Franklin Country is having their fantastically popular Thomas the Tank Engine Weekend this weekend!!
The Glenbrook Vintage Railway ‘s annual Thomas day always proves to be a great winner and an added bonus will be the new Glenbrook Morel Railway, which is situated on Morley Road…..a train stop away from the station at Glenbrook.
Bob and his elves have been working intently to make sure that they can get the Model Railway operating to coincide with the Thomas weekend, so if you are in the area……keep an eye out to discover the magic of the miniature train, boats and more!
The Port Waikato Whitebait fritter competition is also on!. Head out to our west coast beach for a taste test of some of the locals recipes for the perfect fritter!! mmmmmmm….mmm
I can personally vouch for a fantastic taste tingle!
Head to our patch of country – where Auckland meets the Waikato – and check out what’s on!!
Just one instance is –
Pokeno, our neighbour down the road in the Northern Waikato part of Franklin, has been through many changes over the years – going from a fairly busy village as per our photo, to an area by-passed by the modernisation of the highway/motorway and now back again towards being a busy town with it’s new and increasing housing areas.
The town also has Yasihili, the new Infant Formula Factory, being built. It will be interesting to see how this helps to build the region with employment, visitors and growth in general!
Yashili is part of a major group that leads the dairy market in China. To help us achieve our preeminent position there, we have been a longstanding importer of New Zealand milk powder. Now we are taking that one step further – we are not just sourcing our milk powder here; we are producing our finished goods here. Our $200 million investment in Pokeno focuses on the development and construction of a 30,000m2 manufacturing plant. Our annual production capacity of around 52,000 tonnes of infant formula products will supply the rapidly growing and increasingly demanding Chinese market.To help us achieve our potential in New Zealand we are looking for the brightest and best people in dairy manufacturing to come on board with us. We have job opportunities in manufacturing, supply chain and quality management. Come and join us and be part of our team that is putting Kiwi expertise on the world’s stage.
Yashili is one of the “big three” producers of infant milk formula for the domestic market in China. Our two leading brands, Yashily and Scient, and the more recently introduced Merla brand account for more than 80 per cent of Yashili Group’s total business. Yashili is also one of the leading suppliers of soymilk powder, cereal, rice flour and milk powder for adults and teenager to the Chinese market. Our products are sold in just over 105,000 retail outlets in China. In July 2012, we were named among the top 500 Most Valuable Brands in China for the ninth consecutive year. Yashili Group employs over 5000 people and reported an annual turnover in 2011 of NZ$566 million. We are publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In June 2013, China Mengniu Diary Company announced plans to acquire Yashili Group. Mengniu, China’s largest producer of liquid milk products, is part owned by China’s state-backed agricultural and food industry supplier COFCO.
Building Future CapacityChina’s infant formula market is expected to grow to NZ$32 billion by 2017, according to Euromonitor data. The increasing demand for infant milk formula is being driven by families shifting from rural locations to the cities, a stable birth rate, more mothers going out to work, and increases in disposable income. The challenge for Yashili and other manufacturers is to keep pace with demand while maintaining a high level of quality control. That’s why we have looked to New Zealand and its internationally recognised expertise in the manufacture of quality milk powder to build our newest dairy processing. Yashili already promotes the high quality of New Zealand-sourced milk content in our premium brands. We have imported milk powder from New Zealand for over 10 years and we have used New Zealand milk powder exclusively in our infant milk formula since August 2010. Now we are adding further value to our product with Kiwi manufacturing expertise, and the support of the country’s skilled labour force.
For those car and vintage vehicle enthusiasts, Franklin’s main town of Pukekohe is home again to the ever popular Swap Meet, where all things vehicle related should be able to be found – whether in the original state or a reproduction, there should be something there and very likely all manner of other items too. Should be THE place to be!!
Following on from that, over the next weekend, is the celebration of Franklin’s Bombay area. Another part of our district will be having a ball showcasing the 150 years of Bombay,
March 14th 2015
Bombay Family Festival, open to all, no entry charge.
10am to 3pm in the Bombay School grounds.
Farmers market, bouncy castle, Clydesdale cart rides, unicycles, tractor displays, face painting, historical displays and refreshments.
Book sales: ‘They came by ship’ the history of the first 100 years of the district, and ‘Bombay, the next 50yrs’ telling the stories of the families, clubs, farms and businesses of Bombay between 1965 and 2015.
This Family Fun day is being held as part of Bombay’s 150th Anniversary Weekend, so come along dressed up 1860’s style and you may win a prize.
Should be a great weekend for all –
Mix & Mingle
Venue: Bombay Rugby Club
Fun Run & Family Festival
Venue: Bombay School
The Pioneers Settlers Fun Run will start the day with a festival atmosphere growing as we celebrate success of fun run entrants. We envision games, food and fun activities for the whole family! Local Stalls/Farmers Market, Athletics, Old School Races (Egg & Spoon, Sack Races), Ethnic Foods, Vintage Tractors, Photobooths, Displays, Olden day Dressups/Photos, Facepainting. Ideas and input welcome!
