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From: Elaine Mattsen <>
Subject: pages 117-133 Ormondville Cont.doc
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 19:29:55 +1300


Pages 117to 133 Ormondville

101 Years of Ormondville Cont'd

Ref Pages 117to 133

Page 116 Photo Ormondville-Whetukura coach service changing horse Page 116 Photo Ormondville-Whetukura coach service changing horse

Transport

One of the first bullock drivers in the district was Thomas Spango NICHOLLS who arrived in Norsewood in 1872 and worked the Kopua, Norsewood, Ormondville, Makotuku districts and as far south as Dannevirke. While transporting the Beaconsfield Hotel building formerly of Kopua and later of Makotuku to Dannevirke he arrived at Mangatera at Easter. Forbidden to travel into Dannevirke on Good Friday he unhitched his bullocks and left the wagon with the Beaconsfield Hotel on board on the road until the following Tuesday morning. Certainly no person to be trifled with and typical of the colourful "bullockies" of earlier days.

S. Mc GREEVY of Waipawa transported many of the early settlers into the district with his two horse and five horse wagons.

William JONES drove the coach from Kopua when it was the southern rail terminal through Ormondville and on to Woodville. His descendants now own and operate a major transport business in Napier.

David CARMICHAEL, who spoke fluent Maori, was a bullock driver in Ormondville during 1879. He was mainly engaged in the transportation of sawn timber and firewood to the railhead for the Freezing Works at Tomoana near Hastings.

Alick HEGH established a livery stable in Milly Street during the 1890s contracted to the Te Uri sawmills and bush camps and delivered stores from R. R. GROOMS General Store in Ormondville.

Dan RIGGIR serviced the Whetukura and Te Uri Districts from 1910 until the 1930s using a four-horse team. He carried mail between the Whetukura Post Office Store and Ormondville and delivered stores to settlers and mill and road construction gangs. Later Charlie SCHMIDT a son of Carl SCHMIDT operated a carrying business between Norsewood, Ormondville and Whetukura.

Charlie SCHMIDT had contracts to carry butter and cheese to Ormondville Railway Station, carted farmers wool and delivered lime and artificial fertilizers. He employed an assistant and as there was no motor transport available was the only service in the district at that time with his 2 horse drawn wagons. Goods railed to Ormondville were carted to the Norsewood Stores and he carted many tons of oats and chaff for the many horse teams being used to break in the land for farming. A freight carrier's life was a strenuous one in those days sitting on a hard seat of a wagon and driving day after day in adverse weather conditions over extremely rough and inadequate roads.

Carl SCHMIDT operated the Ormondville mail contract from 1st January 1892 until 20th May 1912 when he passed the contract on to his son Fred SCHMIDT four days before his death. He spoke broken English and had a knack of saying things back to front. After running over a dog he said, "Now I have me the wheel the dog over"! The coach provided transport for local parties travelling to Dannevirke to see plays, to Waipukurau to play cricket and for tennis teams and wedding parties. Commercial travellers used the coach service and Mr Carl SCHMIDT had a habit of taking the opposite view to his passengers for the sake of argument. During 35 years operations the only accidents were minor involving the loss of a wheel on two occasions. Fred Schmidt who was well known for his courteous and obliging manner maintained the mail contract and passenger service until 1927 when it was taken over by John LEGARTH. During World War IL John LEGARTH owned a Willys seven-seater car, which at times d!
oubled as an ambulance to Dannevirke Hospital. John Legarth retired in 1966

Geoffrey THOMPSON operated a carrying business out of Ormondville during the 1920s with a Daimler or Brockway truck and later was engaged in agricultural contracting.


Page 118 Photo Fred SCHMIDT outside "ALPHA" factory.

A Mr ENGEBRETSON with a horse commenced the Makotuku-Ormondville road service and dray and Ted WRIGHT maintained a service with a truck from the early 1930s until 1957 when THE CLARK Bros purchased the business

HAYCOCK, FOTHERGILL and MACKAY took over the run in 1968 and their fleet at that time included five trucks when the name was changed to HAYCOCK and FOTHERGILL Transport Ltd. in 1969.


In 1927 PORT Bros. commenced a carrying business with a Model T Ford based at Ormondville. Alf JACKSON of Matamau joined the business in 1936, which then became PORT & JACKSON. The fleet grew to three trucks by 1939 and the business carried on until 1944 when Alf JACKSON sold his interest to Mr PERRY and the name became PORT & PERRY.

