Tales of Toko­roa’s past worth telling

South Waikato News - - HERITAGE -

Bill Machen is keen to see a Toko­roa His­tor­i­cal Group formed and is look­ing for sup­port.

The long- stand­ing South Waikato res­i­dent and district coun­cil­lor said he has been in­ter­ested in its his­tory for many years.

‘‘ With the year 2015 ap­proach­ing I am aware that next year will not only be the cen­te­nary of the land­ing of An­zacs at Gal­lipoli, it will also be 100 years since the open­ing of the first school in Toko­roa.

Since that time many things have hap­pened to the town and its people, he said.

‘‘ From its be­gin­nings as a small farm­ing com­mu­nity to the satel­lite town of New Zealand’s big­gest in­dus­trial com­plex with al­most a pop­u­la­tion of 20,000 and then its re­turn to a more ru­ral-based com­mu­nity.’’

Over the past few years Machen said he has col­lected a num­ber of ju­bilee books and mag­a­zines, univer­sity the­ses as well as news­pa­per re­ports that cover ‘‘go­ings on’’ in the Toko­roa area since its be­gin­nings as a named area in the late 1870s.

‘‘I am aware that the Toko­roa Li­brary has very lit­tle in the way of source ma­te­rial for any­body to ref­er­ence the his­tory of the area or its people and I find that dis­ap­point­ing.

‘‘[It] does hold mi­cro-film copies of the South Waikato News and the Pu­taruru Press but un­for­tu­nately their reader printer is bro­ken and users are not able to re­cover documents they may need for look­ing up mat­ters of in­ter­est or mat­ters re­gard­ing ge­neal­ogy.’’

He said those in­ter­ested in the town’s his­tory should at­tend a meet­ing to be held at the Toko­roa Club tonight start­ing at 7pm.

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