Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Old Colonists

Old Colonists.

The Rev. George Barclay, J.P., At present of Waimate, was the first permanent clergyman of the Presbyterian Church in South Canterbury. Mr. Barclay was born in Ireland about 1833 or 1836, and was educated, partly, at University College, London, and partly at other Home institutions. He received his theological training in the College of the English Presbyterian Church, and afterwards became a licentiate of the Presbytery of London. In January, 1865, he landed in Lyttelton, and, a short time after, he took up his abode in Timaru, his district extending from the Rangitata in the north to the Waitaki in the south, and east and west—as far as he could go across the island. Mr. Barclay had much rough work to do in the earlier days, when there were no roads, no bridges, no churches, and only a few widely-scattered accommodation houses; but with kind friends everywhere and hospitable private homes, he did not fare so badly. Somewhat bold, if not rash, as a rider and driver, a number of accidents necessarily befell him; and stumbling, restive and runaway horses, swollen rivers, dark nights, snowy gorges, icy sidings, and pathless wildernesses often brought him to grief. In 1872 it became necessary that others should share with him in his pastoral work, and he removed to Geraldine, where he remained for the balance of twenty-five years, when, fearing the loss of sight and other physical infirmities, he retired permanently from the active duties of the church. During his ministry, Mr. Barclay laid the foundations of all the Presbyterian parishes at present existing in South Canterbury—about half a dozen—was instrumental in erecting six or seven churches, in organising a similar number of individual congregations with allied institutions, and in securing for the denomination considerable church property. Mr. Barclay has occasionally taken an active part in politics, and has had pressing requisitions to allow himself to be nominated for a seat in Parliament. However, he has hitherto shrunk from what he calls “stumping the country,” and tying himself hand and foot to any leader, whether Liberal or Conservative. He has more than once returned to the Old Lands, and visited the more prominent countries and cities of Europe. As a student he has made excursions into the fields of law, language, history, political economy, etc., and he frequently lectures on topics involving some study of these and kindred subjects. Some years ago he was appointed a Justice of the Peace and he continues still to act in that capacity. Mr. Barclay is a member of the South Canterbury Education Board, and fills numerous other posts of an educational character. He was elected a member of the first South Canterbury Board, and, with the exception of one or two brief intervals, has ever since held his seat and has been, on one or two occasions, chairman. In fact, few men in New Zealand have done more solid work for the cause of education than Mr. Barclay. It was largely through his efforts, ably assisted by Mr. Belfield, now in England, and Mr. E. A. Chisholm, then manager of the Bank of New Zealand, Timaru, that the first public non-denominational school was opened in that town. He also assisted materially in the establishment of the District High Schools, now doing such good work at Waimate and Temuka. Mr. Barclay has from the first been a member of the Timaru High School Board, and he is at present chairman of the Waimate High School Board of Governors. Mr. Barclay is married, and has two sons alive. One is Mr. A. R. Barclay, B.A., LL.B., barrister and solicitor, Dunedin, Lecturer on Constitutional Law and History in the University of Otago, and elected in December, 1899, as one of the representatives of Dunedin in Parliament. The other surviving son is Dr. H. C. Barclay, M.R.C.S. (Eng.), L.R.C.P. (London), and F.R.C.S. (Edin.), and at present Surgeon-Superintendent of the Waimate Hospital. A third son, Mr. George Baker Barclay, now dead, was manager of the large business of Messrs Guinness and Le Cren, Waimate.

Rev. G. Barclay.

Rev. G. Barclay.

Mr. Alfred Bitchener was born at Cransfield, Bedfordshire, England, in 1844, and came to Lyttelton by the ship “Lady Jocelyn,” in January, 1875. After working in the Waimate district for three or four years, he commenced contracting, in which his son John joined him at a subsequent period. The business was carried on in connection with farming for a number of years on leased land. Atterwards he sold out his contracting plant, and bought a farm in the Hook district; where his son John, now resides. Mr. Bitchener served several years on the Waimate school committee, was chairman of the Waimate Co-operative Association for upwards of eleven years, and was two years on the Waimate Borough Council. As a Forester he passed through the chairs in Court Forestets' Pride, Waimate, and also the district chair. Mr. Bitchener married a daughter of Mr. T. Welch, of Stagsden, Bedfordshire, England. His wife died just previous to his leaving England, and left him with three children, of whom two are still alive; one son and one daughter, both of whom are married.