Following the departure of Mr PERRY in 1948 E. G. PORT carried on until it was sold to K. J. OLSEN Transport Ltd. The fleet included three stock trucks, two trailers, and two super trucks. A. B. PORT operated the garage opened in 1945, which was also part of the business. By 1965, 15 children at Ormondville School were from drivers' families.

An amalgamation in 1972 with Haycock and Fothergill Transport Ltd. resulted in a change of name to Southern Haulage (HB) Ltd. who in 1973 purchased Norsewood Transport from John RAWSTHORN adding four more trucks and two trailers to the fleet

Today the fleet includes 14 trucks and 12 trailers. Seventeen fulltime staff employed being added to by casual drivers during the haymaking season when the number of employees ranges between 35 and 40.

In 1964 the total fleet had a capacity of 650 lambs at any one time and today one truck and trailer can move 600 lambs giving some idea of the growth in size of the vehicles in a modern fleet.

Page 119 Photo Geoffrey Hawthorn Thompson, Carrier.

In 1964 the total fleet had 39 tyres on the road at any one time compared with 230 tyres at this date. Eighty per cent of the permanent staff of Southern Haulage (HB) Ltd. either live in the district or have been employed for more than 10 years and the wage bill exceeds $125,000. Twelve of the 15 members of the Ormondville Volunteer Fire Brigade are employees and two staff members have built new homes in Ormondville during 1977.

Page 120 Photo Nikolaison's First Alpha Dairy Factory
Jack BENBOW (upstairs) P C OLSEN and C L OLSEN (on "Scandi" wagon.), Christian and Ann NIKOLAISON (on landing). Others left to right, BAI, PRINCE, J D THOMPSON, MRS. HAHN

Nikolaisons Alpha Butter Factory

Olaf and Katrina NIKOLAISON were born in Sweden and emigrated to Denmark where they lived for 25 years before coming to New Zealand on the "Fritz Reuter" in 1875 and settling on one of the 40 acre blocks on the Danish Line as it was then known (now the Norsewood Road). Their son Niels married Laura Matilda JENSEN, a daughter of Christen and Gydine Christine JENSEN, also local settlers on the Danish Line.

Mrs NIKOLAISON was an expert butter maker supplying many Ormondville homes from her cottage industry. The butter was made in a cool dairy dug into a hillside like a cave with slab shelves at the front.

While pushing her pram after the arrival of her family Laura Matilda NIKOLAISON would make her deliveries with a basket of butter hanging from the handle. Later as more dairy farms were developed in the district Niels NIKOLAISON built a butter factory in 1889 and the concrete remains can be seen on the north side of the Danish Line about one mile from Ormondville.

Page 121 Photo "Alpha" milk collection on Dennis solid tyred truck

Photo page 122 ALPHA DAIRY FACTORY AND STAFF 1920's
Left to right: - Charlie GAMBLE (Mechanic/driver), Stan BURLING (driver), Howard HODGSON (butter maker), Alwyn BENNETT (factory) Olaf NIKOLAISON, Harry MOFFATT (store man), Percy BENNETT (Manager), Septimus STEPHENSON (driver), Harry THORESON (store man), Alan MUNRO (driver), Bert ANDERSEN (factory), Alf BENNETT (driver), Hugh TARLETON (factory), Canute FREDRICKSEN (butter maker).

Originally a single storey wooden building the factory was later enlarged by the addition of a top floor and in 1922 a brick building was added. The cream factory was equipped with a steam-driven separator to which local farmers brought whole milk, a big improvement on the earlier pan skimming.

Cream was collected by Dennis solid tyred trucks (see photograph) from as far a field as Foxton and Weber and the butter in 56 lb. Kahikatea Boxes was railed to Napier for shipment to the London Market and sold under brand No. N.N. 735. For a few years cheese was also made in the same factory. In 1906 three persons were employed. By 1923 the number had grown to 13 all being from the local district. Staff included a milk testing officer, butter makers, storekeepers, drivers and a cook.

Sam BURLING who drove one of the Dennis trucks while they were fitted with solid tyres (before being converted to pneumatics) found his arms swelling while driving over rough and corrugated roads collecting cream

Page 123 Photo "Alpha" butterchurn

The Factory Store owned by N. NIKOLAISON & Sons stocked a wide range of goods including clothing, hardware, farm tools, supplies and provisions until the store closed in the early 1930s.
A price list dated 1928 (Boom Times) includes mousetraps at 3d each. Cabin bread was 8d a lb. and tinned sausages 2/2d lb. Fish-hooks were 4d a dozen and a quality watch 6/6d. Gingham was quoted at 1/4d per yard and wooden butter churns 30/-d ($3.00) each.

