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Learn Ako

Fun learning experiences for school visits, classroom sessions, heritage walks and for families at home.


Members of the Cambridge Historical Society receive regular newsletters featuring interesting articles on the history of Cambridge, local buildings, businesses and personalities. Here is a selection of these articles.

For more information about becoming a member, read here.

Charlie Smale and Florence Wright

Jan Kilham, a member of the Cambridge Historical Society, was inspired to share this touching story after reading about Dr Stapley in the Society’s newsletter of March 2022. I found the stories of the first…


Postcards from the War

  During World War One, Keith, Harry and Kenneth Armer sent postcards to their loved ones back home. Silk embroidered postcards were popular at the time. They wrote about their lives as soldiers and imagined…


The First Cars of Cambridge

The following is an abridged transcript of a talk given to the Cambridge Historical Society by Neville Souter, aged 70, in September 1969.  His grandfather, Captain William Burns Souter founded the firm of W Souter…


The Ballad of Robert Barlow

According to an entry in the Cambridge Police Charge Book, Robert Barlow, alias Tanete, was imprisoned at 4pm on 8 February 1871 “for stealing from a ‘whare’ at Maungatautari certain articles of clothing also a…


Rā Maumahara New Zealand Land Wars Commemorations

TE PŪTAKE O TE RIRI, HE RĀ MAUMAHARA   The flags lining Cambridge’s main streets mark a national day of remembrance – held on 28 October -when we to acknowledge the lives lost during the…


Letter to Kenny from “Nui”

We do not have the full name of the writer of this excerpt from a letter to Kenny Wilkinson dated 27 May 1958.  “Nui” is talking about the Karapiro stream which runs under the Karapiro…


Robert Boyce – Pharmacist

The Boyce family go back a long way in Cambridge.  Robert’s grandparents Charles and Sarah Boyce (pictured) arrived in Cambridge in 1874.  Charles worked as a cooper (barrel maker) for Hally’s Brewery, later setting up…


The Datsuns

Can you believe that this Cambridge band has now been around for over 20 years?  This year they released their seventh album, reminding us why this band has survived for so long. They’ve been described…


Mrs Murphy at Court

In our last issue, we introduced you to Mary Teresa Murphy.  Mrs Murphy owned properties and businesses in central Cambridge, and often appeared before the courts – as either defendant, plaintiff, or sometimes both.  She…


Mrs Murphy

Most of the Cambridge histories in Victorian times concern men – their business interests, leisure pursuits, transgressions and good works.  Victorian women, on the other hand, are difficult to research.  Their roles were largely seen…


Daniel Murphy’s letter to William Morse

This letter was written in Liverpool on 18 February 1918.  The grammar and spelling are authentic, but I have added paragraphs for easier reading.  An article on Daniel Murphy  and Bill (William) Morse follows this…


Te Ihingarangi – Part 4

1600 Ko Ngāti Raukawa Te Ihingarangi, grandson of Raukawa and Turongo, and son of Rereahu and Rangianewa, built a home above the Waikato River at Karapiro (now known as Te Tiki o Te Ihingarangi). He…


Te Ihingarangi – Chapter 3

Part 3 of a history of the Karapiro-Maungatautari area by Te Kaapo Clark and Lyn Tairi for the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand in 1992. 1500 Ko Ngati Kahupungapunga “During this period Ngāti Kahupungapunga had…


Te Miro – The Mill at Maungakawa

March 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of Te Miro School and District.  The Centennial celebrations planned in 2020 were delayed due to Covid-19.  Next month will see a rescheduled centenary event go ahead at last. …


Soldiers at Te Waikato Sanatorium

If you wander around Hautapu Cemetery in Cambridge, you’ll see headstones showing the names of soldiers buried far from home.  This article explains why these soldiers, who survived the war, moved to Cambridge to battle…


A Commune in 1970s Cambridge

The Cambridge Christian Community In December 1976, a commune called the Cambridge Christian Community started in Cambridge.  It was in French Pass Road and, after falling on hard times, it received gifts, donations and pledges…


Te Ihingarangi – Chapter 2

Part 2 of a history of the Karapiro-Maungatautari area by Te Kaapo Clark and Lyn Tairi 1992.   To read Chapter 1, please click here. 1400 Ko Ngati Kahupungapunga “Tawhao, a descendant of Hoturoa who lived…


Gardner and Sons

Gardner & Sons were general merchants and importers who set up shop in Cambridge in the early 1900s. Their store was on the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets, where the Z petrol station is…


Simply Elegant Brides

The observant among you may have noticed this sign temporarily appearing next to Stirling Sports in Victoria Street. Simply Elegant Brides was a business run by Elisse Mills. She originally opened the Sewing and Button…


Te Ihingarangi

Te Ihingarangi: a history of the Karapiro and Maungatautari area by Te Kaapo Clark and Lyn Tairi This timeline traces the whakapapa of the tangata whenua of Maungatautari. It is reproduced here with kind permission…


The 1915 Cambridge Fire Brigade Demonstration

At Easter 1915 the Cambridge Fire Brigade was proud to host a demonstration, where several events were contested for the honour of winning the Morrin Shield. The postcard/flyer was designed and sent out to fire…


Ivy Nicholl’s Family Memories in Cambridge during the 1890s

This article, written by Ivy Nicholls to the Cambridge Historical Society in 1964, is held in the Cambridge Museum collection, no. 1576/10.   Your letter re Cambridge Pioneers to hand. I do not know if…