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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Old Colonists

Old Colonists.

Mr. Graham Bruere, sometime of Balcairn, was born in Bombay, India, and was the eldest son of Judge Bruere. He was taken to England when three years old and educated at Westminster. On leaving college, he studied law, but the confinement was unfavourable to his health, and he joined the army, in which he served for one year in Ireland. Finally he made a choice of New Zealand, and came out to Auckland in the ship “Blue Jacket. He purchased a large run, which he disposed of in 1859, when he came to Canterbury and settled near Sefton, where he took up land in its native state. The land is still in possession of the family. When it was first settled roads were few and far between, and bridges were almost unknown. Mr. Bruere removed to Balcairn in 1892, and increased his area to about 1600 acres. He was for many years chairman of the road board and a member of the school committee. Mr. Bruere was married, in 1874, to Miss Goss, and died at Balcairn on the 28th of April, 1896. He left six sons and five daughters.

The late Mr. G. Bruere.

The late Mr. G. Bruere.

Mr. John Lister, sometime of Balcairn, was born in 1833 at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, where he was educated. He came out to the Colony in the ship “Clontarf” in 1862, and settled at Balcairn page 531 soon afterwards. The country was then in its native state, covered with fiax and toitoi; there were no roads or bridges, and haulage was done by bullocks. Mr. Lister took up Crown land and settled on the banks of the Kowai river. He was a churchwarden for many years and taught in the Sunday school, was a member of the school committee, and always ready to help in any good cause or assist a neighbour. He died in July, 1897, leaving a widow with three sons and four daughters.

The late Mr. J. Lister and Mrs Lister.

The late Mr. J. Lister and Mrs Lister.

Mr. George May was born in Bristol, England, in 1830. As a youth he served in the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean, during Garibaldi's war, and afterwards joined a Chilian man-of-war, and was present at some engagements between the Chilian and Peruvian troops. After residing about six years in the United States of America, Mr. May came to Lyttelton by the ship “Sebastopol,” in 1861, and settled in the Balcairn district, where he has since had his home. His employments have been varied, for he has worked as a painter, sailmaker, sawyer, bridge builder and farmer. Though about seventy-three years of ago, Mr. May is strong and hearty, and still able to carry a full bag of wheat. He owns a number of properties in the Balcairn district.