BUILT IN 1860, HOUHORA
He Panui tenei ki te Subritzky Whanau: "Ki te whanau Subritzky me te whanau whanui hoki. Kua hangaia e matou he putea hei whakatika, whaka pai ranei to tatou papa kainga noreira ke karanga, inoi ranei ki te whanau - whanui mo he koha. Na to rourou, na toku rourou ka tu kaha ono to tatou papa kainga." - Mikaere Subritzky
To the many members of our large and extended family. The historic Subritzky/Wagener Homestead at Houhora in the Far North of New Zealand, is in urgent need of repair.
In the early 1960's when Wilf Wagener MBE purchased the Homestead, the old Homestead was pretty much derelict. Wilf single handedly spent many thousands of dollars authentically restoring the Homestead back to it's original grandeur...a little piece of Poland transported to the Far North of New Zealand. Since then, Wilf and his branch of the family have spent many thousands more keeping the Homestead in the pristine condition that we all love, and making it available to members of our family, and indeed the public.
Unfortunately, the Trust does not have sufficient funds to undertake the work needed to keep the building waterproof. Our family Homestead urgently needs re-roofing.
Wilf Wagener's determination to restore the Homestead authentically, using burnt shell and beach sand has actually made the problem worse than it would have been had the family simply plastered the walls with a commercial product. I have spoken with Keith Wagener who is currently undertaking the restoration and Keith has stated that "The authentic plaster is very susceptible to water damage and is now turning to powder and just falling off the walls."
Keith also believes that "Unless the Homestead gets immediate attention, the water damage anticipated during the coming winter is likely to be too significant to be addressed and the country and the Subritzky family (all of us), will lose an invaluable piece of our heritage."
Noel Subritzky has suggested that the wider family and whanau be asked to help raise sufficient funding to assist with the ongoing maintenance, and at the very least carry out repairs on the roof. The full replacement of the roof is a much more daunting task and probably in the region of $35,000.00 NZ in total.
When the roof was refurbished during the last restoration it was discovered to be a very complex operation because of the original construction used by our forebears Ludolph and Heinrich Subritzky all of those years ago.
The Family and the Subritzky/Wagener Homestead Restoration Appeal would appreciate any donations from Family, Whanau and Friends. Please feel free to make your cheques out to:
THE SUBRITZKY/WAGENER HOMESTEAD TRUST ACCOUNT
C/- The Wagener Museum,
Old Sophie Subritzky, who lived and died in that Homestead that we all love so much, has some 3,500 blood descendants living in New Zealand. Some of the more notable members of our family, and well known New Zealanders are:
Sir James Henare KBE, DSO (last Commanding Officer of the 28th Maori Battalion)
Sir Stephen Roberts CMG, MA LittD Melb. pp.(Chancellor Emeritus, University of Sydney)
Professor Richard Matthews, ONZ (Microbiologist)
Bill Subritzky QSM (Evangelist)
Alice Evans (Historian and Author)
Wilf Wagener MBE (Historian and museum director)
Dame Miriam Dell, ONZ, DBE (Champion of Women's issues)
Les Subritzky (New Zealand's First professional diver)
Maria Beniston (Author)
His Honour Judge Russell Johnson ED (High Court Judge)
Florence Keene QSM (Author of Northland history)
Graham Standring (US Racing Car Champion)
Bryce Subritzky (New Zealand Speedway Champion)
Tau Henare MP (Unionist and Member of Parliament)
Captain Basil Subritzky (Subritzky Shipping Line)
Mike Subritzky (Historian, author and poet)
Sophie Bird (celebrated child violinist)
Roy Wagener (Author)
George Henare OBE (Actor)
Captain Brett Subritzky (6th generation Master Mariner)
Michael Moore (Subritzky Shipping Line)
Justin Bird (celebrated child musician)
Des Subritzky (Long serving Deputy Mayor of Dargaville)
Sue Bradford MP (Activist for the poor and Member of Parliament)
Shadow Subritzky (Maori All Black)
These are just a few of the members of our extended family who have made their mark in pages of New Zealand's history and there are many others who I am sure that I have overlooked, but I hope that the point I am trying to make is that we all of us owe it to our Tipuna (ancestor) "Old Sophie" Subritzky and her family to keep our family Homestead preserved for our future generations.
I trust that you will consider supporting our Homestead Restoration Appeal with a donation. We need your financial assistance. Thank you.
Please feel free to onsend this Newsletter to all of our Family, Klan Polski, Whanau and Friends.
(Author - The Subritzky Legend)