Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Ohariu Valley Oral History : Roy Kellahan

Recorded on Wednesday 26th January 2011 at the former residence of Roy Kellahan, Ohariu Valley. Interviewer: Gábor Tóth.

Recordings

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Part 1 Summary (9'52")

Time marker: Summary:
00'00" Roy Kellahan recounts childhood memories of Johnsonville and his early love of horses. In 1963 he acquires a 100 acre block in Ohariu Valley and establishes a riding school and commences farming.
04'25" Explains how useful the Old Coach Road (linking Johnsonville with the valley) was for horse trekking and the efforts undertaken to prevent the road from being closed.
08'30" The farm expands with the purchase of a neighbouring 300 acre block. Gorse control has remained a constant issue

Part 2 Summary (18'12")

Time marker: Summary:
00'00" Explains how the concept of establishing the Country Club came into being. Capital is raised and construction begins. The Country Club opens in 1973 and is one of the first clubs in New Zealand to allow women to become members in their own right.
2'18" It was initially impossible to get a liquor license for the County Club and so innovative means were used to get around this. A seven-year battle begins to get a full license eventually leading to the passing of special legislation in 1981 which finally allows the club to sell alcohol to its members.
5'38" Many families attended during weekends while corporate groups and businesses tended to use the club during the working week.
6'00" The Fire Department insists that since a liquor license was issued, the fire rating of the internal walls need to be upgraded. Unable to absorb these costs, the directors decide to sell the club.
9'53" At its peak, close to 500 memberships were issued with close to 900 people having access rights to the facilities.
11'10" Amusing recollections of a police raid to confiscate alcohol during the club's early years.
17'00" A description of the facilities which were available to members

Part 3 Summary (11'50")

Time marker: Summary:
00'00" An indoor riding school was established to help make the riding academy less dependent on the weather. The initial stock of horses were built up with more being bought in from Gisborne. The saddlery shop supplies the local horse riding fraternity
5'01" Initial concerns that the riding academy was too far from Wellington to be attractive to potential customers prove to be unfounded. Different streams of income help support each other. Horse grazing and sheep farming compliment each other well
7'45" Explains how land ownership patterns and attitudes have changed in the valley over the past 50 years. Many smaller dairy farms have been subdivided into life-style blocks. The advantages of being so close to Wellington City.

Heritage Links (Local History)