"Big Tree" petrol from the pump was 2/3d per gallon or 9d per bottle! Eight-gallon drums of "Big Tree" were 24/- ($2.40) each which included the drum. "Voco" petrol was cheaper at 20/- per 8 gallons and Texaco petrol cheaper again at I 8/6d per 8 gallons.

In 1906 NIKOLAISON'S Factory was producing 550 lb of butter per day and was believed to have the biggest output of any factory in New Zealand.

A reversal in fortunes with low prices on the London Market saw the factory close in 1936 after which butter and cheese processing was centred on the Norsewood Co-operative Dairy Company until that factory closed in 1960 and milk tanker collections serviced all local dairy farms.

Peace Memorial Hall
On the 16th July 1919 a meeting was held in the Rechabite Hall under the Chairmanship of Mr H. J. NEWLING to consider a permanent peace memorial to remember those who had served in the Great War.

A Committee comprising H. M. SANDERS, Chairman; G. E. FOWLER, Secretary; W. Love, C. R. BAINES, P. BOX, G. MCKECHNIE, E. W. EDKINS AND Miss MORGANTI were elected. consideration was given TO various alternatives including the purchase of the Rechabite Hall, the Foresters' Hall, a bare 1-acre section and the site between the bakery and Rechabite Hall. Several meetings were held to discuss the various alternatives and finally in 1921 it was decided to purchase the Rechabite Hall and land and build a Shell hall 50 feet by 36 feet at a total cost of £900 ($1800.00). £277/16/1 was collected by public subscription and Mr H. M. Saunders guaranteed £300 ($600.00) as long as Ormondville people subscribed more liberally.

Building proceeded and the hall was opened in 1922 a piano being acquired by Mr H. J. NEWLING from the Patriotic Society. By 1923 the total costs involved were £921/2/3 ($1842.25). The hall was later renovated, dressing rooms added and the site fenced.

Electricity was installed in 1926 for $45.00 and provided power for Mr DONGHI'S still picture evenings.

In 1928 the committee lost its energetic chairman Mr H. M. SAUNDERS who had been a tower of strength since 1919. Mr SAUNDERS would accept only $238.00 in full settlement of his $600.00 loaned to the hall committee and his inspiration and drive was sorely missed.

In 1928 the hall was moved back on the site but due to stringent times and insufficient funds the committee could not pay insurance premiums, electricity charges and general repairs. The Coronation Miniature Rifle Club was formed in 1937 with weekly shoots. Later Mr C. R. FOREMAN showed "talking pictures" and a lively Social Club and Country Women's Institute assisted to maintain the hall.

Footlights were installed in 1937 the cost being shared by Country Women's Institute and the Hall Committee. 1938 saw a copper and "Zip" hot water heater in the supper room and a "Caseo" chemical closet installed.

Over the years the ball has seen a procession of local talent (Mrs Jean BAINES' staging plays) concerts by the Social Club, fancy dress balls and concerts of the Ormondville School, Clubs, dances, cards (Euchre and Whist), religious meetings and political meetings, Fire Brigade socials, and the continued interest of Country Women's Institute.

Volunteer Fire Brigade

In 1953 Messrs C. NEWLING and W. EARL convened a meeting to discuss the formation of a fire brigade and later led a deputation to Wellington to put their case before the Fire Services Council. Following approval to form a brigade early in 1954 over $2000.00 was collected by house-to-house canvass. The Dannevirke County Council made available a section and the brigade's men began milling the timber for building a fire station.

Foundation members were A. B. PORT (Chief Fire Officer),

L.A. CLARK (Deputy Chief Fire Officer), B. ANDERSON, V. C. BENBOW,
C.E. BAINES, R. G. HOWES, W. C. PEDERSEN, L. B. SELBY, R. HOLLIVER,
C. NEWLING and W. EARL.

The first fire attended by the newly formed Brigade was a chimney fire in a dwelling opposite the Railway Station, which was extinguished by the Chief, and Deputy Chief Fire Officers before the Brigade had any equipment. The first test of the new brigade was the KELL'S house fire on 24 September 1974, on the 3rd Line at Norsewood.

A Gwvnne trailer pump and hose equipment were purchased out of the funds available and this unit served Ormondville for 20 years. A 1914 Dennis 4 cylinder fire engine complete with all brass fittings and a hose reel, which had been in service in Napier, was purchased late in 1954. Following the 1931 Earthquake the Dennis had pumped five days and five nights nonstop at the Iron Pot, Ahuriri.

