Waihou memorial church

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The historic wooden church nestling amongst mature trees on Second Avenue in Waihou was originally opened as St Mark’s Anglican Church in Te Aroha in 1886. When a new church was built in Te Aroha in 1926, the old church was moved to Waihou. There it was reopened on 10 December 1926 as an undenominational war memorial church.

Governor-General Sir Charles Fergusson performed the opening ceremony. Lady Fergusson presented the church with a cross for the altar. The bell that tolled at the opening service was made of gun-metal and had been donated to the church by Mr E.A. Ross, whose son Hugh Leslie Ross had been killed in France.

Two marble memorial tablets flank the apse. One was installed in 1930 in memory of the men from the district who lost their lives in the Great War: Lieutenant W.R. McCormick, A.H. Aitken, C.H. Cribb, J. Farrow, A.C.W. Johnson, C.D. Neve, J. O’Grady, T.A. Parr, A.W.C. Poole, H.L. Ross, J. Ryan, W. Timmins, L. Thackster, A.W. Taylor and W.D. Voysey. The other was installed in 1952 in memory of those who lost their lives in the Second World War: J.H.R. Cunningham, D. Clearwater, J.A. Johnson, A.S. Lennard, G.McF. Stewart, R.F. Stone, R.J. Stone, R.L. Voysey, M.A. Williams and D.C. Waddell.

The stained glass window in the rear wall of the nave was installed in memory of Waihou district servicemen in 1954. The church is sometimes referred to as the Waihou Pioneer Memorial Church.

Sources: ‘New Church at Waihou’, Auckland Star, 16/12/1926, p. 18; Pioneer Memorial Church, Waihou [undated brochure available from the church]; Waihou Undenominational Memorial Church, Heritage New Zealand, 2014.

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