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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Beaconsfield (Otipua)

Beaconsfield (Otipua).

Beaconsfield (Otipua), which as a settlement was established in 1879, is six miles from Timaru, on the road leading to Upper Pareora. The township is about the centre of the original Otipua estate, which comprised about 30,000 acres of land. This property, after being bought by the Government, was subdivided and thrown open for settlement, and some freehold land, owned by Mr G. G. Russell, was also disposed of in township sections. Beaconsfield has had a post office, named Otipua, for about twenty years. There are also blacksmiths' and carpenters' shops, and a pretty little ivy-covered church overlooks the settlement. The children of the district attend the Pareora public school, about two miles distant.

The Post Office At Otipua , which serves the Beaconsfield district, was established in 1882. It is conducted at the store of Mr. C. Chivers, where mails are received and despatched daily. There is also a telephone bureau.

Mr. Charles Chivers, Postmaster at Otipua Post Office, Beaconsfield, was born in Frome, Somersetshire, England, in 1836, and learned the trade of a cabinetmaker. He came to Lyttelton in the ship “Zealandia” in 1859, and has resided in the Timaru district since 1865. Mr. Chivers has been identified with the Beaconsfield district for a number of years, and has served on the public school committee. He was married in 1859, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Collins of Frome, Somersetshire, and has two sons and five daughters.

The Parish Of Beaconsfield And Kingsdown, which was constituted in page 1028 January, 1902, extends from Salisbury road on the north to the Pareora river on the south and west, to the sea on the east, and extends back to the hills. There is a church at Beaconsfield, and one is to be erected at Kingsdown, Mr. King, the former proprietor of the estate, having presented a suitable site. St. Mark's Church at Beaconsfield (Otipua), is very prettily situated on a rise in the village. Six acres of land were presented to the church by Mr. G. G. Russell, and three acres are used for the church site. The building, which was erected in 1896, is of atone, and is very picturesque with its ivy-grown walls. There is seating accommodation for over 100 persons, and a Sunday school, with fifteen scholars and three teachers, meets regularly in the building.

The Rev. Thomas Farlie, Vicar of Beaconsfield and Kingsdown, was born in County Cavan, Ireland, in 1854. He came to Auckland by the ship “Lady Jocelyn,” in 1874, and was for seven years stationed at Temuka before his appointment to Beacona-field in January, 1902. Mr. Farlie has 410 acres of land at St. Andrews, where he resides. He was married, in 1882, to the eldest daughter of the late Mr. W. I. Taylor, of Tamaki. This lady died in 1886, leaving two sons and one daughter. In 1891 Mr. Farlie married a daughter of Mr. F. L. Webster, of New Plymouth, and has two daughters by this union.

Hutton, Robert, Blacksmith, Otipua. Mr. Hutton was the first colonist to settle in Beaconsfield. He was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1849, and was brought up by his father to the trade of a blacksmith and shipwright. He came to Port Chalmers in 1873 in the ship “Cartsburn.” For four years he resided in Dunedin, where for some time he was engaged in business for himself. He then settled at Beaconsfield, where he built his house and workshop, started as a blacksmith, and has ever since been successful in business. Mr. Hutton has been a member of the Order of Oddfellows, and was a member of the Beaconsfield school committee for many years. In 1873, he married Miss Marian Craig, of Ayrshire, and they have seven sons and three daughters. The eldest son is engaged in his father's business.

Mr. R. Hutton.

Mr. R. Hutton.

Otipua Homestead.

Otipua Homestead.


Anstey, John, Farmer, Beaconsfield (Otipua). Mr. Anstey was born in Devonshire, England, in 1856, and brought up on his father's farm. He came out to Lyttelton in 1873, and for about three years found employment as a shearer and enginedriver. In 1881 he acquired a freehold of 182 acres at Pareora, and in November, 1889, leased an educational reserve of 417 acres in the Beaconsfield district, where he has since resided. Mr. Anstey also owns 156 acres of freehold at Coonoor, south-west of Timaru. He has taken an active interest in the Canterbury Farmers' Co-operative Association, of which he been a director for eight years. Mr. Anstey served for seven years on the Pareora school committee, and was chairman for three years of that time. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1897. Mr. Anstey was married in September, 1881, to a daughter of the late Mr. P. Chamberlain, of Devonshire, and has three sons and one daughter.

Ferrier, photo.Mr. and Mrs J. Anstey.

Ferrier, photo.
Mr. and Mrs J. Anstey.

Mr. George Gray Russell, of Otipua, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1828. He was educated in Dunfermline and Edinburgh, and was for many years a successful merchant in London. On arriving in New Zealand, in 1864, he established himself in Dunedin as a general merchant, and two years latter opened a branch in Timaru. In both places he soon had a large and very successful business. The Timaru branch was first carried on by Mr. Russell himself, but in a few years he was joined by Mr. Ritchie, his partner in the Dunedin firm, of Russell, Ritchie and Co. In 1878 the business was taken over by the National Mortgage and Agency Company, who now carry it on. The two establishments were largely connected with the wool, grain, and produce export shipping business, and Mr. Russell himself was page 1029 an extensive landowner and runholder. He retired from active business in 1885, but he is still largely interested in colonial industries, and takes a lively interest in public affairs. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Dunedin High School and the Otago University Council. His residences are at Otipua, near Timaru, and at Glenfalloch, Dunedin. Otipua is an ideal estate and country residence, with its entrance lodge, its long winding drive through an avenue of choice trees, its well laid out gardens, and large homestead. The place was laid out by Mr. Russell himself when it was in its primitive state, covered with tussock. Although Mr. Russell has taken no public part in political matters, his services commercially and socially, and in connection with enterprises for the advancement and well being of the colony, will long be remembered.

Otipua House.

Otipua House.