Title: The Wreck of the Hydrabad

Author: Ian Church

Publication details: Dunmore Press, 1978, Palmerston North

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Ian Church

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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The Wreck of the Hydrabad


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On Saturday, 24 June 1978, a crowd of several hundred people gathered at Waitarere Beach to mark the passing of one hundred years since the stranding of the Hydrabad. The event, and the preceding publicity, were organised by the Hydrabad Centennial Committee chaired by Mr M. W. Langevad and comprising Mrs P. Hyde, secretary-treasurer, a great-granddaughter of Captain Holmwood, Mesdames G. Spicer and M. Smillie, Messrs L. Bennett, R. Bowater, A. Russell and Captain P.J. Leahy.

A plaque briefly describing the stranding was unveiled by the Deputy-Chairman of the Historic Places Trust, Mr K. Rowe, who said that the Hydrabad is only the third ship to be so honoured, the other being the Brampton, wrecked in the Bay of Islands in 1823, and H.M.S. Orpheus, destroyed on the Manukau bar in 1863.

Before the unveiling, Captain Leahy gave an account of the history of the Hydrabad, the circumstances of her going ashore and something of the subsequent salvage efforts. Mr J. Holmwood spoke of the ship on behalf of Captain Holmwood's descendants, nearly forty of whom were present. What the stranding had meant to the early settlers of Foxton was explained by the Mayor of Foxton, Mr D. P. Hunt, while the Deputy-Mayor of Levin, Mr J. E. page 112
(Courtesy "The Chronicle", levin).

(Courtesy "The Chronicle", levin).

Boldenson, referred to the event as virtually the first wreck on State Highway One, as the beach was the main highway in 1878. Mr J. S. Blenkhorne, Chairman of the Horowhenua County Council struck a responsive chord with many older people present by recalling childhood memories of visits to 'The Wreck', which were always the highlight of holidays spent at Hokio Beach.

After the ceremony an exhibition of Hydrabad relics and photographs, organised by Mr R. Bowater, was opened to the public, and many personal friends of the old ship paid her a visit as she lay basking in the sunlight and publicity.