PEASE, RHODA LUCY nee SPARROW
Rhoda Lucy Sparrow was born on the 29 June 1869 at Takaka, Nelson the daughter of
Eric and Lucy Sparrow nee Hailes. She spent the early years of her life at the home of Rev and Mrs C Jennings at Wakefield, 18 miles from Nelson. Upon her marriage to Joseph Frederick Pease she came to Taranaki where her husband owned farm property on the South Road at Hawera. Upon the death of Mr Pease in 1911 she moved to a residence on Manawapou Road, this home later becoming famous for its beautiful gardens and lawns.
Rhoda's hobbies were confined to her garden, and apart from that, her main interests in life centred round St Mary's Anglican Church, of which she was staunch supporter.
No worthy charitable object that came under her notice was passed by without being enriched by her donation. Public access to the Waihi Beach (Denby Road) was made possible by the generous gift of land by Rhoda in August 1922. Again in 1935 she gave further land to give improved access to the Beach Reserve and planted many roses in the car park area, many of which are still surviving.
In 1924, a small band of enthusiasts decided to make a park in a rough piece of ground to the southeast of High Street. Rhoda Pease made a large donation to this, and at the end of 1924, an unveiling ceremony took place at what is now Naumai Park.
Rhoda Pease was also well known for her broad-mind and tolerant outlook on life.
She died on 24 May 1937 and is buried at Hawera cemetery.
Obituary "Hawera Star"
Hawera District Centenary by A P C Bromley