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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

The Rev. Harry Blake Redstone

The Rev. Harry Blake Redstone, the pastor in charge of the United Methodist Free Church, Courtenay Place, Wellington, was born on the 4th of March, 1836, in the parish of Tavistock, Devonshire, England, the birthplace of the distinguished English navigator, Sir Francis Drake. At Tavistock Mr. Redstone was educated, finishing under the private tutorship of Mr. Merrifield. The reverend gentleman entered the ministry in 1862, having previously had some three years' experience as a local preacher. After labouring for eight years in the Liskeard, Bodmin, Camelford, Truro, and Cardiff circuits, he, at the request of the Connexional Committee, sailed for this Colony per ship “City of Auckland,” arriving in the Northern City in December, 1870. Mr. Redstone's
Photo by Mrs. Herrman.Rev. H. B. Redstone.

Photo by Mrs. Herrman.
Rev. H. B. Redstone.

page 403 destination was Napier, but so limited was the coastal communication twenty-five years ago that he was obliged to wait in Auckland nearly a fortnight. Completing his journey to Napier in the “Lord Ashley,” he at once took steps to institute the cause in that district. Here he was kindly received, and so liberally helped in every way that when he left for Wellington to inaugurate the movement at the Capital, he was able to leave behind him a flourishing cause, possessing a valuable property encumbered with only a trifling debt of £150. In February, 1876, at the request of the New Zealand Connexion, Mr. Redstone removed to Wellington, there to repeat the work of inauguration and building up. His efforts were rewarded with a success which was at the time considered most encouraging. A brief account of Mr. Redstone's nine years' ministration in Wellington is given in the preceding paragraph respecting the Church then established. At Christchurch the cause was already founded, and in 1885 Mr. Redstone was invited to remove thither; and after five enjoyable and successful years, he declined the invitation to remain, being anxious about the condition of the Wellington Church, to which he returned for two years. At the expiry of that time he was invited for another year, but accepted the charge of the Rangiora Circuit, where he spent three most peaceful and happy years. Here also he was invited to remain, and had actually accepted the invitation; but the condition of the Wellington Church being deemed to be critical by the District Committee, then meeting in Christchurch, Mr. Redstone was appointed by that body to return to the Church with which he was formerly so intimately associated. He is now in his twelfth year of ministerial service in Wellington, and his thirty-sixth year as a preacher in connection with the United Methodist Free Church. That his services in that capacity were highly esteemed from the beginning may be gathered from the following extract taken from the United Methodist Free Church's Magazine of April, 1866. In his report of the Camelford Circuit the superintendent minister, the Rev. B. Glazebrook, says:—“I cannot speak too highly of my colleagues. Our brother Redstone is a true revivalist, and in my opinion fit to take his stand by the side of any man in the country, for thorough, earnest, laborious, and successful work in the salvation of souls. He is an honour to our ministry.” In 1865 Mr. Redstone was married to Miss Hambly, eldest daughter of Captain Hambly, of Calstock, Cornwall, and their family consists of three daughters. The quarter of a century which Mr. and Mrs. Redstone have spent in New Zealand has been marked by many years of hard, self-sacrificing work. That his success has been largely due to the exceptional tact and ability of his faithful wife, Mr. Redstone would be the first to acknowledge.