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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.

“Jack Muck”

Jack Muck

Jack Lewis—also known as “Jack Muck”—was born in 1817. He claimed to have been present at the Bombardment of Acre in 1840. In August, 1840, he was aboard H.M. storeship Buffalo when she was driven on shore at Whitianga (Mercury Bay). With others, he went on to the infant settlement to which the name “Auckland” had been given. In their eyes, the embryo city had the greatest defect possible—it had no grog shop! They speedily set about to remedy matters by working the hull of an old brig along the seafront and shoring her up at the foot of the gully of which Queen Street is now the main feature. The bar was placed in the hold, and gangways were set up on either side of their “hotel.” Their opening day proved a memorable occasion. Finding his way to Sydney, Lewis met Joseph Carroll, who became the father of Sir James Carroll. The pair moved to the Bay of Islands, and then to Mahia. After engaging for some time at whaling, Lewis took up hotelkeeping at Mohaka. When the Te Kooti revolt broke out, he joined up with Colonel Whitmore's force, and narrowly missed death in what he used to describe as “the Ruakituri ambush.” In 1886 he settled at Te Araroa, where he died in 1913 at the great age of ninety-six years.