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The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series

The Name

page 301

The Name

Stronechrubie is the Gaelic for 'crooked nose' or 'crooked spur,' and McRae named the station partly after his birthplace in Scotland, and partly after a crooked spur which runs down to the Clyde near the original homestead. Some later owner has changed the name of the station to Erewhon, which does not seem so suitable. Butler's Erewhon, after which, I suppose, it is named, was supposed to be across the Main Range.

In 1892,-McRae sold Stronechrubie to Donald Knight, a son of A. C. Knight, one of the earliest Canterbury runholders. Knight sold it to George McMillan, of Mesopotamia, at the time of the South African War, and McMillan worked the two stations together until his death in 1903, after which his executors sold both stations to George Gerard.

When the leases of the Upper Rangitata country ran out in 1911, the forks of the Clyde and Havelock were taken from Mesopotamia and given to Stronechrubie, which was then put up to ballot and drawn by William Anderson, so that Erewhon as now constituted contains the forks taken from Mesopotamia, the original Stronechrubie, Caton's run on the Lawrence, and Taylor's run on the Jumped-up Downs. These make a very nice station, but expensive to muster. Since Anderson's time it has passed through the hands of F. Pawson and D. G. Wright, and T. S. Johnstone bought it for one of his family in 1929. His son Thomas is the present owner.

I have already given accounts of Caton and the other early owners. George McRae was born at Stronechrubie, a sheep farm near Lochbroom in northwest Ross-shire, in 1836. After selling Stronechrubie he owned Barford and several other properties in Canterbury. He died in Ashburton in 1911.

William Anderson came out from Scotland about 1881 under engagement to Low of St. Helens. When his engagement at St. Helens ended he became head shepherd to Robinson at Cheviot Hills. Later on he page 302twice managed Teviotdale while Greenwood was in England. Later still he was head shepherd at the Fairfield Freezing Works near which he bought a farm. He left this to go to Stronechrubie. When he sold Stronechrubie he retired but could not settle down to do nothing, so he bought Eskdale, a small place near Waiau. He was a successful breeder of Border-Leicesters and Corriedales, and a great show judge. He was also a lover of Border collies and at one time almost unbeatable at the dog-trials. He died at Eskdale in July, 1944, aged 84.