The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
St. John's Church, Dannevirke, is situated in High Street, and was built in the year 1888. It is of Gothic architecture, and has accommodation for nearly 300 persons. The glebe is seven and a quarter acres in extent, on which there is also a Sunday school and a fine vicarage.
The Rev, E. Robertshaw, Vicar in charge of St. John's Church, Dannevirke, was born in England, and came to New Zealand in 1863. He was educated at St. John's College, Auckland, and the New Zealand University, where he graduated.
Knox Presbyterian Church, in Dannevirke, is situated on the corner of High Street and Swinburne Street, on a site of half an acre, and was erected in the year 1887. It is a handsome wooden building of Gothic architecture, and has seating accommodation for about 200 persons. There is a Sunday school in connection with the church, capable of seating over 200 scholars. The manse, which was built in 1900, is a fine residence, standing on a section of half an acre, at the corner of Queen Street and Victoria Avenue. The Dannevirke charge includes Kiritaki, Matamau, Umutaoroa, Waitahora, and Ngapaeruru, and services are regularly conducted in these districts.
The Rev. Alexander Grant, Pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church, was born in Inverness-shire, Scotland, in the year 1846. He was educated in the Free Church of Scotland, and passed through the arts and divinity course in the Aberdeen University. He afterwards laboured for six years in North Ronaldshay, Orkney, and in 1883 came to New Zealand. For seventeen years he had charge of the parish of Waipukurau, and in 1900 received a call to his present church. Mr. Grant is a member of the Hawke's Bay Education Board, and is honorary secretary of the Dannevirke High School Board.
The Roman Catholic Church, Dannevirke. The district of Dannevirke was constituted a separate and independent parish late in the year 1897, with the late Rev. William McGrath as first resident priest. He was succeeded by the Rev. T. Cahill, and on his removal, in 1901, the parish remained without a rector until the appointement, in 1905, of the Rev. Daniel O'shea. The church formerly stood at the north end of Dannevirke, but in 1900 was removed to its present central site in Alardice Street by the Rev. W. Cahill. It is a wooden building, and has accommodation for about 400 persons. Cousiderable alterations and improvements were made in the year 1906, including the erection of a fine belfry, fitted with a bell specially imported from Dublin. The church has a considerable membership, and there is also a Sunday school, with a roll number of fifty scholars.
The Rev. Daniel O'shea was born in the County of Limerick, Ireland, in the year 1863, and went through his theological course at Maynooth for the diocese of Limerick, to which he is still affiliated. In 1889 he was ordained priest, and in 1890 went to Australia, where he was engaged in missionary work in Gippsland, under Dr. Corbett, Bishop of Sale. In 1895, however, he returned to Ireland, to recruit his health, which had given way under the strain of missionary life in Australia. He then accepted a curacy under Dr. Scanlon, of Salt Lake City, in the State of Utah, U.S.A., and a few years later, his health having again failed, he came to New Zealand, and took up wrk in the Archdiocese of Wellington. For a time he held a curacy at Waipawa, held a similar position at Hawera, and then returned to Hawke's Bay, in order to take charge of the Waipawa parish, which he successfully administered for four years. Failing health again caused him to resign, and in 1902 he returned to Taranaki to take charge of the then newly-formed parish of Eltham, a much smaller district. The work there, however, told severely on him, and a year later he was forced to relinquish the position, and to travel for nearly two years in Australia. Having partially succeeded in again building up his constitution, he returned to New Zealand in 1905, when he received his present appointment.