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About my forebears

About my forebears

Roger Simpson was the speaker at the recent monthly meeting of the Whitianga Historical Society.

Every month on the fourth Thursday, in the Lost Springs dining area the Historical Society meets to enjoy coffee and a speaker. Some stay and order lunch after at Lost Springs very fine restaurant.

Roger is part of the Simpson family who have a long history in this area – since 1884.

Some facts abut Roger’s forbears taken from his notes spoken on that day.

Roger’s great grandfather Charles Woodward Hovell on his mother’s side

At the age of 6 or 7 he witnessed some of the so-called Maori wars and killing sin the area of Howick – Maraetai. At age 10 he stowed away on a sailing ship. He was was found after a few days at sea, so he became a part of the crew. They must have gone around Cape Horn and to New York and then on to England. Then up tot h Orkney islands and eventually back to New Zealand. He was away for nine months. When he returned home, he would have been 11 years old.

The family moved to Coromandel in 1872 when he was about 16 and his fathers a surgeon was in charge of Coromandel hospital great grandfather Charlie started prospecting and pegging out claims. I don’t think he found much gold… he as the involved in bush work and kauri logging. Charlie married mere Te Aorere. Her Mother was Pirihira Hauikaroa and father was Te Waaro Aperaniko. Their heritage is Ngati Porou from the east cape. The house he built I Coromandel is still there, about two and half kilometres south of Coromandel township, at about 2580 Tiki Road. It was called Tiki House.

Roger’s grandfather on his father’s side - was Charles Edward Tyrnier Simpson came from England as a young man. On the same ship was a young woman Jane Harris whom he later married, and they ended up in Kuaotunu.

Roger’s father’s childhood was at Kouatunu. When he was young he was playing at the beach by the rocks just below the start of Back Jack. he was throwing stones and had one in his hand that he was about to throw. Then he looked at it and saw that it was a perfect pouanumu hei tiki. One can only imagine how it came to be there and for how long. It was given to Auckland Museum and is now probably stored in a back room.

Readers are invited to join the Whitianga Historical Society.

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