Chris Korte's New Zealand Genealogy Project



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Watch Case Available

I have been contacted by a person with a silver watch case and chain. The watch case is engraved with Elizabeth Annis Hill 1893. Unfortunately it is the metal watch case only, no watch, although it is recalled that at one stage, a great many years ago (60?), the watch was intact.

If you are a descendant, please contact me and I will provide the email of the person with the watch case. They will send the watch case to a descendant.

Posted 7 Aug 2020.

SUTTON [Annis], Elizabeth Annis (I592)

New Book 2022 - Spurdle Family History

See details of a new book to be published in October 2022
Building a Future, the first Spurdle family in New Zealand

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SPURDLE, Oliver Cooke (I236)

New Book 2022 - Spurdle Family History

See details of a new book to be published in October 2022
Building a Future, the first Spurdle family in New Zealand

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SPURDLE, William (I238)

New Book 2022 - Spurdle Family History

See details of a new book to be published in October 2022
Building a Future, the first Spurdle family in New Zealand

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SIBLEY, Sarah (I239)

New Book 2022 - Spurdle Family History

See details of a new book to be published in October 2022
Building a Future, the first Spurdle family in New Zealand

Go to page with details on how to order.

SPURDLE [Maria Alice Selby], Maria Sibley (I253)

New Book 2022 - Spurdle Family History

See details of a new book to be published in October 2022
Building a Future, the first Spurdle family in New Zealand

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SPURDLE, Mary Ann (I254)

New Book 2022 - Spurdle Family History

See details of a new book to be published in October 2022
Building a Future, the first Spurdle family in New Zealand

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SPURDLE, William Akerman (I255)

New Book 2022 - Spurdle Family History

See details of a new book to be published in October 2022
Building a Future, the first Spurdle family in New Zealand

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SPURDLE, Frederick Morris (I256)



SIR, - A reference by Mr E. Godfred, an early-day resident of Port Chalmers to having shipped on the Wild Deer has revived memories of my landing at Port Chalmers in - I think - the year 1883. The ship Wellington brought out a large number of emigrants. We left Greenock about the same time as the Wild Deer, and there was some speculation as to which would get to New Zealand first. We had a protracted voyage which extended to well over 100 days. I was nine years old at the time, and there were a number of children on board. My late father acted as schoolmaster on the voyage. When Fort Chalmers was reached there was great excitement.

We watched the tug puffing down the harbour to pull us into the wharf. We children were all agog, and when the pilot climbed up over the side the first news given out was that the Wild Deer had been wrecked. I could not understand at the time why some of the passengers wept on hearing this, but later I learned that they had friends on board that ship.

By last mail I received letters from Home that were posted on August 1. If they had taken as long to come to New Zealand as the ship Wellington took at the time of which I write they would not have been delivered until some time in October.

I am etc., A. E. Bateman.
Waitahuna, September 11.

Source: Otago Daily Times, 12 September 1931 Page 16.
Family: Thomas Henry BATEMAN [Henry] / Elizabeth EDWARDS (F101)



Trouper J. E. Bateman who was home on final leave, was entertained by the local Patriotic Committee in Carmody's Hall on Friday, 19th inst. and presented with a wristlet watch (writes our correspondent).

Mr F. Whelan presided and made the presentation, and in doing so referred in feeling terms to the hard strain on Mr and Mrs Bateman and their young soldier son owing to the loss they had sustained through the death of their eldest son and brother at the front. He was sure the committee and the residents of Waitahuna would give them all the sympathy and strengthening that they possibly could. He also referred to the fact that there was a returned soldier in their midst. Private W. Cullen, to whom a public welcome would be accorded together with Sergeant Edwards, who was expected to arrive shortly.

Mr Murdoch and Mr McCaw each gave short, inspiring addresses wishing the young soldier every success and blessing and pointing out the manner in which victory and a righteous and lasting peace would be most surely secured.

The following very fine programme of music and song was given during thee evening:- Instrumental duo (piano and violin) Miss Woods and Master Leuz; vocal duet, Misses Nichols and Darton; song, Miss Woods; song, Mr R. Murray; pianoforte duet, Misses. Oudaille; vocal duet, Misses Woods and Nichols; cello solo, Mr J. Bruce. All the performers had to respond to encores which they did with grace and cheerfulness. The chairman moved a vote of thanks to all who had helped to make the meeting a success, specially mentioning Misses Woods, Darton, Nichols, Hart, and Browne, who had come from Lawrence to give their services. A vote of thanks and the National Anthem brought the meeting to a close.

