Cambridge New Zealand some history resources

  • Such Things Were The Story of Cambridge, N.Z. C.W. Vennell Published by Waikato Independent, Duke Street, Cambridge. 1939
  • Plough Of The Pakeha A Cambridge Regional History Eric Beer / Alwyn Gascoigne For The Cambridge Historical Society 1975
  • Cambridge An Illustrated History 1886-1986 The Centenary Of Local Government In Cambridge Sally K. Parker Cambridge Borough Council ISBN 0-473-00334-1 1986
  • Cambridge NZ 150 Years 1864 – 2014 Eris Parker (a personal reflection on Cambridge New Zealand by former curator of Cambridge Museum). 2014
  • Cambridge Museum website.

Some fun in naming our names BUT there is at least one missing .. can you figure out what name?

Cambridge New Zealand and ..

© Michael Jeans | +64 27 496 3802 | galleries |

Cambridge Museum writers and doers

Cambridge NZ writers and doers

Cambridge NZ writers and doers

Proofreading workshop. Members of Cambridge Historical Society, Sunday the 17th of June 2012, at Cambridge Museum, Cambridge New Zealand. Curator Eris Parker has produced a collection of photo books (nine in all I think) about folk who have written about Cambridge (my Mum and Dad are both featured) and those who have left their mark in the Cambridge Museum. There was mulled wine!!


© Michael Jeans | +64 27 496 3802 | galleries |

The Waikato Independent where have I heard that name before?

2011 The Waikato Independent an initiative of Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology (WINTEC) journalism students within the School of Media Arts based in Hamilton New Zealand. c/w FB

1904-1966 The Waikato Independent established in 1904 in Cambridge New Zealand by David Pirani and celebrated by Cambridge Museum Cambridge New Zealand.

Isn’t she lovely National Hotel Cambridge New Zealand

National Hotel, Cambridge New Zealand
The Nash, Lake Street, Cambridge New Zealand fresh in her new livery beams into the afternoon sun, today, Saturday the 29th of February 2011. After a period of neglect and abandonment tenants of the new (and local) owners are due to move into the refurbished building toward the end of February 2011. As regular readers know the National Hotel has a special place in my heart.

Cambridge Heritage December 2010

Cambridge Heritage December 2010
Also in our mailbox; Cambridge Heritage the monthly newsletter of Cambridge Historical Society Inc. In this issue a report on the 2010 AGM; Michael Coles’ 12/11/2010 President’s report, Monavale Homestead celebrations, La Joie market, The Norm Suckling rowing display and more. Membership of Cambridge Histoprical Society Inc is a whole $15.00 a year; you get to support the valuable work of the society and our Museum and you get the newsletter. You might even find the time to volunteer some of your time!

Cambridge Historical Society Inc. | Cambridge Museum, Old Courthouse, 24 Victoria Street, Cambridge 3434, New Zealand. |

What’s on Cambridge New Zealand Monavale Homestead 100 Year Fair

Monavale Homestead 100 Year Fair

This Saturday

20 November 2010

10am – 4pm


3553 Cambridge Road, Monavale

(Cambridge Te Awamutu road)

Monavale Homestead 100 Year Fair this Saturday 20 November 2010 10am – 4pm 100 Year Fair at 3553 Cambridge Road, Monavale, Cambridge, New Zealand (Cambridge Te Awamutu road).

Karapiro Hydro Dam – construction

Karapiro Hydro - married quarters Karapiro Hydro - Concrete Silo
Karapiro Hydro - Concrete Silo Karapiro Hydro - Concrete Silo
Karapiro Hydro - Concrete Silo Karapiro Hydro - Concrete Silo
Karapiro Hydro - Concrete Silo Karapiro Hydro - Concrete Silo

As I work on the KWTJubilee some related gems have been turning up – this selection of photos from the Karapiro Hydro Dam construction in the 1940s from a local family album. Roll over each image and read the captions from the back of each snap (52mm (approx.) square contact prints – a Box Brownie of some sort I’m guessing). Thanks to John Fletcher and George Ve Vorms.

