Kaye Dragicevich ~ Historian ~ Author
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I was born in Howick in 1954. My father Andy Bennie worked at Musick Point monitoring aircraft movements all over New Zealand, the Pacific and to McMurdo Sound. Our family moved to Mt Maunganui in 1960 where we lived at the aerodrome and my brothers and I attended Omanu School. Mums family were farmers in Kaitaia and the plan was to eventually return to the Far North. This was achieved in 1966 when Dad was promoted to the position of Kaitaia's Aerodrome Superintendent. Mum and Dad built a home at California Hill on my grandfathers 'run-off'. It was here that my brother Andrew and I were able to have our own horses for the first time in our lives.  All our free time was spent riding and how we enjoyed exploring the district.  Andrew went on to ride at top level, competing in the Los Angeles and Seoul Olympic's. He has lived in the UK for the last 36 years where he judges and trains riders all over the world. 

I married my teenage sweetheart Paul, and we have lived on his family farm almost all our married life. We have two grown up children and five grandchildren. I worked for the National Bank for 20 years, then in 2005 'retired', and drifted in to researching the history of our local area. In 2007 I was asked to write a fortnightly story for the Doubtless Bay Times. This led to over 70 stories being published.  Over the years I have built up a large data base of over 30,000 historical photographs and extensive library of Northland history books. 

My interest in history has become a passion and I have now self published eight books.

                        2021  Mangonui Rugby Union - The Glory Days 100th Jubilee 1921-2021
                        2020 "They Shall Grow not Old - WWI Soldiers of the Far North"    
                        2018 The Gumfields - Northern Wairoa to the Far North
                        2017  Pioneer Dalmatian Settlers of the Far North (2nd reprint)
                        2015  The Gumfield Collection  (SOLD OUT)
                        2013  A history of AWANUI  (SOLD OUT)
                        2011  AWANUI town of the Big River (out of print)
                        2009  The Matthews Family of Kaitaia

I am currently working on "Awanui Primary School 150 Years looking back"        for the schools reunion on 21 October 2023

Kaye's stories Published in the Doubtless Bay Times

1.Early fishing at Houhora
2.The Elingamite Tragedy
3.Awanui’s shipping heritage
4.Motor Racing on Ninety Mile Beach
5.Taming the Aupouri Dunes
6.Drainage Development
7.Joseph and Corotine Miller
8.The Walker family’s service to Awanui River
9.Charles Kingsford Smith Pioneer Aviator
10.Awanui Wireless Station
11.Johnstons Store – Kaitaia
12.Mangatete School
13.Te Paki Station – the Keene Years
14.Te Paki – from scrub to pasture
15.George Scheigis of Rangiputa
16.Dan Lewis of Kaitaia
17.Ken “Cassidy” Lewis
18.Samuel Yates, Gum King of the North
19.Norman Wizard Smith – the man who made history on our door-step
20.Ada Wiggins Bungalow Boarding House
21.August and Ethel Richter of Green Meddows
22.The Meenans of Rangiputa
23.Clem and Amy Matthews of Claremont
24.The Archibald Story
25.Alfred Long and the Long Timber Company
26.The Leyland O’Brien Timber Mill 1916-1923
27.Cowboy Movie in the Farthest North
28.Flax Mills of Kaingaroa
29.Early Rangiputa
30.Tom and Bessie Spanhake of Kaingaroa
31.The Read family of Croe
32.Family business spans 71 years
33.Kaitaia Municipal Brass Band 1945-2007
34.Cape Maria van Diemen one of the loneliest most inaccessible Light houses
35.Cape Reinga Light House
36.Dyers Motor Camp
37.Trail blazers of the Far North Tourist Industry
39.Pandora Radar Station
40.John Anton and Elizabeth Subritzky – Duke and Duchess of Awanui
41.Shirley Wilfred Masters of Wainui
42.The first motor trip in the Far North – 1906
43.Allen Garton of Oruru
44.Trevor and Patsy Collard of Awanui Hotel 1958-1966
45.Kaitaia and Districts A & P Show
46.A tradition – Round the rocks to Tauroa
47.George Stankovich – trucking on
48.Mo Moses – stockman of the Far North
49.Henry Henderson – pioneer truck driver
50.Lionel Henderson – trucking is in his blood
51.Sucich family of Waihopo
52.Jack Sucich – taxi driving farmer of Waihopo
53.M F Dean Limited
54.Grbic Bakery – Awanui
55.Yelavich family of Awanui
56.Mick Petricevich of Sweetwater
57.The last gum digger of Ahipara Gum Fields
58.Lamb and Thomas families – from Herekino to Pukenui
59.Jujnovich family
60.Early memories of Mangatete – Winnie Miller
61.Recollections of Kaingaroa – Colin Spanhake
62.Maria’s of Oruru
63.The Dairy Company Wharf at Awanui and A G Frankham
64.Waingakau School – Rangiputa
65.John and Dorothy Tynan of Waihopo
66.Te Kao School
67.The Great Trek
68.Alfred Adams of Kohumaru
69.Marko Buselich –contractor of Wireless Road
70.Kaitaia Aerodrome
71.Mangonui’s Phil Lightband – Great NZ Aviator
72.J Everitt and Sons – Te Kao
73.The Dragicevich family of Awanui
74.Northwood brothers – the men behind the camera