Topic: Milmoe Street (TDN 16/01/2016)

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Milmoe Street 

Milmoe Street in Hawera is named for Lawrence ('Larry') Milmoe (1824?-1901)

Milmoe (or Millmore) was born in Sligo, Ireland, and two of his brothers, Daniel & Patrick, became multi-millionaires with mining and banking interests in Mexico and the US. It is thought Lawrence came to New Zealand in 1864 and he may have been attached to a survey team for a short while. He served with the Taranaki Military Settlers from 1865 to 1869 and then joined the Armed Constabulary.

Lawrence Milmoe was one of the survivors of the Ngati Ruanui attack on Turuturu Mokai in 1868. He and six others were recommended for the New Zealand Cross for their actions but none received the award. In 1872 he was allocated land in the Patea District (Hawera) for his military settler's service.

By the 1880s Milmoe had a farm, Peach Grove, near Normanby where a picturesque waterfall on the Tawhiti Stream was named after him. He later retired to Hawera to become a much-respected property owner and developer. He was a dedicated supporter of the Catholic Church and its convent school but because of ill-health he moved to New Plymouth just before his death. Milmoe is buried in Hawera Cemetery (See Image below)

After Lawrence's death in 1901 he left £1625 to the Hawera Hospital Board for a nurses' home, extension to the wards, a new kitchen, surgical supplies and a memorial to himself. The memorial - a fountain - was selected by the Hawera Beautifying Society. It cost £130 and was of "pressed bronzed zinc which was fitted with concrete".

The additions were opened by the Premier, 'King Dick' Seddon in February 1904 when he visited the town to open the Hawera Industrial Exhibition.

Milmoe's fountain was moved to the hospital in Hunter Street in 1930. It was re-located to its present spot in front of the new health centre in 2002.

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