Source: Tuapeka Times, 24 April 1918, Page 3.

Note: The article referred incorrectly to Trooper J H Bateman and has been corrected.
BATEMAN [Jack], John Edwards (I155)


BATEMAN. - In loving memory of Thomas Henry (Harry) Bateman (24th Reinforcements), who died from wounds in Belgium on January 7, 1918, eldest son of Mr and Mrs John H. Bateman, of Waitahuna.

For King, Home, and Country.

BATEMAN. - In loving memory of Rifleman "Harry" Bateman (24th Reinforcements), who died from wounds at Lizssenstock, Belgium, on January 7, 1918.

He sleeps in a British soldiery's grave,
In a land to us unknown,
But his name is written in letters of love
On the hearts he left at home.

lnserted by his uncle and aunt, E. and M. Bateman, and cousin Doris, Caversham.

Source: Otago Witness, 8 January 1919, Page 35.

The Call of the Empire.

For a small community Waitahuna has suffered very heavily as regards the number of district lads who, since the beginning of the war, have made the supreme sacrifice (says the Tuapeka Times). Nearly every family from which sons have gone has suffered bereavement. On Wednesday advice was received that another promising lad from this district had died on January 6th from wounds. We refer to Private Henry Bateman, older son of Mr and Mrs J. H. Bateman, of Waitahuna. The deceased, who was born and educated at Waitahuna, was 22 years of age, and prior to enlisting was for some years a member of the Railway Department's locomotive staff at Dunedin, where from cleaning he quickly rose to the position of a fireman, He was a fine dispositioned young man, and was highly esteemed by his fellow workers in the engine sheds.

It is a melancholy coincidence that he was one of four district boys who were given a farewell social by the Waitahuna Patriotic Association on the same evening prior to their leaving, all of whom have gone down in the fight for freedom. His companions on that occasion were Corporal John French and Privates Adam and Malcolm McCorkindale. In their sad bereavement Mr and Mrs Bateman have the sincere sympathy of a very wide circle of friends throughout Otago.

Source: Bruce Herald, 21 January 1918, Page 5.
BATEMAN [Harry], Thomas Henry (I136)


Death Of Waitahuna Resident

The inquest into the death of Hugh Blaikie Ross Crozier, a widower, aged 78, retired miner, of Waitahuna, was held in the Lawrence Courthouse before the district coroner, Mr G. H. Martin. Ronald Bateman, a nephew of the deceased, gave evidence of identification.

Evidence was given by William David Brown Storey, driver of a New Zealand Road Services lorry, concerning the discovery of the car in a culvert near Forsyth. The car was upside down, he said, and the occupant was dead.

Constable J. Mathieson gave evidence that the brakes and steering gear of the car had been tested and were found to be in good order. Marks showed that the car had been travelling on the correct side of the road.

John Richie Gilmore, medical practitioner, of Lawrence, testified that in his opinion deceased was dead prior to the car leaving the road. In his opinion, death was due to heart failure.

The coroner's verdict was that the deceased died on August 9 while driving a car on the road between Waitahuna and Lawrence, the immediate cause of death being heart failure, caused by a narrowing of the coronary arteries by atheroma.

Source: Otago Daily Times, 14 August 1950, Page 8.
CROZIER, Hugh Blaikie Ross (I142)



After a long illness, a resident of Gisborne for the past 60 years, Mr. F. H. (Cyril) Buscke, died at his home, "Pipiwhakao" Manutuke, this week. Mr. Buscke had followed farming pursuits throughout his lifetime and was a well known and respected member of the older farming community of Gisborne.

Born at New Plymouth in 1880, Mr. Buscke was the fourth son of the late Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Buscke. When Mr. Buscke was four years of age he came with his parents to the Gisborne district, his father then being Government surveyor. With only a few short breaks, Mr Buscke spent the remainder of his life in the district.

He was a keen patron of the sport of wrestling and was a vice-president of the Gisborne Wrestling Club. For many years he resided at Matawai and was one of the founders of the Dog Trial Club in that district. Later he moved to "Lybton," Opotiki, but soon returned to Gisborne.

