The Mayor View Volunteer Fire Brigade Athenree Station was built by residents who stepped for their community in 1975 to form the Athenree aux Fire Brigade.This was attached to the Waihi Beach Volunteer Fire Brigade.
The founding committee purchased the land from Mr. Green ( a Browne family member) and volunteers built the shed in 1984 from founding members plans. The kitchen and sitting area were added later as was the veranda to the side, and the office.
The first fire engine was a trailer hitched to a brigade member’s ute carrying the portable pump and hoses. The trailer was built around an axle from Heather and Terry Christini’s old Hillman car. (The car itself was no longer working and had been set alight for firefighting practice.)
All the firefighters had tow bars on their cars, and when the siren went off, the first to arrive at the garage would hitch up the trailer. Later the brigade got a water truck, and after that a Land Rover Fire Appliance.
The siren was on a pole near the camping ground and tested at 12 p.m. each Saturday. Someone had to get a box from the garage and climb onto it to activate it.
The foundation members of the Athenree aux Fire Brigade firefighters aboard the first Athenree “fire engine” in 1977, on a trailer hitched to a brigade members ute.
They were Doreen Garlick, Allan Boggis, Terry Garlick, Keith Birchall, Terry Christini, Heather Christini, Leonine Pickard and Stan Workman.
In 1977 a remit was submitted to the Fire Service Conference by the Athenree aux Fire Brigade for woman to be recognised for Service Honours.
Doreen Garlick, Heather Christini and later Leone Pickard became the countries first official woman fire fighters.
Uniforms were “scrounged” and the woman, like the men, had helmets, steel capped knee high gumboots, woollen trousers and big heavy hot coats.
The women made their own dress uniforms for formal occasions – long black shirts, white shirts and bow ties.
Keith Birchall put reflector tapes along the side of the engine so that it was more visible. This practice was later adopted nationally by the New Zealand Fire Service.
There is a plaque on an original wall inside the building which says In Memory of Keith Birchall Founder and first C.F.0. Athenree 5 July 1975 to 22nd May 2003.
Today the brigade has 28 members, seven being women.
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Athenree Homestead is a significant home and grounds on the Athenree Homestead Reserve: Local Purpose Reserve Historic Homestead at 360 Athenree Road. This QR site is a brief introduction to Read more...
This trail explores the people who shaped the community in the twentieth century, beginning at the initial settlement on Waione Road and finishing at the Doctor North Memorial Reserve.
Lack of roads meant that all good and travellers accessing the north end of Waihi Beach from the south had to cross the ford at Athenree and traverse the beach at low tide. This sited Athenree a place of significance for the district.
Athenree has always been a place of agricultural activities for both early Maori and settlers. Fishing was bountiful and the soil was good.
Today Athenree is a small residential settlement which is growing with increasing subdivisions.