Dinner & Guest Speaker
Venue: Bombay School Hall
Historical Bus Tour/Scavenger Hunt
With the help of local/school families, we would love to put together an ‘Amazing Race’ type challenge for families/teams to be a part of. This could be a really exciting way for us all to learn about our wider community and what it was like in years gone by.
……but wait – there’s more!!
If you haven’t already decided to book some accommodation and enjoy a great few weeks, this may help you to decide ……
we have our very own Taste Franklin happening, This should be an amazing event showcasing the wonderful food that we produce right here on the edge of Auckland!
Us locals know that we live in an area that grows, produces, cooks, carves up, bakes and ferments some of the very best stuff that we consume here in Godzone yet do you always buy locally? What about people moving into the area – do they know what’s available? Do you know about cheesemakers, butchers, growers, breadmakers, fishermen, winemakers and brewers plus so many other culinary magicians that are found around the corner, a few streets down, or a short drive away (we are semi-rural after all)..
Check out the newsbeat piece here about this event.
So if you hadn’t considered Franklin – (where Auckland meets the Waikato) before now, this IS the time to get on over to our patch and celebrate – history, our own home-grown everything and so much more
One of Franklin’s local papers ran a great story recently, about a link to this region of one of New Zealand’s All Black rugby legends .
England based Zinzan Brooke returned to the family’s former farm in Karaka, Franklin region, last week with his father Sandy, to film an episode of a documentary series. Descent from Disaster will screen on TV One later this year.
The story of Brooke’s late grandfather, Martin Brooke, will form the backbone of the episode.
The Waiuku-born 58 test No 8, admitted he knew “bugger all” about his grandfather’s time at war.
“It was probably out of respect that I did not ask him more about what it was like – I had heard stories of guys with post-traumatic experiences who did not deal with it”
His father said that stories of war never filled the Brooke household.
“The only thing he ever said was that it was the most hell of a place he had ever been in his life and he would not go near it again”
Martin Brooke was one of the first Pukekohe men to enlist in the army when it was announced New Zealand was joining the war in August 1914.
……… born in Essex, England, Martin Brooke’s outgoing, and at the time rebellious, attitude was on full display in the way he moved to New Zealand.
“When he left school he went to work in Barclays Bank. I think it lasted a week and then he said ‘The hell with this’ so he went down to the wharf and found a boat that was sailing to New Zealand and got on,” Sandy said.
“He never told his parents and he was 16 years old. The next time he saw his parents was when he was wounded in Gallipoli and shipped back to England.”
Learning his grandfathers full story was a special moment for Zinzan and one that he is determined to pass on to his children.
“A lot of guys paid the ultimate price for our freedom and I am very proud that my grandfather was part of that”
Brooke was not part of the ill-fated Gallipoli landing at Anzac Cove on April 25, 1915 but was there not long after.
“When [the landing] went badly, very soon after that, the Auckland Mounted Rifles, including Martin, got sent there.
“He was there for about four weeks when he was hit by a shell and his arm was very badly damaged.
“A shell exploded in his face and went through his shoulder, leg, and knee and shattered his left arm.
“He had a crooked arm after that and his war wounds were obvious for the rest of his life.”
That effectively ended his time at war but due to a lengthy stay in hospital, he did not return to New Zealand until August, 1916.
“He came back and eventually bought a farm in Karaka where he raised his family.
There he would marry Sybil Zinzan and have four children and 15 grandchildren, including All Blacks Zinzan and Robin Brooke.
Further to my blog about marking our history in Franklin, (as we are in the years of having notable historical events to recount), is a little info about connections to possibly one of the most famous kiwi warships, HMS Archilles – being the first NZ unit to engage the enemy in WWII.
When the cruiser HMS Achilles opened fire on the German ‘pocket battleship’ Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic, at 6.21 a.m. on 13 December 1939, it became the first New Zealand unit to strike a blow at the enemy in the Second World War. With the New Zealand ensign flying proudly from its mainmast – as battle loomed, a signalman had run aft with the ensign shouting ‘Make way for the Digger flag!’ – Achilles also became the first New Zealand warship to take part in a naval battle.
The 82-minute engagement between the Graf Spee and its three smaller British opponents – Achilles, Ajax and Exeter – was inconclusive. All four were damaged, with the British ships suffering 72 fatalities (among them two New Zealanders) to the Graf Spee’s 36. But the German warship’s subsequent withdrawal to the neutral Uruguayan port of Montevideo, and its dramatic scuttling by its own crew on 17 December, turned the Battle of the River Plate into a major British victory – and a welcome morale boost for the Allied cause.
Achilles’ role in the battle was a special source of pride for New Zealanders, who welcomed the ship’s crew home at huge parades in Auckland and Wellington in early 1940.
