Monday, 17 April 2017

Opoutere Youth Hostel, Eastern Seaboard Coromandel Peninsula - some history of place

Entrance to Opoutere Youth Hostel near Wharekawa Harbour  - photo by Chris Ball April 2017 

Today one of two native schools established in 1908 sits in the grounds of the Opoutere Youth Hostel.   The years have seen this area evolve and many visitors come from all over the world to this special place - enjoying the peaceful
Back in 1908 at this small settlement on the Eastern Seaboard Coromandel Peninsula, Wharekawa native school,was opened- called such because it was near the Wharekawa Harbour.

Looking from the shore out on Wharekawa Harbour - photo by Chris Ball 2009

This school came about as the result of a request from the local Maori community and opened with 31 pupils. Several years later after opening the Wharekawa native school had a name change to Opoutere native school. Adjacent to the Native school building was a school house where the headmaster and his wife lived.

1912 Mrs C Grindley was  recorded appointed assistant teacher at Opoutere Native School ( AJHR 1912) 1915 Rev. George Grindley was recorded headmaster and Mrs C Grindley assistant teacher. From the AJHRs and Papers Past can be seen that the Grindley's were teachers at Opoutere Native School until about 1924, Reverend George Grindley was a member of the Native School Teachers' Association, rising to the position of Vice President of this organisation.
Wharekawa Native School with School House - name changed later to Opoutere Native School
in Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1909 Session II, E-03EDUCATION: NATIVE SCHOOLS. [In continuation of E.-2, 1908.]
In 1924 Grindley was recorded as being at Te Hapua Native School in the "far North."

 From 1924 William H Statham was recorded as headmaster of Opoutere Native School with his wife Francis being assistant teacher. The  Native School Teachers' Association of 1928 saw William H Statham appointed to the executive committee.

First Opoutere Native School building as it  is in April 2017 - photo Chris Ball
First Opoutere Native School building indoors used as a Hostel Bunkhouse in April 2017 - photo Chris Ball

In the AJHR 1930, it was noted  that Opoutere amongst a number of other native schools "school-grounds are the pride and inspiration of the settlement"  This would have been the community' s families contributing to upkeep of the grounds also. By then Douglas G Ball  had been  appointed Inspector of Maori Schools in 1929. Ball became Senior Inspector of Maori Schools eight years later,  1950  appointed Assistant Director of Education, and 1961 to 1971  Chairman of the Maori Education Foundation.

First Opoutere Native School building in April 2017 - photo Chris Ball
 Ball  in the  AJHR of 1930:  " Methods of Teaching. Inspector D. G. Ball, who comes to the Native School Service direct from the work of organizing teacher in public schools, offers the following remarks on the methods of teaching in Native schools The methods of teaching employed in the lower division of the majority of the schools are intelligent and well applied. Here it is that the teachers are fully cognizant of the importance of oral teaching and practical application. A greater variety of teaching devices and the utilization of more home-made material, pictures, and games would result not only in increased interest and a brighter class-room atmosphere, but also in raising materially the standard of work. In many cases the methods employed in the standard classes are of a much less satisfactory nature. "
It is said that Douglas Ball on travel to the  two native schools of  the  Eastern Seaboard,  caught a train to Waihi and then it was horseback from there  to Mataora and on to Wharekawa and Opoutere native school. Horseback to the remote rural areas was the preferred transport and Ball, it was said,  sometimes mistaken for a drover rather than a school inspector.

