Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pamphlet: Kaiaua Coast History

History and Legends of the Western Coast of the Hauraki Gulf Book
I found a booklet in a second-hand book shop in Devonport Auckland called,
'The History and Legends of the Western Coast of the Hauraki Gulf' by Henry Ashby.

No date, but he later adds the comment, 'I will here briefly go over these notes and try to bring them up to date as this is now July 1961. Henry was born in 1885.

He tells the legends of the Maori beginnings in the area, the foundation stock of the Ngatiwhanaunga tribe, the crafting of a huge canoe, one of the biggest one-piece boats in the world.

His grandfather, Jack Ashby, purchased some blocks of land near Kawakawa Bay in the middle sixties. Mr Scott, the surveyor who died at Clevedon, Mr Robert Cashmore who milled the timber, a bullock driver by the name of Maxwell and Captain Andrew Duthie, are mentioned amongst others.

He tells of a Maori meeting in the late 1860's of over 2000 Maori who assembled to discuss how to live in peace with the Pakeha and that they had two canon salvaged from the wreck of  H.M.S. Buffalo which they fired in salute to welcome official guests.

He laments the removal of the Old Orere House and says that if the history of that old house could be written, it would suprise most people and shock the rest.

I won't say much else about the contents except that for a reluctant author, Mr Ashby did remarkably well. I hope your libraries have copies, its a good read. No Index.

1 comment:

  1. I too have read this book, given to me by a local resident. I was asked to scan all the historic photographs (over 80) for a book release of the area. I got to meet most of the families who grew up in the area like the Cashmores, Ashby's etc. The public display of these photos was held in the Orere Hall beside the Orere Primary School. Eight of the photos are still on the dining room wall inside the hall.