Whakatane & District Historical Society Event

Report on Field Trip to Waimana and Taneatua

Above is the headstone of Emily Savage, wife of Charles and sister-in-law of Frederick Savage – first person buried in Waimana cemetery. They were some of the first settlers.

The initial burials were made in four family groups with relations of the initial settlers: Savage, Bell, Wardlaw and Robinson.  

Robert gave a brief account of the confiscation of land as a result of the deaths of Carl Volkner and James Fulloon and development of the Waimana Estate and its ballot for small farms.  Robert commented on some of the graves.  

A descendent of William Wardlaw came along and was able to share some family history.  His home was used during the Influenza epidemic as an emergency hospital.  

Only Frederick Savage’s brother-in-law, Arnold John Ridley, died among the pakeha population and is buried next to Emily.

The Bells came as storekeepers from Opotiki and the sister of a daughter-in-law was the first school teacher.

After an initial explanation of the Opouriao Estate and ballot for settlers a few graves of interest were pointed out at Taneatua.  Most of the early graves were children.