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The Paeroa Volunteers drawn up to welcome His Excellency, the Earl of Ranfurly, by the Royal Mail Hotel, Paeroa, 1899. Photo: SUPPLIED

Elaborate welcome in Paeroa for Governer

As part of a Valley Profile series, MEGHAN HAWKES searches through old newspapers to bring you the stories Thames Valley locals once read about themselves.
Lord Ranfurly, Governor of New Zealand, and party arrived on an official visit to Paeroa by train and were met by members of the County Council and other leading citizens.
After a welcome by Councillor Cock, the party was driven up to the triumphal arch, where elaborate preparations had been made for a reception.
The arch, decorated with bunting, looked splendid, and about forty military volunteers formed a guard of honour. Around 400 children were present on a raised platform.
After a formal welcome to his Excellency, the children sang ‘God Save the Queen’ led by a band. After addresses and speeches Lord Ranfurly thanked the gathering and also stated that the development of the mining industry afforded him great pleasure.
James Mackay, interpreter, then read an address from Hamora Tararenui, Haora Tupaia and Mere Kuru greeting His Excellency and welcoming him to Ohinemuri.
The Governor, in reply, stated that he would do all he could to cement the friendship between the two races and heartily thanked them for their address.
After a round of cheering he spoke a few words to the children, approving another holiday for them, an announcement that was greeted with applause.
His Excellency then drove to the Criterion Hotel and after a short stay there proceeded to Karangahake.

An important function also took place at Netherton when a newly constructed pontoon was formerly declared open for traffic. The ferry punt had been built by Mr Finch, of Paeroa, to the order of the Ohinemuri County Council. The punt and a new road direct from Turua to Paeroa brought Netherton within 1.5 miles of Paeroa, making it the nearest market for the produce of thousands of acres of land.
Hundreds of boxes of butter were sent from Auckland, Waikato, and Taranaki every week to Ohinemuri. This would now be largely eliminated.
Creameries were also to be established at Netherton and Paeroa, and between the two places, there were guarantees of about 600 cows.
Mrs William Moore, wife of the worthy member for the district, christened the pontoon the ‘Advance’. After several speeches and a song by Councillor Stackpole, an abundance of viands were produced and done ample justice to.
John Davis, while out curlew shooting at Miranda, had a very narrow escape. While preparing to cross the mud in search of birds he laid his gun against a wire fence. A slight breeze was blowing, which shook the wire and the gun fell to the ground and went off, the charge ploughing through the muscle of the small of his back on the left side and inflicting a nasty wound. It was thought miraculous that he survived as had the charge entered a little higher it would have probably touched a vital spot.
Waihī was regarded as a progressive little place and, although its buildings had not yet reached the sky scraper stage of New York and Chicago, they were beginning to evolve in that direction. Two storied buildings and even a three storied edifice were being erected.
There was talk of building booms in Auckland and Wanganui, but in Waihī for three years there had been great growth and now a movement was afoot to have the township lit up by electricity.