It’s a tiny seaside village with a surprisingly wide range of facilities. Whangateau is about 18km from Warkworth on Leigh Rd. It boosts a harbourside sports club and rugby fields, a community hall, playground and a popular family camp ground on the water’s edge. The area is steeped in history. In 1858 a shipbuilder put his anchor down in Whangateau Harbour. In March, 150 years later, nearly 300 decendants of the shipbuilder and his wife, James and Catherine Meiklejohn, celebrated their decision to stay. The weekend reunion featured a re-enactment of the Meiklejohn family’s landing at the foreshore by the New Zealand Maritime Museum and the crew of the Ted Ashby. Old boats, steamers and classic boats, and memorabilia were on display. James Meiklejohn is responsible for the naming of several streets in Omaha. Pioneer, Bluebell, Caroline, Success, Argos, Excelsior, Twilight and Ruby streets are named after boats built on the harbour. Omaha residents Carol and James Ramage, Meiklejohn descendants, released their 250-page book The Ships of Omaha, 1858 to 1921, at the reunion. The book is about the ships built at Omaha by the Meiklejohn family, David Darroch, the Matheson family and a few others. It briefly introduces each family and then writes about their ships in chronological order. It includes stories about each ship, a list of owners and her fate. John Meiklejohn has the distinction of the building of the first scow in New Zealand, the Lake Erie, in 1873, for Captain George Spencer. Later, in 1905, John Meiklejohn’s son-in-law Davey Darrock built New Zealand’s best-known scow the Jane Gifford, which is currently being reconstructed in Warkworth. For more information visit www.meiklejohn.org and www.janegifford.org.nz.