, constructed mainly of old tram-rails. By dint of hard work, strict economy, and grim determination, William prospered, and finally owned three farms, in and around Ormondville. He lived on the original section till his death in 1902.

When the Napier-Wellington railway reached Ormondville, it ran right along his boundary. And what a boon the railway was! Besides providing access, it also provided work for many settlers. The WEST brothers all worked on the railway in several capacities for years. My father, an expert adzeman, did a lot of work on Railway bridges, others worked as platelayers and Sidney became a guard. Many an early morning trip I had with dad, “running the length” on one of the old hand-propelled jiggers. (Quite against the rules, no doubt).

One son, Albert, went further afield for work, and was killed by a falling tree in the bush at HUNTERVILLE.

My mother’s people had quite a different background. Susan and JOHN WILLIAMS arrived in NAPIER IN the “BALLARAT” in 1872. They left ENGLAND in May and reached NEW ZEALAND in September, after a very stormy passage. The “BALLARAT” was so battered that she never put to sea again, but was used as a coal-hulk in the roadstead at NAPIER.

My GRANDFATHER WILLIAMS must have been a brave man. After working most of his life in tin mines in MERTHYR TYDFIL, he set sail for far-off NEW ZEALAND with his wife, six daughters and an orphan niece. He had no idea what was in store for them — certainly no tin mines!

I believe that the ship “HOVDING” arrived at Napier the same day, bringing a batch of settlers from Norway, who founded the settlement of NORSEWOOD. Grandfather was supposed to get a grant of land, but it was a long time materialising. In the meantime, he set up as a market gardener, and grandmother took in sewing. Alice, the youngest, was only three-and-a-half years old when they arrived. About three years later, they were granted a block of land at WOODVILLE. At that time there was neither road nor rail access to it, and they travelled by coach through a rough track through the bush.

At the age of 18, Alice, my mother, was staying with relatives at MAKOTUKU, when she met my father, Charles WEST. They were married in 1887, at the home of William WEST. The officiating clergyman was Canon WEBB, the hero of his daughter Alice’s book, “PILGRIMAGE”. My father was working on the railway at the time, and he then acquired a small farm across the road and railway from his father’s. It was the very farm on which the terrible multiple EDWARDS murders were committed, but the “murder-house” was burnt down, and father built a new house for his bride.

We lived here till grandpa WEST died in 1902. He left the original farm to my father, so we moved over the line, and let our house to Mrs DASSLER, who became my mother-in-law. We lived on this farm till 1906, when my parents appeared to become restless. Apparently, the pioneer spirit of their ancestors stirred within them, and they had an urge to try their wings in a wider circle. There were sections being balloted for in the then unknown and mysterious KING Country, and my father drew a block of 500 acres of virgin land, about 14 miles west of OTOROHANGA. So they set off, with their nine children to conquer a King Country wilderness. The Main Trunk railway was not finished, so they travelled by train to NAPIER, by boat to AUCKLAND, hence by train to further adventures, of which I have written elsewhere.

My father died in 1957, and when mother died in her 89th year, she left 155 living descendants — 10 children, 41 grandchildren, 102 great-grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren. Of the children, there are still nine of us left; we were all present at a recent family reunion — eight daughters and one son, our ages ranging from sixty-five to ninety.

Contributed by:

Mrs Susan DASSLER (nee WEST),


From ANDREWS in SCOTLAND arrived in NAPIER on the “EDIMENT” in 1879 when he was 26 years old. Believed to be the driver of the first bullock team to reach the SEVENTY MILE Bush, as it was then known, he transported immigrants south from Waipawa to Te WHITI and NORSEWOOD and later drove as far south as PAHIATUA. He married a daughter of Martin HANSEN who had arrived in New Zealand on the “HOVDING” with her parents. Martin HANSEN was a bricklayer and the Methodist Church Norsewood bell ringer for 25 years.

