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Back Roads Kaipara Issue 4

Back Roads Kaipara Issue 4

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Published by Storm Gerome
Back Roads Kaipara Issue 4 covers the Gittos Church at Tanoa, Discovers a Snake Oil Merchant who lived at Whakapirau and looks into the wreck of the french corvette L'Alcemene.
Back Roads Kaipara Issue 4 covers the Gittos Church at Tanoa, Discovers a Snake Oil Merchant who lived at Whakapirau and looks into the wreck of the french corvette L'Alcemene.

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Published by: Storm Gerome on Jul 27, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ack RoadsBack RoadsBack RoadsBack Roads
Our Heritage: The Stories of People, Lifestyle, Community andEverything else in between, from the past to the present, and beyond.Issue 4— 27 August 2010
Please takeone
 K a i p a r a 
Standing on the shores of this silent place it was hard toimagine that once, over a century before, here at Tanoa was ahub of activity.The settlement of an Uriohau Chief Arama Karaka was here andlater the Wesleyan missionaryReverend William Gittos.* Somuch history to be told . What went on there during those earlyyears that shaped the lives of the generations that have followedsince. It is what stands there now as silent perhaps, an almost ashadowed testament to those events of the early days ofsettlement.Tanoa was once known by the name of Kakaraea and justbeyond Oahau, now called Batley.In 1874 on the shores of Kakaraea a finegothic-style church made of the mighty kauri was built. Its siting had a particularsignificance. According toDick Scottin his book "
Seven Lives onSalt River 
" the site was Wahi Tapu and for Arama Karaka it helda personal concern. Having converted to christianity he had alsoabandoned his father's name Haututu, to take the name AdamClark and the doing came the rejection of the tapu surroundinghis father's death. Dick Scott recorded thefollowing:"Haututu had been killed defending his land from Ngapuhimuskets in 1825. His body had been taken by canoe down theOtamatea to be cooked and eaten at his own Kakaraea kainga.A big pohutukawa marked this especially tapu ground. Themissionary (William Gittos) set out to destroy the tapu byemploying Europeans to build a church on the site. Ahandsome building with great kauri beams supporting a highvaulted roof, it became known as the "Cathedral Church ofGittos". At first Arama Karaka was afraid to enter it and violatehis father's memory, but Gittos persuaded him with a prayer".After much research and finding different years 1875 and 1877for the construction of the Gittos Church I finally found anarticle from the
Daily Southern Cross
dated 17th April 1874.
Opening of the Wesleyan Church at Kaipara
"The opening of this new Church took place on SundayMarch 29th. The building is of wood, built in the gothic style.It is fifty feet in length, by thirty feet in breadth, and providessitting accommodation for about three hundred worshippers.It is proportionately of a very lofty character, the matter ofventilation having received due consideration, a requisitequality in any church where the natives worship. We wereglad to notice there was no pulpit, but a plain reading deskinside the communion rail.....Mr Symonds* was the architectand builder."
Cathedral, no longer. Time took its toll on the grand gothic fa-cade finally succumbing to rot and a high wind the highvaulted roof structure in the end was removed for safety rea-sons. The church originally faced the shoreline. According tolocal Iwi sources the building was turned around and wasshortened. What remains is a plain unassuming buildingflanked by old gravestones, its bell now erected alongside nolonger tolling the call to morning service. Birds fly in and out ofthe gaps left behind from long since broken windows - a sadtestament to a glorious past. Now though, hope is on thehorizon for this special place. Plans are in place to restore thisicon of our heritage where once William Fox had visited andmemories of old battles remain.
Now and then I come across some very odd news items andthis one indeed has a lesson to be learned by it. Three wellknown surnames from around the Kaipara District area, wereinvolved with this rather dangerous incident that occurred on aboat near the Whakapirau Wharf in 1918.I can only conclude the three concerned had been dynamitingfish in the channel.Three men named Cartwright, Taylor and Horniblow, whowere in a boat off the Whakapirau wharf, Auckland this week ,met with some very serious injuries. Horniblow had somegelignite and a dynamite cap in his vest pocket into which heplaced his smouldering pipe. A loud explosion occurred,Horniblow receiving a wound to his side and losing a hand,while Cartwright lost an eye. The other man was uninjured.The side of the boat was blown out, but the occupants gotashore.- Poverty Bay Herald 6 April 1918
“Bouncing Bowers was very modest aboutthe stuff; he only named £4 a gallon as theprice, but Hardie was badly bitten withBowers’ bounce and anted up like a brick
Whakapirau settler Henry Bowers in 1906, had tried his luck atplaying the role of a snake oil merchant to unsuspecting fruitgrowers, with his so called ‘cure’ for blight and codlin moth.The ruse didn’t last long it seems for one of his customers soonfound out Mr Bower’s so called cure didn’t do a thing for hisfruit trees and thus the police were soon called.
Bowers Blight and Bunkum
NZ Truth
13 October 1906If all that is alleged is true anent Mr Henry Alfred Bowers andhis blight specific, he seems have been having a rorty timelately. According to Police Court accounts Henry Alfred,having read somewhere that fruit farmers were having terribletrouble with insects and fungi, waded in to provide a remedyand apparently found a lovely liquid warranted to act as adouble strength insecticide and fungicide and guaranteed tokill blight at a thousand yards.Forthwith, Henry Alfred toddled forth seeking whom hemight devour. He came across one Hardie, who grows applesand other luscious morsels at Wade, and breathed his yarnabout his discovery into Hardie’s credulous lug. Hardie took itall in, too, including five gallons of the guaranteed safe cure forcodlin moth.Bouncing Bowers was very modest about the stuff; he onlynamed £4 a gallon as the price, but Hardie was badly bittenwith Bowers’ bounce and anted up like a brick. Bowersbounded off and Hardie started to kill codlin moths and otherworried attached to his profession but there was some antidote,which he had warranted to work wonders for the next threeyears, would not work at all.Then Hardie seems to have woke up, for the next thing thathappened he was sooling a bobby on Bower’s track. Anotherof Bowers’ soft things was Ernest William Barker. This covesaid that Bowers the blighter told him and his father such talltales anent his astonishing discovery that they were induced totry £2 10s worth of the stuff. Their hopes of a simple life everafter likewise blighted.Government Analyst Pond never winked once when in thewitness box, and he swore that the stuff Bowers charged £4 pergallon might be worth twopence for eight Imperial pints. It wascertainly not worth more.It next came out that Bowers is a settler at Whakapirau anddidn’t use his beautiful blight bumper on his own trees; butsimply painted them with castor oil. His lawyer tried to makeout that the strength of the stuff was lost by keeping the corkout of the cans; but that tale will have been be repeated at theSupreme Court, whither Bowers was committed. There arefour other similar charges pending but they were held over tillnext Monday.Foot note: Bowers was later sentenced to 18 months in prison atthe Supreme Court in Auckland on December 5 1906.
A destructive experience at the
Whakapirau Wharf
A Tale of Blight and Bunkum with a good
dose of Snake oil thrown in

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