The Ormond Chapel is the third oldest building in Napier. In 1919 Miss Fanny Ormond bought the building, formerly known as the Napier Grammar School erected in 1869.
The building (which stood where the Central School playground now is) was moved to the present site and presented to St John’s parish.
Dedicated to the memory of Fanny’s nephew Alexander Ormond, who was killed in France in 1916, it provided a place of worship for nurses from the nearby hospital as well as local residents.
It was dedicated in 1919 by Bishop Sedgwick.
In the aftermath of the 1931 earthquake the chapel sheltered patients from the collapsed hospital.
It is an interesting example of colonial architecture and an important part of Napier’s history.
These shipping beacons are often a mystery for passing visitors. They were built in 1907 and restored after damage in 1931. The front one has always been on mainland while the rear one was on an island. They are still fully operational.
The Rev William Colenso (1811-99) was born in Penzance, Cornwall, and arrived in Paihia, NZ, on December 30, 1834. A qualified printer and bookbinder, he provided the first book printed in NZ on February 17,1835 and did most of the printing in connection with the Treaty of Waitangi.
A lay missionary and later an ordained deacon, he arrived in Hawke’s Bay in 1844. After years of exploration and classification, and work on all things Maori, he was elected to the Provincial council for Napier Town 1859-67, and 1871-75. He was acting speaker in 1871 and MP for Napier in 1861 and for many years inspector of schools for HB.
Deeply involved in all aspects of cultural and civic affairs, William Colenso was not only one of our earliest white settlers but one of the most influential and important. His name is perhaps the best known to present day citizens.
This is his grave and lasting memorial.