Cambridge New Zealand – an historical missed opportunity

In August of 1964, shortly after my 13th birthday, in my last year at Whitehall School and before 1965’s big move to Cambridge High School, Mr Sutcliffe, our headmaster bought us older kids into town, during school time, to see the unveiling of the Fort Street plaque in that special week leading up to the Cambridge Centennial celebrations. Despite the rain and the briefness of the ceremony it is an experience I recall with absolute clarity. An historic event commemorating an historic Cambridge time and place; it enveloped me personally – vividly – in our history.

In recent days, in June of 2010, I became aware of the work to be carried out in the area we shall call the senior citizen’s hall car park – a not insignificant portion of the ‘historic precinct’ bounded by Victoria and Fort Streets and Milicich Place; the area referred to on the Fort Street plaque.

I took little notice until Wednesday (23/6/2010) when I, at last, walked over to have a look – discovering with more than just a little surprise an archaeological ‘dig’ in progress. I spoke briefly with the site manager and took this photograph of her. The significance of this began to dawn on me in the rather haphazard way that things do when you find yourself out of the loop.

Cambridge NZ dig 23/6/2010

12:19PM Wednesday, 23/June/2010

I walked away somewhat confused and with the promise to return with the means to photograph the site from on high – something it was suggested – was not in the budget. On Wednesday evening I arranged with real estate photographer Jason Tregurtha to use his high tech elevated photography rig to record the site.  Unfortunately this was not to be. I have been kicking myself for the past two days for not having had the presence of mind to ask how much longer the dig would be in progress. Returning to the site 24 hours after my first visit I found the dig all but covered over.

Cambridge Senior Citizen's Hall car park 24/6/2010

12:22PM Thursday, 24/June/2010

So, who could have exercised the foresight, the leadership, the imagination, indeed, who if anyone, has the responsibility or the authority to have grabbed the opportunity to share this with the rest of us? Not in the future, not as a report, but as it was happening.  Who has the responsibility for advocating our cultural and historical heritage? In the week we were being encouraged to celebrate voluntarism who missed the opportunity to seek docents or interpreters – even security – from our community for this project?

Here is a list of the statutory, community, ad hoc and informal offices(ers) who may or may not have had a say in this –  indeed who may have been consulted (or not) – in no particular order: Waipa District Council staff, our elected Waipa representatives, the Cambridge Historical Society Inc. (of which I am a member), the curator of Cambridge Museum, the Waipa District iwi liaison officer, the Waipa Heritage Council (an informal committee of Waipa District Council), the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, the New Zealand Archaeological Association.

I feel let down by those responsible for the care and stewardship of our heritage. What a lost opportunity. Lost a teaching moment – an investment in our future.  Lost a time to savour and share – the opportunity for contemplation and reflection on our heritage. With leadership, effective communications and planning the management of this project in terms of cost, time frame and security could / should have factored community enthusiasm, knowledge and expertise into the dig for the benefit of us all.

We did the elevated shot anyway – for the record – thanks Jason.

Elevated shot Senior Citizen's Hall car park Cambridge

1:38PM Saturday, 25/June/2010 Photo credit: Jason Tregurtha

© Michael Jeans | +64 27 496 3802 | galleries |

CENTENARY 100 Years of Education in the Taotaoroa Whitehall Karapiro Districts. 1885 — 1985

This is a digitized version of CENTENARY 100 Years of Education in the Taotaoroa Whitehall Karapiro Districts. 1885 — 1985 researched and complied by Phyllis Jeans, typed by Lesley Sewell and published in October 1985.

This document also appears here.

Continue reading

Cambridge Museum

Waiting for the official bit

Waiting in the front garden of Cambridge Museum at 24 Victoria Street for the ‘official opening’ of the museum’s new exhibitions layout. Today signifies a milestone in the transition begun in June 2008 of the transfer of management of the museum from the Cambridge Historical Society (who retain ownership of the collection) to our local body authority the Waipa District Council. Today’s celebration acknowledges also the centenary of the opening, in 1909, of the museum’s home since 1984 the Cambridge Courthouse.