Mr and Mrs CARMICHAEL lived at Ormondville (where the BENBOWS now reside) in a slab hut with calico windows. He spoke fluent Maori and transported with his sons sawn timber out from Whetukura to the railhead at Ormondville. Later after moving to Makotuku the family owned a sawmill behind the Makotuku Post Office site. There were six sons and four daughters in the CARMICHAEL family and the sole survivor at this date is George CARMICHAEL (known as Toby) 94 years who resides in LEVIN. David died in 1927 at the age of 70 years and his wife passed away in 1957 a few months short of 100 years.

Page 161 Photo ANDREW SNADDON and chauffeur.


A railway bridge builder who emigrated from SCOTLAND he lived on the Ormondville-Makotuku Road and had the first car in the district, a two-seater Sunbeam. His son James born 1875 died in 1963.

William PIKE

Emigrated from ENGLAND to SOUTH AFRICA and worked on railway construction there for three years before returning to ENGLAND. Later he emigrated to NEW ZEALAND and his wife and two daughters followed at a later date.

After living in Ormondville while on railway construction work, including the wooden viaducts, the family moved onto a section near Makotuku. A creamery was built on part of the PIKE section near the Makotuku Stream. William PIKE was one of those who located EDWARDS after the murder of EDWARD’S family and took care of him until Constable SCHULTZ arrived to take EDWARDS into custody. William PIKE was a foundation member of the FORESTERS Ledge and served on the ORMONDVILLE Road Board, was a director of the Creamery as well as a school committee member.



Massey and Claude Sugden were among my schoolmates, and they often had their pockets well lined with lollies, which they shared liberally around their classmates, thus often causing anger to our teachers, who would confiscate the lot much to our sorrow. Around that same corner on the left was the local undertaker, a short fat man — a bachelor — Mr Jim Moodie, who provided all the coffins required in the town and district. All coffins were painted black and handles for carrying them were just short pieces of rope pushed through holes around the side of the bier and knotted on the inside to hold them there. He always kept a good supply of nice wide-dressed boards on hand: just the right sort of stuff, I suggested to ‘me mates’ for the manufacture of a flat-bottomed boat. So we clubbed together and acquired the required boards from

Mr Moodie and carried it to an old empty house that stood on a part of my father’s property which was called ‘The Oaks’ by our family though there were no oaks growing there.

Well, we boys spent many weekends and holidays and sometimes-wagged school to get on with the job in our ‘shipyard’. We finally completed the puzzling job, which we launched on a nearby pond and from which we got endless fun. We christened the boat ‘The Victory’ and I think it finally drifted down the Manawatu River and probably out to sea to join the toll of other noble craft in its final resting place.

On one occasion while I was bird nesting in a plantation I saw some chaps on horseback armed with heavy stock whips, bringing a mob of timid fat cattle to be yarded for killing next day. Scared, I took to my heels, pursued by one of the bullocks and took refuge on an old butcher’s cart, which tipped up and so scared the cattle that they panicked and broke away and disappeared into the bush. The invective that followed was beyond my comprehension but not so one of the stockwhips that cracked dangerously close to me.

All life’s memories were not fun and games, though. Dear old Martin Maddigan, a bachelor farmer with a very stiff neck, used to ride his chestnut horse into town from Whetukura every Saturday morning to do his shopping and was crossing the “Munga” bridge, which was covered with ice after a very heavy frost, when his horse slipped and fell heavily throwing his rider up against the bridge railings and breaking his neck.

A porter, George Simpson, who worked at the railway station, used to take fits and struggle madly with superhuman strength, and was held down by a crowd of onlookers till the fit passed off and he recovered his composure. What became of him I do not remember.

About that time a fugitive from justice a man named Powelka was being sought by the police along the foothills of the Ruahine Mountains between Woodville and Makaretu near where he was finally captured. He was charged with the murder of a man who had been tormenting him over some matter I do not recall. He was found guilty of murder and condemned to hang — another job for the official hangman, Tom Long.

In these times, 1977-8. He would more likely have been charged with manslaughter and sentenced to a term of seven or eight year’s imprisonment and then released.

Another item of interest that comes to mind was the appearance of Halley’s comet, which was a marvellous sight, and one never to be forgotten. It spread across the sky from west to east, and was visible for about a fortnight. The year was 1909, and it will be back again in the year 1985. So many of the present generation have a glorious phenomenon to look forward to. I wonder what the ancient Maori people thought of it? It appears every 76 years.