In 1955 David THOMPSON'S hay-barn burnt out and a Railway House was damaged by fire in 1959. Burling's Moulding Factory was gutted in 1959 and a further fire occurred at BURLING'S in the planing plant on 30th July 1976.

On 19th February 1959 'the 17 room Rakaiatai Homestead owned by Jonathon and Annie HOLDEN owners of some 6000 acres between Whetukura and Matamau was destroyed and the brigade was powerless to control the fire due to lack of water. The fire was visible seven miles away in Dannevirke.

A 1939 Chevrolet Fire Engine was purchased in 1960 from Gisborne and this appliance was in service until a G.M. Isuzu Appliance replaced it in 1976.

In May 1960 while the brigade was banqueting at the Ormondville school Jubilee a fire occurred in the Domain and the recently purchased Chevrolet was christened that night.

Page 126 Photo DENNIS Fire Engine and GWYNNE Pump
From Left: -C BAINES, WALLY EARL, IAN HARRIS, E. BAINES, N SAIL.

On the 5th May 1960 the Dennis was sold for $100.00 to Mr Des HUNTER a vintage car enthusiast of Napier and was later purchased by Mr Ron ROYCROFT leaving Napier on 30th January 1968 to become part of a private vintage vehicle collection at Glen Murray, Auckland.

On 9th April 1962 Hawke's Bay Farmers' Co-operative Association Ltd. Store in Ormondville was extensively damaged by fire with a major stock loss but fortunately structural damage was relatively minor.

Twenty-fourth April 1960 the Chief Fire Officers' team won a "friendly" shoot between Ormondville Fire Brigade and the Waikopiro Defence Rifle Club by 670 points to 663 points.

Since 1954 generous donations from the public supported the brigade but there was a continual financial worry to maintain equipment. Councilor NEWLING obtained assistance from the Dannevirke County Council and the Council's support was always welcome and well received.

The New Zealand Fire Service was gazetted in 1973 and the administration of the brigade was taken over by the Fire Services Commission, the area commander being K. Ledbrook based in Napier and all equipment being owned by the Commission.
Present members of the Fire Brigade are: -

L. A. CLARKR. BENNETT
CHIEF FIRE OFFICER (24 YEARS' SERVICE)-W. THOMPSON
G. WATTS DEPUTY CHIEF FIRE OFFICER-E. PEDERSEN
J. SMYTH-W. CLARK
G. BLACKBURN-E. FOTHERGILL
B. ANDERSON (24 YEARS' SERVICE)-M. M. PEDERSEN
I. HARRIS-D. CUNNINGHAM
G. MCCULLOCH

In 1967 A. B. PORT resigned as Chief Fire Officer and the Dannevirke County Council as controlling authority appointed

Deputy Chief Fire Officer L. A. CLARK to the position of Chief Fire
Officer.

Both B. ANDERSON and L. A. CLARK will receive their 25-year Star in 1979.

Commercial

By 1878 several businesses had been established in Ormondville. R. R. GROOM opened following an itinerant store operated by Alfred LEVY to cater for Bushmen and railways workers the first permanent store.

T. NICHOLLS provided a cartage service
J. T. BLACK-more owned the engineering shop.
W. BEALE the local carpenter and B. HARDING the blacksmith provided much needed services.

It is recorded that C. BOLTON'S Mill was working in the town.

Page 128 Photo Ormondville F.G.R.2734
SUGDEN'S Store, Saddler, Settler's Arms, Butcher, Library, Bakery, Hall, General Store, Grain store, Solicitor, Barber, Drapery.

As time moved on around the turn of the century the business area had grown and there were three general stores selling hardware, fencing materials, tools and provisions. R. R. GROOMS' store was opposite the railway station and J. J. BROWNE was on the Norsewood Line on the corner of Newton St. leading up to the Anglican Church. SUDGEN & Sons were east of Harry Street having moved from Makotuku. F. W. REDWARD had a butchery next to MARTIN'S Fruit-shop and Sweetshop, which was next door to the Settlers' Arms Hotel. HARDY Bros. ran an early bakery later taken over by Joe SKINNER'S Bakery and Cake shop between GROOM'S Store and the Town Hall, Library and Reading Room. Mrs BEALE opened a confectionery selling aerated waters in her boarding house next to SUDGEN'S store. FORBES' Drapery and Wiseman's Drapery competed for business with the general stores.

