Te Poi mem­o­ries

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCKOY

Ngaire and Ernie Lep­per have many won­der­ful mem­o­ries from the time they spent liv­ing in the quaint ru­ral town of Te Poi.

Now in the lead-up to the Te Poi Dis­trict Centenary, the two com­mit­tee mem­bers are look­ing for­ward to go­ing back, meet­ing up with old friends and rem­i­nisc­ing about their time there.

The centenary will be on March 31 at the Te Poi Pri­mary School. The day will start with an of­fi­cial wel­come and powhiri at 10am fol­lowed by en­ter­tain­ment, lunch, a ser­vice at the Te Poi church and din­ner at the Te Poi hall for those reg­is­tered.

Mrs Lep­per, born in 1938, grew up on a farm in Te Poi. She said she loved liv­ing in Te Poi be­cause of its strong com­mu­nity fo­cus.

‘‘Things were a lot dif­fer­ent then and there was al­ways a real sense of com­mu­nity. In those days you al­ways made you own fun,’’ she said.

‘‘When it was the end of the war and there were petrol ra­tions I re­mem­ber dou­bling with my fa­ther on his push­bike and he would take me to school along the me­tal road. They were great times.’’

She met her hus­band-to-be in 1949 af­ter he moved on to the orig­i­nal Dal­ton’s farm next door to her par­ents.

They mar­ried in the Te Poi church in 1959 and lived in Tau­ranga for 33 years be­fore shift­ing back to Te Poi to live on her par­ents’ life­style block at the top of the Kaimai Ranges.

The block, part of the farm she grew up on, was a cat­tle run-off.

So far more than 350 peo­ple have reg­is­tered for the re­union with 16 of them hav­ing lived in Te Poi be­tween 1920 and 1929. Mr Lep­per said he was pleased to see peo­ple of all ages reg­is­ter­ing.

‘‘We are just thrilled with the pro­gramme. It will be fan­tas­tic and the school re­ally is the ideal place to do it,’’ he said. ‘‘The re­union will be about re­new­ing friend­ships and see­ing how things have changed.’’

To reg­is­ter phone Ngaire Ernie Lep­per on 880 9577.


Re­union: Ernie and Ngaire Lep­per are look­ing for­ward to the Te Poi Dis­trict Centenary on March 31 that they are help­ing to or­gan­ise.

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