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From: Elaine Mattsen <>
Subject: Pages 141.147 Ormondville Churches.doc
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 08:02:53 +1300


Pages 141 to 147 Ormondville Churches
101 Years of Ormondville
Ref Pages 141 to 147
Church of the Epiphany
On Monday 18th April 1881 a meeting of those interested in the building of an Anglican Church was held in the Schoolhouse. Following tea the Rev. E. ROBERTSHAWE of Dannevirke delivered an address and appealed for funds. £54/12/6d. ($109.25) was subscribed by those present and guarantees were given for the following: -

Church Site: W. RATHBONE of Waipawa and J. J. BROWNE, Storekeeper.
Vicarage Site: Henry SMITH, Saw miller
Timber: WILDING and BULL, Mill Owners, Kopua.
House Blocks and Shingles: George HANSEN, Sawmiller Kopua.
Timber Frame: Mr GILMOUR, Settler.
George HANSEN, J. BRABAZON and H. SMITH were appointed Trustees with C. BAINES as Treasurer and R. N. THOM as Secretary.
Tenders on a labour only basis were called on 21st November 1881 and the completed church was consecrated by Bishop STUART of the Waiapu Diocese in 1883 about 6 months before the arrival of Rev. A. S. WEBB the first resident vicar. The Parochial District of Ormondville was formed out of part of the Dannevirke and Waipukurau Parishes in 1884 and the new cure was offered to Rev. Anthony Spur WEBB, M.A. St. John's College, Cambridge, who had arrived in New Zealand with his family on 2nd July 1884.
The home occupied by the WEBB family was purchased for £157/0/0d. ($314.00) and as it was too small for James and Robert YOUNGMAN enlarged the family of eight it. With homemade furniture and the necessity for four children to sleep on the kitchen table combined with cooking in a camp oven conditions must have been very trying for the resolute Mrs WEBB.
As time went by new furnishings were obtained and Canon WEBB purchased surrounding sections until he owned 100 acres later farmed by his sons. Members of the Webb family were regular attenders at church for over 64 years. The former Webb home on the Norsewood Road was later used as a nursing home (during the 1920s) and is today owned by the RITCHIE Family and its excellent condition is a credit to the builders and materials used.
After the Hawke's Bay Earthquake on 3rd February 1931 surviving pensioners from the Park Island Men's Home were accommodated in the former WEBB Home, which at the time was being used as a hospital.
Makotuku was part of the Parish and Canon WEBB raised the money to build in 1890 a church named St. Saviour's, which was unfortunately burnt down in 1898. Later rebuilt St. SAVIOUR'S was reconsecrated in February 1899. Removed in the early 1970s the Church is now the LINTON MILITARY CAMP CHAPEL.
St. James' Church at Whetukura was consecrated on 16th August 1925. Canon WEBB had commenced fund raising in 1903 and a grant from the RATHBONE Estate ensured that the church opened debt free.
A flag, which had flown over a Church Army Hut in Cologne, was presented to St. JAMES'.
Designed by W. J. RUSH, Architect of Havelock North it was built by Messrs. CARVER and PATON. The Church finally closed in 1968 and was later sold to Mrs M. TEMPLE of London who holidays there during the Christmas and New Year, sketching, reading and writing.
One of Canon WEBB'S brightest moments occurred at Whetukura after conducting a service. A local man arrived requesting that his son be baptised. As the child was 18 months old the Canon suggested that he could wait until the next service. The father replied "I might n't be able to catch him. I've caught him now!" A bowl of water was obtained from Walter Junius KING the schoolmaster and the child duly baptised.
Being of temperate habits Canon WEBB joined the Independent Order of Rechabites and an annual service was held being supported by other invited lodges.
The church was very unstable in high winds due to its steep roof structure and the walls would move in and out about 8 in. to 12 in.
As fears were held for the safety of worshippers on occasions the services were held in Rev. Webb's home and on one occasion a wedding ceremony was transferred from the church. After the church was redesigned Mr Robert LAMB of Napier enlarged it, strengthened and a bell tower added, largely due to the efforts of Rev. Webb and a generous gift from Archdeacon Samuel WILLIAMS.
Robert LAMB, an English Architect, whose ill health had driven him to seek the mild climate of NAPIER, favoured Gothic Revival styles in his domestic, commercial and church architecture. Other buildings designed by Robert LAMB included St. PATRICK'S CHURCH and J. D. ORMOND'S (town house) "TINTAGEl" in Napier.
Bishop STUART rededicated the Church of Epiphany on 10th March 1891.
