Maungaturoto will be celebrating 150 Years in 2013

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Whakapirau Anglican Church Cemetery

I made a nice leisurely drive out to Whakapirau today and what a lovely sunny day it was! I stopped at the Anglican church cemetery to take photographs of some of the graves. It's nice to see such a well looked after place, I could tell that 3/4 of the graves were nicely restored, the grass had been mowed around them and flowers were used as decoration.

A little bit of history to share:
St Alban's Church (Anglican), Whakapirau was built in 1896 after a period of community fundraising that enabled it to be opened debt free. The site for the church was formerly part of a block of land made tapu by koiwi from the battle of Marohemo in 1825. The tapu was lifted from the land by the gathering of the koiwi into an ossuary. These bones were subsequently used to fertilise vineyards in the vicinity. The churchyard contains the graves of a number of members of local families, Maori and Pakeha, including several of those directly involved in the erection of the church.

The church is built of kauri, supplied from one of the kauri timber mills formerly nearby. Its lofty belfry and prominent hilltop site make it a landmark visible for some distance along the Kaipara harbour. The interior of the church reveals the warmth of the kauri boards to considerable aesthetic effect, and its timber pews and other furniture add to its charm. Information from

Please note: the photos belong to A. Forbes - if you wish to use them please email me on

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Death by Carbonic Acid Gas Bath?

Story from the Northern Advocate 16th June 1902

According to the news story anyone with lung trouble should not have one of these baths but what was the purpose of Carbonic Acid Gas? Apparently in the 1800s it was considered to be anaesthetic agent whereby painful body parts once immersed became less painful. When inhaled, in the diluted, state, the gas is said to accelerate the circulation but it sounds like this was the type of procedure that warranted the advice of a doctor first before going through with it and what made it worse for Mr Gray was that he'd first jumped in and out of a cold then hot bath which as we know is a shock to the system. (information from here).

So why did Mr Gray ignore the rule and advice of Mr Breedon?