Then there were the days when the Gypsies travelled around the country in their horse drawn caravans. Mum, dad and the family. How they got their living I don’t know. They would occupy a quiet spot near towns and country villages, and stay there for several weeks at a time. Although their presence was feared by many folk they never ever caused any trouble. ‘You naughty child, if you don’t behave I’ll give you to the Gypsies’ was often used by our parents when the kids misbehaved.

Then there were the Assyrian peddlers who hawked their goods for sale from door to door all over the country. They carried their goods on their backs: a wooden case containing cheap watches, jewellery, and an assortment of metal trinkets, and in their canvas swag, an assortment of linen ware and clothing. I think they usually spent their nights at hotels or boarding houses.

There were lots of tramps or swaggers wandering the country in those days, some looking for work, and many hoping that they would not find it. I used to meet many of them on the road, some of them very rough and untidy-looking, but always ready for a feed and a shakedown for the night. My kindly parents never turned away any of them when they called in at our home, but fed them and let them sleep on a bunk in a shed we used to call the smokehouse, which was originally used for curing bacon and hams.

Some of these swaggers appeared to have a good education were refined in their speech and manners. McGuire, who wrote and addressed his letter to Master Damer Redward thanking me for taking him to such a kindly household. This was the first letter I ever received, and I kept it and treasured for many years.

The Hobble Skirt was first introduced to Dennison, a pretty maid who worked at the Settler’s Arms Hotel.

And this was possibly the beginning of modernizing women’s attire.

A youth stole a pushbike in Waipukurau no one knew where. Perhaps he did not know himself but he came to a sudden end when his bike got out of steepest hill in the country. He missed the Manga Bridge and he and the bike was mutilated when they crashed 100 feet on the other side of the stream.

Wirth’s Circus came to Ormondville in event for our town and district for many transported by special train, which occupied at our little station yard. It was just too marvellous to believe. Performing elephants, horses and their trick riders, monkeys, roaring lions, tigers and dogs. Trapeze artists, tight rope walkers and lithe men somersaulting, etc. A strong man weightlifting and breaking chains bound around his brawny chest just by filling his lungs with air. And last but not least the roars of laughter from the audience. Oh ye Plank family (Cecil Newling’s grandparents) had a tame monkey which they loved very much, but always kept it on a chain or he would get up to all sorts of mischief, especially opening and shutting windows. Miss Angelina Plank told my mother that she could not open a certain window one morning, so she told monkey to open it - which he did. Well, the circus tent came down during the night, the actors went to their beds on the train, appeared from Ormondville, except for one smell the presence of the animals left behind

Close to the town seemed to be in a state of panic; dogs barked and howled and even the cats looked frightened. Special cared had to be exercised with both hacks and horse-drawn vehicles. They wanted to bolt especially past the paddock where the circus had been held opposite the police residence.

One thing that horses and their drivers took a few years to get used to was the advent of the motorcar and motorcycle, which scared the animals and their drivers very much. The first person to own a car in the district was Harold Snaddon’s grandfather, who was a retired railway engineer living near the Ormondville end of the railway bridge near Makotuku. His son Jim acquired a block of farming land in the Waikopiro district as also did Charles Baines on the road to Dannevirke at what used to be known as ‘Smith’s Siding’. Here there was a timber mill that milled the entire bush on the Jonathan Holden estate and surrounding country. Charles Baines was the first pupil at the Ormondville School before I was born. Both these

Gentlemen were frequently seen riding their horses between their respective homes and their farms sometimes leading a pack horse well laden with goods for their farms and followed by their farm dogs.

The Baines’ home was at Papatu. Both these farms are still occupied by their sons or grandsons.

Dominion Day celebration was a memorable event for Ormondville.

New Zealand was declared a dominion in 1907, and the whole country from one end to the other celebrated this historic event. For a number of years it was a public holiday,, as was Trafalgar Day. As I remember it, these gatherings were called ‘Demonstration Days’. Residents from Norsewood, Makotuku, Ormondville, Whetukura and further afield, gathered in Makotuku and marched to It was Ormondville, where the town was decorated with bunting and speeches of loyalty were made to the Crown and the government of the new Dominion of New Zealand.