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Bullrush or kingasini

We are thinking about school around here today – for a couple of reasons. Dad is writing up his memories and I have been involved for the past six weeks or so in preparatory meetings for the Karapiro, Whitehall, Taotaoroa and Karapiro Hydro district schools 125th Jubilee we will celebrate in September next year. This week we launched the website which will be used to publicize the celebrations. Dad, my sister and brother and I attended Whitehall primary; my mother went to Taotaoroa. The history of all four schools – two of which no longer exist – are bound up with one another. Check out the website if you are interested.

Dad (at Whitehall in the 1930s) asks me about the word kingasini. Yes, we played bullrush or kingasini in the 1950s and 1960s – at Whitehall (I recall we used the two names interchangeably – or were there two variations each having their own name – a vague memory is saying yes). I have a photograph here which shows the exact place we used to play it – the large bare patch in the lower portion of this photo – an area that was later grassed.

Whitehall School Archive

I can find three references to Kingasini: Tommy Kapai‘s delightful 29th September 2008 Bay of Plenty Times article Ding-dong of bullrush can teach our kids plenty (Omanu School). John Saunders’ Memories from Onehunga Primary School… on Old Friends and  Kitty Arnold (Whelan) Memories from St Pius X School (Glen Innes)… also on Old Friends. Wikipedia mentions bullrush as an antipodean variant of the British game Bulldogs and provides a whole lot of other names but not Kingasini – I wonder where the name came from?

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Cambridge newspapers

Word about is that there are serous moves afoot to set up in competition to Fairfax‘s Cambridge Edition. There is some agreement around town that, in recent months, ‘The Edition’ has lost it. Too much soft news, much of it provided, and not enough of the real stuff a community needs to know about itself. And then there are those tabloid headlines. BTW yesterday’s Radio New Zealand National MediaWatch looked at moves within Fairfax [Podcast 26’08”] which will impact print news gathering across the board let alone in small markets, such as ours, which they currently dominate.

Cambridge railway

A railway line lay here between 1884 and 1999. The Cambridge branch line joined the network at Ruakura and terminated at Lake Street beside Lake Te Koutu. Passing through Matangi, Bruntwood and Hautapu it offered passenger services until 1946. The line terminates at Fonterra Hautapu now – a freight only service. The truck to the left travels the last few metres of SH1B which leaves SH1 at Taupiri and links back into SH1 at the St Andrew’s Church corner just over my left shoulder. The coming of the Waikato Expressway, the demise of this railway line – things to ponder as the price of oil rises and today, Tuesday the 1st of July 2008, many celebrate the return to public ownership of ‘KiwiRail‘ after a decade and a half in private ownership.

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Cambridge history

Cambridge history

Cambridge Court House has been home to the Cambridge Historical Society since 1984. Yesterday, Monday the 23th of June 2008, the society handed the care and administration of its collection, and Cambridge Museum, to the local authority: Waipa District Council. Established in 1956 the Cambridge Historical Society Inc. retains ownership of the collection.

Personal note: Cambridge Court House was built in 1909 by my Great Grandfather Fred Potts.

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Cambridge New Zealand – Historic Places Trust plaque

-Sorry this photo has gone missing in action-

On this height in 1864 the 3rd Waikato Militia Regiment built and occupied the Cambridge Redoubt.

In 1964, in my last year at Whitehall School, I stood in Fort Street and watched the unveiling of this New Zealand Historic Places Trust plaque thanks to a teacher who encouraged such things. I remember feeling, at the time, pride that my town was 100 years old – it seemed such a long time then. I enjoyed, also, the parade from the river through the main street to Victoria Square – a day or so later. I don’t think I have seen so many people in and about the main street since (I have been known to claim that I remember the visit of the queen in 1953 – I’m sure the crowd was bigger – but as I was only 18 months old at the time I very much doubt my ‘recollection’). This photograph was taken on Friday at about one-thirty.

from Cambridge New Zealand Eh! to Zed December 2006-March 2007