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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 1 (April 1, 1940)

Picturesque Governor's Bay

Picturesque Governor's Bay

(Continued from page 16)

Governor's Bay, where she died nearly sixty years ago. Her first home was a tiny two-roomed place built of square stone blocks by a quarryman who was getting stone for the Cathedral, the quarry being just at the gate of Mrs. Garlick's present home. As time went on, one or two tiny daub rooms were added. One, 6ft by 9ft. high, with a tiny window, still remains. The large blocks of stone for the Cathedral were sledged about two chains, then conveyed by lighter to Lyttelton, and thence by boat to the Heathcote River, Christchurch.

The delightfully picturesque Anglican Church, St. Cuthbert's, with its separate belfry, situated on the hillside over-looking the blue waters of the Bay, dominates the scene, and is inextricably associated with the life of the settlers. Previous to its erection, and up till 1860, services were held in a small sod building. The monuments in the old churchyard bear the names of many a hardy settler, but the lives of these indomitable folk constitute the real monument, and one which is being gratefully remembered at the present time throughout the length and breadth of the land. The first burial was that of Robert Munro, dated March 16, 1867. The story of a burial which took place in 1869 is instinct with chivalry and devotion. It was that of Mary Crompton of Little River. The body was borne on foot by eight men from Little River, a distance of forty miles, so that she whom they loved might rest in a real cemetery. The inscription is no longer visible, but the headstone remains. The foundation of this church was laid in 1860, and there was no hurried jerry-building about its erection. It took two years to build, some of the stone being brought from the beach, and some from Garlick's quarry. The first high roof was of shingles and more picturesque than the present corrugated iron one, and the thick walls with the very deeply inset latticed windows and substantial buttresses add to the charm of the building. The porch, with its cobblestone floor, is reminiscent of an English village church.

An early settler tells of the Mullock, the first coastal vessel which traded to Lyttelton. Her itinerary included Heathcote and the bays in the harbour. She broke down on her last trip, and was towed to Governor's Bay, and beached. There she remained until the Great War, when some of her plates were reclaimed, and so severing, as it were, another link with the past.