It was during Ball's tenure as Senior Inspector that William Statham was to retire. Statham's impending retirement was reported in the Bay of Plenty Times in 1933 indicating a move to Otumoetai near Tauranga.  During WWII Statham was recorded Captain, Home Guard No 3 Battalion and an easter camp was reported: 

" The Waihi No. 3 Battalion of the Home Guard, including Katikati and Waikino units, went into camp for four days during Easter. Major W. H. Stainton, M.C.. battalion commander, was in charge of the camp, the arrangements for which were efficiently carried out by Captain I. T. Fallwell and Lieutenant E. H. McCarthny. The men thoroughly appreciated the course of intense training, which included night manoeuvres. Sunday was open day for visitors. The Whangamata and Opoutere sections of No. 3 Battalion were also in camp during Easter, Captain Statham being in command." ( Auckland Star 29 April 1942)

Group of Pupils Wharekawa Native School
In Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives,
1909 Session II, E-03 EDUCATION : NATIVE SCHOOLS. [In continuation of E.-2, 1908.]
courtesy National Library NZ
Many of the families of the pupils worked in the area farming,  gum digging, in the nearby " Luck at Last " goldmine, and for logging contractors such as Leyland & O'Brien, working the kauri for the NZ Kauri Timber Company. In 1908 when the Opoutere Native school opened , there was a thriving small community with a store and bakery which supplied the miners and forestry workers. Later years, with the closure of gold mines in the area it was farming and forestry with the New Zealand Forest Service and radiata pine forests and nursery.  Family names amongst those early pupils of 1908  were McGregor, Durrant, Savage and Hutchison. In 1910 two years after the opening of the Opoutere Native school, the NZ Towns  Directory , Opoutere , recorded along with those families, the names of Edward Withers and Victor Gordon, miners, John Antoney, storekeeper and Anthony Edwardson, seaman. It was said that Opoutere Native School has some volunteer help from the " Luck at Last " miners in the establishment of the school and school house in 1908.

Maori Gum-diggers in Bell, James MacIntosh. 1914. The Wilds of Maoriland. London: MacMillan.

 Panoramic view of the Whangamata Gold Corporation's new stamper battery and associated works at Wharekawa 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-18990630-5-2
" Luck at Last"

Rafting Logs from main booms to store, Wharekawa, Auckland
Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1905 Session I, C-06 THE TIMBER INDUSTRY OF NEW ZEALAND (EXTRACTS FROM REPORTS BY COMMISSIONERS OF CROWN LANDS ON, TOGETHER WITH TABLES, VIEWS, AND MAPS). [Prepared by direction of the Honourable the Minister of Lands.] courtesy National Library NZ
In 1935 two pupils of Opoutere Native School hit headlines when a special and rare mussel dredge was found near the school.  P Hutchinson and K McGregor are said to have presented their find to the Auckland Museum.
About 1953 Opoutere Native School moved to near what was then known as Paritu further up the Wharekawa Valley and now called Opoutere School in 2017 and near the Tawatawa Hall - both on State Highway 25. The Auckland Tramping Club ( amongst them club members Sykes, Jones, Pascoe,  Stewart, Latter ) are said to have had a working bee at the old Opoutere native school , readying it for what was to become a Youth Hostel accommodation.
Youth Hostel Opoutere

Over the years from 1953 to 2017, the Youth Hostel became a popular place for overseas tourists,tramping groups, school groups, and cub and scout groups. In the 1990's DOC established  a dotterel project with a paid ranger over the summer months. Helen Stewart ( known as " the bird lady " )  a DOC wildlife ranger  and others assisted the paid ranger with the project. In 2002 Karen Griffin , Opoutere YHA  manager on retiring after 25 years, noted that the Dotterel colony drew overseas visitors with the DOC Ranger running education programmes on the Dotterel Colony. Today in 2017  this colony continues to draw visitors to the spit to view the dotterels.  Apart from tourism, the many other groups found this area a good base, including the cub and scout groups who had fun canoeing, kayaking, and as many groups exploring nearby Maungaruawahine.
Yes this place where the Opoutere Youth Hostel has much heritage and many stories held by many people of its past. It's sense of place is woven into the fabric and a part of the past NZ History on the Eastern Seaboard Coromandel Peninsula and our own families history. Today in April 2017 there has been talk of the Opoutere Youth Hostel closing and a petition circulating - hence why this blog for the history of this place has been written.
Entrance to track to Dotterel Colony on spit at Opoutere  April 2017 - photo Chris Ball
Reference Sources:
  • Bay of Plenty Times   10 May 1933   Page 2
  • Auckland Star   8 April 1935   Page 8
  • Auckland Star  29 April 1942   Page 5   WAIHI HOME GUARD
  • Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1912 Session II, H-05 APPOINTMENTS UNDER THE CIVIL SERVICE AMENDMENT ACT, 1908 (RETURN OF).
  • Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1915 Session I, E-03 EDUCATION: NATIVE SCHOOLS. [In continuation of E.-3, 1914.]
  • Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1924 Session I, E-03 EDUCATION OF NATIVE CHILDREN. [In continuation of E.-3, 1923.]
  •  Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1930 Session I, E-03 EDUCATION OF NATIVE CHILDREN. (In continuation of E.-3, 1929.)
  • John Barrington. 'Ball, Douglas George', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 April 2017)
  • The falafels may be going but the yoghurt lives on accessed 18/04/2017



Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Coromandel - Early Butter Days

Coromandel - Early Butter Days - graphics of cow, cow being milked and butter courtesy Graphic Stock. Photos Long Bay and Gorrie homestead courtesy CR Ball

Reading  newspapers about the opening of a  creamery dairy factory , felt it must have been an exciting occasion, for the residents of Coromandel township and area on the Coromandel Peninsula, back in October in 1911. One that marked a change from gold field  activities to farming activities. The Auckland Star reporting the event wrote that the Chairman of Directors , said in the opening speech that the Coromandel Co-operative  Dairy Company Limited:-

"  would be run on a thoroughly co-operative basis. Some people were of opinion that the factory was too large for Coromandel, but he considered that results would prove that such was not the case, and that the industry would increase in the course of a year or two. he hoped the present plant would need to be enlarged, and prove a boon to settlers". (Auckland Star   09 /10 /1911   P 2) 
Evidently the opening of the Coromandel Co- Operative Dairy Company culminated in  a " treat of all treats" - "Coromandel made butter  used in the afternoon tea prepared by Mrs  Gorrie and other ladies of the community. "( Mrs Gorrie being Barbara Gorrie, wife of Morton Gorrie - farmer and an active  member back then, of the  Coromandel Community).
The opening of this dairy factory was the culmination of a meeting held by the resident farmers in 1910. A committee made up of  Messrs. Gorrie, Troughcar, Hovell, Jeffcoat, R. A. Wight, S. James, jun., W. Turner, A. Otto, and M. Hawkeswood, was set up to progress the ideas based on a co-operative, rather than a proprietary business concern.

TURNING THE WORKED-OUT GOLDFIELDS TO GOOD ACCOUNT: THE OPENING OF A CREAMERY AT COROMANDEL, AUCKLAND, RECENTLY. Photo W. E. Carlyon Auckland Weekly News (26 OCTOBER 1911) courtesy  'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19111026-10-4 '
Dairying and dairy factories processing farm produce was sweeping the country at the turn of the 20th century a follow on from  butter  made at the end of  1886 at a little factory at Pukekura near Cambridge. The end of the first decade of the 1900's , marked the opening of a a number of  small dairy factories across the Coromandel Peninsula and Hauraki as farming took the place of extensive  gold mining and bush felling activities -  Bagnall Brothers Creamery Turua about 1900; Paeroa Butter Factory 1901;  Netherton Creamery 1905; Mercury Bay Butter Factory  at Whitianga in 1911; Matatoki in 1912; Hikutaia Cheese Factory  1917; Tairua Butter Factory in 1922. Lemuel ( father in law of Mary Morton - sister of Morton Gorrie ) and of  Bagnall Bros and Co. was attributed with the first radiator dairy factory in New Zealand established at Turua near Thames in 1902
Showing the first radiator dairy factory in New Zealand, erected on Messrs Bagnall Bros Turua estate, Thames courtesy Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19021023-5-1

