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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

[Pleasant Point]

Pleasant Point. In the year 1855, or thereabout, when many who are now old and weary were young, the man of enterprise, bent on prospecting for a sheep run or proposing to penetrate the coastal range by way of Burke's Pass to explore the then unknown regions since called the Mackenzie country, would have taken his departure from the accommodation house kept by “Sam Williams,” on the beach below the present site of Timaru. He would travel over the broad plains, stretching away from the Levels station, and some three miles ahead of him he would see a projection of land standing out conspicuously, and which had already been named “Pleasant Point.” Just beyond “The Point,” and within the shelter of its arm, will now be found the township of that name, which is thirteen miles from Timaru. There the rivers, Te Ngawai and Opihi, meet each other and embrace a large area of fertile land. Here, also, many roads now converge, such as the road to Totara Valley, Opihi, Opuha, Waitohi, and Temuka, which have done much to raise it in importance as a country centre. The railway constructed by the provincial government of Canterbury from Timaru to Fairlie also helped to dot the district with many prosperous farms. The first freehold property in the locality was bought by Messrs R. and G. Rhodes, who subsequently sold to the New Zealand and Australian Land Company; but the first real settlers were Messrs Kennaway and Acton, who purchased land between the two rivers. The bulk of the agricultural land is now occupied in considerable farms. Now (1903) the South Canterbury Dairy Company has a creamery at work in the township, which has three churches—Anglican, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic—two hotels, three stores, a bakery, two butchers' shop, and several blacksmiths and wheelwrights. Fortnightly stock sales are held at Pleasant Point, and the settlers from surrounding districts attend in considerable numbers. The township is in the Point riding of the Levels county, and at the census of 1901, the population of the settlement and neighbourhood was set down at 749. The railway station, which is in the centre of the township, stands at an elevation of 205 feet above the sea, and is thirteen miles from Timaru on the Fairlie branch line of railway.

Pleasant Point Railway Station. This station is on the Timaru-Fairlie line, and is situated thirteen miles from Timaru. It was erected about 1874, when the line was constructed, and it ranks as a fourth-class station. There is a large goods shed at the station, and the principal traffic is in grain. The post and telegraph offices, and the office of the Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages are also at the station.

Mr. Frank Truman, Stationmaster and Telegraphist, at Pleasant Point, and Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages for the district, was born at Rangiora, in 1869, and educated at public schools. In 1883 he joined the Postal Department as a messenger at page 933 Waikari, and two years later became a cadet at the Waikari railway station. As a cadet he served six years, during which he was station-ed successively at Southbridge, Lyttelton, Sefton, and Kaiapoi. He was then promoted to the position of clerk, and as such was stationed successively at Pleasant Point and Timaru. For two years afterwards Mr. Truman was on the relieving staff as station-master. In 1896 he was appointed clerk at Lyttelton, where he remained until December, 1898, when he was promoted to be stationmaster at Hampden in North Otago, whence he was transferred to Pleasant Point in July, 1902. During his residence in Waikari, Mr. Truman was a member of the local Oddfellows' Lodge, in which he passed all the chairs. He married in December, 1899 a daughter of Mr. Albert Booth, of Oamaru, and has two sons.

Mr. F. Truman.

Mr. F. Truman.

The Public School at Pleasant Point is said to be one of the oldest schools in South Canterbury. It stands on part of a section of an acre and a half in Church Street, is built of wood and iron, and has four class rooms and two porches, with accommodation for 200 children. There are 180 names on the roll, and the average attendance is about 166. The teaching staff consists of the master, an assistant, an infant mistress, and two pupil-teachers. There is a convenient playground, and a good residence for the headmaster.

Mr. Gilbert Dalglish, B.A., Headmaster of the Pleasant Point Public School, was born on Banks' Peninsula, Canterbury. He was educated at the Akaroa Borough School, where he served a four years' pupil-teachership. After a year at the Normal Training College at Christchurch, he was appointed assistant at the Woolston Borough School. A few months later Mr. Dalglish became assistant at the Sydenham Borough School, where he continued for six years until taking up his duties at Pleasant Point in 1896. He graduated B.A. at Canterbury College in 1894, and was married at the end of 1896, to a daughter of Mr. Robert Buchanan, of the Christchurch City Foundry, and has one son and one daughter.

Ferrier, photo.Mr. G. Dalglish.

Ferrier, photo.
Mr. G. Dalglish.

The Cure Of Tengawai-With-Fairlie extends from Washdyke to Mount Cook, a distance of 140 smiles, and was constituted in 1891. It includes the settlements of Fairlie, Pleasant Point and Burke's Pass, among others. The vicarage is situated on Tengawai road, Pleasant Point. There is a glebe of ten acres, and there is also a small endowment of thirteen acres for the church. Services are held in outlying places, inclusive of Hazelburn, Albury, and Opihi, in school buildings, and also at Fairlie, Silverstream, and Burke's Pass.

The Church Of St. Alban, at Pleasant Point, is constructed mostly of concrete, and was erected about the end of the seventies. It has accommodation for eighty worshippers, and service is held regularly, morning and evening, every Sunday. The Sunday school of twenty scholars is in charge of three teachers.

The Rev. Stanley Hinson, Vicar of Tengawai-with-Fairlie, was born in 1855, in South America, and was educated in England. In 1876 he came to South Australia and was ordained deacon in 1884. He studied at the Adelaide University. After being stationed in various parts of Australia he came to New Zealand in 1892, and has been in charge of his present cure since January, 1893. Mr. Hinson was married, in 1890, to a daughter of Mr. John Braim, of Melbourne, and has two sons and two daughters.

