News & Events

It has been brought to our attention that “we had no authority to announce that Max Willetts had died”.
We don’t apologise as legally it was public knowledge but we will take the notice down.
Attempts by us to confirm Max had died and of the likelihood of a service were met with silence, so we can only presume we are not invited, so have taken that notice down too.
It surprised us that organisations Max was heavily involved with, seem to know nothing either!

From Gavin Marriott . . .
I first met Max in 1962 when we moved to Auckland. Max is a 2nd cousin of mine but due to age, we called him “uncle”. He was a 30 year old maintenance man at Hellabys freezing works then and we spent much time with him & Edna at their Mangere home.
Max was untiring in his enthusiasm for the heritage of the Smart family and their life at Burkes Pass but sadly he got no support from wider relatives and so became self appointed with many projects.
In his honour we would love to continue with that legacy”.


That leads us to the project to repair (not replace) the headstone at Burkes Pass to Elijah & Mary.
This was something Max talked about.
He regularly touched up the lettering with paint but sadly the headstone is getting close to “unsalvageable” (quote from a mason) as the marble etching is wearing away.
Funds are needed for this BUT because Max is not here to do this project, some relatives feel there is no mandate. This is madness.

We would like to go further and place a wee plaque by the grave giving more information about Elijah & Mary and their children. For example there is no mention of our Scottish ancestry through Mary.
Max was allowed to do all this work – why can’t we???

But this goes a step further. This website . . .
Does no one care or want this history recorded here on this website?
At the mo only one descendent is contributing the $100 pa to keep it going. This is NOT a one person website, but open to all descendants to add their notes.

    We have no notes on

s1 Sarah (Manning)
s2 Maggie (Calder & Williams)
s6 Tottie or Totty (Struthers) Max argued about the spelling.
S7 Nan (Willetts) We asked & asked Max to write this.

The old use it or lose it. We will make up our minds this year whether to close this website, take no part in family restoration and heritage groups if there is no support. So support us please for Max’ sake!