Gane Bach

Interview with Abel Gane

When did you first come to Omokoroa?

Abel Gane:  

I was born in Omokoroa.  Ours was the old homestead on the hill behind the fire station.

Why Omokoroa?

Cooneyof Cooney Lees & Morgan suggested to our family that it would be a good idea to buy a section in the newly opened up Harbour View Road.  Both Ronnie and I bought sections (19 & 21), the best available at the time.

Where did you first live?

I worked for Mr Cooney on his farm and lived on that farm.


Abel Gane’s Bach at 10 Harbour View Road- 1956 Photograph  Above:- Abel Gane’s Bach at 10 Harbour View Road- 1956 Photograph


When did you build?

I built up the top of the section so that later I would be able to build for old age on the flat part below, with a drive-in garage.  The council had dropped pine trees along the area leading to the Beach Store then did nothing with them so, I took those plus some from the home farm, using Don Windwood's cream truck, to Gammans sawmill to be sawn into planks... then built with that.  Ronnie built a little later.

Harry drove for Don Windwood for some years.  Ronnie worked at the homestead farm.

I went back to the farm after a brother died then to Auckland for 40 years. (Worked for Reid Rubber until 11 years back.)  Retired to Omokoroa and now living at 17 Margaret Place.

How did you access Omokoroa?

Omokoroa Beach Road to the wharf was a metal road, then Harbour View Road was developed off that. To get to Tauranga we used Old Highway to the TePuna Bridge.

What facilities existed for the community?

•        I remember playing cards regularly at the CWI rooms.

•        School was in the Settlers' Hall - very convenient for us!

•        Omokoroa,Pahoia and Whakamarama schools went each year to Pilot Bay at the Mount

          for a picnic. We travelled on Gerry Williams' large boat. There were donkeys on the

          beach to have rides on.

•        Our family used to go down to the beach on Sundays to gather pipis, etc.  I remember

          my father always used to say that town folk had a better life cos' they could picnic all


•        I remember the old Cooney farmhouse at the top of Margaret Place.  LesGoldstone's

          cows used to be brought to Cooney's farm. I still help with hay bailing.

•        I watched yachting and speed boat races.

•        Friday was town day.

Who else lived here? And where?

Because I didn't live in Omokoroa and have spent most of my working life in Auckland, I didn't know a lot of the bach owners.  I only did the upkeep round it.  My bach was let over the summers and for a couple of years John Layzell,schoolteacher, lived in it.

Submitted by: Chris Wright, Omokoroa History Group

Published in Omokoroa Omelette February 2013