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St Abraham's memorials


The foundation stone of St Abraham's Anglican Church at Waipiro Bay was laid on 11 April 1924 and the church was opened on 10 March 1925. The picturesque and much-photographed church is listed as St Abraham's Memorial Church by Heritage New Zealand, but neither the inscription on the foundation stone ("To the glory of God. / This stone was laid by the / Right Rev. William Walmsley DD / Bishop of Waiapu / April 11th 1924. / Pine Tamahori. Mission Priest. /John Picott. Vicar.") nor accounts of the unveiling and opening ceremonies confirm that it was built as such.

Nonetheless, two war memorial tablets are displayed inside. The Second World War roll of honour was unveiled on Anzac Day 1950. The inscription reads: "To the glory of God / and in sacred memory of / Heathcote H. Beale, D.F.C. & bar.  [-] Te Wera P. Parata / Harry G. Boyce [-]  Tau Rewharewha / William Fox [-] Pene M. Tawiri / Miki Haenga [-] Onslow W. Thompson, D.F.M. / Kenneth F. Heald [-] Forrest H. Thompson, D.F.M./ Moananui A. K. Ngarimu, V.C. [-] Peehi Ward / Hoera H. Paputene  [-] Arnold K. B. Williams / Ihaka Wawatai / who died gloriously in World War 1939-1945 / that we may live in peace and with God".

The other, plainer memorial tablet appears to list the names of men from the parish who also served in the First World War and Second World War (24 and nine names respectively).

The Waipiro Bay community has one other roll of honour: the Waipiro Bay School roll of honour (not pictured here), which was unveiled during the school's jubilee celebrations on 26 March 1960, and which lists a total of 48 names. The school was closed in 2013 but the buildings have been inherited by Iritekura Marae.

See: 'Waipiro'Waiapu Church Gazette, 1 March 1920, p. 265; 'Waipiro Bay'Poverty Bay Herald, 10/4/1924, p. 10; 'Parish Notes'Waiapu Church Gazette, 1/5/1924, p. 395; 'Waipiro Bay'Poverty Bay Herald, 12/3/1925, p. 8; 'Waipiro Bay', Waiapu Church Gazette, vol. 10, no. 1, April 1925, p. 324; 'Waipiro Bay'Waiapu Church Gazette, vol. 11, no. 1, May 1925, p. 336; 'Waipiro Bay Newsletter'Gisborne Herald, 4/5/1950, p. 6; 'Waipiro Bay School Jubilee'Gisborne Photo News, no. 70, April 1960, p. 63; Waipiro Bay School Centennial Pictorial Booklet: Piki Haere, 1992, p. 36.


Bruce Ringer, 2021

How to cite this page

St Abraham's memorials, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated