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Home arrow Human Interest arrow Local arrow Ngunguru Historic Walk
Ngunguru Historic Walk PDF Print
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Human Interest - Local
Written by Pat Heffey   
Thursday, 24 April 2008

Sunday 6th April dawned misty and drizzly. Two stalled weather systems threatened, but Ngunguru Historic Walk did happen.

What a day! Turn-out really exceeded our expectations. I had hoped for fifty turning up. I'm told there were over two hundred.

A drive through Ngunguru gives no hint of vibrant past events. Fortunately, some of the history has been recorded and passed down. There are still some people around who have a real connection with the past.

In its heyday, this locality was a hive of industry. It's hard to imagine up to ten scows trapped in the estuary waiting for weather conditions to improve.

Organisers Chris Robertson (former tertiary lecturer), Mim Ringer (historian), Darlene Buckley (geologist), Julie Mison (Shoebridge family descendant) and I worked very hard to organise this event.

After being welcomed by Sonny Wellington, people streamed along the waterfront, stopping at intervals to hear the speakers. Early Maori and European settlement, sawmills, timber, shipwrecks, tsunamis, coal, scows and pioneers were spoken of.

Visitors were welcomed into the Memorial Hall by Emma Cribb, then they focussed on our impressive displays. We thank Joan Maingay (archaeologist), Brye Blackhall (civil engineer) and Emma for their contributions.

Animated conversations filled the air, our wonderful helpers laboured to provide refreshments, Robby and Andy enchanted us with scow poems and we, the organisers, breathed a collective sigh of relief.

It was a success.

The highlights for me were the photographs, the research, the people. Longtime resident Ted Amos, Dr. Katherine Bowden who had a recent leg injury, and Doreen Wordsworth a teacher at Ngunguru School in the 1940s, had managed to be there.

Overwhelmed and delighted.

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