Saturday, February 13th and March 13th- Historic Houses walk

Well as you probably have figured out, it now being after the 13th February and 13th March 2010, our walks have come and gone.

We were very lucky with both days. The weather was perfect and our hosts were amazing.

The second walks were bigger than the first, not only in the number of participants who walked up the hill, but also the number of homes we went to. We went to 6 historic homes all together, and the owners of the homes were very kind and let us right into their homes to have a look around! The homes were beautiful, and the maintenance and careful restoration that had been done on these lovely homes were incredible.

I wrote a little bit about the first historic homes walk above on the 13th February (Grand Gala day entry )– and posted a couple of photos – so you can flick up and look at those if you want)…. And, here are a few more.

This is where we went.

Firstly we went to “The Pines” which is located at the bottom of Rose Street.
“The Pines” which is Waipawa’s oldest house built in 1858. Here’s a picture of “The Pines” in its heyday with Dr Todd standing in the gateway.

And here is a picture of us visiting “The Pines” 13th March 2010.

Walking on up the hill in Rose Street we went to the home built in 1902 that once belonged to the Julls who owned the Union Brewery. This is a photo of the brewery which was once located at the bottom of the hill… (because I don’t own a photo of the house as it was in their day)

And this is a home of the Jull’s home now – only now John Finch lives there.

Then we come to the home of James and Mary Glover Bibby, built in 1892. This house has special attachment to me, because it is the home of my great grandparents, James and Mary Glover Bibby – and it’s where I live now. It’s been in our family for nearly 120 years and my children are the fifth generation to live in it! Here a picture of my great grandmother and some of her children and the maid on the front steps in late 1890’s

And here is our house now.

Then we walked past the infamous Professor Moore’s house at no. 15 and heard about why the town was in an uproar about Prof Moore back in 1902…

And we walked past no19. and heard about the exploding house.

Then we visited no 17. (the numbering in Rose Street is VERY odd). Number 17 Rose Street was the 3rd Vicarage in Waipawa and it was built on the other side of the gully from St Peters Church. It had a swing bridge where the vicar used to be able to make a quick trip between church and home over it.

It is no longer a vicarage, but a private home. This is what it looks like today.

After that we have a BIG walk up Windsor Hill to no11. “Mount View” which was originally the home of the first mayor of Waipawa, William Isaac Limbrick.

This home now belongs to Warwick and Elizabeth Mather. The house has been immaculately renovated and was beautiful.

And this is where we stopped and had lunch on the lawn and it was made even more special by being entertained by two very talented musicians who sang, and played some beautiful old instruments.

Once lunch was eaten we walked down the hill and visited the Old St Peters churchyard, where we were told some interesting tales of some of the people buried there.

And then moved on to St Peters church

And the glebe (it was the vicar’s horse paddock – its now a reserve for planting trees)

Then finally we came to the old Rathbone home which used to be known as ‘Abbotsford’.

The house truly is amazing. Julie Appleton-Seymour was so kind in letting us walk inside and marvel at their beautiful home. It was hard to imagine that this wonderfully restored house as a wreck when they bought it back in the 60’s. It had been abandoned for years and nearly every pane of glass in every window had been smashed – and it was probably the tale of many town ghost stories. Now, after many years of their own hard work and tender-loving care, the Appleton-Seymour’s have restored its beauty inside and out – it was a real inspiration.

And so that was the end of our walk. It was a really amazing day and I learnt so much about these old homes which I didn’t know before.

It makes me really grateful that these wonderful treasures are in the hands of people who truly love them and care for them. It was truly a privilege to be allowed to see it for myself.

Thank you so much everyone who opened their homes. You were so kind and went well beyond what I had envisaged when I suggested these historic home walks a year or so back.

Maybe one day we’ll do it all again???

Oh, before I forget – there are teatowels for sale with the images of these old homes available at the Museum. They cost $10.

Saturday, March 27th – Mary Glover Bibby Painting Exhibition and Book Launch
It was a huge job, (and mostly fun), collecting together some of my great grandmother’s paintings from aunts and uncles, framing them and getting them hung up in one place for others to enjoy. Mary Glover Bibby was an incredible woman, not only did she paint and draw, but she was so involved in our community and did heaps of things to make people’s lives a little better and brighter, that its actually really appropriate that in our 150th celebrations we can also celebrate some of the individuals who have made Waipawa such a fantastic place in our history.

Let me first tell you a little about my great grandmother, Mary Glover Bibby.
(If you want a more detailed account of her life click on Mary Glover Bibby in enquiry menu)
Mary Glover Bibby was a prominent woman in Waipawa’s history. She came to New Zealand in the 1891 and married James Bibby.

She was involved in the CWI, founded Plunket in Waipawa, and was heavily involved in the community, church, and temperance movement. She was also one of the first two women in Waipawa to vote.

As well as being so involved in her community, Mary had a family of seven children, and she painted.

The paintings I put together for this exhibition are paintings of local scenes around Waipawa, the foothills of the Ruahines where the Bibbys still farm, and of Kairakau Beach.

Mary used to also teach Sunday school and to illustrate her lessons she often painted pictures of the stories she was telling.

Recently some of her paintings of the Tarore story were taken to the Bible Society and they decided to use these pictures, painted about 80 years ago, to create a children’s picture book.

Well known New Zealand Author, Joy Cowley, was asked to write the words to go with the story and in September 2009 the Tarore Story was launched in Matamata –

So March 27th  2010 was OUR chance to welcome the book!

We were very lucky that Joy Cowley came to help us launch the book here in Waipawa, which coincided with the opening of the Mary Glover Bibby painting exhibition.

This is how the day went….

We started with a powhiri done by Otane School.

It was fantastic that the kids from Otane agreed to do this very special welcome, because it was to Otane that Mary Glover Tod first came to live with her extended family. So Otane was her family’s home.

Then Merv Rive from the Bible Society spoke about how the book came into being… and the message behind the book…

Then our special guest, Joy Cowley spoke about her feelings and motivation for the book…

And then my cousin, Claire Bibby spoke about Mary Glover Bibby – her art, her life, her service to the community of Waipawa, and her family.

Once the exhibition of Mary Glover Bibby’s art was officially opened, Joy Cowley took the children (and quite a few parents and grandparents) back into the old Museum building and read them “Tarore and her Book”.

The kids were spellbound…

And then they were even more excited when they could talk to Joy, and received a free Tarore book, and could get her to sign it! Joy got mobbed by kids!

It was a great day, and thank you everyone who was involved and came along. Special thanks to Joy Cowley, Merv Rive of the Bible Society, Claire Bibby, the CHB Settlers Museum and the Bibby family who all made the day really special and one to remember.

If you missed the opening don’t worry.

The exhibition of Mary Glover Bibby’s art will be down at the museum until sometime in June.