Well my dear friends old and new, all good things finally come pretty to an end and I am grateful if I have made some contribution to lifting, life and its experiences and observations during my days at Ormondville school. I may say that I felt very sad that those happy days caused had come to an end and I was faced with the problem of what I was to do with myself in the days and years to come. To put it briefly I had one year at Dannevirke High School, then went to Napier and worked as an apprentice for J. J. Niven and Company, engineers and iron founders. I studied a correspondence course in d not Marine Engineering in the hope that I would get a marine engineer’s it — diploma, and so get a good job that could take me around the world, etc., etc. But the First World War put an end to all that as I enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and spent two years in the army.

My first taste of real battle was in Panders, Belgium, on 12th and October 1917, when the N.Z. and Australian forces fought the advancing German army in one of the fiercest battles of the war.

We drove the enemy back inflicting heavy casualties on them at a terrible cost to our own forces. I was in the Wellington West Coast Fourth Brigade, which was nearly wiped out, and our forces were reduced to a three-brigade army instead of four. I had further service in the Somme battles, where I was wounded and sent to England to a mansion-turned-hospital. Afterwards I went on leave with a mate and we went up to Scotland and around quite a bit of England then back to London to stay a few days with relatives. I was there when the German army surrendered to the Allies.

I travelled home to New Zealand via the Panama Canal. Our ship berthed for a few days at the port of Newport News on the east coast of the United States. As it was to be there for four days to take in food supplies and coal we were allowed to go ashore to stretch our legs and have a look around. Two of my mates and I reckoned we could get on a fast train and slip over to the capital city, Washington, have one night there and get back to our ship before it was due to leave port to resume its journey to the Panama Canal. It seemed a risky thing to do, but it paid off. We booked in at an accommodation house for the night, where we met up with an American officer who offered to show us around the sights, including the White House, which we found very fascinating indeed. A congressman noticing that we were New Zealand soldiers invited us to have tea with him, which we readily accepted. Afterwards he wanted us to accompany him in the evening to a very large meetinghouse, where there was a gathering of several thousand people to listen to speakers calling on the public to subscribe funds for the rehabilitation of American Returned Soldiers. We were invited to take seats on the stage facing the mighty throng, and were introduced with some flattery as “our brave New Zealand allies” amidst loud applause, then asked would any of us like to say a few words. My two mates pointed to me so what else could I do but oblige. The gist of my talk was to thank the good-hearted people of America for coming to the aid of the hard—pressed Allies in a war to end wars, and to urge them to support the appeal for which the meeting had been called.

There was loud applause and clapping and when the show was over we were entertained to supper with the dignitaries, and bade goodnight and good luck. On the stage I may say, I was almost wet through with nervousness and tension. However, we got back to our sleeping quarters and had a few whiskeys to soothe our nerves, then did justice to our bunks.

We eventually reached our homeland only to find that a ‘flu epidemic had swept the country, leaving many people dead, including Tom Hosking the son of Ormondville’s leading barrister Mr Edwin Hosking. Also a devastating fire had destroyed half of Dannevirke Township.

The next problem: ‘What will I do with myself now?’ I felt that I had had enough of living amongst vast crowds of people, and longed for the solitude of New Zealand’s beautiful countryside, and a piece of it which I could call my own:— Breathes there a man with soul so dead Who never to himself has said, This is my own, my native land’.

I entered my name in the ballot for a section in the Tiratu Soldiers’ Settlement block, Dannevirke and was one of the lucky ones to draw one of the 26 sections available. Of the 26, I think there are only three or four of us still living. I acquired a wonderfully good wife and helpmate (lucky me) who gave me a son Mark who still carries on the farm plus an adjoining farm and three daughters. The oldest beloved one died at the age of twelve years. We retired, my wife and I, to live in Ransom Street, Dannevirke, for a few years. Then my wife died in 1974. I am now living in a P.S.S.A. home in Levin, enjoying comfort and tranquility and looking forward to being present at the Ormondville School Centenary Celebrations next May 1978, when I hope to meet some of my old school mates.

