The following history was researched and written by the late Mrs. N Clark for the Te Pahū School 75th Jubilee in 1986. Thanks to the Clark family for their kind permission to reproduce this.
This office was opened in October 1867 (as Harapipi). The first postmaster until 1st October 1905 was Mr John Thompson. The office was spelt Harapepe from the 1st April 1897. From 27th August 1913 to the 10th October 1916 a telephone office (where members of the public could make calls for about 3d. to 6d. for each three-minute call, within 25 miles of the office), operated separately from the post office at this locality. From October 1916 both the postal and telephone work was done in the same office by the postmaster Mr George Peglar. The office closed briefly in 1926, and finally in June 1930.
Postmaster/ Postmistress of Harapepe
22nd May 1907
22nd July 1910
Miss Ethel McNaul
1st November 1910
Mrs Annie Smart
1st September 1913
19th February 1915
24th September 1920
1st November 1920
1st January 1922
Miss Thelma Pope
2nd January 1925
Miss Ellen Berry
2nd November 1925
15th December 1926
12th June 1926
15th November 1926
Miss Thelma Pope
1st December 1927
Miss Anne Grace
Office closed 1st June 1930.
Mary Wilcox at the Karamū Post Office, 1913.
This office was opened in the Karamū School on the 1st September· 1889, the first postmaster being Mr J. N. Marsden, who was a school teacher. He was paid three pounds ($6.00) per annum.
The postal side of this office closed in 1929 because of the Rural Delivery service, though it did function as a telephone office until 1944.
Mrs Lizzie Charleston who lived across the road from the Karamū Post Office seems to be the postmistress that older members of our local community remember. Mrs Charleston would go over to the Post Office twice a day and the Hamilton Exchange always knew when she would be there to take calls from Hamilton. Should a settler wish to use the telephone out of hours, she would go to the office and make the telephone available.
If the weather was bad and there was fear of the river flooding, she would walk up to the Karamū School and tell the teachers, so that the children could get home early before the rivers were too high.
Driving licences were issued from this office, and one resident can tell the story of a man coming from Ngaruawahia to issue his licence. They both got in the car, and as it was being driven along the licence was issued. How different from the procedures we go through today.
Postmaster/ Postmistress of Karamū
1889 J. W. Marsden 1st April 1901 Miss Alice Finlayson 23rd October 1906 R. J. Mendl 12th February 1907 Miss Alice Finlayson 1st October 1908 Miss Mary Steel 1st April 1911 Miss Charlotte Wilcox 28th April 1913 Miss Mary Wilcox 1st April 1918 Miss Muriel Pope 1st September 1919 Miss Mabel Kempthorne 1st October 1919 Mrs Lizzie Charleston 1st January 1920 Miss Rita Pope 4th February 1921 Miss Thelma Pope 15th September 1921 Alfred Welsh 25th December 1923 Richard Livingstone 10th July 1929 Mrs Lizzie Charleston 16th September 1944 Closed
The Te Pahū Post Office began operating in a room in Mrs Alker’s house.
This was situated across the road from the creamery. Later it was moved to its present site.
This office acquired a rural automatic exchange, with limited party lines in 1949 and became an automatic exchange in 1971. All three offices were non- permanent; that is, because of the small volume of work, the staff employed at them were not permanent employees, of the Post and Telegraph Department, as the Post Office was formally known until 1959. If work volumes did increase, recognition of this was shown in salary increases or decreases. These offices rarely worked more than 20 hours per week.
About 1925 hand operated petrol pumps, and a shop were operated. When Mrs Redfern was operating the Post Office, mail came from Pirongia in a seven-seater car. The Pirongia Butcher sent meat, and this was delivered with the mail. Bread was baked at Ōhaupō, and delivered to the shop for distribution.
Colin Shaw was Postmaster for the Te Pahū district from 1st October 1944 until the 6th June 1980, a total of 35 years. Colin and his wife, Dorothy, provided the district with a daily Rural Mail Delivery service, and managed the Te Pahū General Store which was open all hours.
Postmaster/ Postmistress of Te Pahū
1st February 1909 Henry Kirk 3rd May 1912 Charles Follett 1st February 1913 Joseph Alker 14th November 1916 Mrs Henrietta Sutherland 19th February 1923 Mrs Alice Whittaker 1st November 1938 Mrs Zoe Taylor 1st October 1941 Mrs Isabella Scurr 1st October 1944 Colin Shaw 1st July 1980 Mrs Beverly Sanders 1st June 1985 Mrs Noeline de Ryke
Mr Shaw’s Rural Delivery Van