LocalMatters       

Cementing an historic link

Posted at 9:37am Monday 11 Jan, 2021

The commemorative trowel, which has spent most of its life in a drawer, will now by on permanent display in the town hall. Pictured on the day it was handed over are Don Wilson and his wife Helen.
The commemorative trowel, which has spent most of its life in a drawer, will now by on permanent display in the town hall. Pictured on the day it was handed over are Don Wilson and his wife Helen.

A Warkworth artefact has returned to the town after an absence of nearly 100 years.

The commemorative trowel has been in the Wilson family since Nathaniel Wilson used it to lay the Coronation Stone at the Warkworth Town Hall on June 22, 1911.

Last month, his great grandson, Don Wilson, 93, of Auckland, handed it over to hall manager Alex Hayward. “It's quite amazing to see it returned,” Alex says.

The silver trowel, which has a mother-of-pearl handle, is on permanent loan and will be displayed in the hall foyer.

Nathaniel Wilson was born in Glasgow in 1836 and died in Warkworth in 1919.

He built one of the first kilns for burning limestone on the banks of the Mahurangi River and was the founder of the Wilson cement works, which eventually became Portland Cement.

He also built the historic Riverina Homestead.

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