The first Albertlanders arrived in Port Albert and Wharehine, including three of the Rev E S Brookes Senior’s sons; Edwin Stanley (Jnr), George Hovey, and Charles Henry (Loll). Sunday services were held at various settlers’ homes.
E S Brookes senior and the rest of his family arrived in Takapau Creek from Auckland on the schooner ‘Sylph’. Among his belongings were the framework and stained glass windows for a chapel which had come all the way from England.
George Wilcockson was contracted to build the Chapel with pitsawn timber donated by local settlers.
29th December 1867
Minniesdale Chapel officially opened for Divine Service. There followed three days of celebrations, tea drinking, cricket, meetings, speeches and singing.
9th March 1868
The first wedding – Bessie Jerome married to Henry Marsh by The Rev William Gittos
5th September 1868
Charles Henry Brookes drowned in the Oruawharo River and was the first person buried in Minniesdale Cemetery
1st November 1868 and first Sunday of the New Year 1869
Sixteen people of the settlement baptised at Shelly Beach, Takapau Creek, below the Chapel.
20th November 1868
Minniesdale Chapel was registered and Rev Brookes appointed Minister
Doors added to the open Gothic porch
Harmonium arrived. This instrument with all expenses eg tune books was purchased by subscriptions from Rev Brookes’ Nottingham friends.
Fence of puriri posts and best galvanized wire replaced worn out boundary fence. Mr Wilcockson also built two gates.
Exterior of Chapel painted and windows inside painted.
Chapel passed over to the Baptist Union because of Rev Brookes’ ill health.
A new organ purchased for the Chapel
Spouting and fence repaired
Due to lack of membership the church ceased to function as a separate denomination and was given to the district by the Baptist Union for the use of all denominations.
Tea and concert held to raise money for repairs. Gatepost, fencing, two sashes, timber, nails lock etc & 6 days labour were paid for.
Roof shingles replaced with corrugated iron
A ‘Repair Fund’ established with local subscriptions.
Gittos Memorial Church opened for local Methodists who had been using Minniesdale after their hall burned down.
80th Anniversary Reunion
Porch & doors repaired. Exterior painted and interior timbers oiled. Spouting renewed.
Repairs and Maintenance account opened with a large anonymous donation and major repairs and strengthening work done on foundations.
Centennial of Albertland celebrations.
Rotten floor joists replaced, building fumigated, interior timbers treated with Coopers Restoration System. Exterior painted. Belfry repaired. Ashes berm created and outdoor seating built.
Framed prints of Rev. E.S. Brookes & Mrs Brookes hung on chapel wall. Plinths for ashes berm.
Filming in an around the chapel for the movie 'The Patriarch'.
May - Picket fence extended to right hand fence line. Website created. Jul - Squabs made for the pews. Dec - Huge working bee with help from the community, trustees and the Lions Club of Wellsford ready for the 150th Anniversary Service at the end of the month.
Jan - The Lions Club of Wellsford have officially taken over the upkeep of the cemetery.