The Presbyterian Church at Pleasant Point is prettily placed on an eminence overlooking the township. Occasionally services were held in the district as early as 1865, and the church was built ten years later. The congregation was made a separate charge in 1879. The church is of wood, with a shingle roof, and has seating accommodation for 120 persons. A Sunday school, consisting of seventy children and nine teachers, meets in the building. The minister in charge holds services at Totara Valley in a pretty little church, and in the schoolhouses at Cannington and Cave, also at Kakahu Bush and Waitohi. The manse, which was erected in 1881, and was considerably enlarged in 1892, is a short distance away from the church, and stands on part of a glebe of five acres.

The Rev. Joseph White, Minister in charge of Pleasant Point Presbyterian Church, was born in 1839, in Derbyshire, England. He studied for the United Methodist Free Church, and became a minister in 1864. In 1866 Mr. White came to New Zealand, and was eight years on the West Coast goldfields, and afterwards took other appointments. Owing to the failure of Methodist Union in 1885, he ceased his connection with his mother church, and became General Secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association in Dunedin. Two years later he became a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Otago and Southland, and was inducted at Pleasant Point in 1894. Mr. White was married, in 1868, to a daughter of Mr. Jesse Humphries, of Nelson, and has had eight sons and one daughter. One son and the daughter are dead.

Pleasant Point Creamery (South Canterbury Dairy Company, Limited, proprietors), Pleasant Point. This creamery was opened in October, 1902. It is built of wood and iron, with a concrete foundation, and is well equipped with an engine, a boiler, and a 510 gallon Crown separator. The cream is sent daily to Timaru.

Mr. John Young Thomson, Manager of the Pleasant Point Creamery, was born in 1870, near Dunedin. He gained experience in dairy work, and was appointed manager of the Pleasant Point Creamery when it was first opened.

The Police Station at Pleasant Point in the South Canterbury sub-district, dates from 1875. The station is on the Mackenzie Road, on a site of two acres, and consists of a house of six rooms, a lock-up, a stable, and other out-buildings. The district in charge of the local constable extends from the racecourse near Washdyke to Coalcreek, and as far as Raincliff on the northern side of the Opihi river. No court is held at Pleasant Point, but local justices act in cases of emergency.

Mr. Thomas Barrett, Constable in charge of Pleasant Point, was born at Hokitika, in 1867. He became an officer of the Permanent Artillery in 1889, but afterwards joined the police force, and has been in charge at Pleasant Point since 1901.

Pleasant Point Hotel (John Murphy, proprietor), Pleasant Point. This well known page 934 hotel was established about 1862. It is a two storey brick buildings with thirty rooms, of which fifteen are bedrooms and eight sitting rooms. The dining rooms will seat forty guests, and there is a commodious billiard-room with one of Alcock's tables. The stables contain twenty-four stalls and four loose-boxes, and convenient paddocks for stock adjoin the hotel. Mr. John Murphy, proprietor of the Pleasant Point Hotel, was born at Beechworth, Victoria, in 1860. He accompanied his parents to Canterbury the same year, and was brought up at Geraldine. For a time Mr. Murphy was a livery stable keeper at Pleasant Point, and first became proprietor of the hotel there in 1894. He served for eight years as a member of the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry, and has been a member of the Pleasant Point Jockey Club since 1892.

Ferrier, photo.Mr. J. Murphy.

Ferrier, photo.
Mr. J. Murphy.

McKibbin, William, General Storekeeper, Pleasant Point. This business was established in May, 1878, and is conducted in convenient premises almost opposite the railway station; the proprietor's residence is situated in another part of the township. Mr. McKibbin was born in County Down, Ireland, in 1848, and was brought up to mercantile life. He arrived at Port Chalmers, in 1878, by the ship “County of Peebles,” which is said to have been the first four-masted ship to bring passengers to that port. After a few months in Dunedin, he founded his business at Pleasant Point. Mr McKibbin is also owner of 200 acres of freehold which he purchased in 1887, and still farms. He served as a member of the local school committee for several years, and held office as its chairman. Mr. McKibbin was married, in February, 1877, to a daughter of Mr. R. Morgan, of County Down, Ireland, and has had five sons and three daughters. One son and three daughters have died.

Halstead, William, Fellmonger, Pleasant Point. Mr. Halstead was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, England, in 1836. He was there brought up to fellmongery, which he followed until he left the Old Country in 1858, when he came to Auckland in the ship “Shooting Star.” For some time he worked in Auckland and Hawke's Bay, where he saved £30, with which he took a trip to Sydney and went to the goldfields, and in two years had saved £1000, which, with the exception of £50, was, however, lost in speculation. He then returned to New Zealand, and was engaged at Oamaru in wool sorting for about three years. Mr. Halstead was then appointed salesman in a large store, and later on he became a wool valuator. In 1866 he went to Pleasant Point, and classed wool on the Levels estate for several years, and afterwards, except during four seasons, he scoured all the wool produced on that estate. He started his present business on his arrival from Australia, and is now the oldest wool scourer in South Canterbury. He has won a silver cup, three silver medals, and four bronze medals for wool scouring at various exhibitions. Mr. Halstead is a member of the Timaru Caledonian Lodge of Freemasons, and has been an Oddfellow. He is chairman of the Domain Board, and was chairman of the Cemetery. Board for many years, and also of the Pleasant Point school committee. In 1857 he married Miss Mary Metcalf, of Craven, Yorkshire, who followed her husband to New Zealand four years later. They have a family of five sons and two daughters. Two sons are married, and follow their father's trade.