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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]

Mr. George Munro

Mr. George Munro , Old Colonist, who was the first European to settle in the Tuapeka district (and after whom Munro's Gully and Munro's Hill are named), was born in 1835, in Sutherlandshire, Scotland, where he was a shepherd. He came to New Zealand in 1856, by the ship “Strathmore,” landed at Port Chalmers, and he and Mr. John Sutherland (now of Waitahuna) were engaged by the late Mr. James Macandrew at the rate of 10s per diem. Munro afterwards served as a shepherd with Messrs Smith and Allan for seven years. Whilst in their employment he met Gabriel Read, who was out prospecting, and who remained his guest for three days in 1861. Mr. Munro accompanied him to the Tuapeka basin, where, pointing to the gully which bears his name, Read said: “If gold is to be got, I will find it there.” When driving fat sheep to Tokomairiro Mr. Munro came across Read, who called out and showed what he had obtained for a day's work, namely, gold valued at £40. On arriving at Tokomairiro, Mr. Munro found a crowd around Goodall's talking about gold, and informed them what he had seen with Read. He suggosted page 391 that they should go and do likewise; they required only food and tools. Thus started the “rush.” During the time Munro was absent, his wife discovered gold in their gully (Munro's), and had actually eighteen ounces in her possession on his return. Mr. Munro then left shepherding and started dairying and dealing, and has followed that occupation ever since. Thirty years ago Mr. Munro removed from the gully to the hill, which also bears his name, and where he has a farm of about 300 acres. He has two sons and three daughters. Mrs Munro was the first white woman to settle in the Tuapeka district.