President reports on Balanced Programme for 2015-16

At the recent AGM of Waimea South Historical Society held in the Tasman Distric Library on the 24th May 2016, the outgoing President, Roger Batt, gave a resume of the balanced programme that members had enjoyed over the past year.


President’s Report 2015-16

The past year has again been a very successful one with a satisfying balance in our programme between outdoor trips and guest speakers. Three of our meetings have centred around the launch of books with historical themes written by local authors. We have visited sites in Appleby, Nelson, Motueka and Lake Rotoiti and our speakers have presented us with topics ranging from nursing services in World War I, to Italian immigrants, local archaeology, and genealogy.

We have also been proactive in presenting our local history to the wider community by having stalls at the recent Apple Fair in Wakefield, and the Ageing Expo in Richmond.  I also had the opportunity to speak to the Nelson Institute about the activities of our society and our past and future projects.  Contributions have continued to be made each month to Window on Wakefield on a diverse range of topics which have served to remind the local community of our continuing presence in the area.  We anticipate producing a second volume of The Way we Were at the end of this year.

The Year in Brief 

July  Karen Stade and Karen Price spoke on their new book:  Pasta, Prayer and Promise – a history of the Italian community in Nelson

August  Amanda Young,  Nelson’s resident archaeologist, spoke of her work exploring the background to any historic buildings or Maori sites which may be being altered, renovated or disturbed in some way.

September  Members visited Walker Engineering at Appleby to view a fascinating collection of vintage farm machinery and vehicles followed by afternoon tea at the Grape Escape.

October  Members travelled to the Tophouse Hotel to meet with the St. Arnaud historical group followed by a visit to earlier sites of the hotel, the Nelson/Marlborough boundary and the home of Helen Campbell for afternoon tea.

November  Our final meeting for 2015 saw us gathered at Willow Bank to enjoy Christmas fare and festivities.

February  We began 2016 with a visit to Motueka at the invitation of the Motueka and Districts Historical Association to participate in the launch of Carol Dawber’s new book:  Motueka Wharf 100 Years.

March   This meeting also centred on a new publication:  All Guts No Glory  by Cheryl Carnahan – the role of nurses and chaplains in World War I.  Cheryl was assisted in her presentation by Bob McFadden from the Nelson Genealogical Society who concentrated on the work of the NZ hospital ships.

April  A small group of members visited the Nelson Provincial Museum where the main collection provided new insights to all.  Upstairs, the Nelson Mail’s 150th Birthday exhibition focused on the technological changes involved in presenting the news since the papers inception.

May  Our guest speaker for this AGM meeting,  Judith Fitchett, spoke of the role of the Nelson Genealogical Society and its value in helping anyone researching their family history.

Articles for Window on Wakefield  

These have continued to be produced each month and will at the end of this year be able to be reproduced in a second volume of The Way We Were.  Topics have included:

Upper Wakefield (Wai-iti) School      Pigeon Valley School

Post Offices of the Past – Wakefield   Post Offices of the Past – Wai-iti

Post Offices of the Past – Belgrove    Spring Grove Church of Christ is 150 Pt I

Part II Sowing & Reaping                Part III a Century of Witness

George Lawrence the Quiet Hero      Part II  a Gentleman of Leisure

On-line Website

Our website –  continues to be added to each month with an update of the most recent speaker or fieldtrip.  It forms a useful record of our activities and helps to advertise our presence and purpose to everyone.  My thanks to Colin Mann for taking on the role of official photographer for the society.  His photographs form an essential part of our presentation

 Obituary  We were saddened to lose one of our members during March.  Shona Barber was a member of the society for a relatively short time but her wisdom and capacity for considered judgment marked her out as an excellent candidate for an executive position.  She had suffered from a longstanding medical condition which eventually took its toll.  Maryann and I attended the funeral and a sympathy card was sent to the family.

Executive Vacancies

This year for a number of different reasons we find ourselves in a position where all the executive positions have become vacant.  Members have already been sent a letter outlining the situation and some steps which can be taken to ensure the society can continue to function.  I am attaching it to this report.

Retiring Officers:

  1. Secretary – Jeanine Price has given us 10 years of continuous, loyal service. She has been the voice of wisdom and moderation at all times and I have relied on her for knowledge about the society and how things were done before I became a member.   She has contributed much and deserves a well-earned retirement.
  2. Vice-President – Wayne Price has held the position of President and Vice-President during that same period and can always be relied on to fill in and offer advice when required.
  3. Treasurer – Maryann Mann. Following the death of Laurie Dale, Maryann willingly and enthusiastically took on this position although she had only been a member for a short time.  We thank her for that and wish both her and  Colin success with their house building project and their trip to Messines next year.  We will expect a full report on their return.

I would also like to thank the other members of the committee:  Virginia Gray and Barbara Harris who have served on our committee for many years. Their support enables us to continue to function.


The President presents Jeannine Price with a Life Membership badge for 10 years continuous service as Secretary.


Roger Batt

21 May 2016




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