Blog Archives

Donald Mackay
1/10/09 5:13 PM
A great website. I arrived on the website through researching old history and genealogy. However, that this school is called Whataroa when I was searching for Wataroa School is confusing and can only assume this is another place name the New Zealand Geographic Board has changed by having an ‘h’ added after the ‘W’.
If this is the same school with a changed place name spelling perhaps that could be noted in the schools history script along with a time frame and reason for change
May be of interest is an historic Wataroa article dated March 1, 1929; on website: /tei-Gov03_11Rail-t1-body-d8-d1.html – relating to cost of transport to Wataroa and written by J. Gunn, Std. V., Wataroa School, South Westland.

18/8/09 6:12 PM
It’s very interesting and the podcastings are really cool! Well done! Looking forward to read or listen to more interesting stories! Thanks.

2014/06/05 11:34 pm
Lest We Forget
Keith Maxwell Graham Keith Maxwell Graham was born in Hokitika in 1924, but spent most of his childhood in Franz Josef. His mother and father were Mauriley and Peter Graham. Peter was a mount Cook chief guide for many years before buying the Franz Joseph hotel in partnership with oldest son. After finishing intermediate Keith was sent to board at Christ’s college in Christchurch. He was into all sorts of sports including rugby, rowing, cricket and tennis, but his favourite hobby was mountaineering. At boarding school he sat a pre-examination test for the Royal New Zealand Air force. He was surprised when he heard that he was accepted and soon moved on to elementary training. He then moved on to more intense training. In December 1943, he went to Wigram to commence training as bombing pilot. October 44 soon after being promoted to the rank of flying officer, he was sent home with severe pneumonia. After six months of slow recovery he went back to Wigram to finish off bombing training. His instructors always very keen and reliable. In the second world war Keith was an air force pilot and served in the Pacific. 28th May 1945, he was stationed at Guada Canal. He was on dawn patrol with five other men, but he was the pilot. He was up towards the equator when he struck bad weather and couldn’t find his target. While returning to his base in the dark his plane skimmed a hill on Malaita island with a regrettable full load of bombs. Flying officer Keith Maxwell Graham, Flight sergeant Leo Marshall, Sergeant Eric George, Sergeant Melville Moxsom and Sergeant Douglas Reid were all killed in the explosion. For a young man, he had over one thousand flying hours, but even the best are not invincible. It was in later years their bodies were recovered and buried on the site. Because of war we’ve lost many lives that could’ve been saved by Keith because Keith’s life long dream was to be a doctor. He was only twenty and had his whole life to achieve that goal. If he put as much effort into being a doctor as he did in saving our country he would’ve been a great one. His young life was cut short by the tragedy of war. MAY HE REST IN PEACE