Title: Henry Lawson Among Maoris

Author: William H. Pearson

Quoted in: Henry Lawson Among Maoris

Publication details: Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 1968, Wellington

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Paul Millar

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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Native School — Mangamaunu — Kaikoura — 29th June 1897

Native School
29th June 1897.

The Secretary for Education


I beg to report that the School "Summary" for 1897 and Daily Attendance Registers for 1896 & 1897 were not in the school when I took

* Barcroft Boake's posthumous collection Where the Dead Men Lie was published by Angus and Robertson later in 1897.

Five of John Arthur Barry's stories appeared in Chambers's Journal between 19 June 1897 and 30 April 1898.

page 175charge. I have made a thorough search, and all possible enquiries, since writing to the Department on the matter, but without success. It may be possible, in view of a statement made to me to the effect that the Church Register, here, is lost-and provided that the records were not sent to the Department and overlooked-that the missing School records were borrowed by one of the Maoris or the Committee for reference for childrens ages or some such purpose. The Committee and most of the parents are still absent, whaling, &c; the Church records are not accessable; the mother of the youngest child in the school does not herself know the child's age, and for these reasons I beg to submit that the statement of ages in the case of three or four of the younger children in my quarterly returns for June, may be open to amendment. I was unable to go to Kaikoura and see the District Register there before posting returns, but will ascertain correct ages as soon as possible. Maria Poharama stated in my copy of returns for last December to be 10 yrs 3 mth, cannot be less, now, than 13 yrs.

The only stock missing from the school, as far as I could judge was stationery. I have no blotting paper nor Contingency Voucher forms in stock. Kindly forward a supply of blotting paper at your earliest convenience.

The low average attendance, compared with the roll, is due to sickness and the whaling season. The mother of four of the children, who brought them from the whaling station to attend School, had to return to attend to her husband who is sick there, and was obliged to take the children with her. The attendance of three of the Europeans depends on the state of the river crossing

The children bring what firewood they can, but, as they are poorly clothed for the most part, and get wet and invariably lose time when they go for wood, and as the men are away and there is no convenience for carting in the pa. I might be permitted to order a load of firewood for the school to last the winter.

Yours respectfully

Henry Lawson Teacher.

The late teacher left a good garden here to be kept for his successor; but it was totally destroyed by the sheep. I would be glad of a pamphlet on kitchen gardening, suitable for this district. The Maoris here express great sorrow at Mr Steel's death and sympathy for Mrs Steel. Would be glad of her address so that we might forward some token of sympathy.

H. L.