Pi­o­neer­ing days re­called


Six kilo­me­tres north of Woodville on State High­way 2, is the lo­cal­ity known as Pa­p­atawa. Pa­p­atawa is the fo­cus of Sun­day’s con­ducted tour of Woodville’s his­toric Old Gorge Ceme­tery.

In the days when the Manawatu Gorge was still a func­tion­ing road, (it opened in 1872) Pa­p­atawa started life in 1877 as the Vic­to­ria Small Farm As­so­ci­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to Joan McIn­tyre from Friends of the Ceme­tery.

Farm­land bal­lots were held the fol­low­ing year, but it wasn’t un­til 1887 that the first school opened as the Manga-atua School.

The name was changed in 1905 to Pa­p­atawa, with the school cel­e­brat­ing its 130th ju­bilee in early June this year.

In 1891 when the Palmer­ston North to Napier rail­way line was com­pleted, Pa­p­atawa had its own sta­tion and sid­ing, as well as a dairy fac­tory. Now it’s not even a whis­tle-stop.

More re­cently, the Pa­p­atawa Re­align­ment road de­vi­a­tion, named for the lo­cal­ity, fi­nally opened in 2014, and stream­lined nearly five kilo­me­tres of high­way north of Woodville.

Pa­p­atawa’s pi­o­neer­ing set­tlers were laid to rest in the Old Gorge Ceme­tery.

Sun­day’s con­ducted tour of their grave sites will ex­plore the sto­ries and per­son­al­i­ties of those ear­lier times.

‘‘We shall dis­cover the his­tory of some of the fam­i­lies that set­tled the dis­trict,’’ McIn­tyre said.

The Sun­day grave­side tour be­gins from the his­toric ceme­tery’s up­per gate at 2.30pm.

‘‘We shall dis­cover the his­tory of some of the fam­i­lies that set­tled the dis­trict.’’ Joan McIn­tyre, Friends of the Ceme­tery


Woodville’s old Gorge Ceme­tery is the fo­cus of a monthly her­itage visit and con­ducted tour.

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