Learning & Research - Akoranga me Rangahau
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Taranaki Stories

These stories capture the very essence of Taranaki – the people and the landscape.
They record the achievements of those who live here, the struggles of the first settlers, the determination to overcome challenges, those who have made their mark on not only their own, but also future generations.
But the stories are not just about hardship – they are also inspiring, thrilling, mystifying, enlightening and entertaining.


Taranaki Stories

Showing stories tagged as Eltham.

Eltham – Town of Many Firsts

by Virginia Winder on 10 December 2009

Eltham is the first town in New Zealand to have a water reservoir painted like a round of cheese. And it's renowned for being at the forefront in many other areas, some just as cheesy, say historians Don Drabble and Karen Christian. Backed up by a brochure they helped put together, the Eltham and Districts Historical Society members can pinpoint at least 10 other firsts for the central...

Eltham Town Hall Has Good Friends

by Virginia Winder on 09 December 2009

A restful silence. A whiff of grease paint; a waft of sawdust and old timber. A cavernous space, like a giant mouth open on a high note. If you stand in the centre of the Eltham Town Hall these are the things you may hear, smell, see and feel. Or imagine. Close your eyes and picture what spectacles have been seen by these soaring walls, swiftly hoisted up by handy men in six months from...

Eltham Toymaker ‘A Genius’

by Virginia Winder on 07 December 2009

Inventive toymaker Gunnar Berger came to Eltham on a whim over whey. In 1950, the Swede was looking for a fresh start after falling out with management at MilkCentral dairy company in Stockholm. The trigger came the following year, via a Swedish newspaper article about whey being dumped into streams around Eltham in New Zealand. Knowing lactose (milk sugar) could be extracted from whey,...

The Ten Wonders of ‘Wilkie’

by Rhonda Bartle on 07 December 2009

In 1884, Chew Chong opened a new store at Eltham and gave 16-year-old Charles Anderson Wilkinson the job as manager. Two years later, at age 18, he became Eltham's Post Master. He is believed to be the youngest person in New Zealand to have ever held that role. Wilkinson was the force behind Eltham getting New Zealand's first macadam (tar-seal) road in 1906. In 1918, as MP for Egmont,...

Charles Wilkinson Known As Father of Eltham

by Virginia Winder on 07 December 2009

After years of fielding late-night calls from irate wives, Charles Anderson Wilkinson pushed for one of New Zealand's most controversial laws - 6 o'clock closing.   The Egmont MP, known as the ‘the Father of Eltham’, was sick of seeing the evils of alcohol first-hand in his hometown, so decided to do something about it.   Often, the businessman worked late in the offices of the Wilkinson Bulk...