Guiding highlights

It’s 1939, and Meghan Hawkes looks back on the headlines in Waipa.

Camp crockery stand

 A Girl Guide camp, under the control of Miss H Gray Hammond, was held on an ideal site with excellent swimming facilities at Mr Clothier’s Karamu property.

Divisions from Te Awamutu, Ngāruawāhia, Te Kūiti, Huntly, Cambridge, Hamilton, and Putāruru attended and although the weather was often inclement the 34 campers made the most of their stay.

One of the Te Awamutu Guides chronicled their adventures noting that on the first day they immediately set to work learning to erect square tents. Over the next few days, they tried their hands at gadget-making and went on a hike to collect six varieties of native trees.  There was a half hour of campfire every night involving the singing of rousing choruses.

One afternoon they had a most enjoyable half hour of country dancing. The girls also survived an electrical storm.  Shortly after their arrival in camp they had been warned that an emergency call would be made. On the morning this happened the guides collected their knives, plates and cups, dressed and were ready in 15 minutes to hike away as ‘the river was rising rapidly.’ They then breakfasted on the top of a hill. A fancy dress tea saw Te Awamutu Guides attired as two Butlers, Winnie the Pooh, Rabbit, and the rear half of Eeyore.

On Visitors’ Day they indulged in competitive games, country dancing, fire lighting competitions and later, midnight feasts.  Once camp was broken various lorries arrived to take the girls home.  With books full of autographs and many snaps taken, they departed, singing, in pouring rain.

A huge macrocarpa tree felled at Kihikihi had been planted there as a two-year-old tree in 1878.  It grew to a girth of 22 feet, and when the owner of the property disposed of the tree for 15 pounds it suggested that there was money in tree planting. The buyer expected to more than recoup his outlay by the sale of strainers, posts, and battens.

In peculiar circumstances Mr Maunder, a Kihikihi farmer, fractured his thigh, necessitating admission to Waikato Hospital. Mr Maunder was driving a tractor and when he came to a gate he got off the machine to open it, allowing the tractor to move slowly behind him. However when the machine was abreast of the gate a projecting iron bar struck Mr Maunder pinning him against the gate post.

Despite his injury Mr Maunder was able to reach over the gear lever and disengage the motor, halting the machine. Fortunately Mr Maunder was near his home and his plight was soon noticed.

Some vandal or vandals caused considerable damage at the municipal septic tank located near the bank of the Mangapiko stream at the end of Daphne Street just off the Paterangi Road. Somebody had got into the building, removing the heavy timber covering the tank, smashed the earthenware fixtures, and also the concrete steps leading to the sewer equipment. A terrible mess had been made, causing a great deal of trouble in restoring the tank to serviceability.


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