Our school motto was: -

Good, Better, Best.

Never let it rest

Till our Good is Better

And our Better, Best.

For Freedom and Justice

Colonel Joseph Livingston Fraser, M.D. V.D., a physician served in the China War, Boer War, Great War and the N.Z. Home Service during the Second World War. After retiring

Colonel Fraser died in Ormondville on 21st May 1954.

Tony Webb, son of Canon Webb of Ormondville served in the Boer War and later returned to live in South Africa.

John Clegg of Whetukura also served in the Boer War.

From Ormondville those who did not return are: -

Lieutenant T. S. Grant, Rifleman W. E. Baines, Rifleman E. Benbow,

Privates J. H. L. Allen, A. G. Dew, E. D. Godfrey, F. Martin, 0. R. Olsen,

Corporals R. J. Howes, H. C. Papps,

Riflemen J. H. Mordin, T. G. Pollisen.

Those who served and returned are: -

Lieutenants. R. Callender. A. Gilmore, M.M., K. Siddells,

Sergeants. H. Baines, T. Cross, TEM, Sgt. C. Petersen,

Corporals. 0. Baines, MM, B. Smith, E. Matson, L. G. Melrose, I. Adamson,

A. Anderson, A. Baines, 0. Benbow, R. Benbow, W. Benbow, W. Brabazon,

D. Bottom, T. Cross, H. Crossland, G. Crossland, J. Crossland, G. Hayen,

T. Fayen, F. Ford, W. Gilmore, H. Howes, W. Lehndorf, S. Price,

C. Price, D. Redward, R. Redward, J. Reisima, W. Reisima, H. Saunders,

T. Smith, C. Taylor, P. Thomasen, S. Vigers, C. Wienick, A. Wilson,

J. Barnes

Sisters E. McLeod, F. Siddells and J. Siddells.

From Whetukura and Te Uri Districts those who did not return are: -

Troopers R. Reisima, L. Fayen, C. Crawford, E. Mason, F. Martin, G. Neilson, P. Searle,

L. Clegg, A. Adamson.

Those who served and returned are: -

S. Williams, C. Bromley, J. Reisima, J. Kani, R. Olsen, A. Patterson, H. 0. King, J. Fayen, R. Burtton, R. Pedler, C. Fayen, A. Fraser, V. Castles, R. Bell, T. Baker, C. Taylor,

A Nikolaison, C. Smith, D. Crawford, F. Fredenicksen, M. Castles, J. Castles, W. King,

J. Neilsen, 0. Bottom, J Fredericksen, B. Berkhan, E. Nikolaison, F. Berkhan, A. Olsen,

W. Resima, R. Olsen, A. Jonasen’, I. Adamson, L. Anderson, W. Castles.

From Makotuku those who served and did not return are: -

L./Corp. L. M. Lowin, Pvt. G. L. Johnston, E. Griffin, T. J. Ness, J. S. Sabin, T. Jardine,

T. Berrett.

From Makotuku those who served and returned are: -

Sergeants. G. Carmichael, A. Kelberg, A. Berkahn, M. Mildon, T. Lawlor.

Corporals R. Gasson, A. Ashley, P.Cantwell.

Privates J. Vaughan,, J. Lean, E. Pickford, N. Berkahn, R. Ness,

T. Sabin, A. Bailey, H. Cantwell, F. Berkahn, E. Mayell, E. Mann, A. Stevens, S. Tweedie, J. Andrew, W. Andrew, A. Mildon, P. Lyons, C. Mildon, L. Mildon, G. Cantwell,

A. Tweedie, E. Wright, V. J. Ross.

Between 1939 and 1945, 44 men and women served overseas in the Middle East, Europe and Pacific theatres and all returned except for Signal

man R. W. Harvey (killed in action) and Pvte. C. R. Fothergill (killed in action).

