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Mahurangi heritage

Octavius Browne, second brother to visit Gordon

William Browne’s son Octavius Browne was born on 2 November 1809. Charles Browne says “the place of his birth and the date of his baptism is not known, but we have been told that just before he left Courtlands on the journey to Scotland in the course of which he died, he…

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Octavius’s brother, Gordon Davis Browne

Gordon Davis Browne was born in early 1805, and baptised at St Mary’s Lambeth on 22 March that year. The explanation for his given name of Gordon is not known. Charles Gordon Browne (who was born in January 1845, and whose own second name was obviously a…

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Bay where no ships has been 60 years with no name

It was almost certainly a good thing, that 60 years ago the name of the Auckland region’s first European settlement slid unnoticed into the next bay north. Had the bay been known by a descriptive name, such as Spar Station Cove, or by any name…

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hmss Buffalo arrives at Mr Browne’s establishment

His putative youngest brother was Charles Dickens’ friend and illustrator, Hablot Knight Browne, aka Phiz. Putative, because Hablot was in fact the nephew of the founder of the Auckland region’s first European settlement, Gordon Davis Browne…

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Warkworth watermills millraces and weirs

A more apposite topic for the next town-hall talk could scarcely be conceived. The fact that such a topic has already been conceived, is another story, hopefully for the following Warkworth Town Hall Talk. On Wednesday 13 March, the historian…

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Ōpahi and its bright stars

Jackie Liggins and Annie McMillan Read by Jackie at the funeral of John Timmins 1950–2012 I would like to share something of John Timmins’ beloved Ōpahi. At the entrance to Mahurangi Harbour, only a conversation away from Auckland, Ōpahi is a small bay of about 30...

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Harmony prevailed visitors receiving every attention

In regattas past, Scott Homestead would sit locked and mostly unused. The kitchen was pressed into service, preparing salads for the evening’s venison burgers, but otherwise visitors were unable to to see inside. Last regatta, Paul Deacon held an…

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Support for dance ensures survival of the revival

An email from the Weiti Boating Club nicely summarised the sea change: Weiti Boating Club is racing to Mahurangi tonight and we plan to have our club barbecue and prize-giving ashore on Saturday evening at Scotts Landing, as we have done…

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Christmas rush averted with reprieve for Mont’s trees

Before any decision is made regarding the trees marked for removal, near the boat ramp at Ōpahi, a plan will be prepared and discussed by the community. Rodney District Council’s Parks and Coastal operations manager, Chris Burgess, has advised Friends of the Mahurangi...

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By kayak back to the crystal clear waters of home

The first light of pre-dawn appears, but we’ve been up for a while; sleep elusive. Whether its excitement, adrenaline or ‘pre-journey’ nerves, who knows. Maybe it’s the realisation that my dream to kayak from my old home, Auckland, to the home now of my father and...

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Mahurangi punt – one of two icons

Punts are an absolutely integral, and unique, element of the settler history of Mahurangi. The centrality of these craft is graphically captured in the 1903 photograph of Willie Hamilton rowing a fully laden Mahurangi punt past the cement works established…

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Publisher’s tribute to Mont of the Mahurangi

Professor Sir Graham (Mont) Liggins 1926‍–‍2010 First published in print, in the Mahurangi Magazine Sometimes the Mahurangi is blessed by the contribution made by part-time residents. One such couple has been Professor Sir Graham “Mont” Liggins and Lady Cecelia...

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Notice Tree and the road to Pūhoi

Frank Morton  The New Zealand Herald 27 January 1912 Whichever way you go to Pūhoi, you want to take care that at the outset your heart is young and your appetite becoming keen; for Pūhoi lies over yonder on the edge of the world where still the gods breathe low amid...

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Mahurangi Heads regatta a successful affair

Favoured by beautiful weather, and a steady breeze came up from the south at midday. The Mahurangi Regatta Committee and its energetic secretary—Mr W J Wilson—are to be highly congratulated upon the satisfactory results. The ‘Heads’ is one of the…

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Editor’s forebear as a foreigner

The following letter has nothing whatsoever to do with the Mahurangi Regatta. The editor’s excuse for publishing it here is that it was written by his great-great-grandfather, and is not otherwise returned by an internet search for “Salvatore Cimino”. And…

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