page 1078

Mr. Archibald Bruce arrived in Port Chalmers by the ship “Strathfieldsay,” in 1858. He was born near Dalkeith, Scotland, and became a shepherd in the early days of his colonial experience at Goodwood, near Waikouaiti. Subsequently he took up a farm at Otepopo, and eleven years later sold out and removed to Waimate, where he has resided since 1878. For a number of years Mr. Bruce had the Grange Farm at Waituna, but disposed of it in 1900. He was at one time a member of the Otepopo Road Board. Mr. Bruce was married, in 1857, to a daughter of the late Mr. John Russell, of Edinburgh, and has two sons and four daughters.

Mr. Charles Vincent Clarke, of “The Wattles,” Waimate, was born in the United States of America in 1846. At an early age he went with his parents to England. The family resided in St. Peter's Square. Hammersmith, London, and young Clarke was educated at St. Mark's College, Chelsea. In 1859 he arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, by the barque “Acasta,” then commanded by Captain John Halliday, who was afterwards for forty years harbourmaster at Wellington. The young adventurer left the “Acasta” at Oamaru, and found employment with Mr. Griffiths, who was then overseer for the Messrs Lockhart, on the Hakataramea station. Mr. Griffiths was afterwards drowned while crossing the Waitaki river on horse-back. Mr. Clarke remained at Hakataramea for a year, and was then attracted to Otago by the reputed wealth of Gabriel's Gully. As a goldseeker, however, he had no success, and he then turned to other employment. For a year he worked with Mr. James Hepburn, of Goodwood. He then started to carry goods to the Dunstan with a bullock team. With the money thus earned Mr. Clarke bought some land in Canterbury. It is on this land that he now resides; it is within one mile of the Waimate post office, and is named Wattle Grove. At one time Mr. Clarke gave his attention to horse racing, and bred “Maid of the Mill.” the grand-dam of several prominent horses, such as “Vandyke,” “Vanilla,” and others. He himself often rode to the place of honour at the winning post. Latterly Mr. Clarke has devoted himself to his farm. He has, however, always spared time to do his full share of work as a citizen, and has been several times Mayor of Waimate. Mr. Clarke has also stood two or three times against Sir William Jukes Steward for the representation of Waitaki in the General Assembly. He is a lover of art and poetry, and has published verses which have attracted considerable attention in South Canterbury. Mr. Clarke was married, in 1870, at the residence of the late Mr. Michael Studholme, to a daughter of the late Mr. John Coffey, and has five sons and two daughters.

Cox, photo.Mr. C. V. Clarke.

Cox, photo.
Mr. C. V. Clarke.

Cox, photo.Mrs C. V. Clarke.

Cox, photo.
Mrs C. V. Clarke.

Mr. Thomas Evans, of Waimate, was born in Montgomeryshire, Wales, in 1841, and was taught the trade of a tailor by his father. After being a short time in business on his own account, he came to Port Chalmers by the ship “Ajmeer.” For the first five years after his arrival he worked at his trade in Dunedin, and was a cutter at Oamaru for two years. In 1875 Mr. Evans established a business in Queen Street, Waimate, which he afterwards conducted in partnership with his son, under the style of T. Evans and Son, until a few years ago when the son took over the business. Mr. Evans was for seventeen successive years a member of the Waimate Borough Council, and also served on the Waimate school committee. Before he left the Old Country he served a short time as a volunteer, and was for five years in the Waimate Rifles. As a Freemason he is attached to Lodge St. Augustine, New Zealand Constitution, and as an Oddfellow belongs to Hear: of Friendship Lodge, Manchester Unity, in which he has passed the chairs. Mr. Evans was married, in 1867, to a daughter of the late Mr. Job Wainwright, of Saltney, Cheshire, and has two sons and two daughters surviving.

