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THE OFFICIAL OPENING. The official opening of the new Post Office at Whatawhata, which has been erected on a site purchased from Mr John Iloss, opposite to the Anglican Church, was performed on Saturday | afternoon by Mr R. F. Bollard, member for the district. Despite the inclement weather there was a good attendance of the townspeople and settlers in the vicinity. A number of the school children were present, and the proceedings were opened by the singing of the National Anthem. Mr Campbell Johnston, chairman of the Raglan County Council, cordially welcomed Mr Bollard, and expressed regret that Mr Young, member for AVaikafco, was not able to be present. He pointed out that it was the first public building in the township, and though not pretentious was sufficient for present requirements, and would, be greatly appreciated by the residents and surrounding settlers, who had previously had to transact their postal business at a store, which was not satisfactory, although their late postmaster had been most obliging and courteous. He expressed the thanks of the settlers to Messrs Bollard and Young for their assistance in securing the post "ifice, and the hope that before long a telephone exchange would be established. Mr W. D. Laxon, chairman of the Newcastle Road Board, endorsed Mr T 1 i Johnstone s remarks. Mr Bollard, after expressing the pleasure which it afforded him to offici- ! ally open their post office, apologised for the absence of Mr Young, owing to his recent indisposition. He said that a great deal of the credit for securing the post office was due to th e persistency of Mr Johnstone. A post office was just as important in small districts as in the larger centres. He appreciated the town versus country spirit which was shown in the more substantial buildings erected in the larger centres, and would always oppose the country districts being prejudiced. A post office was the key to progress, and he hoped that it would not be long before more public buildings would be erected.. Continuing, lie said that:— The records of the General Post Office showed that a post office was opened at Whatawhata in charge of Mr James Farrell on the Ist October, 1808. Mr Farrell's successors and the dates of their appointments were R. L. Mainwaring, Ist July, 1896; J. Pennington, Ist July, 1870; Robert Mainwaring, Ist July, 1371; A. Dawson, Ist July, 1873; A. Barton, Ist July, 1875; P..lwersen, Ist July, 1876; Mrs P. Iwersen, Ist April, 1907; D. Simcock, Ist November, 1907; J. Crichton, 30th July, 1912; T. Grant, 29th May, 1914; while the office now being opened would be in charge of Miss E. M. Sandos. In 1868 there was a onceweekly mail service, performed on horseback between Whatawhata and Alexandra (now known as Pirongia). In 1872 there was in addition a twiceweekly service performed on horseback between Whatawhata and Newcastle (now known as Ngaruawahia). In 1878 the frequency of the service with Ngaruawahia was increased to thriceweekly. Whatawhata has now a daily service with Frankton Junction and a thrice-weekly service with Hamilton. In 1869 there was a military telegraph line between Ngaruawahia and Pirongia via Whatawhata, but Whatawhata was not connected with it. The line having become decayed, it was then dismantled, and Ngaruawahia afterwards communicated by telephone with Pirongia via Hamilton and Cambridge. A telephone office was opened at Whatawhata in 1884, and a telephone bureau in 1907. A money-order office and a savings-bank were opened in 1907. In 1913 the building in which the post and telegraph business was conducted was destroyed by fire. The business was thereafter conducted for a time in the public hall. In order to meet the requirements of the business the Department has erected the present building, the work having been done by the Department's own carpentering staff from Auckland. In recent years the Department's business at Whatawhata had considerably increased in all branches. In 1904 the number of letters, postcards and other articles posted was 6980; and in 1914, 19,270. In 1904 the number of letters, postcards and other articles delivered was 17,970; and in 1914, 26,560. The postage revenue in 1904 was £46, and in 1914 £95. In 1907 (the year in which the money-order office and the savings-bank were opened). 15 money-orders were issued of the value of £3B; and in 1913 (the last year for which complete figures are available) 48 of £231. In 1907 five money-orders were paid of the value of £9; and in 1913, 29 of £93. In 1907, 22 savings-bank deposits were made amounting to £77; and in 1913, 40 amounting to £306. In 1907 six savings-bank withdrawals were made amounting to £45; and in 1913, 28 amounting to £SBB. In 1904, 901 telegrams were forwarded of the value of £26; and in 1914, 2185 of £66. Telegrams received for delivery to the residents numbered in 1904, 888, and in 1914, 1765. Some of the earliest settlers of Whatawhata were Messrs M. Fitzgerald, A. Ferguson, McCutcheon, Higginsoit, and E. C. Shepherd, and he regretted that more of them were not able to be present at the ceremony, which marked a step" in the progress of the township with which they had been so closely identified. Mr Bollard then declared the building officially open. The building consists of a public space sft by lift, a mail and telegraph room lift by 15ft, a public telephone bureau room 4ft by 4ft lOin, and a telphone room 6ft Bin by 4ft lOin. Subsequently Mr Bollard was entertained by the settlers at luncheon at the Whatawhata Hotel, where a number of toasts were duly honoured. -'These included "The King," "Our Boys at the Front," "Mr Bollard," "Mr Campbell Johnstone," and "The Old Identities," a very pleasant function concluding with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne."

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WHATAWHATA POST OFFICE, Waikato Times, Volume 84, Issue 13188, 31 May 1915

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WHATAWHATA POST OFFICE Waikato Times, Volume 84, Issue 13188, 31 May 1915