The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Prebbleton is the centre of one of the richest agricultural districts in the county of Selwyn. It is nine miles from Christchurch on the Christchurch-Southbridge railway, and has a post and telegraph office, three churches—Anglican, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan; a public school, a library, a large Oddfellows Hall, which is used for public entertainments and other social functions; four large general stores, each doing a successful business, and one hotel. Many handsome homesteads throughout the district testify to the success of the settlers. Prebbleton dates back to 1855, when the brothers Prebble settled in the district, which was then in a wild and uninviting condition. Mr. Edward Prebble, who is still (1903) a hale and hearty man, bought fifty acres, which he divided into small sections, and then started the township by erecting a store. Prebbeteon grew with he growth of settlement in the district, and in time it became an important country town. The completion of the railway, with Christchurch so near, gave a check to the commercial progress of the place as a business centre, but it is still a pretty country town, and prosperous enough in proportion to its population.
The Lincoln Road Board has its headquarters at Prebbleton. The road district has two subdivisions; one with an area of 10,024 acres, the other, 5,846 acres; valuation of the first, £136,511, of the second, £211,635. In the first subdivision there is a rate of 1/2d in the £; in the second, also 1/2d for ordinary purposes, and one-fifth of a penny for drainage. The Board also derives a revenue of £150 a year from other sources. Members for 1903: Mr. J. W. Overton (chairman), and Messrs Henry Edward Peryman, Patrick Henley, Henry Paterson, and Thomas Leatham.
Mr. Frank East, Clerk of the Lincoln Road Board, and Registrar of Electors, was born at Oxford, England, in 1814, and, with his mother and brothers, arrived in Lyttelton by the ship “Glentanner” in 1857. Some years after his arrival he took part in the Gabriel's Gully “rush,” and after about twelve months spent in the unsuccessful pursuit of gold in that district, he went to the Greymouth goldfields, with equally unsatisfactory results. On returning to Canterbury he started a threshing machine plant, and now owns a fine traction engine, which, though not possessing the allurements of gold digging, gives more satisfactory results. In 1882 Mr. East was appointed clerk to the Lincoln Road Board, and in 1902, Registrar of Electors, for the district of Courtenay. He has always taken a great interest in Freemasonry, and is a Past Master, and member of the Lincoln Lodge. Mr. East is an enthusiastic cultivator of hyacinths and narcissii, and has one of the finest collections of these beautiful flowers in the district. Mr. East married Miss Monk, niece of Mr. Andrew Dawson, of Longbeach, and there is a family of one son and two daughters.
All Saints' Church at Prebbleton is a handsome wooden building with the only peal of bells possessed by a country church in Canterbury, and bought with subscriptions raised amongst the parishioners. The grounds, which are well laid out, are planted with ornamental trees, originally the gift of Mr. Tosswill, one of the early settlers at Prebbleton, who also gave a handsome font. The church has some beautiful stained glass windows, one of which was given by the Prebble family, the first settlers in the district. There is seating accommodation for about 178 persons, and the church possesses a fine American organ. The original church, which has been replaced by the present building, was removed to Longbeach, where services are still held in it. The parochial district comprises Prebbleton and Templeton, each possessing a fine church; and the adjoining townships of Hornby and Islington, although not formally included within the district, have of late years been attached to the cure.
The Rev. John Edwin Blackburne, Vicar of Prebbleton and Templeton, is a son of the late Rev. Samuel Blackburne, formerly Principal of St. John's College, Auckland, and was born in England. He was educated at St. John's, Auckland, studied theology at Bishopdale, Nelson, and was ordained by the Bishop of Wellington in 1881. His first appointment was to the parish of the Upper Hutt, and four years later he was appointed Vicar of Bulls. From 1889 till 1894 he was vicar at Hokitika, and was vicar at Longbeach from 1894 till 1898, when he received his present appointment at Prebbleton. page 655 Mr. Blackburne married, in 1882, the second daughter of Mr. J. D. Cruickshank, an early and prominent settler in the Upper Hutt district, of Wellington.
The Rev. J. E. Blackburne, Mrs Blackburne and Family.
Hastie, J., General Storekeeper, Prebbleton. Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand. This store is one of the oldest in the district, and was purchased by the present proprietor in 1883. The building has been considerably enlarged since then, and the business has greatly increased. Mr. Hastie carries on a bakery in connection with the store; in that respect he commenced with one cart to serve his customers, and now he requires three, and does business within a radius of twelve miles. Mr. Hastie was born in Linlithgowshire, Scotland, in 1830, and was apprenticed to the baking trade in Edinburgh, where he passed four years. He emigrated to Australia in the ship “Eldorado,” and landed in Melbourne in 1852. Mr. Hastie worked on the Victorian goldfields with success, and on the discovery of gold in New Zealand, he came to this Colony, and was mining at Gabriel's Gully, on the Dunstan, and other fields for twenty years. He then worked at his trade in Dunedin for a short period, and subsequently settled at Prebbleton. Mr. Hastie has always taken an active interest in educational affairs, and has served for eighteen years in various parts of the Colony as chairman of school committees. He was married, in 1850, to Miss Young, and has two sons and four daughters.
Mr. J. Hastie.