Mr. George Henry Graham, J.P., Old Colonist, was born in Castledermot, County Kildare, Ireland. He came to New Zealand in the ship “Himalaya” in 1867, and bought a farm near Waimate, and worked it for seven or eight years. Mr. Graham was then appointed Clerk of the Court at Waimate, and held the position for a considerable time. He was Mayor of the town for two years, and has been a member of several local boards and committees. In temperance matters he has always displayed an active interest. Mr. Graham made a trip to the Old Country in 1894, and re-visited the scenes of his youth. He was married in Ireland, and has one son in the North Island.

Mr. Samuel William Goldsmith, who died in February, 1895, was well known in South Canterbury. He was born in London, in 1823, and before coming to New Zealand worked for twenty-one years at Price's Patent Candle Works. In 1855 he came to Timaru by the ship “Strathallan,” and found employment as a storeman under the late Mr. H. LeCren. Subsequently, for some years, he had experience of station life at Otaio. In 1863 he and Messrs J. and G. Manchester, founded the firm of Manchester Brothers and Goldsmith, and Mr. Goldsmith was connected with the firm till his death. Mr. Goldsmith served for a number of years as a member of the South Canterbury Board of Education. He took a great interest in the young, and was superintendent of the Wesleyan Sunday school for many years. In 1852 he married a daughter of the late Mr. William Day, of Deal. Mrs Goldsmith, who has ever taken a keen interest in the Methodist church, and engages in philanthropic and charitable work, still (1903) survives her husband.

page 1079

Mr. Thomas McConnell was a member of one of the British regiments that landed in Auckland, in March, 1845. He was born in the city of Armagh, in 1818, and was the last of six brothers that enlisted in the 46th Regiment of Foot in 1837; two years later he was transferred to the 58th Regiment, with which he served in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. Mr. McConnell was one of the 200 smartest men in the Regiment, who were selected for Heke's war, and very soon afterwards 136 out of the 200 were killed at the Bay of Islands, in an engagement with the Maoris. Mr. McConnell was discharged in 1849, in Auckland, and went to the Australian diggings. Subsquently he was at various diggings in New Zealand, and in 1862 volunteered for service in the Waikato at the time of the native troubles. He has been caretaker of Victoria Park, Waimate, since 1898. At the Queen's Jubilee he was granted a pension of nine-pence per day by the Imperial Government. Mr. McConnell holds two war medals.

Mr. Michael Studholme, sometime Proprietor of the Waimate estate, was born at Kingsmore, Cumberland, England, in 1833, and came to New Zealand by the ship “Labuan” in 1851. He and his brothes, Messrs John and Paul Studholme, took up their run at Waimate in 1854, and the estate was managed by them till 1878, when Mr. M. Studholme purchased his brothers' interest. The property included the fine land at Willowbridge, and a large area through the Gorge, in addition to that at Waimate. In the early days Mr. M. Studholme was chairman of the Waimate road board, and was afterwards a member of the county council. He took an active part in agricultural matters, and was also promment in connection with racing. In 1862 he visited England, and returned with stud sheep and horses. Mr. Studholme was married, in 1860, to a daughter of the late Mr. Henry Channon, and, at his death, in 1886, left six sons and four daughters, of whom two sons and one daughter have died. Mrs Studholme still survives her husband.

Te Waimate House, with the Pioneer Hut to the Right. Cox photo.

Te Waimate House, with the Pioneer Hut to the Right. Cox photo.

Pioneer Hut at Te Waimate, Built by Messrs Studholme Brothers in 1854. (Children's Grey Pony “Nelson”: Lived to be thirty-three years old.) Cox, photo.

Pioneer Hut at Te Waimate, Built by Messrs Studholme Brothers in 1854.
(Children's Grey Pony “Nelson”: Lived to be thirty-three years old.) Cox, photo.

The late Mr. M. Studholme.

The late Mr. M. Studholme.

The Waihaorunga Public School which was established in February, 1902, stands on a glebe of about ten acres which formed part of the Waihaorunga homestead. There is a playground of about two acres, and the remainder of the glebe is used by the teacher. The building, which is of wood and iron, contains three rooms for the resident teacher, and a class room, which has accommodation for thirty-six children; the number on the roll is twenty-six, and the average attendance, twenty.

Mr. William George Marriott, Teacher in charge at Waihaorunga, was born at Waimate in 1880. He was educated at the District High School in his native town served four years as a pupil-teacher at Waimate, and was appointed to the Waihaoruga school in April, 1903.