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



Waianakarua is the name given to a railway station and agricultural settlement seventeen miles to the south of Oamaru, between Herbert and Hampden. The district is noted for the romantic beauty of the scenery on portions of the Waianakarua creek, and has a public school and a post office; the nearest telegraph office is at Herbert, four miles distant. Waiakarua also has a hotel and a large flour mill. The main road is good, but hilly, and sportsmen can get good rabbit shooting in the reighbourhood. The English meaning of the Maori name is “The Meeting of the Waters,” as the Otepopo and Waianakarua rivers conjoin in the locality.

The Waianakarua Public School which is conducted in a wooden building of two rooms, with accommodation for 110 scholars, is situated on a glebe of ten acre. There are forty scholars on the roll, and the average attendance is thirty-four. The school surrounded by a spacious playground, and the headmaster's residence is situated on the properly.

Mr. Robert Blair , Headmaster of Waianakarua Public School, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, on the 14th of October, 1850 He was educated at the national schools, trained at the Normal College, Dublin, became licensed to teach under the Irish education system, and was engaged in that work for five years prior to coming to the Colony. Mr. Blair arrived in Port Chalmers in the year 1882, by the ship “Jessie Readman,” to join the staff of the Otago Education Board. He was successively master of the school at Clarke's Flat, near Lawrence, for eighteen months, and at Southbridge for eighteen months. After six years at Beaumont, Mr. Blair was appointed to his present position in October, 1891. He is a member of the Hampden Presbyterian Church, and has served as a member of the Synod of Otago and Southland. Mr. Blair was married, in 1882, to a daughter of the late Mr. James McMeekin, of County Antrim, and he has three daughters.

Mr. R. Balir.

Mr. R. Balir.

Brown, Francis , Farmer, “Sea View,” Waianakarua, Mr. Brown was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1845, brought up to country life, and arrived in Port Chalmers by the ship “Viola,” in 1863. He was for five years in the Taieri and Tokomairiro districts, but in 1868 he came to Kakanui, and for some years was engaged in contract ploughing and other farm work. In 1876 he became a land owner in the Waianakarua district, in which he has continued to reside. Mr. Brown has been a member of the local school committee since 1896, and has held office as one of the managers of the Otepopo Presbyterian Church since 1897. He was married in 1878 to a daughter of Mr. James Knox, of Dunedin, and has five daughters and three sons.

Robertson, James , Farmer, “Chalgrove,” Waianakarua. This old settler who has resided in the district for about forty years, was born in the Shetland Isles in 1827. He was brought up to country pursuits, but went to sea at the age of seventeen, served an apprenticeship of four years, and was before the mast till 1852, when he left his ship in Melbourne. After about eighteen years' experience on the Victorian diggings, Mr. Robertson arrived at Port Chalmers at the end of 1859, and at once settled in the Hampden district, where he bought a portion of his farm at the first land sale. He has 340 acres of freehold in a good state of cultivation.