Friday, 5 October 2018

Recollections of Wynnton Poole in 1997

Holy Trinity (Anglican) Church, Devonport Road, Tauranga, built 1875
Photograph taken c.1902 by unidentified photographer
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library Ref. 04-443
Wynnton Poole came to Tauranga when he was four months old in 1908. His family were considered pioneers of the district and Pooles Rd in Greerton was named after them. Mr Poole senior was a dentist and had ‘rooms’ on the Strand. In 1997 Wynnton, then approaching his 90th birthday, claimed to be the last person alive who remembered Rev. Chas Jordan who died in 1912. He’d been the first  Anglican vicar in Tauranga and was also Mayor twice. Another interesting connection is that in 1911 Wynnton’s future father-in-law Mr Lysaght had the first car registered in Tauranga, with the licence plate TA 1.

Looking west up Spring Street, Tauranga from the Triangle, c. 1900
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library Ref. 99-1310
Tauranga had about 1800 residents around that time and the present Mid-City Mall was actually a small inlet where dinghies were stored. There was a spring under our State Insurance building; the whole lower Spring Street was swampy. A trough provided water for the horses to drink.The above photo (taken circa 1900) shows the Star Hotel on the left, the town pump visible at centre, on the left side of the road. St Peter's Church is at the end of the street, and Springwell Brewery buildings (demolished in 1912) are on the corner of Willow St (west side).

Interior of Holy Trinity chursch, c.1920s
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library Ref.04-446
Poole was a farmer until 1959 when he and his wife took over the care of Holy Trinity Church in Devonport Road. In those days it was common to have 150 people attend the morning service and 200 or so in the evening. He also served in the Waipoua district, near Gisborne. Retirement finally came when he was 80 and needed to care for his ill wife.  A past president of the Tauranga Historical Society, from 1977-78 and 1982-88, he was quoted as having said, ‘We look at the past and examine it so we can see where to go in the future.’.

This information has been gleaned from a 1997 Bay of Plenty Times article. Wynnton was interviewed because Cedar Manor Rest Home, where he was resident, had contributed a sum of money towards technology to facilitate the digitising of paper records in the Tauranga Library.

1 comment:

  1. Great to know where the name of Pooles Rd in Greerton originates, thanks Julie :)