While trawling for information about our church this week I came across a lovely story, written by a man who was born in nearby Rawene hospital in 1916 and lived in Waimamaku. From him I learned that in Maori, Wai means water (I knew that bit) and Mumaku means Big Black Fern. His story is here.
The modest little plaque on the front of this church tells us who laid the stone but nothing more about the church. Thanks to the powers of the internet I’ve discovered that Alfred Walter Averill was the Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand in 1931 so it appears either he was a modest man who was known to one and all by his Christian names (the reference I found said he was “beloved of the people”) or someone got a bit over familiar. If there was another Archbishop at the time I could find no reference to him.
So it appears this is an Anglican Church. One thing Chris and I noticed on our old church hunt was that every Catholic Church we found was unlocked (except one I think) and most of the others were locked tight.
Trees from the neighbouring property where barking dogs were announcing our arrival (the hounds of heaven maybe?) almost hid the church from our view and the fence had seen better days. It’s miles from anywhere, up a dirt side road from State Highway 12. We’d left the road north west at the Waiotemarama turnoff to visit The Labryinth, a little rural enterprise that Chris has visited before and on our way, up the road a few miles, we came across this little gem. (Usually in rural NZ you can tell the distance from the nearest main road by the number at the gate, but not in this case. The 927 must stand for something else.)
The little bell tower stood above the main door which was to the left hand side of the building. But the door itself was held firmly shut by an upturned broom which was nailed to the door. The church was well cared for it’s obviously not often used judging by that broom.
Further up the road we came to where we had originally been headed. The proud lady proprietor of the little front building informed us this was only the third puzzle museum in the world. There were hundreds of puzzles, of every description, housed is beautiful highly polished glass paned wooden cabinets but unfortunately the glare of all that glass and polish lead to lousy photos.