Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

09 February 2010

Open 7 Days 2. Broadwood Store

I wrote and illustrated ‘Open 7 Days’. It was published in 1991. It’s a series of freeze-frames of some historic New Zealand general and convenience stores as they were preserved in the last decade of the 20th century. Bit by bit, on this blog, I re-publish some of the entries from that book.

Main Road, Broadwood, Northland
Proprietors: John and Maureen Baine

The town’s original name, Mangonui-o-Wae, conflicted with Mangonui on the northern coast. So in 1894, six years after the district was first settled, the postal authorities renamed it after the first sawn-timber dwelling in the neighbourhood, the home of Arthur Glass: ‘Broadwood’.

In those days household supplies were bought in, by cart or dray, from Kohukohu on the Hokianga Harbour, durables having been ordered months in advance by mail from Auckland’s big-city trading companies like Farmers’.

Ces Wallace, with Jim Dodds as manager, opened the first store in 1909, then Dodds took over until 1918, when he sold to Percy Edwards, who in 1922 built the present Broadwood Store. It’s a large and handsome building, foursquare (in more ways than its affiliation), and can truly be described as a country general store, combining grocery, hardware and farm supplies with postal services and dissemination of neighbourhood information by way of a magnificent noticeboard.

John and Maureen Baine bought the store in 1974 because they felt their children would benefit from a country environment. The children are grown and gone now, but the Baines are so much part of Broadwood that there’s no reason for them to leave. Their attachment to the district shows up in such things as their involvement with the North Hokianga A and P Association, whose programme for the 77th Broadwood Annual Show lists John Baine as president and Maureen as assistant show secretary.


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By Don Donovan