G. MAY, Saddler was to the west of SUDGEN'S Store and Alick HEGH'S Livery Stables behind the hotel included a blacksmith's shop believed to be worked by a Mr CODLIN.

John and David Mc FARLANE were blacksmiths and also ran a boot and shoe shop next to the Rechabite Hall.

The cabinetmaker David MUDIE was also the town's undertaker making his own caskets (with rope handles), all being painted black, as was the custom at that time. Local carriers horse drawn vehicles and later motor trucks were converted to a hearse by using six black posts and chains and black clothe covering.

About 1910 the Bank of New Zealand opened a branch office in Ormondville, which is still standing next door to H.B. Farmers' Store. For many years Mr COTTERILL of Dannevirke who travelled by motorcycle attended the office one day each week. In 1913 Mrs POLIS' Sweetshop was near the then Methodist Church and the most westerly of all the stores opposite the Railway. Mr BLOOMFIELD owned the Chemist Shop.

"Bricky" CROSSLAND used bricks from the BAI and MILDON Works building a great number of the chimneys in the district.

H. J. NEWLING butcher's shop was adjacent to the Rechabite Hall and his slaughterhouse was on Newling's Road.

Mr H. J. NEWLING (or H.J. as he was better known) was by repute a public-spirited man with the welfare of others at heart. Many a family had cause to bless his generosity in supplying meat during the early 1930s when they were not able to pay due to prevailing economic conditions.

A paddock (now CLARKS) was for many years known as Slaughterhouse Flat. Situated on the south side of Te Uri Road near the Takapau turnoff it was evidently the site of the first slaughterhouse for Ormondville operated by F. W. REDWARD.

Edwin HOSKING, Solicitor, practiced in a small house opposite the Railway Station and later it was used as a cobbler by Mr JACKSON a boot maker. William ROSE, agent of Dannevirke, conducted regular stock sales in Ormondville and an advertisement dated 12 February 1901 listed 150 ewes, 12 cattle and eight weaner pigs for sale. In addition to the town stores, Nikolaison's "Alpha" Dairy Factory Store was an almost universal provider of farm and household requirements, reciprocal trading with clients and trade Discounts being an accepted practice.

The 1914 fire took a heavy toll of the commercial buildings and due to war conditions, lack of insurance and shortage of funds most were not rebuilt or repaired. A further fire in 1939 levelled shops as well as the hotel and again these shops were not rebuilt. One store to survive over the years is that now occupied by H.B. Farmers' Co-operative Association Ltd. and that was damaged by fire in 1962 but repaired. At various times owned by DONGHI, HILL and BROOKS, OLIVER and TWISS, GILMORE it was sold to H.B. Farmers by Bill Oates.

Ernie HYDE'S Bakery filling the air with the delicious smell of fresh bread between H.B. Farmers' Store and Settlers Arms Hotel serviced the district for many years until it closed in September 1963.

When ASKEW'S Bakery was destroyed by fire in 1938 Mr Ernie HYDE made daily trips to Takapau to maintain bread deliveries.

Page 130 Photo Settler's Arms, Library, and Bakery fire.

Settler's Arms Hotel

The first hotel built about 1800 was of two storeys close to the Harry Street corner and without verandahs. Following the trial and conviction of Roland Herbert EDWARDS for murder in 1884 the licensee Jeremiah LINEHAM (who had followed the first publican L. SMITH) fled the district and the license lapsed. The windows and doors were nailed up and it was several years before alcoholic liquor was again allowed in the district. Destroyed by fire sometime before 1900 the hotel was rebuilt further back from the corner and included a ground floor verandah and upstairs balcony. It was twice the size of the first hotel and had a billiard room at the rear run at one time by L. VIVIAN.

A sad tragedy befell a local workman through sheer ignorance. Some workmen were engaged by Tom BENNETT the publican to dig a very deep well at the rear of the hotel building. It was sixty feet deep when it was noticed that the man working down below was lying in a state of collapse, apparently unconscious. The boss called in Constable Butler - fortunately, for he suspected that the man had died from suffocation through lack of oxygen. He promptly lowered a lighted candle to the bottom of the well and the flame went out. "No oxygen down there" he said. Means had to be provided to pump the stale air out and fresh air in before anyone could go down there again. A costly lesson had been learned. After leaving the Settlers Arms Tom Bennett farmed at Whetukura near the Manawatu River.

