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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 5 (September 1, 1933)

McKenzie of the “Borealis.”

McKenzie of the “Borealis.”

The McKenzies, too, were great sailormen. The grand old man of them all was Captain Kenneth McKenzie, who sailed a fast and handsome brigantine called the “Borealis,” built by D. M. Darroch, whose yard was at Big Omaha. In those days, half a century ago, there were glorious sailing races at the Auckland Anniversary Regatta in which the speediest of the Island and coasting schooners and other craft competed, and soon after her launch the “Borealis” won the champion trading vessels’ race around Tiritiri, the lighthouse island.

In 1880, the Solomon Islanders attacked and captured the brigantine, which was recruiting labour for the Fiji plantations. and the captain's son and half the crew were killed, while the skipper was out in a boat engaging the natives. Aided by the crews of three other vessels—many of those men were of Waipu stock too—he recaptured his looted ship and dealt out what punishment he could to the savages on shores—it was not much for they had nearly all bolted to the bush.

Those were the days when many a New Zealand sailor found all the adventure he wanted in the perilous islands of Melanesia.