The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Pareora is the name of a district noted in the early days for its fine pastoral qualities, and it is still largely devoted to sheepfarming, as well as to agriculture, although the settlers are much more numerous than in the purely pastoral period of the runholders. Pareora is situated partly in the Levels county, but is chiefly in the county of Waimate. On the northern side of the Pareora river there is a public school, and at the census of 1901 the population was returned as being thirty-nine. There are a number of settlers' homesteads, and a blacksmith's shop in the neighbourhood. The school is largely attended by the children of the Beaconsfield (Otipua) settlement. The northern side is connected with the southern side of the river by a substantial traffic bridge, and the district originally known as Pareora extends right out to the sea near St. Andrews, which was formerly included under the name. A great deal of the land has been cut up for close settlement, and there are public schools at Springbrook, near St. Andrews, Cannington, Southburn and Lyalldale. Cannington is a village settlement near the traffic bridge over the Pareora river on the main south road. The district is sometimes spoken of as Upper and Lower Pareora, which are ridings of Waimate county; and the settlers of the upper district are about ten miles from Timaru and St. Andrews, respectively. As a whole the district is well adapted to profitable farming, and consists of beautiful flats and numerous highlands. The population of Upper Pareora is 114, and of Lower Pareora, excluding the township of St. Andrews, 515.
The Pareora Post Office has for a number of years been conducted at the residence of the local schoolmaster, by whom daily mails are received and despatched.
The Public School at Pareora was established on the 3rd of October, 1874. Of twenty acres of weil planted land attached to the school, eighteen are let to a tenant. The school building, which is of wood and iron, contains a class room and a porch. There is accommodation for eighty children; fifty-seven names are on the roll, and the average attendance is fifty-one. The teacher in charge is assisted by a mistress.
Mr. Frederick Smith, Teacher in charge of the Pareora school, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1867. He had considerable experience as a teacher before coming to Lyttelton by the s.s. “Rimutaka,” in 1895. Mr. Smith served for two years at Sutherlands before taking up his duties at Pareora in April, 1897. He was married, in 1897, to a daughter of the late Mr. F. Samms, of Sutherlands, and has two sons.
The Wesleyan Church at Pareora is a small wood and iron building, which was erected in 1870. It has seating accommodation for 110 adults, and there is a Union Sunday school, for the benefit of all denominations, with an average attendance of sixty children, in charge of six teachers. Services are held twice each Sunday, and the minister of the Timaru circuit is in charge.
Henderson, James, General Blacksmith, Farrier and Wheelwright, Upper Pareora. Mr. Henderson was born in the parish of Carnwath, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in January, 1842, and learned his trade under his father. In October, 1868, Mr. Henderson arrived at Port Chalmers in the ship “Schleswig Bride” from the Clyde, and worked at his trade in Oamaru four years. Settling in the Timaru district, he worked for about two years for the late Mr. John Elder, and afterwards commenced business with a partner under the style of Parson and Henderson. After six years the firm was dissolved, and Mr. Henderson found employment as a reaper and binder expert, and as a journeyman, till 1898, when he settled at Upper Pareora. As a volunteer he served in the Oamaru Rifles for three years, and under Captain Steward, now Sir W. J. Steward. Mr. Henderson was married in June, 1868, to a daughter of the late Mr. James Jameson, of Reikliston, Edinburghshire, Scotland.
Campbell, John, Farmer, Pareora. Mr. Campbell was born in Sutherlandshire, Scotland, in 1842. Having acquired an experience in agriculture, he left the Old Country for Brisbane, Queensland, in 1864. He went inland, and for two years worked on the railways contracting, etc., but hearing good accounts of New Zealand, he came over to Hokitika, and after an experience on the goldfields, went overland to North Canterbury. For a short time he was engaged in contracting on Sir John Hall's station. He then went to Oamaru, where he was engaged for a year in contracting for the Oamaru Borough Council, and he also worked in the quarries at Cave Valley, near Oamaru. Later on he was engaged in farming on the Moeraki estate for three years. He then returned to Canterbury, and after cropping on the Levels estate for a year, he leased a Government reserve at Pareora. This he cultivated and cropped, and in 1886 he bought his present farm which comprises 450 acres of freehold and about 450 acres of leasehold land. His wheat crops average thirty bushels per acre, and oats fifty bushels. Mr. Campbell keeps crossbred and half-bred sheep. His residence, which is built of bluestone, is an ornamental structure. He has been a director of the Canterbury Farmers' Co-operative Association since it started and for eighteen years he has been a member of the Pareora school committee. He has been a member of the Levels Road Board, County Council, and the Timaru Charitable Aid Board, and for many years was a member of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association. Mr. Campbell, who is married, has four sons and four daughters. He is a Justice of the Peace.
