Puhoi: My Memories

[Judith Williams, Adrian Anderson]

I first started during the Covid-19 lockdown period reading an interesting old 1937 newspaper article about Puhoi, where my mother, Edith Wenzlick, grew up. This has now turned into a montage of photos I think other folk may enjoy, particularly the videos, knowing a few of the people featured.

This document layout has been produced by myself, Adrian Anderson, with special thanks to Dale Farnsworth for the re-enactment, official speeches, videos and numerous photos from Puhoi’s  Sesquicentennial, 2013. Shane Wenzlick has supplied photos, along with many from my own collection and from the internet, Local Matters newspaper, TV1, YouTube and some from the National Library.

 These are my memories of Puhoi, although I would have liked to include some from the Puhoi A&P shows, as I recall some happy times attending these as a very young boy and seeing the pleasure my mother got when meeting many relations and friends at the event. In fact, after Mass on a Sunday, we children had to wait for ages while mum chatted with what seemed like everyone before we could head back to our grandparents home for lunch.

Puhoi: My Memories (pdf)

Judith’s Newsletter: June 16th 2020

(Dear all, as my bulk emailing system is temporarily out of action, Mike has kindly agreed to put messages on his website. Please use all your contacts to circulate the messages too.)


Dear neighbours and friends of our Puhoi community,
This recent mild Sunday, for me, marked the coming out of a long, Covid-19, sleep for our village and people.
That morning Nick from the store and I together lowered the hotel flag to half mast – Puhoi’s traditional way of marking the passing of one of our people. In the afternoon neighbours and relatives gathered at my young neighbours’ Mahi and Mikassa’s, to show our sorrow and share our love upon the death of their baby, Manuka Nucky Mains,
Born very premature, he struggled for almost five months, watched over in hospital day and night by his mother and father in a sacrifice of  love which only a parent who has lost a child can probably truly appreciate, until, last week, the struggle ended.
Farewelled by his family and relatives, by now little Manuka’s spirit will have made its own lonely journey to Cape Reinga, climbed down the roots of that pohutukawa tree from which the spirits of Maori take their leave of Aotearoa, and descend to the underworld to their traditional homeland of Hawaiki to be gathered to his ancestors. 
Meanwhile, up at the Hotel, I said farewell to our cheerful and dedicated bar-manager of several years, Michal, who is leaving to be with her family.

Possibly, tomorrow, Wednesday, the sale of the hotel to the former owners of Northridge Country Lodge at Silverdale will be concluded, and we will be able to welcome them and wish them well.
In the interim, however, former owner Gillian Seymour has given the go-ahead for the bar, (and the kitchen, of course) to be opened for June 29, the annual day on which the arrival of our Puhoi Bohemian ancestors, is commemorated.
Usually, in the afternoon, the bar fills with descendants of our Bohemian families, and much beer is drunk, Bohemian bagpipes (dudelsack) music is played, along with accordion and fiddle, not to mention many reminiscences exchanged.
These things, once mooted, tend to evolve and widen into even bigger events, maybe even including  an opening of the pub that weekend of June 27-28 as well, so it will be a matter of wait and see what happens.
In the meantime, this coming Sunday, June 21,  the Puhoi Heritage Museum Inc holds its Annual General Meeting. Here is the message:
PUHOI HERITAGE MUSEUM INC.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Sunday 21st June 2020 1.30 p.m.
Museum Records Room
Please advise of your attention to attend
For more information
Ph 027 2110316, 09 4278987
J M SCHOLLUM  
And, with that meeting, the AGM ‘silly season’ in Puhoi (pardon my humour)  commences.Attachments areHi Judith,It will be followed, according to the message below, by two further events for your community calendar
Dear Judith,Hope you are keeping well. Please could you advertise these two upcoming events for the Hall in your next community email. Puhoi Centennial Hall AGM Sunday 12th July 1 pm Afternoon tea included. All welcome. Quiz Night 8th August 7 pm $10 per person BYO nibbles etc. Best Hat competition and lots of Raffles. Thank You Kind RegardsVal SmithPuhoi Centennial Hall Committee
And I think Sarah has organised something for us in July. See Puhoi Village People face book…….
The Puhoi Community Forum AGM, traditionally held at the June meeting, has been postponed until the end of July, but there will be a normal meeting this month, June 30th, at 7.30pm in the Sports Club, agenda to be circulated in advance.At the library, this same Sunday past, Helen and Sandy were busy dusting off books, windows and furniture in preparation for their official opening day this Wednesday, tomorrow.
Meanwhile, our Puhoi Fireside Book Club has prior use of the premises, back in its old home, the library, tonight, Tuesday, looking forward to a good discussion on Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel.
To add to an already crowded Sunday, Phillipa Beagley organised a produce exchange on the Rotunda reserve, and it is probably an idea which should  be repeated in the weeks between monthly Puhoi Village Markets, when people are keen to source greens, nuts, seedlings and exchange citrus fruit, root vegetables and fruit trees to plant out. Great idea, Pip, but I missed the mangoes!
Apropos our monthly village market, under our new manager Jenny B (yes there are a lot of Jennys in Puhoi, but this one is a newer comer) puhoivillagemarket@gmail.com we are preparing to reopen again in September with a Spring garden special and including a bread-making competition. From all the talk and exchange of sourdough starters, plus recourse to American friends and websites, I am picking this idea will be a winner.
As part of my efforts to help the New Zealand economy in these difficult times, I plan to advertise some new business ventures by local people, as well as applaud local businesses which I feel have given  extraordinary service, such as our Puhoi Store. And for a new business I have chosen Sue Kane, of 17 Slowater Lane, who has retired from her role as a Hospice worker to create Flourish Retreat and Garden Design. Garden design and ideas, light garden maintenance and plants for purchase are available now – the Retreat will come later. Best wishes, Sue. Call her on 021 044 9419.
I will go up and take another look to see if my AC recycling bin has been emptied – despite all the instructions about collection days etc, the orange bags were uplifted from my end of Ahuroa Road on Thursday as promised, but the bins stayed full. I hope by now they have been emptied.
With arohanui, as always,Judith Williams,Puhoi news 4220181

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