As part of the Howick 175 events and celebrations, we have asked Howick/Pakuranga residents to share some of their memories. Today we hear from Adele White


My dad’s great, great-grandfather, and great grandfather, arrived in Howick, from Cork in Ireland, on October 11, 1847, after sailing for 90 days on the Sir Robert Sale.

I guess that makes me a true Howickian!

As a pensioner of the British army and marines, Fencible Matthew Finlay with his young son John was given a Crown Land Grant in Gibraltar Street in the Howick Village, for the purpose of building a cottage.

My aunt as Carnival Queen

In 1861, John married his wife Ann and went on to have 10 children, one of whom was my great grandfather Matthew. Matthew Finlay/Findlay married Isobel Gillard in 1897 and had four children including my grandfather Roderick George (Roy) Findlay.

Dad – Roderick Basil Findlay – and his sister were born to Roy and Myrtle Findlay, in the 1920s.

The family remained in Howick. I grew up living near Howick Beach, in close proximity to Shamrock Cottage – formerly the wet canteen – and later The Royal Hotel, and All Saints Anglican Church – Howick’s first building.

Whilst recently looking through some of my late father’s documents, I came across pages from the New Zealand Herald published on November 1, 1947, featuring the celebration of the town’s centenary. It speaks of 5000 people lining the streets to enjoy (in the language of the era) “a re-enactment in gay pageantry!”.


Photos show locals wearing the clothing of 100 years prior – including my dad in a long flowing skirt – and massive bonnet!

Over the following few years Howick held Queen Carnivals – which were apparently a fashionable way to raise money for local projects. Funds were raised for projects like improvements to the Howick Domain and the Howick Community Centre which was, at that time, located in Picton Street, and for extensions to the Howick Fire Station. My aunt – Joyce Kirkham was Howick Carnival Queen in 1949.

And here’s an interesting coincidence – my aunt worked for the Howick Town Board, located inside the front of the old Howick Town Hall.