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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 10 (January 2, 1939)

Final View of the Colony

Final View of the Colony.

The evacuation of the settlement was carried out under the supervision of the H.M.S. Fantome, anchored at Port Ross. R. E. Malone—an officer on board the Fantome—wrote an account of affairs in connection with the Company, which, he said, had been misled and had lost heavily. Apparently, Enderby had at least not over-rated the health of the colonists, for, according to Malone, though for the greater part of the year the weather was wet and windy, yet the colonists presented a thriving appearance; a proof that the climate was healthy. The cattle, too, were in good condition.

In the month of June herbage was springing up in all directions, but it grew only to be stunted by the wind. The farms were failures, nothing growing to any size—the turnips resembled miserable radishes.
(Photo. Capt. J. C. Mercer) An aerial view of Broken River and the Midland Line, Canterbury, South Island.

(Photo. Capt. J. C. Mercer)
An aerial view of Broken River and the Midland Line, Canterbury, South Island.

Malone also notes that three horses, brought to the islands from Sydney, had been useless owing to the swampy nature of the ground.

There had been discontent among the seamen on the whalers. Shortly after the Fantôme's arrival at the islands, the Hardwicke returned from a four months’ cruise, with hardly any whale oil, and the ship's company in a deplorable state from rebellion, sickness, and shortage of food. The captain said he had been for three weeks beating off the island, unable to get to the anchorage.

From all accounts, Charles Enderby was not fitted for the task of governing a colony, planning its food supply, and managing a whaling station. Like many another enterprise, the Southern Whale Fishery colony at Auckland Island failed, chiefly through miscalculation.

Not amid the gloom of failure, but rather with the light of achievement shining on him, would one take leave of Charles Enderby—the man of whom “Scott of the Antarctic” wrote: “To the disinterested exertions of Mr. Charles Enderby and to the zeal of his officers was due the discovery of Graham Land, Enderby Land, Sabrina Land, Kemp Land, and the Balleny Islands.”

All honour to “The Vigorous Enderbys.”