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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 1 (April 1, 1938.)

The Birth of Canterbury.—

page 40

The Birth of Canterbury.—

(continued from page 31.)

were wanted, but “circumspect, cautious, well-balanced types, who were slow to decide, but who would lay foundations of real and solid firmness” were well-received. Wakefield wrote gleefully to Godley, “I do not know of a single money-grabbing speculator going, although,” he added rather ruefully, “although, of course, there must be some.” No greater tribute could be paid to the thorough work of that Selection Committee than to say that after a lapse of, three generations, the characteristics which the Committee considered should be dominant in the selected settlers are still the dominant characteristics of the Canterbury descendants. The Archbishop of Canterbury preached a special service at St. Paul's Cathedral to the “Canterbury Pilgrims,” and the first four ships sailed for New Zealand on September 7th, 1850.

Such is the stuff that dreams are made of—a foolish prank sends a young man to prison, where the long nights and dreary days turns his thoughts from a planned political career to colonial reform. The excesses of an Irish famine impel a polished intellect to forsake the cushions of aristocratic ease for the rough path of pioneering. On the heights of history-soaked hills, these two sick men are brought together by chance, and there they dream a dream—the dream of the perfect settlement transplanted to the other end of the world. All the massed opposition of powerful interests and entrenched officialdom fade into nothingness before the nebulous aspirations of a couple of invalids. A great Church, mellowed by centuries of tradition is enthused into the active support of a model colony in a land notorious for its warlike savages and ferocious massacres; Oxford, that “home of lost causes,” gives of her best brains and the name of her proud Cathe-dral College to an unformed village in a tussock swamp. Scholarly men and decicately-natured ladies are induced to exile themselves and undergo the rigors ergo the rigors of pioneering at the ends of the earth—all because two frail visionaries have seen a vision.