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Tales of Banks Peninsula

No. 41.—Mr. William Birdling

page 264

No. 41.—Mr. William Birdling.

An old settler who has left a number of descendants on the Peninsula is William Birdling, who came to Akaroa in the early forties to assist Messrs. W. B. and G. Rhodes with their cattle at Red House Bay and Flea Bay. When the Rhodes Bros. bought Purau from Greenwood Bros, Mr Birdling went to Purau with them, This was about 1846, and a few years later Mr. Birdling bought the property about Lake Forsyth, now called Birdling's Flat. Like the other early settlers in Little River, Mr. Birdling had great difficulty in getting his cheese away, and was obliged to take it by boat to Gebbie's Valley, sledge it over the hill to Teddington, and then send it by water to Lyttelton. In spite of these drawbacks, Mr. Birdling built up the Waikoko estate, of 5220 acres, at Birdling's Flat, and lived to the age of 79, enjoying the respect and esteem of all who knew him. He left a family of seven sons and one daughter, all being still alive (1913) except Mr. Robert Birdling, who died in 1902.