Other proprietors in 'the late 1 800s and early I 900s included A. Cuttler, R. F. Jackson, C. Remington and C. Leach. Following the formation of the Waipawa Licensing Committee in 1904 the licensees have been (until 1928) T. J. BENNETT, P. H. JOLLEY (1909), JOHN FRASER (1912), W. C. LOVE (1916), W. R. PARKER (1919), H. H. WEST (1921), 0. C. DUNCAN (1921), H. MANN (1922), R. C. Mcnair (1923) and from 1925 J. M. SMITH.

The two-storied hotel was burnt down while Bill Senk was licensee in 1930 and later rebuilt in a Tudor style single storey with a stucco exterior and became the focal point of the community for eight years.

Through the alteration of boundaries the "Settlers Arms" was transferred from the Waipawa to the Pahiatua Licensing District in 1928. An annual license fee of $40.00 per annum was payable to the Ormondville Town Board until amalgamation with Dannevirke County Council the fee then being increased in 1940 to $50.00 per annum. Since 1928 licensees have been: -

J. M. SMITH (1929)
W. M. SENK (1930)
C. S. LE FEVRE (1934) and G. E. HEWALD (1937).
Ces BADLEY a 1924 Invincible All Black was licensee in 1938 when the Tudor style building burnt down.

G. THOMASEN took up the license in 1939
G. MANGOS (1940).
L. DARRAUGH (1946)
W. J. EARL (1950)
T. J. O'BRIAN (a former Whetukura School Head Prefect) (1963)
W. F. MARSHALL (1967), T. A. Doughty (1968), E. A. Needham (1970),
E. LARSEN (1972) and
C. J. P. ROSIER (1974).

Mine hosts in 1978 are David and Beth ORMANDY.

Wally EARL purchased the Settlers Arms in February 1950 and held the license for 14 years but continued to own the hotel until he sold to Dominion Breweries Ltd. in 1975. Wally EARL relates the story of a local wife who called on him very late one evening requesting the loan of a rifle. When questioned she revealed her intention to shoot her husband who had apparently been bestowing affections on another woman. Wally declined to lend the rifle!

Eric LARSEN who was licensee from March 1972 to May 1975 was a former locomotive driver with No. 2 Railways and on more than one occasion was called upon to assist with railcar breakdowns.

The hotel originally had a small private bar as well as a public bar but was remodelled several years ago to provide for a lounge bar complete with oil heater and a pool table.

Health and Medical Care
For many years the lack of local medical care was of great concern as the nearest doctors were either at Dannevirke or Waipukurau. The 18 to 20 mile journey on a horse-drawn wagon was not an enviable lot for the seriously ill or injured. Tombstones in the Ormondville Cemetery bear witness to the many that did not survive due to illnesses such as influenza, scarlet fever and accidents.

The first resident medic in Ormondville was Dr Allen in the 1890's. Later Dr. VEITCH and Dr WOOD of Norsewood provided services for the district. Later Dr GODFREY of Waipukurau completed his rounds on horseback with inevitable delays and there was often a considerable wait for medical attention.

Dr FRASER-HURST resided in Ormondville following the Boer War. There has not been a resident doctor in the town since Dr QUINN in the 1950s.

The first midwife was Mrs SMITH (known as Granny SMITH) who took over the complete household including washing, cooking and tending other members of the family during confinements. Mrs SMITH'S fee was usually $4.00 for all services including delivering the baby!

After he passed away Canon A. S. WEBB's home was used as a cottage hospital catering for surgical and maternity cases up to the 1930s. Sister Annie WEDD of Otane and Sister Olive WILLIAMS of Te Uri ran the hospital for many years providing a much needed service for the Ormondville District.

The local people had always been fairly self sufficient, used to growing their own vegetables and keeping a cow and hens. They had their own fruit trees and led a fairly healthy life. Working hard and keeping fit they had a certain amount of the original pioneering spirit in them. Good food and a bracing climate all played their part in maintaining a reasonably healthy community. The climate was of such repute that tuberculosis and other similarly affected patients were regularly sent to Ormondville to convalesce from other centres including Hastings and Napier.


Sports and Recreation
The hardy rural community where men, women and children worked hard, produced unsophisticated habits and simple tastes. By all reports young and old were sports minded and obtained great enjoyment from participation in the various activities around the district.

Page 133 Photo Axemen's Carnival 1880's

AXEMEN

The axe men's carnivals, most probably the first form of sport or competition in the 1870s and 1880s, proved popular and an early photograph shows 10 blocks set up for a competition chop. Christian BERKAHN was a Hawke's Bay champion jigger chopper and Norman CLARK and Jack HAMMOND were Hawke's Bay champion pit sawyers for many years.


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