 Chairman of Directors of Coromandel Co-Operative Dairy Company, Morton Gorrie was eldest son of William Gorrie Jnr ( of Upton & Co - booksellers and stationers based  in  Auckland ). Morton Gorrie was not new to the farming industry.  With his brother Keith Gunion Gorrie ( who died in the Boer AKA South African War ) originally farmed near Maungatautari near Cambridge and Pukekura.  It is no doubt that he would have been influenced by the initiatives of Henry Reynolds in the processing of butter in 1886 at Pukekura. Also that of Joseph Banks , of the New Zealand Frozen Meat and Storage Company who was said " to have   great faith in the future of the butter industry" (Auckland Star, 07/05/ 1888, P 5) Susan Banks nee Buckland bought 'Gwynnelands' near Cambridge, in 1895, after the death of her husband Joseph. Their son Norman was to continue farming here and in establishing the Cambridge Dairy Co-Op.

Looking across Lake Karapiro towards Maungatautari - photo courtesy Chris Ball 2014
By 1909  Morton Gorrie and his wife Barbara had moved to Coromandel on the Coromandel Peninsula, continuing a farming life and contributing as  active members of the Coromandel Community.  A July meeting of the Coromandel Bowling Club saw Gorrie elected President of the committee . Elected at the meeting were : " Patrons, the Hon. James McGowan, M.L.C., and Mr. E. H. Taylor, M.P.; president, Mr M. Gorrie; vice-presidents, Messrs. G. H. Applegate, S. James, H. Rostgard, and C. Fraser; treasurer, Mr. G. F. Mellars; hon. secretary, Mr. G. G. Paul; committee, Messrs. Ben. B. Johnson, E H. Law, G. St. George, J. W. Barker, Rev. C. A. Vaughan, treasurer and secretary ex officio; auditor, Mr. A. Baker."  (Auckland Star ,  07/ 07/ 1909 P 7) 

Bowling club committee, Coromandel. Ref: 1/2-C-028340-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23111737

Before Christmas of 1909, The Coromandel Bowling Club opened their new bowling green, celebrating the occasion with a large number of visitors from elsewhere and a " roll up. "  For Morton Gorrie, the sport of bowling was popular with  family members , his father William Gorrie, one of the first members of the Auckland Bowling Club.
   New Zealand Herald   21 December 1909  Page 8
     courtesy Papers Past, National Library NZ
 From newspaper accounts a  February 1916 meeting  of Coromandel School of Mines, five years after the Coromandel Co- Op Dairy Company in 1911 , indicated mutual benefit to the mining and agricultural community of the mining school.
" The report showed that the equipment of the school had been kept thoroughly up to-date, and emphasised the value of the institution not only to the mining community, but also to all classes on the peninsula for technical, scientific, and agricultural purposes."
At the same meeting elections of  Coromandel School of Mines Office Bearers and Council took place:
" Office-bearers for the ensuing year were elected as follows President, Mr. T. W. Rhodes, M.P. vice presidents, Messrs. J. B. Rockliff and F P Burgess, secretary, Mr. A. G. Harvey, council. Messrs. L. Autridge, A King, W Hunter M. Gorrie, T. A. Norrie, J O'Hara, and E J Surflen."
Group portrait of the School of Mines council, Coromandel, New Zealand. Photographed by an unknown photographer 1915-1916. School of Mines council, Coromandel. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: 1/2-023131-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22722894
Morton Gorrie was no stranger to mining in the Coromandel Peninsula for his father William Gorrie had been involved in the Chamber of Mines when it was formed in 1895 ,  Also a shareholder and director in the gold mining companies Coromandel Freehold Proprietary, Zealandia, Buffalo, Kennedy Bay, Miowera United, Pride of Tokatea, New Tokatea, Midas and Hauraki North.

