St James Mahora 1963

ST. JAMES’S MAHORA

5th October, 1963

PREFACE

The purpose of this booklet is to provide a record of the early days of the parish of St. James’s, Mahora, Hastings.

“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul their rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.”

– WORDSWORTH
“Intimations of Immortality.”

VICAR’S FOREWORD

REV. H. G. TITTERTON, L. Th.

In 30 years the Parochial District of Mahora has grown virtually out of nothing but that does not mean that it is without history, this can be seen from the description of its growth which follows. History is people and Mahora has been fortunate in the type of person who supplied faith, talents and energy, without which there could have been no progress. The history of Mahora is the story of a virile people who were not content to live in obscurity, the story of men and women who, with a sense of duty, were prepared to put the spiritual and material well-being of their fellow men before their own.

It is the duty of each generation to tell a story like this to their sons and daughters, the story of their struggles and their successes, their defeats and their triumphs, and that is just what this little book does, without it, all this human document might be lost. This booklet will fill a need and will be of much interest and value to all, to the old to help them to recall the past, to the middle aged to help them to realise how much their own efforts have depended on the labours of those who preceded them and to the young to spur them on to higher things.

There are many whose names are not mentioned but that does not mean that they did not play their part, it only means that the records did not disclose the part they played. To all of them, those who are mentioned and those who worked, but of whom there is no record, our thanks are due and this booklet comes as an appreciation of their efforts and a reminder of the debt that we owe to them.

H. G. TITTERTON.
22nd October 1963.

THE FIRST CHURCH HALL RESIDENT

CAPTAIN H. SUTCLIFFE, CHURCH ARMY
1937 – 1942

The first resident missioner in the Church Hall who actually lived in rooms at the back of the building from January 1937, until he left to go on Active Service in November 1940 during World War II.

Photo caption – The original Church Hall showing foundations of the new Church in the foreground.

PREVIOUS PRIESTS IN CHARGE

REV. J. R. MACLEAN, M.M., B.A.
1953 – 1958

A son of the late Archdeacon K. E. MACLEAN and a great-great-grandson of the first Bishop of the Diocese of Waiapu, Bishop William Williams.

Served with 2nd N.Z.E.F. from 1940 to 1944, and awarded Military Medal.

Took his B.A. in New Zealand before going to England for theological training, Ordination, and curacy.

Returned to Hastings in 1953 to serve in Mahora and Mayfair with a view to the division of the then Parish of St Matthew’s Hastings.

In 1958 Mr. and Mrs. Maclean and family moved to Whakatane where he is still the Vicar.

Photo caption – The Vicarage, built in 1953

PREVIOUS PRIESTS IN CHARGE

REV. O. W. WILLIAMS, M.C., M.A.
APRIL 1958 – MAY 1961

The fourth son of the Rev. W. J. Williams, he was born at Wanganui in 1882. Educated at Price Albert College, Auckland and graduated M.A. in the University of New Zealand in 1907. After teaching in other schools he served at Nelson College (1905-1907), Wellington College (1907-1919); Hikurangi College (Principal 1921-1923), and he joined the Christ’s College staff (Chaplain and Housemaster) in 1923, where he remained till his retirement in 1947-24 years later.

From Wellington College he enlisted in 1915, and served overseas in World War I with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade for three and a half years, in which he attained the rank of Captain Temp. Major. He was recommended for the D.S.O., and received the Military Cross after the Battle of Messines in 1917. Was wounded in action and on recovery served temporarily at the N.Z. Rifle Brigade Training Depot in Staffordshire. Rejoined the Brigade and was one of the Divisional Advance Party into Germany (Cologne) after the Armistice in 1918.

Returning to Wellington College in 1919 he became Principal of Hikurangi College, Wairarapa in 1921, and while there studied to prepare for entry into Holy Orders. Ordained Deacon by Bishop Sprott and Priest by Archbishop Julius (1923). Active in the Toc H movement for many years. On retirement from Christ’s College, accepted charge of St Peter’s, Riccarton (1947-1948); and St. Paul’s Pro-Cathedral, Wellington (1948). Vicar of Paraparaumu 1948-1952. During this period three considerable Church-Halls, costing in all £20,000, were built in the parish. Summoned by Archbishop Owen to St. Peter’s Parish, Wellington in 1952, he served there as Vicar until the death of Mrs. Williams in 1957. Invited by Canon Button of St. Matthew’s, Hastings, to become Priest-in-Charge at Mahora, where he worked until May, 1961. Married Florence Harkness in 1958. Three children survive of first marriage. He is now resident in Taradale and occupied with part-time work in teaching at Woodford House School, and in taking services at Hereworth Preparatory School, Havelock North, and at need, in parish churches.

At St James’s both Mr. and Mrs. Williams were happy to co-operate with sterling workers and faithful worshippers in advancing towards Parish status, and retain the happiest memories of many friends there, whom they rejoice to see now established in a Church of their own.

Photo captions – The laying of the Foundation Stone 30th September 1962, by the Archbishop of New Zealand, the Most Rev. N A. Lesser.

The Dedication of the complete church 5th October 1963, by the Archbishop of New Zealand the Most Rev. Dr. N A Lesser.

EARLY HISTORY OF ST. JAMES’S
BY LT.-COL. R. M. BELL, M.B.E., E.D.

As given to a meeting of the parishioners of St. James’s at the INDEPENDENCE DINNER, 12th JULY 1962

This contribution to the early history of our newly formed parish has been made possible by the many people who have come forward so willingly and so enthusiastically, drawing upon their memories of the early days of our district.

We are greatly indebted to so many people that I hesitate to mention any particular names, but perhaps reference should be made to the delightful reminiscences of the son of the first vicar of St. Matthews, Mr. (and Mrs. too) Barton Hobbs. And again to one who represented us for many years on St. Matthew’s Vestry, Mr. (and Mrs.) Cushing. There is also Mrs Albert Hill, the wife of the first Sunday School Superintendent at Mahora, and the kindly members of the long established Lowe family, while in recent years our Rev. Owen Williams had helped with his “natural eye” for history.

From these people and the material information of minute books and records, including those of our own family who came to live here on 3rd March 1905, from these many and widespread sources has this story been complied.

Some of you will remember Cedric Kirkley’s Southdown Stud Flock just across the road and my own stock too grazing where the shops have now been built. One recalls the differences of opinion the sheep and cattle had with Mr. Wilkie’s prize racing greyhounds. Mr. Wilkie was the drover who lived in the mysterious depths of an enormous hawthorn hedge near the pensioner’s flats. All the stock I remember once ended up in a “free for all fight,” cattle, sheep and dogs milling round on approximately the site of our proposed church.

But the beginning of our story tonight goes well back over the turn of the century. Our tale commences in 1869 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Williams over at Frimley. It was here that the first church services in the district were held from 1869 to 1874. Hastings was then known as Hicksville. The little town was just beginning to grow, when a school building in St. Aubyn Street (where the Masonic Lodge now stands) became vacant and after 1874 the church services were held there for three years until, under the energetic direction of the Rev. William Marshall of Havelock North, the first St. Matthew’s Church was built at the corner of King Street and Heretaunga Street, opposite the Embassy Theatre where Thompson’s butcher shop now stands. This church was officially opened on 18th august 1877.

The present St. Matthew’s came into being where it is now in 1885. It cost £1500, but the tower and transepts were not added till 1914-15. Its final estimated cost was £3000. The old church (opposite the Embassy) was partially dismantled in 1888 and used as a Sunday School until it was destroyed by fire in June 1898.

But to come back to our own story, I want you to think of a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon in 1890, of a boy cantering his pony down the winding track through the fern and scrub where Tomoana road lies today. With carefree abandon, he jumped his pony over the creek, quite near Miss Laurie Smith’s house and you can still see portions of this creek in Cornwall Road today. That boy was on his way to the Sunday School being held at that time in the home of Mr. William Nelson at Waikoko. The old house is still there in the Show grounds, with its wide verandahs beautifully draped with wisteria, and some of the loveliest cinerarias in Hawke’s Bay continue to grow in the flower

beds near by. Mr. William Nelson had added this front portion in 1884, but the oldest part of the house is still there at the back. It was built by Mr. Wellwood in 1868 and originally called “Maxwell Lea.”

Mrs William Nelson was the daughter of Bishop William Williams and this sunny afternoon in 1890 she was taking Sunday School. The boy rode his pony into the stable yard, and then tiptoed along the verandah because, I gather, like so many small boys, he was late! The first hymn was being played. Sunday School had started and as he crept along the verandah, he suddenly saw a beautiful young girl playing the piano.

He was spell bound, he “fell for her” and, probably, he was no longer a carefree young boy! One gathers that the “path of true love never does run smooth,’ for later he went off to South Africa, with the H.B. Contingent of Rough Riders to the Boer War.

But five years later he returned and subsequently married his “fair lady” in the then new St. Matthew’s Church on 23rd October 1907. The boy was Mr. Barton Hobbs and the “fair lady”, still as attractive as ever, Mrs. Barton Hobbs, who played the hymns on that sunny Sunday afternoon.

In those days of the early 1890’s, Hastings and Clive were part of the parish of St Luke’s Havelock North. Mr. Barton Hobb’s father, the Rev. John Hobbs came as a curate to Canon St. Hill at Havelock North.

Reading through old minute books and records one comes to realise how history repeats itself, for one finds the people of Hastings in those days in the 1890’s just as anxious as we have been here in Mahora, to get started on their own.

Representations were made to higher authority and finally on 27th September 1895, the formation of the Parish of St. Matthew’s was approved by Synod. The Rev. John Hobbs was the first vicar.

Unfortunately, records of this time appear to have been lost of destroyed either in the church fire of 1898 or possibly in the fire on New Year’s Eve 1940 when St. Matthew’s Church Hall was burnt down.

To fill in the gaps, I have been fortunate enough to browse through many old newspapers and cuttings. They give a picture of these times and the articles ranged from a sermon on the “Evils of Pew Letting” to a caste of leading families of Hastings in a rather weird church play entitled “Under the Palms” or “The Jewish Flower Feast”, played on 1st August 1894. The cast included the names of quite a number of the families of Hastings’ leading citizens today. Our vicar has shown me a letter from the father of Mrs. Doug. Webb, Mr. Florence of Haumoana, who said he started Sunday School teaching in 1897 under Bishop Sedgewick. This must have been either at Waikoko or in the old St. Matthew’s Church. The Sunday School could not of course move to Mahora until after the school was built.

Mrs. Albert Hill informed me that her father, Mr. Lowe, was told if he could get 40 signatures a school would be built at Mahora. He did this and the school opened on 24th August 1903. It opened with one room, but, instead of 40 pupils, 62 arrived for enrolment and ever since that day Mahora seems to have been a school bursting at its seams!

The Sunday School started in the school room, and Mr. Albert Hill was the first Sunday School Superintendent until 1909 when he retired to marry Miss Lowe.

From some of the reports I have read this seems to be a precedence for Sunday School Superintendents, so Bryan Taylor (our present Sunday School Superintendent) you had better watch out! Mr. Hill handed over to Mr. Hamilton and, later, Mr. Stamp appears in the minutes of the Sunday School at Mahora.

As the district developed, so did the Sunday School continue to grow and many fine people were responsible for this good work.

By 1922 Communion services were being held once a month at Mahora and the celebrant was the young curate, Rupert Hall.

In October 1927 there arrived from Bath, in England, Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Harper. They were indefatigable Church workers, and even to this day back in England they still take a very real interest in our affairs.

Mrs. Harper founded our branch of the Mother’s Union and was its first Enrolling Member. Their son, Keith Harper, took Holy Orders and became Vicar of Waiho. He came overseas with us, in World War II, and, I regret to say, was killed in action.

In January 1927, another vicar comes on the scene, the Rev. C. Mortimer-Jones and our present vicar has shown me a recent letter from him in which he says Bishop Sedgewick instructed him to divide the parish – and now, 35 years later, this has taken place.

The Rev. Mortimer-Jones worked very hard. In those difficult days of depression and slump, there was very little money about. But, in spite of this, a sale of work at St. Matthew’s raised £25 towards a fund for Mahora, to which £7 was added by donations in 1930. By 1933 the fund had risen to £40-13-6. It was then decided to acquire a site here in Mahora and this ¼-acre section where the hall now stands was purchased for £82 in December 1934.

To retrace our steps for a moment. On 3rd February 1931 the Napier earthquake occurred. The cathedral collapsed, people were killed, injured and entombed. Personally, I don’t think I shall ever forget working amongst the smoking ruins and the grim scenes that took place there.

On the site of the ruins of the Cathedral, the Church Army had worked with purpose and energy, under Captain Banyard and Captain Squires (later to become the Harry Squires of Wellington Mission Hall fame.) They erected a Church Army Hut with money raised in England. This is where our hall here tonight, commenced its useful life, I think to many of us this hall of ours, carries with it the atmosphere of comfort and succor it gave to those in distress, in the years following the Napier earthquake.

By 1933, Napier was recovering and re-building again. The usefulness of the Church Army hut was passing and our records show that on 30th October 1933 Captains Banyard and Squires agreed to sell their hall, with all its furniture for £150, for re-erection here with the object of having a Church Army Officer working in this parish.

The sale was finalised on 2nd February 1935, during a visit to New Zealand by Captain Davy from the Church Army Headquarters in London. A cheque was paid for £50 that day. A second payment of £50 was to be made in June 1935 and the balance was to be paid off by £25 in 1936 and a final £25 in 1937. We must remember these were depression times and perhaps hard to realise today but there just was no one who had any surplus pennies and it is only those who have been through a slump who know what this can mean. By strenuous efforts made here £99 was raised. The Diocesan Board loaned us a further £100 and then a fairy godmother in the form of Miss Elsie Williams came to our aid

with £200. I was associated on the Woodford Trust Board for many years with Miss Elsie Williams and I can assure you that a gift of £200 in 1935 was a very real sacrifice on her part. She gave up a great deal to make it possible for us to get this hall and also later on to aquire the additional sections from here to the corner of Ngaio Street.

Mr. Peter Bridgman was engaged to bring this hall over from the site of the Napier Cathedral in sections. My Guy Rochfort had a great deal to do with this, but, in his modest way he never admitted the part he played. I do know there was a great deal of trouble getting the sections across the old, narrow, wooden bridge at Pakowhai, which many of you may still remember. Mr. Rochfort was on the management committee of Mahora for many years as well as being Vicar’s Warden at St. Matthew’s for 10 years.

Eventually by the middle of 1935, this hall was re-erected here and the final payment of £145 made to Mr. Bridgman. The total cost by now was £358. When the Church Hall was opened there was £81-18-7 in hand of which £26 was to be kept for furniture for the sanctuary.

Our altar was given by Mr. T. W. Smith (who had the Cornwall Park Store) and it is as sound today as when he presented it. The Reading Desk was given by the Sunday School and the Lectern by the Bible Class. The Cross and the Candlesticks were donated by Deaconess Brand. The altar lace came from Mrs Talbot. Hymn Books and a cheque for £20 were from Mr. A. B. Harper. Outside the hall the front fence was given by Mr. Diamond. The shrubs were donated by the Webb family and the trees by Mr. Hugh Baird the father of Mr. Bruce Baird our campaign chairman.

Although the first service appears as if it had been held here on 4th August 1935, the first service with proper records was actually held on 11th August 1935 with an attendance of 85 persons. The offertory came to £1-1-8 which gives an idea of the financial distress of the times. Evening services were held with communion service once a month. Average attendance is difficult to assess but records indicate about 20 persons with a total offertory rarely over 5/-. By 1940 attendances ran up into the 30s and 40s.

In 1936 a generous gift of £300 was made by W. and J. Hummerston brothers. £200 was to be the salary for two years of a Church Army officer and the remaining £100 for additions at the side of this hall necessary for his living quarters.

Meanwhile the Sunday School had moved up from Mahora. Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Harper, after 10 years residence here returned to England in 1937. Mr. Harper, with others, had built up the Sunday School to 165 with 26 teachers and there was a very large Church Mail Bag Service.

The first parishoners’ meeting was held on 15th July 1935 at 7.30 p.m. There were 16 ladies and 14 gentlemen present. Management and Social Committees were set up and the names at this first meeting will bring back memories to many of you tonight. Their names were Messrs. T. W. Smith, G. Rochfort, Cowlrick, Bascand, Stamp, Harper, Hill, Ferguson, McLeay, Dyer, Boshier, Tate and the ladies Mesdames Hill, Beech, Fendall, Bascand, Donnelly, McLeay and Mrs. P. Tate together with the three Miss Hills, Miss Lindsay and Miss Beech.

In January 1937 Captain Sutcliffe of the Church Army, whom most of us know, duly arrived. His salary during those difficult times was 31/6 per week and was paid from the Hummerston Trust Fund. He cooked his own breakfast but I think various families took it in turns to give him his dinner. I know one night every week he would come to our place for dinner, and I remember Mrs Rochfort and my wife nursing him and two Church Army boys when they were ill on one occasion.

Captain Sutcliffe was always vigorous and, to say the least of it, refreshing to meet. He remained here for nearly four years until he went to the war in November 1940.

From 1935 to 1941 church activities at the hall were run by the Management Committee. With the war affecting these things it was decided at a meeting held on 21st July 1941 to disband the management committee and instead two members would represent us on the vestry at St Matthew’s. Those first two representatives were Mr. Cushing and Mr. Smith and for many years Mr. Cushing served us in this capacity.

We should remember that after St Matthew’s Golden Jubilee in 1947, Canon Button launched the Parish Extension appeal and by 1953, St. James’s Church House now our vicarage was built for £4,000. In 1953, Rev. John MacLean arrived as Priest in charge for Mahora-Mayfair district. He was energetic and did much to get matters moving forward again after the war. Four years later he went on to be vicar at Whakatane and again we were indeed fortunate to get Rev. Owen Williams. He brought with him the great wealth of years of experience in church matters. Like so many cultured and distinguished men he never let on that he was both an M.A. and an M.C.. When he retired in 1960 our Sunday School roll had reached 200.

And now we come to the birth of our new parish and our first vicar, the Rev. Harold Titterton. As Canon Wilson so aptly told us last Monday, this is the birth of another daughter to St Luke’s and a sister to St. Matthew’s. With apologies to you Mr. Mayor (Mr. R. V. Giorgi).

In the process of this research, through our archives I have found that we have some good and well kept records particularly in the years 1935-41, and I do suggest these should be carefully preserved in the years to come.

They are quite fascinating to read or browse through, for they give one a good picture of the struggles of the early days, particularly the difficult years of the 1930’s as well as hard won goals achieved in other years. I hope this has not taken too long but I have tried to present to you as fair a picture as possible of the early days of our parish.

FACTS and FIGURES of the CHURCH OF ST. JAMES’S

MATERIALS USED:
ROOF: Decramastic tiles on building paper. Copper flashings. Treated Pinus Radiata sarking. N.Z. Douglas Fir rafters and purlins. Laminated Pinus Radiata and Oregon principal roof beams. Copper sheathing to flat roofs. Treated Pinus Radiata soffit linings.
TIMBER FRAMED WALLS: Gable Ends: N.Z. Douglas Fir framing with Redwood vertical sheathing.
North Wall: Oregon mullions, copper sheathed with perspex louvres and tinted glass.
BASE WALLS; Reinforced concrete columns with concrete block infill panels. Rough cast plaster to all transverse walls. Fair face concrete and blockwork to all longitudinal walls.
FOUNDATIONS: Reinforced concrete.
FLOOR: Concrete slab on damp proof course. Plastic coated chip board tiles and carpet.
DOORS AND WINDOWS: Heart Rimu framing. Redwood doors and sashes. Tinted glazing.
FURNITURE: All pews, chairs, altar rail (with bronze supports), pulpit, lectern, prayer desks: Heart Matai – matt finish, plastic coated and waxed. Pew legs: square section mild steel set in floor.
FONT: Silver bowl in Oamaru stone, bronze supports.
BELL: Cast iron, zinc coated, 100 years old.
HEATING: Electrical tubular heaters under pews.
CROSSES: Exterior: copper sheathed (30 feet high). Interior: brass sheathed.

STATISTICS:
Maximum height:   50 feet above floor level.
Maximum width:   70 feet 4 inches.
Maximum length:   96 feet 8 inches.
Permanent seating:   275 persons.
Choir seating:   18 persons.
Temporary seating:  80 persons.
Provision for future balcony:   54 persons.
Organ:   Electronic with tone column on back wall.
Two Choir vestries and one Vicar’s vestry.
Architect:   L. J. J. Hoogerbrug, Dip. Arch. Eng., A.N.Z.I.A.
Builders:   Hulena Bros. Ltd., under the personal direction of Mr. Lloyd Hulena.
Building commenced 21st February 1963.
Church completed 4th October 1963.
Basic cost of church including furnishings:   £22,250.

FIRST SERVANTS OF THE CHURCH

The Foundation Stone of the New Church was laid on 30th September 1962.
The First Vicar of St. James’s was REV. H. G. TITTERTON, L.Th.
date of institution 2nd July 1962.
The First Lay Readers were Mr. K. Shirras and Mr. B. E. Taylor.
The First Parish Secretary was Miss L. H. Smith.
The First Vicar’s Warden was Mr. Walter Solomon, appointed 1st July 1962.
The First People’s Warden was Mr. Bruce Baird, elected 8th July 1962.
The first Synodsman was Mr. R. M. Bell, elected 8th July 1962.
The First Vestry consisted of the two Wardens, Mrs. D. Frederickson, Miss L. H. Smith and Messrs. R. Cushing, R. M. Bell, P. Gifford, E. Goodall, D. Lapsley, G. Scott, B. E. Taylor and A. J. Young.
Vestry Secretary: Mr. R. E. Goodall.
Treasurer: Mr. G. Scott.
Senior Sidesman: Mr. D. Lapsley.
Sunday School Superintendent: Mr: B. E. Taylor.
Choirmaster: Mr. C. Clift.
Organist: Mr. R. Nairn.

THE FIRST BAPTISMS
On 6th October 1963: Brent William Fraser, Michael James Hill,

THE FIRST WEDDING
This took place on 12th October 1963 between David Andrew Wilkinson and Sally Jocelyn Gardner.

OUR PATRON SAINT
Our patron saint, St. James the Great (sometimes known as the Apostle), was the son of Zebedee, brother of St. John the Evangelist and, probably, a cousin of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He was a fisherman of Galilee and, by nature, ambitious and energetic, to the extent that he was sometimes called Boanerges, or the “Son of Thunder.”

He became one to the earliest and most trusted disciples of Jesus, in fact one of the faithful three: Peter James and John. St. James was the first apostle to be martyred, and was beheaded by Herod Agrippa in 44 A.D.

The day held to commemorate St. James the Great is 25th July. His emblem, as shown on our Mothers’ Union banner, is a sword (representing the martyrdom), the scalloped shell and the pilgrim’s staff.

THE DEDICATION OF THE CHURCH

5th October 1963

PRESS REPORTS

The Daily Telegraph, 7th October 1963:

The parish Church of St. James, Mahora, Hastings, was dedicated on Saturday afternoon by the Archbishop of New Zealand, the Most Rev. N. A. Lesser, in the presence of a Congregation of almost 500, representing clergy and laity in the Diocese of Waiapu.

The sub-contractors vacated the building only a few hours before the ceremony began.

Working bees had been busy all the morning digging over the ground and levelling it in order to tidy the surrounds before the ceremony. Live flowers were heeled into freshly made beds and their roots watered to combat the hot sun. Last to leave were the carpet layers.

At 2 p.m., however, when the crucifer, Bruce Taylor, led the procession into the church, there was no evidence of the urgency of the last-minute touches that had been applied within and without.

At the outset of the service the women of the choir, robed in dark sapphire blue with mortarboards to match and the men in scarlet cassocks and white surpluses, led the singing of the psalm, “I was glad when they said unto me, we will go into the House of The Lord.”

The purity of the tone of the new electronic organ was heard to advantage in the densely packed building.

In his address, Dr. Lesser congratulated the vicar, the Rev H. G. Titterton, his vestry and the church workers for their industry since the laying of the foundation stone exactly 12 months ago.

The archbishop said he was not unmindful of the effort and sacrifice that had gone into the building of the church, but all who had helped in any way had the satisfaction that came of a job well done, and done to the glory of God.

Dr. Lesser added that the building of a church was a reminder that God called for His Church to be a church of living stone. It was idle to dedicate a church unless the people of the church dedicated themselves to His service, too.

The lessons were read by the people’s warden, Mr. R. J. Cushing, and the Rev. J. MacLean, of Whakatane, a former vicar of the parish. The archbishop was attended by Canon K. C. Button, vicar of St. Matthew’s, as bishop’s chaplain.

Mr. Titterton conducted the service, which was attended by numerous churchmen in the Anglican community, as well as representatives of other denominations.

The Mayor of Hastings, Mr. R. V. Giorgi, and Mrs. Giorgi, and Mr. Duncan MacIntyre, M.P., for Hastings, and Mrs MacIntyre, were among those present.

The Hawke’s Bay Herald-Tribune, 7th October 1963:

More than 200 people stood outside at doorways and windows to hear the service to commemorate the opening of the new St. James’s Church at Mahora on Saturday afternoon.

There was not even standing room in the church as its lofty spired roof echoed for the first time to the sounds and responses of the full service.

The vicar, the Rev. H. G. Titterton, said there must have been more that 400 in the church designed to seat 310. The extra seating provided was soon filled, and the people stood in every available space. More than 130 children sat on the floor.

When the Primate of New Zealand, Archbishop N. A. Lesser, entered the church at the end of the procession, he was asked by the churchwardens to dedicate their church.

“It shall be done,” he replied.

In his address, the archbishop said: “It is idle to dedicate a building unless we also dedicate ourselves with it. We should all be living stones in the life of this church.”

The archbishop traced the history of the Anglican Church in the parish of Hastings, which was constituted in 1875, recalling that at that time there was no road between Hastings and Napier. Travellers – and vicars – had to travel along the coast to the old river mouth, go up the river to Havelock North, and then go overland to Hastings.

The first Anglican Church in Hastings stood on the corner of Heretaunga and King Streets and because of its twin spires was known as “Westminster Abbey.”

It was rebuilt in 1886 at a cost of £1500.

Mahora’s independence came with the building of the church hall in 1936.

“Since then the vision and dedication of the people have been concentrated on the achievement of this building,” said the archbishop.

“I sincerely congratulate the vicar, the wardens and the vestry, as well as the people, on the work that has been done.”

The dedication service was conducted by Mr. Titterton, the lessons were read by the people’s warden, Mr. R. J. Cushing, and the vicar of Whakatane, the Rev. J. R. MacLean.

Many other clergy and representatives of other churches were present.

After the service, crowds inspected the details of the striking structure, built by Hulena Bros. to the design of Mr. L. Hoogerbrug.

Yesterday, the first two baptisms were held in the church, Brent William, the son of Mr. and Mrs. M. Fraser, Fitzroy Avenue, and Michael James, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Hill, Percival Road, being the two children baptized.

Original digital file

StJamesMahora.pdf

Description

Surnames in this document –

Baird, Banyard, Bascand, Beech, Bell, Boshier, Bridgman, Button, Clift, Cowlrick, Cushing, Davy, Diamond, Donnelly, Dyer, Fendall, Florence, Fraser, Frederickson, Gardner, Gifford, Giorgi, Goodall, Hall, Hamilton, Harkness, Harper, Hill, Hills, Hobbs, Hoogerbrug, Hulena, Julius, Kirkby, Lapsley, Lindsay, Lowe, MacIntyre, MacLean, Marshall, McLeay, Mortimer-Jones, Nairn, Nelson Owen, Rochfort, Scott, Sedgewick, Shirras, Sidesman, Smith, Solomon, Sprott, Squires, Stamp, Sutcliffe, Talbot, Tate, Taylor, Titterton, Webb, Wellwood, Wilkie, Wilkinson, Williams, Wilson, Young

Date published

1963

Format of the original

booklet

Accession number

414120

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