The following from Ormondville district served: -

LAC R. Andersen, Pvte. C. C. Anderson, LC J. D. Anderson, Pvtes. A. Berkahn,

R. G. Brickland, Sapper A. G. Dew, Pvte. J. David;on, LC N. K. Forward,

Trooper B. R. Goodeve, Drivers S. B. Goodeve, C. G. Harvey, Gunner A. Hosking,

Pvte. H. R. Howes, Sapper G. S. Maunder, Pvtes. A. J. Packer, M. C. Pedersen, W.O.2

A. B. Port, Sapper C. 0. Sampson, Gunner H. P. Sampson, Leading A/Cm E.G.Port.

Signalman R. W. Harvey (killed in action).

Those from Whetukura and Te Uri districts to serve and return are: -

Nursing Service: Sister A. B. (Truda) King.

Royal N.Z. Navy: N. K. Baines, M. Schofield.

Army: W. A. Olsen (Provost Marshal), C. Perry, Pvtes. W. Paterson, E. B. Ritchie,

W. I. O’Brien, W. J. Savage, H. Snaddon, Staff Sgt A. I. Whitson, Pvte. E. A. Woods,

A.E. Bain, W0l D.J. Castles, Trooper B. J. Castles, Pvtes. R. S. M. Chadwick,

W. B. Collins, Capt. S. W. Ellingham, Pvtes. R. C. Johnston, B. Johnston, A. McKenzie, Cpl. R. G. McKenzie, Sgt. H. N. Olsen.

Royal N.Z. Airforce: C. M. Barker, WOl; E. M. Castles, Sgt. Pilot; R. D. Fairbrother, Sgt.; W. L. Ellingham, Pilot Officer.

From Makotuku those who served are: -

R.S. M. T. Christianson, Sgt. G. H. Palmer, D.C.M., Pvt. A, Christoffersen, R. S. Little,

R. George, L. Percey, J. C. Palmer, C. Pickford, E.Smith, D. Hammond, J. Laing, E. Mildon, S. Berkahn, C. D. Hammond, Gunners A. Schaare, R. Schaare, F. Luscombe,

Troopers G. Laing, K. Laing, Sapper W. Bishop, Drivers B. T. Wright, W. Davis, LAC G.

P. Chapman, LAC H. P. Collins, A.C. (2) R. Smith, A.C. (2) J. Carruthers.

Roll of Honour: Pvt. C. R. Fothergill.

Pat Fairbrother served in Japan with the occupation ‘J’, Force and Signalman Arthur Bolton was mentioned in despatches for his service in Korea.


Anderson A L, NORSEWOOD The Centennial Story, Kelly Printing, 1972.

Baylis W Takapau- The Sovereign Years, 1876-1976, Hart Printing House, 1975

Combs H. Growing up in the Forty Mile Bush, Paul’s Book Arcade, 1951.

Orr R, The Hawke’s Bay Railway, Southern Press, 1974.

Ward R, Ormondville School Jubilee, 1878-1960.

Wilson J G History of Hawke’s Bay, A. H. & A. W. Reed, 1939; The founding of Hawke’s

Bay, Daily Telegraph Print, 1951.

Scholefield G H (Editor), Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, 1940;

Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. vi, 1908; Farms and Stations of New Zealand

Vols 1 and 2, Cranwell Publishing Co. Ltd., 1957.

Hawke’s Bay Almanac 1879

East Coast and Hawke’s Bay Directory, 1894-95.

The New Zealand Gazette, 1876; 1877, Vol. II; 1878, Vol. I; 1880, Vol. I.

The Hawke’s Bay Government Gazette, Vol. xv, Sept. 29, 1876, No. 32; Oct. 24,

1876, No 35

Newspapers: Bush Advocate (Dannevirke), 1901; Dannevirke Advocate, 1901;

Dannevirke Evening News, 1927; Woodville Examiner, 1884;

Hawke’s Bay Herald 1879

Publications: Davidson J W., W., The Scandinavians in New Zealand; Meyer, R. J

N Z Railway and Locomotive Society and Locomotive Society.


Alexander Turnbull Library

General Assembly Library

Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery

Norsewood Museum

Department of Lands and Survey, Napier Palmerston North

Hawke’s Bay Education Board

Dannevirke County Council

Waipawa County Council


2002-2005 Barbara Andrew