Paul Spender was chief engineer in the Kauri saw mill at Rawene. During the first world war he lost his job, because he was a German.
Paul then built the garage and engineering workshop out over the Hokianga Harbour, as was the classic way in those days Many other shops on stilts are still found around the shore-line.
Next door he built a generator to supply 100V DC power to Rawene.
About 1931, the workshop burnt down. Paul borrowed a garden hose, but it was burnt in the fire. The owner used to complain for years afterwards that Paul never returned her hose.
He rebuilt the garage we see here, but smaller than the original.
A similar garage at Kohukohu has nearly rotted away.
The building closer than the garage in the anaglyph was the shipping office. Roads in Northland were so poor, it was easier to bring goods from Onehunga, (Auckland) by sea, despite the formidable entrance from the rough Tasman Sea to the Hokianga harbour. Kauri was shipped back to Onehunga. The wharf (from where this anaglyph was taken) had a T shape and was bigger in those days, with a railway line running along it.
Derek Spender, Paul's grand son, tells me his grand-mother used to drive the bus from Kaikohe to Rawene. She carried a slasher to cut manuka scrub so branches could be placed across muddy bits of the road to give the bus traction. She died on 90 mile beach while taking part in a car race. Some drunks watching the race decided to join in and suddenly drove their vehicle out in front of her speeding car...
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