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PROGRESS OF TE UKU.

NEW POST OFFICE OPENED.

PIONEERING DAYS RECALLED

POSTMASTER WITHOUT HANDS

[bx telegraph.—own correspondent.] HAMILTON. Wednesday.

The new post., office at le Uku was opened by the Minister tor Internal Affairs, the Hon. R. 1). Bollard, .this uftei* noon. Tho function was largely attended by residents of the district, and vtsitois from Hamilton and .Raglan. \\ith others on tho platform were representatives from the various local bodies. Mr. \\. I. Coad, Chief Postmaster at Hamilton, acted as chairman.

The chairman of tho Raglan County Council, Mr. Campbell Johnstone, said that there could be no doubt of the progress of the To Oku district. A progressiva settlement deserved assistance and Te I'ku had received no more than it fully deserved. the main road from Hamilton was now in excellent/ condition but there was room for improvement in the side roads. The main road, however, was deteriorating, and it was necessary to devote the rates of tho entire district to its maintenance, making it impossible to do anything to the side roads. It was to be hoped that something would be done with regard to the main road to relieve the strain of maintenance by the ratepayers .of Te Uku and to distribute it evely between the bodies using the road. Mr. J. A. Young, M.P., said that those present were celebrating an important event in .the history of tho district. The surrounding country showed opportunity for further development, which would result in greater prosperity. With reference to the main road he said that notwithstanding the new highways scheme there was no reason ratepayers should not demand of the Government that the other bodies using tho road should meet part of the cost of maintenance. History of the Office.

Mr. W. J. Lusty, chairman, of the Te Uku Progressive League, presented the Minister with a golden key suitably inscribed as a moment o of the ceremony.

The Minister said that, although the post office was small it was just as important in the eyes of the department as a large city npost office. With regard to the main road he could remember the time when it, was worse than the side roads of the district were at tho present time. Improvements only resulted after agitation on the part of residents and he hoped.that ihe agitation would be continued until the district required no further improvement. He paid a tribute to the settlers whoso energy had resulted in the present achievement.

The Minister gave _ some interesting facts concerning the district and the post office which serves it, A post office was opened at Te. Uku on August 1, ISM, at tho residence of Mr. J- Moon, whose son, Mr. E. C. Moon, was appointed postmaster, The office remained under Mr. Moon's control up to December 9, 1924, when he retired and was replaced temporarily by Mr. : W. Rickerbv, The new office will be conducted by Miss E. M. G. Woollett. A money order office and savings bank branch were opened on September 8, 1903,. a telephone office was established on February 3, 1906, and a telephone exchange was opened on December 9, 1924, with 15 subscribers. Unique in Postal World.

Mr. Moon was unique m the postal world, the Minister continued. He had not the use of bis hands and is unable to walk. Work usually done by hands Mr. Moon performed by means of his feet, with which he is able to write quite legibly. The money order, • savings hank, postal note and genera! clerical work connected with the conduct of the office was dealt with personally by Mr. Moon. He also attained skill in the" use of his feet for painting and cabinet making. At the death in March, 1907, of Miss B. E. M. Mo6n, who had acted as Mr. Moon's assistant since the opening of the office, her sister Lena was appointed assistant. With the exception of a period of seven months the latter, who later became Mrs. Ormiston, retained the position until the new building was erected. Struggles of Early Days.

Te tJku derived its name from a clay hill in the district. In the early days the Te Uku flats were the scene of sanguinary battles among'the Maoris. A very early settler has stated that as many as 400 dead have been counted after a battlr. Timber from the vicinity, of the Te Uku landing was shipped in the early fifties to California for use in the erection of miners' houses. Wheat was grown in the district for export to Sydney and many of the crops were sown with the adze. One of the earliest settlers was Mr. W. P. Cogswell, J.P., who died only recently at the age of about 96/ Other pioneers were Captain Johnstone and Messrs. Douglas Kissle, J. Moon, G. Moon and Robinson. There have descended from the pioneers hardy and loyal settlers who up till recently have had to struggle against heavy odds owing to lack of transport facilities. The first mall to the district was carried on foot bv Maoris clown the west coast from Auckland. ' Later mails were packed on horseback from Hamilton once a week and afterwards twice a week. For the past eight years a daily mail service has been tunning, and recently, a service by motor-lorry was established. The section" on which the post office stands was given by the settlers. After the ceremony a ladies' committee provided afternoon tea in the Te Uku hall. , The former postmaster, Mr. Moon, was -presented with a notification that he had been connected up with the new telephone exchange for two years free of : charge as a recognition by the residents of his wonderful work as. postmaster. Tn the evening a cpncert and dance was held.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19250129.2.153

Bibliographic details

PROGRESS OF TE UKU., New Zealand Herald, Volume LXII, Issue 18929, 29 January 1925

Word Count
958

PROGRESS OF TE UKU. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXII, Issue 18929, 29 January 1925

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