The original Admirals Barge that was aboard the Archilles, was found on Waiheke Island and a Waiuku local managed to purchase the barge for restoration.
Franklin, as with other parts of the country and the world, has it’s share of history – albeit, younger than overseas, but history none-the-less! and here we have descendants of crew who served on the Archilles, as I can personally vouch for.
Franklin is in the process of celebrating it’s history
Pukekohe and Bombay will be busy over the next few months, showcasing how the area grew, with Pukekohe having an open day and historical town walk this month and Bombay doing their showcasing and celebrations in March – just a week before our wonderful Taste Franklin expo!
If your ancestors arrived in New Zealand as part of the Waikato Immigration Scheme or settled in Franklin (the land south of Auckland) at a later date, then mark this day in your diary (14th February 2015) and register (free) now. Maybe your ancestors didn’t live in Franklin but you would like to know more about the history of the district, then this is a day for you.
The Franklin Branch NZSG has organized for 13 repositories throughout the district to be open on this day to share their resources and knowledge with you so you can learn more about your ancestors and their lives.
Five local museums, two genealogy branches, an historic church, historic homestead, heritage centre, historic society and the Franklin Historic Collection and Archives housed at the Pukekohe Library will be offering a wide variety of records, books, maps, photographs, memorabilia and early colonial artefacts specific to this area.
An Information Site in Pukekohe, featuring static displays and helpful volunteers will have maps and brochures of the various venues plus contact details of other groups with resources who do not have fixed facilities. These will be available electronically nearer the date. Lots of other suggested activities and sights to see throughout the district. A guided walk of the Pukekohe CBD historic sites will be held on Sunday 15th Feb.
They will all be open on Feb 14th 2015, 9am to 3pm and other days as advertised or by arrangement
1. Manukau Heads Lighthouse, unmanned display boards, Manukau Heads, Awhitu Peninsula
2. Waiuku Museum, Tamakae Reserve, 10 King St, Waiuku
3. NZSG Franklin Branch, at Pukekohe Library, Franklin The Centre, 12 Massey Av, Pukekohe
4. Franklin Historical Society, Pioneer Cottage, cnr East St & Stadium Dr, Pukekohe
5. Franklin Historical Collection & Archives, – Pukekohe Library, 12 Massey Av, Pukekohe
6. Pukekohe East Church, Runciman Road, Pukekohe East
7. Tuakau & Districts Museum Society, 10 Liverpool St, Tuakau
8. Mercer Art & History Museum, 7 Roose Av, Mercer
9. Rangiriri Heritage Centre, 12 Rangiriri Rd, Rangiriri (check before visiting)
10. Papakura & Districts Museum, Accent Point Building, 209 Great South Rd, Papakura
11. NZSG Papakura Branch, 80 Opaheke Rd, Papakura
12. Karaka Museum, Blackbridge Rd (next to the Karaka War Memorial Hall, Kingseat Rd)
13. McNicol Homestead, McNicol Rd (Wairoa Bridge end), Clevedon
Other organizations who have resources covering Franklin – information will be available at Info Site
By the time the immigration ships like the Ganges started to arrive, (it sailed into Auckland on the 14th February 1865 with over 400 passengers), Alexandra Redoubt and Cameron Town had been built. The land wars
were over, during which some big military boats had been used on the river (including one that had boiling water circulating the hand rail around the deck so it couldn’t be boarded from the river).
It’s hard to think about transport before motor vehicles, but the use of a horse if you owned
one or had feed to feed it, could be ridden, pull a sledge or wagon and in Tuakau’s case the
Waikato River was flowing right past. The town plans were drawn up to be by the river with
the added security of Alexandra Redoubt handy. Interesting to think about the early settlers and boats, nobody brought one with them and you couldn’t buy an aluminium boat and outboard at the store – did the Maoris manufacture and sell dug out canoes to the settlers?
The main trunk line was first planned to come to Tuakau landing and follow the river south;
by the time the train came through Tuakau, closer to Harrisville to Mercer in 1875 (10 years
after the Ganges arrived). With goods coming in boats over the bar to the wharf at Port
Waikato and no road to Tuakau – stopped by the swamps around Te Kohanga, as was the
train stopped at Mercer where you had to get a boat to Ngaruawahia because of the Wangamarino swamps. At this time several commercial boats were working on the river between Port Waikato and Hamilton with
landings at the likes of Tuakau, Mercer and Huntly.
With the coming of the railway in those days gave great access to the Auckland markets for produce, Percy Lapwood, a very early Tuakau carrier, wrote of pigs that had been brought by river from Aka Aka and Otaua to the Tuakau landing then transported to the Tuakau railway to go to Auckland and the same with flax and
tins of whitebait and it was not uncommon to pass a horse and sledge or even someone pushing a wheelbarrow between the river and the railway.