John is a senior reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Photograph mystery solved

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Elms receptionist Audrey King has succeeded in tapping into the long memories of Bay residents to identify the location of a donated photo.
Elms receptionist Audrey King has succeeded in tapping into the long memories of Bay residents to identify the location of a donated photo.

Te Puke has been identified as the most likely location of a mystery photo donated to The Elms featuring a house and tennis courts.

Dawn McNaughton said her mother Elaine had pinpointed the photo to the area now occupied by the Te Puke Holiday Park on the main road leading into the town.

Read more: Help wanted to identify mystery snap bequeathed to The Elms

Her mother, the widow of Norm McNaughton, spotted the similarity based on information passed on by her late husband.

She said the grass courts had been used by the public and sat next to a house owned by another long-established Te Puke family, the Montgomerys.

Miss McNaughton said her mother could not guarantee the information was correct.

However the house was nearly identical to other houses built in Te Puke, except the one in the photo was on flat land.

She suspected that the house and courts were there earlier than the 1920s.

The photo was donated by former Elms guide Myra Millar only four weeks before her death at the age of 76 earlier this month.

It sat above the fireplace of Miss Millar's grandparents' home in Tauranga, but she had never asked them where the photo was taken.

The photo suggested a link between the Tauranga side of Miss Millar's family and the Montgomery family.

Mrs McNaughton's identification backed up information passed on to Elms receptionist Audrey King by the New Zealand Society of Genealogists who suggested the photo had been taken in Te Puke.

Mrs King said she was delighted to hear from the McNaughtons because the photo could have been taken anywhere on flat land.

"We had an idea it might have been Cliff Rd because it looked like that area."

She said it was amazing how many people had called trying to help, including a man from Christchurch doing his family tree.

The Cliff Rd tip came from a former Tauranga historian.

A small plaque with the history will be attached to the photo.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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