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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]

Otago Early Settlers' Association

Otago Early Settlers' Association . This Association was instituted in Dunedin in April, 1898, immediately after the Jubilee Celebration, which took place in March. Its object was to collect and preserve records of early history; to arrange for gatherings, where early settlers could meet and exchange reminisces, and to keep alive the good feeling which prevailed in the early days, etc., etc. It is governed by a president, six vice-presidents, a treasurer, and a committee of twelve members. The first president was Mr. E. B. Cargill (son of Captain Cargill, the leader, and one of the founders of the settlement), who held office during the year 1898–1899. Mr. John Reid followed for the year 1899–1900, and then Mr. Donald Reid from 1900–1904. Mr. Peter Duncan was the first secretary (honorary) and Mr. G. C. Proudfoot (who still holds office) honorary treasurer. The promoters were all descendants of early settlers, but the Association nearly collapsed before the expiration of the first year. At a garden party given by Mr. Peter Duncan and Mrs Duncan at their residence, Tolcarne, to about 800 guests, consisting of early settlers and their descendants, Mr. Duncan said that the danger had arisen out of the fact that the promoters, being descendants, had not “a grip of the ramifications of the early days; the Association was almost in a state of collapse until Mr. Lang-lands came on the scene, and the result had proved that he was the right man in the right place.”