Rabbits The first rabbit I saw was where Mr. J. McKinney’s house now stands. Tim Conroy and I chased it all  over the Pakington block on horseback until we caught it. Rabbits were plentiful in the Karaka at this time so they probably came in that way. I shot eight cock pheasants on our farm on May 1st one year and the several ducks on ponds down the run after lunch. Wekas were plentiful then but we never shot them.They seemed to disappear when we started poisoning for rabbits.


SPORT There was no organised sport except a dance or two a year and the annual school picnic.  The picnic was held in our bush and we still call that field the “Picnic Field”.  People came from far and near; they came in buggies, gigs, sulkies, on horseback and on foot.  It was always held during the school holidays so that children from other districts could attend.  Children’s races were the main event, but there were always a 100 yards, a mile and ladies’ races, married and single.  Katie Conway (later Mrs…. Read More

The Roads

ROADS The Glenbrook roads were in the main only tracks when we came here.  The road from Waiuku was metalled as far as the Waitangi bridge.  My father, who was elected to the Road Board shortly after arriving here, got busy and got the main road metalled as far as the hall.  This was all done by hand-napped metal.  Heaps of spawls were placed along the road and men napped the metal at so much a yard.  The late Eddie Dromgool was reckoned the best napper around here.  Most of the local… Read More

The Hall

THE HALL The hall was built in 1896.  Just a plain building with no extra rooms.  The supper room was later added, then later still the two front rooms.  The card room is quite recent.  The Hall was built for £90 cash and voluntary labour supervised by the late J.D. Chalmers.  Lighting was first by kerosene lamps, then by a pressure benzine outfit which blew up – the kerosene lamps coming back until the advent of electricity.  The night the benzine tank blew up was good.  A young chump went to the… Read More

How We Got Our Name

HOW WE GOT OUR NAME As I pointed out earlier, Glenbrook was a series of names when I came here.  Letters would come addressed to all of these.  The P.O. people suggested getting one name for the district but condemned Ruahohua as it was too similar to Ruakura near Hamilton.  A public meeting was called, but no finality was reached.  Some wanted Packington, others Brookside, some Waiuku East, and so on.  One very irritable Irish gentleman said “It was Packington when I came here and it will be Packington when I am… Read More


The Tramway Road was a two-chain wide road running from the Manukau Harbour to the Waikato River.  A town was surveyed near the beach and sections sold, but the Main Trunk Railway ended the scheme to build a tramway between river and harbour.  The Government, about 1916, sent a survey gang to re-survey the area and to group the sections together again.  This was a big job as there were so many absent owners who could not be found and in the re-grouping roads had to be surveyed into all these sections…. Read More


RAILWAY The turning of the first sod for the building of the Waiuku Railway was held at Fernleigh just opposite the present Waiuku Butter Factory.  This was a great day for Glenbrook as the official party including the late W.F. Massey, Prime Minister at that time, acceded to a request to tour through Glenbrook.  We had a large banner “Welcome to Glenbrook” hung across the road at the top of the red hill.  Nikau palms were planted at roadside and we had quite a do.  Large workers’ camps were established at Glenbrook… Read More

The Wharf

Retold in 1957 by C.J.T. Hodgkinson commemorating the 80th Anniversary of Glenbrook (Brookside) School. Since he knew it (1900) When I arrived here the wharf was at the Point on what is now Mr. Keyte’s farm, but was useless except for passengers, the approach being too steep.  We used to stand on the wharf and wave.  If the tide was right the old Weka came in, if not she sent in a row boat.  The same procedure if you were getting off.  The old Weka was a dirty old steam boat but… Read More

Glenbrook since 1900 by C.J.T. Hodgkinson

Glenbrook Retold in 1957 by C.J.T. Hodgkinson commemorating the 80th Anniversary of Glenbrook (Brookside) School. Since he knew it (1900) When I arrived here nearly 50 years ago this district was not called Glenbrook. Every part and organization had a different name. The Maori name was just impossible to either spell or pronounce. The hall was called Pakington as also was the number of large sections surveyed near the Manukau Creek at the start of the Tramway Road. The creamery was called Waiuku East, the Post Office Rua Kohua , The school… Read More