History of Ohaupo Bohemians
Martin Krippner was born in Mantau Bohemia in 1819. He became a Captain in the Army and then married Emily Longdill. Sir George Grey of New Zealand was a close friend of Martin Krippner and encouraged him to bring out some of his fellow countrymen to New Zealand. Young men and women came and landed in Puhoi, NZ on the 29th June 1863.
In 1863 the waikato war flared up. In 1864 to help guard the confiscated lands of the Maori, Bohemians and other nationalities were recruited in the Third Waikato Regiment with the promise of land grants for their services. Some bought their families from Puhoi to live in crude tea-tree Whares (house). They lived in this manner until the late sixties when slab huts replaced the earlier primitive houses. In 1865 the area around Ohaupo was surveyed and some of the so-called German Company men were each allotted a fifty-acre section and also a town section.
Michael (brother to Martin) and Barbara Krippner built their first home in New Zealand in Ohaupo (on a 50 acre crown grant, opposite ‘Great Burkes St, off Great South Road). For many years before the first Catholic Church was built in 1876; Holy Mass was offered in their home by visiting Priests. The sitting room proved too small and the worshippers soon spread themselves throughout the house.
It should be noted that the first Church of Ohaupo, St Finbarr was built of local sawn timber, sawn at Karls’ “Cherry Grove” farm by the Karl brothers. The 40′ x 20′ Church was built on the land where the Catholic Cemetery is now situated. On July 2nd 1876, the original Church was opened.
Micheal was the proud possessor of the first cow in Ohaupo. Evidently he was fond of the homeland Chestnuts, for he planted several trees on his road boundary.
He sold in 1876 to his daughter and son in law, Anna and James T. Edwards.
Michael’s final move was in 1879 when he brought two hundred acres in Te Rore, he planted more Chestnut trees around that boundary too.
The first School in Ohaupo was opened on the 15th August 1869. Out of the role of 14 children, six of them were Bohemian settlers’ children.
There names were Andrew Karl, Patrick Karl, Vincent Karl
Emily Krippner, John Krippner, Rudolf Krippner
Hans Krippner, brother to Martin, married Elizabeth Turnwald in Orewa in 1861 – the first Bohemians to have a New Zealand wedding. (Elizabeth emigrated with Captain Krippner on the ‘Lord Burleigh” in 1861).
Hans, being a Sergent was allotted eighty acres, He was a blacksmith by trade and had a shop in Ohaupo.
Joseph and Anna (neeTurnwald) Karl were allotted a soldiers grant of fifty acres and acquired a further two hundred and eighty acres. In Bohemia he was a professional soldier, on coming to Ohaupo he created a Cherry Grove and continued his interest in Bee Keeping.
Anton Turnwald, (brother of Elizabeth, Anna and Catherine) married Barbara Beden. He obtained a land grant of fifty acres where he opened a Butcher shop in Ohaupo, which was the family business back in Bohemia.
Henry Gleye married Catherine (nee Turnwald), he was a carpenter by trade and built many of the first homes around Ohaupo.