The  Coromandel Co- Op Dairy Company continued to go from strength to strength. In June 1922 extensive alterations were announced. An outcome of increased tons produced at the factory as a result of increased butter fat supplies from the Coromandel area. However at an extraordinary meeting of the Coromandel Co-operative Dairy Company Ltd in 1926 it was resolved to dispose of  company's assets and liabilities to the New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company ( what was to become a giant corporate company in NZ ) The decision was made  to voluntarily wind up the local creamery.
In the 1930's Morton Gorrie moved Northward, leaving behind the memories of a relevant part of the past of New Zealand history - what was the Coromandel Co-Operative Dairy Company or creamery.

Reference Sources:
        - biographies - Gorrie , Pukekura Dairy Factory

  •  Auckland Weekly News 23 October 1902 p005
  •  New Zealand Herald   21 December 1909  Page 8
  •  Taranaki Herald   6 September 1910   Page 4  
  •  Auckland Star   9 October 1911   Page 2
  •  SCHOOL OF MINES. New Zealand Herald, 26 February 1916, Page 5
  •   Ohinemuri Gazette   3 December 1917  Page 2
  •  New Zealand Herald  22 June 1922  Page 8 
  • New Zealand Herald   6 September 1926   Page 16  


      Friday, 10 March 2017

      The Cutters Half Caste, Tararawa and Kataraina Borrowdale and a shipbuilder - Murray, near Tairua

      Te Karo looking towards  headland which leads around to Otara Bay and Tapuaetahi Bay (Boat Harbour) where the cutters Half Caste and Tararawa were built by Murray  - all places near Tairua - photo courtesy Chris Ball 2015

      The small 16 ton cutter Half Caste and larger 44 ton cutter Tararawa  ( AKA Rawawa ) are accredited with having being built by one John Alfred Murray AKA Alfred John Boradale ( AKA Borrowdale). Newspapers attribute John Murray with being the ship builder ( NZ Herald, 1888) Others attribute the building of the cutter Half Caste to a Captain Cotton Murray ( Riddle, 1998, p 114)  Official records including Watts Shipping Register, record Half Caste and Tararawa as being built by Alfred Murray. Watts Shipping Register also records a 19 tons register  cutter Katarina Borrowdale built in earlier years by Alfred Murray.  The names of these three cutters reflect the family links of their ship builder who settled in  New Zealand in those early pioneering days before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Initially in the Hokianga by 1837 and then near Kaitaia in the far north of New Zealand.

      Entrance to Hokianga Harbour, Far North, New Zealand - photo courtesy Chris Ball February 2014
      Katarina Borrowdale was recorded as a  46.3 ft vessel built at Ahipara, Northland in 1868. Ship builder Alfred Murray's son David Murray and also William King were recorded as masters of the 19 ton cutter in this year.

      Ahipara Bay. Northwood brothers :Photographs of Northland. Ref: 1/1-011241-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.   PLEASE DO NOT COPY PHOTO