Evans, Benjamin, Farmer, Alpine Farm, Pareora. Mr. Evans was born at Montgomery, North Wales, in 1843, and was brought up to farming on his father's farm. He came to Timaru in 1863 in the ship “Lancashire Witch.” For seven years he worked on Mr. Luxmore's farm, and afterwards purchased fifty acres of land at Pareora, which he sold five years later and purchased 500 acres, now known as “Alpine Farm.” He made a gratifying visit to the Old Country in 1885. Mr. Evans has been a member of the Pareora School Committee. He was married in New Zealand, and has nine children.
Mr. B. Evans.
Mr. R. Grigg.
Mrs R. Grigg.
Holme Station, Pareora. This station is the property of the executors of the late Mr. Edward Elworthy, and was taken up originally as a run, about 1851, by Messrs Harris and Innes. In 1864 Mr. Elworthy purchased the interest of Mr. Harris and six months later that of Mr. Innes. He thus became sole proprietor of the station, which he immediately set about to improve by building, fencing, ploughing, and planting trees, there being only about twelve gum trees on the property at that time. Mr. Elworthy also turned his attention to the improvement of the sheep on the station, and for that purpose he established a stud flock of purebred imported Tasmanian Merinos. The descendants of these sheep have been successfully exhibited in many a show ring. The Merino stud flock at Holme station now numbers about 250 ewes. When long-woolled sheep came into favour Mr. Elworthy established a small flock of Lincolns, from which many, fine animals have been bred. Holme station now contains about 40,000 acres of freehold. Nearly all of it has been cultivated, and the balance has been surface sown with grass. The improvements, for extent and completeness, are equal to any in the colony.
Mr. Edward Elworthy was born in 1836 at Wellington, Somersetshire, England, and was educated at Wellington College. He left England in 1862 with the intention of settling in Queensland, but hearing good accounts of New Zealand, he came to this colony in 1864. During that year he settled at Holme station and resided there almost continuously until his death on the 23rd of January, 1899. While he devoted much attention to the improvement of his own property, Mr. Elworthy always took an intelligently active interest in public affairs. He was chairman of the Waimate County Council, a member of the Timaru Harbour Board, and of the South Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, in connection with which he often served as a judge. Mr. Elworthy took more than ordinary interest in the frozen meat trade, and had a great deal to do with the initiation of the South Cantebury freezing works. In 1866 Mr. Elworthy visited England and married Miss Shorrock, who bore him three sons and three daughters.
The late Mr. E. Elworthy.
Mr. Arthur Stanley Elworthy, the eldest son, is now manager of Holme station. He was born in 1874, and was educated partly in England, and partly in the colony. On leaving college he settled at Holme station as his father's assistant in the management of the estate. Mr. Elworthy was married at the Christchurch Cathedral on the 13th of April, 1900, to Miss Ella Caroline Julius, third daughter of the Right Rev. Dr. Julius, Bishop of Christchurch.
Rapsey, James John, Farmer, Pareora. Mr. Rapsey is the eldest son of the late Mr. James Rapsey, and was born in Alderney. Channel Islands, in 1859. Mr. Rapsey came out to New Zealand with his parents, and celebrated his third birthday on board ship. He was one of the first scholars in the Pareora school, and acquired his knowledge of farming on his father's farm. In 1890, he bought his present farm at Pareora; it comprises 150 acres of cultivated land, on which wheat has averaged thirty-four bushels per acre, and oats fifty-five bushels. Mr. Rapsey also runs a number of sheep. In temperance matters he has always taken an active interest, and is a local preacher for the Wesleyan Methodists. In 1895 he married a daughter of Mr. Chivers, of Beaconsfield, and has two daughters.
Mr. James Rapsey, who was an Old Colonist of South Canterbury, was born in Devonshire, England, in 1830, and came out to New Zealand in 1863 in the ship “Echunga,” which landed at Timaru. He worked for four years on the Otipua station, and then bought a farm at Pareora, where he cultivated his property, and also carried on contracting for some years. Mr. Rapsey was the first to buy land and settle in the Pareora district. He was a member of the Pareora school committee. Mr. Rapsey died in 1896, leaving a widow, three sons and four daughters.
The late Mr. J. Rapsey.