Sat the 19th May and our ride would take us out to an area of the Kaipara known as "The Batley" peninsula. Riding many kilometres from out West, this ride was about exploring this area and its surrounds. For every ride it is about a destination - our first was here - "Naumai" approx one kilometre away from "Batley".and we visit the "Batley Church" which was moved here to replace a dilapidated old church that once stood there. This is a short recount on "Batley Church" -
The community were in desperate need of this new church, and it proved quite a task to get the church onto the barge, which then carried it about 40 kilometres down the Otamatea River and up the Northern Wairoa River . Many can remember the church arriving as it was towed onto the beach by the boatsheds, and the bulldozer was put hard to work as it drove deep into the water and winched the church up onto this floating barge. The barge anchored overnight at Tinopai; next mng a thick fog rolled-in along with a small swell and the bell began ringing. This must have been a sight for the locals to see little "Batley Church" floating in their bay!! The bell continued to ring throughout its journey to Ruawai Wharf where it was finally unloaded. From here they towed the church across a farm which gathered a large amount of dirt underneath it. A big bang ensued and the floorboards had parted. They then redistributed the tow on the other side and pulled it again. The few of the larger and biggest men - the Maori men gathered and jumped up and down on the floorboard breaks and they were demolished. Visiting the church at Naumai today the floorboards now sport a kauri tongue and groove interior. This church was once abandoned in one place and is now abandoned here also. A book in the small vestry reveals services are held here infrequently.
|The church as it is seen today - chiefs buried at the |
|Parking up - We prepare for the hand-cleansing custom|
The Kaipara was settled by Wesleyan mssionaries - Reverand William Gittos moved his mission here after the Albertlanders arrived. The church was built to remove a tapu. Ngapuhi killed Arama Karaka's father in a battle and ate his body under a pohutukawa here. Turbulent times and history rife.
Looking around and more history is revealed to us. We visit the surrounding graveyard. Many children are buried here in these plots.
The marble crosses that stand erect outside the front of the church belonging to chiefs. Only chiefs are buried in front of the church. Looking and reading inscriptions on neighbouring headstones, names of their children. Many children drowned on their horses whilst attemping river crossings. Looking around the tombstones you can see many scattered shells, toys, flowers, pot plants and ornaments, testament that the deceased are well-loved and well-remembered.
Another point of interest to note, 'People say
|Parked-Up and visiting the local marae.|
A short distance down the road and we take a stroll to visit the local marae.
For more pics on our explore of the Kaipara 19th May 2012