      Photo shows Ahipara where it is said the cutter Kataraina Borrowdale was built by Murray.
      From official accounts it appears the owner of Katarina Borrowdale, was James Watt , an Auckland merchant , recorded in the Register of Australian and New Zealand Shipping 1874 and  in the Mercantile Navy List 1875 of British Registered sailing vessels. Other vessels owned by James Watt were Mary Ira, Wave ,  Miranda, Augusta, Southern Cross, Falcon and Iona. In 1874 John Francis was listed as master of Katarina Borrowdale. July 1874 saw Katarina Borrowdale, laden with ship's timbers wrecked at Motu, Katikati, running on to the rocks while making a tack. ( New Zealand Herald 23/07/1874) Fortunately crew and passengers were rescued by Captain Kaspar and the steamer Lady Bowen.
      Looking toward Katikati from ANZAC Bay Southern end Waihi Beach - Motu  Katikati being where the cutter Kataraina Borrowdale laden with ship's timber was wrecked. Photo 2012 courtesy Chris Ball
      Built at the time of the early years of the Thames Goldfields opening, newspaper shipping reports, record voyages of Katarina Borrowdale  to Thames, Waiheke, Taupo ( Northland coast) Wangapoa, Waiheke, Mercury Bay, Wairoa. Typical of  the coastal cutters of that day, cargoes recorded were timber from Mercury Bay and Wairoa and firewood from Waiheke to sustain the needs of a growing Auckland. 
      Built at Boat Harbour near Tairua in 1881  by Alfred Murray , the cutter Half Caste  fast gained a reputation for the carrier of  cargo of illicit spirits and with the reputation  she was said to be a very fast boat. Her life was shortlived when  wrecked on September 22nd, 1883 ironically near where she was built - Boat Harbour. Fortunately no lives were lost , including that of the Captain - Cotton Ngatote Murray son of  Alfred  John Murray / Boradale. According to the Marine Report in the AJHR's, " the vessel went ashore in attempting to beat out of  Tairua Harbour, the jib having carried away and subsequently the anchor chain" ( AJHR 1884) Newspaper reports indicated that the crew had been able to rescue the sails and their clothes.
      Boat Harbour, Eastern Seaboard Coromandel Peninsula
       Built also  at Boat Harbour by Murray in 1885, was the cutter Tararawa AKA Te Rarawa. Initially Cotton Ngatote Murray, son of John Alfred and Kataraina was recorded as master of this larger cutter 1885 - 1887, John AKA Alfred and sons Cotton, David and Joseph the owners.

      A much larger cutter than Half Caste, Tararawa was said to be then owned by J.Smith and Company Limited of Auckland and in 1890 was converted to a ketch rig. Tararawa was raced in the Auckland Regatta of 1913.
      Showing the ketch 'Tararawa', built at Tairua in 1885 by Alfred Murray as a cutter and converted to a ketch rig in 1890, shown during the Auckland Anniversary Regatta in 1913 on Waitemata Harbour'  

      Both Tararawa and Katarina Borrowdale appeared in newspaper reports of   Auckland Anniversary Regatta results for the Trading Vessels section: Katarina Borrowdale in 1869  and 1871 ( DSC 30/01/1869 p3 ; NZ Herald 31/01/1871 p2) Tararawa in 1907 ( NZ Herald  30'01/ 1907 p 5 ; New Zealand Herald   30 January 1920   p 6. 

      The Auckland Star was to report in 1937 :

      "From 1900 'until 1914 the sailing events were well patronised. Among the fastest during those years were the schooner Greyhound, ketches, Will Watch, Tararawa, Endeavour, Albatross and Edna, and the scows, Vesper, Vindex and Vixen. In' 1907 the Vesper and Vixen sailed a dead-heat, but the ketch Moonah was placed first on time allowance. The course was sailed round Tiritiri in a strong easterly with a big sea running. The traders made a splendid picture, and on the race back all kites were carried a low and aloft, the competitors being driven to the last ounce. Conditions the following year were quite the contrary and the "race" developed into a drifting match. The craft were 1 out all day and night, the Vesper being first home the day after the regatta. Throughout calms and flukey winds were encountered. A hard sou-'wester made the race of 1911 a most exciting fixture. Cracking on canvas was the order of the day and kites were not taken in until, in some cases, they were blown right out of their bolt ropes. In that race the Vindex lost her fore topmast for the. second year in succession."  ( Auckland Star  17 August 1937   Page 11 (Supplement)
       In 1920 the, by now ketch, Tararawa, was registered at Port of Auckland, E. A Steinbeck her master. 1921 saw Tararawa registered at Port of Suva, Fiji.  In  1928 the register closed with the vessel sunk in the harbour at Vavau, Tonga.
      'Wrecks' off the coasts of Tonga - photo August 2015 courtesy Chris Ball

      Born in Moffat, Scotland in Dumfrieshire County in 1813, John Boradale AKA Alfred Murray  ,  was one of seven siblings. John's father, Joseph is said to have been a shipbuilder from Cumberland. 

