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Yesterdays in Maoriland

Chapter XXI Return to Europe

page 305

Chapter XXI Return to Europe

"The Council and Members of the Auckland Institute desire to record their appreciation of the valuable services rendered to the cause of Science in New Zealand by Mr. A. Reischek, who has spent twelve years of unwearying and enthusiastic devotion in studying the Natural History and more particularly the Ornithology of the Colony. They desire to recognise his ready assistance, and also all the singular zeal he has displayed in exploring the most rugged, inaccessible, and unknown parts of the country in order to study the habits of the rarer and more interesting members of our avifauna, so many of which are fast disappearing under the influence of advancing civilisation.

'This Institute wishes Mr. Reischek the success and recognition in Europe which his arduous and valuable researches in New Zealand so well deserve.

Auckland, New Zealand, February 18, 1889.'

I Left Auckland on February 20, 1889. My last weeks there were an interwoven pattern of joy and sorrow. I received a host of farewell visits and letters and testimonials for my services in the Colony.

To tear myself away at last from this country, which had become my second homeland, and from the many true friends I had made, upset me very much. The steamer sailed in the afternoon: soon the white page 306handkerchiefs of those on shore were waving a last farewell. At the very last moment some one came dashing along with a final message for me, but the steamer was already on her way across the harbour. I soon went to bed, dead tired with the excitement and efforts of the day.

I reached the shores of my native land on April 13, landing at Trieste; and two days later my train pulled into the station I had left twelve years earlier, the Süd Bahnhof at Vienna.