Canon WEBB returned to Ormondville to semi retire but due to the failing health of Rev. T. J. WILLS, was again appointed to the Parish. On 19th October 1903 Canon WEBB passed away and was laid to rest in the Ormondville Cemetery two days later. A firing party from the Rifle Club bearers caused some anxiety as they could not obtain blanks and live ammunition was used much to their Captain's concern!
Following the departure of Rev. WEBB (who was appointed a CANON in 1890) in April 1892 the following appointed vicars of the Ormondville Parish: -
1892-1902 T. J. WILLS
1902-1903 A. S. WEBB
(2nd term).
1904-1907 W. LAMBERT
1907-1909 E. S. WAYNE
1909-1912 W. A. M. COCKERILL.
1912-1915 T. FISHER
1915-1916 L. J. M. MACKAY.
1916-1930 F. W. WHIBLEY
1930-1933 H. W. KLINGENDER
1933-1937 S. B. R. CORBIN
1937-1938 T. C. CULLWICK.
1938-1944 F. MIDDLEBROOK

The last resident vicar in Ormondville in 1944 was the Rev. Father MIDDLEBROOK who had a great love of church architecture and studied the science at Auckland University and in an architect's office before beginning training for his ordination at St. John's College in Auckland.
Born in 1903 in the Bay of Islands, he moved to Auckland and attended the Mt. Eden Primary School and the Auckland Boys' Grammar School.
His first appointment on leaving St. John's College was as curate at St. Luke's Church, Mt. Albert.
In 1934 he became a deacon in the Waikato Diocese and was admitted to priesthood in 1935. He served in Taumarunui between 1934 and 1936 first as curate and later as priest-in-charge.
For two years following his service in Taumarunui he was curate of Tauranga and was then appointed vicar of Ormondville (Hawke's Bay). He served there until 1944 when he began his first term in Gisborne.
Between 1952 and 1957 he was vicar of WAIPIRO Bay and then became curate of New Plymouth a position he held until he left New Zealand in 1962 when he toured England and Europe studying church architecture.
Since the major part of the Parish was added to Takapau Parochial District and the western area to the Dannevirke Parish in 1944 the Rev. OULDS, HODGETTS, J. S. WILLOUGHBY, S. WILLINK and A.ARROWSMITH served the district until 1975. The Rev. P.KAPA of Takapau (after 1975) holds regular services at the Church of Epiphany at Ormondville at the present time.
Salvation Army
In its 87 years in Norsewood the Salvation Army has had many associations with Ormondville and WHETUKURA.
In 1923 Capt. Elsie WARD and Lieut. Doris CHRISTIANSON often journeyed by horse and gig to Te Uri returning to Whetukura and staying overnight with the Atkinson family.
The first recorded Sunday school was held at Whetukura in 1927 with 10 pupils - but was of short duration. A fortnightly Sunday school was held at Ormondville in 1932 followed by an adult service once a month in the Oddfellows' Hall. Capt. Edith FANTHAM, Lieut. Nellie GOLDSACK and Mrs FREDERICKSON as their organist travelled by horse and gig suitably painted in Salvation Army colours red, yellow and blue. The leather-padded seats ran length-wise and on each corner of the gig was a 12 in. x 12 in. Salvation Army flag. A highlight was Christmas carolling around the districts. Sunday school was also held in both the old and the new Ormondville School.
In 1938 Lieut commenced Sunday school and services again in the Waikopiro Institute hall. EARL Home. Later the services were transferred to the ATKINSON home.
After the death of Mr Sam. ATKINSON Capt.. Nellie PORT, Lieut Valda COLES and Miss Alice ATKINSON recommenced the youth work in the district in 1953. From small beginnings numbers rose to 45 coming from Ormondville and the surrounding areas.
Envoy and Mrs Bert STAPLES of Norsewood, Miss Alice ATKINSON, parents and kindred Salvationists continued the work for 21 years.
At the 75th Jubilee of the Salvation Army in Norsewood in 1966, 28 young people from Tawa led a morning service at Whetukura filling the hall. End of year Anniversaries and prize giving's will be remembered in the Fire Brigade Hall, Norsewood and the Christmas parties with films. With the demolition of the Waikopiro Institute hall in 1975 there ended many years of service in the district.
The many miles travelled every Sunday by Mr Bert STAPLES and his willing helpers reflects the devotion and dedication of a very willing band of people to whom many families must be for ever grateful.
Methodist Church
Known as the United Free Methodist Church the opening on Sunday 9th October 1881 was celebrated with three services taken at 11 a.m. by Rev. J. W. WORBOYS and at 3.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. by Rev. C. Penney. Mr WORBOYS was the first regular minister and rode on horseback from Woodville to conduct services. The building, which was approximately 30 feet by 20 feet, was fully lined and fitted with a ceiling was opened debt free as was the harmonium used to provide music for services.
In Monday 10th October 1881 approximately 200 people were addressed by Revs WORBOYS, NEILSON and BONN and attended a high tea. Admission was one shilling and six pence and the evening included music and singing by a choir of 15 under Mrs GRIBBLE.
Mr W. HARKER of Waipawa was in the chair and announced that the generosity of local people had enabled the Church to be opened debt free.
Regular services were held for many years until they were combined with the Methodist Church at Makotuku and the building later became a private home being now occupied by Mr and Mrs J.D.P. CONWAY.
Presbyterian Church
Norsewood has served the Ormondville district since the first services in 1903 in the Norsewood School.
The Rev. J. PATERSON of Wellington opened the first church in Norsewood 1905.
From 1905 Takapau, Norsewood and Ormondville became an independent combined Home Mission Station, the Rev. J. Mc CAW being the resident minister in Norsewood.
In 1916 Matamau left the Dannevirke charge and joined Norsewood and Ormondville. Takapau at this time became a separate charge.
In 1924 the districts combined to become a fully sanctioned charge and the first minister under the new combination was the Rev. A. F. HUNT. The present incumbent is the Rev. J. DOIG. Combined Anglican and Presbyterian services are held throughout the year.
Seventh Day Adventist Church
During 1892 and 1893 Pastor Stephen Mc CULLAGH from Dannevirke held services at Ormondville. The founder of the Church from U.S.A., Mrs F. G. WHITE and her son, William WHITE stayed with the GRANT family during a visit in 1893. On 8th October 1893 it was decided to build a church, which was opened debt free. Sited on Nelly Street behind the Settlers Arms hotel it was eventually moved to Dannevirke.
Catholic Church
Father REIGNIER travelled on foot from Wellington to Hawke's Bay in 1851 and was the first Catholic Priest to pass through Southern and Central Hawke's Bay. He is known to have ministered in Central Hawke's Bay in 1857 and solemnized a marriage in Waipawa on 10th September that year. On April 11th 1857 Father REIGNIER acquired his horse "Bob" who conveyed him many hundreds of miles "Bob" died in honourable retirement on 20th January 1884. As the railway advanced south Father REIGNIER and the occasional priest who relieved him went by train from Awatoto (near the Meeanee Mission). He is known to have been in Central Hawke's Bay in March and May 1867 and he baptised a MORONEY child at Waipawa on 9th February 1868. As late as 1874 Father REIGNIER officiated at a burial in the Waipawa Cemetery. The many transient rail and bush workers in the Ormondville district were serviced from Waipawa and an Irish Priest Father KORRIGAN (born 1839 arrived N.Z. 1876) paid pastoral visits from!
Napier. In March 1880 an Irish Priest, Father Patrick Mc GUINESS (born 1843 arrived N.Z. 1875) was sent by Bishop REDWOOD as first resident priest in Central Hawke's Bay, with headquarters at Waipawa. Ormondville was listed as a "station" (nothing to do with railways) and he served in Waipawa until 1881 when he was transferred to Greymouth.
From 1881 until 1898 Father J. L. AHERN who lived in Waipawa conducted spiritual forays in Southern Hawke's Bay and arranged for St. BRIGID'S to be built in Ormondville by Mr Denis VAUGHAN. The Irish rail and bush workers provided most of the money for the building, which stood on Nelly Street, until it was dismantled about 1973 due to general deterioration after being closed for many years.
A wooden fence can be seen in front of the old church site, now overgrown with pine trees. In 1898 Dannevirke became a separate parish including Ormondville and local services were conducted by visiting
Priests.
In 1915 Ormondville district was added to the Takapau parish.
It had been the ambition of Norsewood people for many years to have their own place of worship particularly as the Ormondville building was beyond repair. In 1968 a modern church "St. Anskar" was built under the direction of Father Stanley LORRIGAN who attended the Ormondville School 1920-1927 and was descended from local Scandinavian and Irish families. Father LORRIGAN suggested the new church be named after the Scandinavian Saint ANSKAR, a French monk who volunteered to try to convert the lawless Vikings. Father LORRIGAN and Sister MONICA MURPHY served the people of Ormondville until 1972 and now Father HUGHES from Takapau serves the district.
On 9th July 1954 the Very Rev. Father BASIL O.C.S.O. and six Cistercians followers arrived at Kopua from Ireland to found the Southern Abbey on a farm donated by Mr and Mrs Thomas PRESCOTT. The 24 to 30 men at the Abbey refrain from eating meat and live a frugal but rewarding life. A dairy farm is supplemented by the growing of crops and vegetables. The Abbey is renown for the quality of the potatoes grown every year, some of which are available to the public.


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