      Alfred AKA John Boradale AKA Murray and
      Kataraina Te Koni Boradale Murray
      By 1837 Boradale had arrived in Hokianga on the Western Coast of Northland. An area newly settled by European with a mission station, shipbuilding and timber felling. Where, from 1826, Sydney Shipbuilders Raine, Ramsay and Gordon Browne ( later of Mercury Bay Whitianga) established a ship building operation, with more than fifty people involved in spars, planks and flax and in first vessels from the Horeke Shipyards.  By 1828 Raine had gone bankrupt and by 1840 - the year HMS Buffalo was visiting Mercury Bay Gordon Browne and William Stewart were there also. 

      After landing in Hokianga Alfred John Boradale changed his name to John AKA Alfred  Murray.  Boradale AKA Murray was to marry Kataraina Te Koni who was of Te Rarawa descent and moved to Kaitaia where it is said he was involved in shipbuilding there. There Murray stayed until about 1870 when there was a move to Mercury Bay. It was also in 1870 that William White another ship builder moved to Mercury Bay.  By then, there were saw mills established at  Mercury Bay ( Whitianga) and Tairua supplying sawn timber,  along with plentiful kauri in the area,  suitable for ship building. 
      ca1865. View of mills & portion township, Tairua / Webb & Webb  courtesy State Library of Victoria, Australia
       By 1881, when the cutter Half Caste was built, Murray was living at Boat Harbour further down the Eastern Seaboard near Tairua and Te Karo, along with his family members. They were also involved in occupational activities - Cotton Ngotote Murray was master of Half Caste  which plied the  coast with cargo. David Rawawe Murray, the eldest son, was attributed with  gold discovery and gold mining at Te Karo ( Sailor's Grave) nearby.

      Map showing Boat Harbour, Neaves Bay, Te Karo and Tairua on the Eastern Seaboard of the Coromandel Peninsula
      Map in Bell, James Mackintosh, and Fraser, Colin New Zealand Geological Survey Branch. 1912. The geology of the Waihi - Tairua subdivision, Hauraki division. Wellington, New Zealand: John Mackay, Government Printer.

      Another son, Joseph Hepa, also worked on the Eastern Seaboard settling finally at Matakana, near Tauranga. Ani Ngawhini AKA Annie daughter of Alfred and Kataraina married another Far North settler Samuel Yates.Their grandaughter, Annie married Thomas Stewart Bowman, son of Henry and Iris Bowman ( nee Berghan). Thus typical the interlinkedness of those early North families in both occupation and family " kith and kin" moving up and down the early Auckland Province for work in the timber and ship building industries.

      A reporter visiting the Boat Harbour / Te Karo area  on a trip  wrote on December 9: 
      " Unfortunately, there has been a deal of sickness in Mr Murray's family of late. Dave, one of the original prospectors, has been seriously ill for tho last month, and since the death of his eldest daughter, about two months ago, on or more of his children have been ailing. His father, an old man of 78 years, is, I fear, rapidly sinking, and " Jimmy," a native of New Caledonia, who had been working with the Murrays, is also ill.(Te Aroha News  19 /12/1888 p 5 )

      By the time the Te Aroha News  was published on the 19th, both Alfred AKA John  Murray and his eldest son David Raawe had died, Alfred on 13th December 1888 and David the following day on the 14th.  Thus ended the life of a pioneer shipbuilder on the Eastern Seaboard near the township of Tairua - who built fine vessels ,exhibited in Tararawa, which continued to trade for many a year and race with creditable results, in the trading vessel section of the Auckland Regatta. 

      Boat Harbour continues today to be reached mainly by sea.Nearby Te Karo still harbours the grave of William Samson, looked after by many like the Murray family  who worked and lived in the vicinity over the last 175 years - an important Part of the Past of New Zealand history.

      Te Karo near Boat Harbour and where grave of William Samson is - photo 2015 courtesy of Chris Ball
      Reference Source: