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Thinking about summer!

Some things never change, including the desire of men to dress as girls, funny that! Here’s Russell Collins and Bob Hall playing ladies in their best Hawaiian florals at the Piha Surf Club Vice Versa Dance, late 1950s. Dig Russell’s hoop earrings.

In days gone by…..

The first Piha dance in the Piha Hall was in July 1936, organised by Ivy Phillipson, Mrs Neville Ussher, and Mrs Watt. Guests included the Brownes from Karekare, Yearburys, Hallidays and La Trobes (all Ussher descendants), Yvonne La Trobe (later Mrs Johnnie Byers), Audrey Cullin, Jane Hoover, Jocelyn Tattle, Merle Mobbs (Anawhata), Muriel Ketterer, O Atkin, and  [ Read More ]

How the phone got to Piha

In 1928 a determined Horace Mobbs and his two sons, Fred and Alan, pulled a lone telephone wire through the bush from Anawhata to the Karekare exchange. Piha and Anawhata were at last on-line to Auckland via Henderson. It was slow work pushing their way through dense bush and securing insulators to the most accessible  [ Read More ]

All about Stores at Piha

The first store at Piha was at the Piha Mill, run by Jack Ingram, brother of the first Mill manager, Chris Ingram. Jack was married to Mary Bethell, daughter of “Pa” Bethell up the coast at Te Henga. Jack Ingram sold food and stores to the families and single men working at the Mill, though the  [ Read More ]

Dick Kibblewhite

Richard (Dick) Kibblewhite was an Auckland architect who tried to subdivide Piha in the 1920s, starting as early as 1923. Advertising in his Auckland CBD office street frontage was his infant daughter Betty making sandcastles with black West Coast sand to attract the attention of passers-by. Called West Coast Estates, Kibblewhites subdivisions were very large,  [ Read More ]

Wilf and Ella Hilford, lovers of Piha’s pohutukawa

Wilf and Ella Hilford were two of the original community that settled at the end of North Piha Beach, Ella, or Marcella Wardrop Luke Hilford, having purchased Lots 46 and 47 in 1947 from Les Waygood. Wilf was originally a schoolteacher, but at the end of the Second World War, he and Ella decided they  [ Read More ]

Cairn at Te Waha marks gifts of land

It may have been 50 years late, but on Friday 4 November, a small group of Auckland Council regional park rangers and descendants of the Rose family, gathered at Te Waha point north of Piha to unveil a cairn erected to mark two gifts of land to the regional park. Jim and Phyllis Rose gave  2.5 hectares  [ Read More ]

The Church of the Sacred Heart, Garden Road

The Church of the Sacred Heart, nestled among huge pohutukawas in Garden Road, was given by Trixie Wales in memory of her husband Stan. He was an Auckland importer and exporter who was only fifty-two-years-old when he died in 1962. Just before his death, Stan Wales had bought from the Nathans a section neighbouring the  [ Read More ]

Bach settlement

  After the closure of the Mill in 1921, Piha went through a period of quiet. But in 1926, Richard Kibblewhite, an Auckland architect, attempted to subdivide Piha. Plans were drawn up and Kibblewhite used to advertise hisWest Coast Estate properties by having his toddler daughter, Betty, make sandcastles in a shop window in Queen Street. Kibblewhite  [ Read More ]