Marriage in 1906

In 1906 Mr. Buscke married Miss Maudee L. R. Luttrell, second daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. E. V. Luttrell, pioneers of this district.

Mr. Buscke was a man of sterling character and high ideals, which he lived up to in all his actions.

There remain to mourn their loss his wife, and two daughters and three sons. They are Mrs. B. Alley and Miss Irma Buscke; Messrs. Karl, Ivan and Dudley Buscke, all of Gisborne. There are 10 grandchildren. He is also survived by two brothers, Mr. Oscar Buscke, Sydney, and Mr. Charles Buscke, Auckland. His twin brother, Mr. George Buscke, predeceased him four years ago and Mr. Lambert Buscke only a month ago.

The funeral which took place at the Taruheru cemetery was largely attended, the pall bearers being his three sons and Messrs. L. Wagner, B. Alley, G. Jerram, T. Williams and A. McIntosh.

Source: Gisborne Herald, 12 April 1947, Page 4.
BUSCKE [Cyril], Felix Herbert (I1702)


Another of the fast disappearing band of the early pioneers of Hawke's Bay settlers passed away in Dannevirke on Wednesday in the person of Mr Adolf Berkahn, after a long and painful illness, borne with great fortitude. Born in Denmark 77 years ago, deceased came to New Zealand with his parents in the Queen of the North in 1875, arriving in Napier, the family settling at Makotuku. Deceased, with his wife, subsequently took up a bush section at Whakarara, where they remained for 21 years, afterwards removing to Makotuku and later to Maraekakaho, going to Dannevirke in February last.

The late Mr Berkahn was widely known in Hawkes Bay and was very highly respected by a large number of friends throughout the district in which he had resided. He is survived by his widow and a grown-up family of four sons - Messrs H. Berkahn (Tiratu), N. M. Berkahn (Maraekakaho), W. L. Berkahn (Kereru), A.. E. Berkahn (Ormondville); and four daughters - Mrs E. Kerr (Dannevirke), Mrs W. Oates (Tokomaru Bay), Mrs V. Coombs (Tokomaru Bay), and Mrs S. Rich (Bulls).

Source: Manawatu Standard, 29 May 1937, Page 10.
BERKAHN, Adolph Carl August (I10795)



Mr Richard Lambert Buscke, whose death occurred last Saturday, was a well-known identity of the Gisborne and surrounding districts.

He was the second son of the late Mr and Mrs W. C. Buscke and was born at Patea in 1876. He came to Gisborne with his parents in 1881, his father then being a Government surveyor. At an early age he went on the land and later became manager of several well-known sheep stations. At a later date he took over Tutamoe station at Tolaga Bay, where he lived for seven years, and following that he acquired a sheep station in partnership with his brother at Wharerata.

In 1912 Mr. Buscke married Miss Ada Frances Newman, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Newman, "Homeburn", Waipaoa.

A member of the Cosmopolitan Club and in his early years a member of the Gisborne Racing Club, he always retained an interest in that sport.

Since 1921 Mr. Buscke lived at Ormond and during the past year he was frequently an inmate of the hospital, where his bright and cheery nature helped him to bear his recent illness with great fortitude.

His wife survives him and there is one daughter, Mrs. G. T. Allcock, Gisborne, and one grandson. His brother, Mr. George Buscke predeceased him by some years, and Mr. Cyril Buscke, Manutuke, Mr. Charles Buscke, Auckland, and Mr. Oscar Buscke, Sydney, his three remaining brothers, also survive him.

Source: Gisborne Herald, 5 March 1947, Page 6.
BUSCKE, Richard Lambert (I9356)



There passed away early yesterday morning a very highly respected Akaroa resident in the person of Mr James Rhodes, who died after an illness extending over some years, and although he was able to get out and about, his health, has troubled him considerably for several years. He was born in Flea Bay in 1848, being the eldest son of the late Mr Israel Rhodes, and was, therefore, one of the first white people born on Banks Peninsula. His father acted as manager of the Flea Bay property for Mr Geo. Rhodes, and later he and his sons acquired the property. Mr Jas. Rhodes was educated in Flea Bay, and with his brothers, worked very hard for many years, as all the old settlers who made good were obliged to do. He took an interest in all local matters, and was for a term a member of the Akaroa and Wainui Road Board; but the isolated position of Flea Bay made it hard for him to take an active part in local body work. He married twice, his first wife being Miss Rodrigues. Later he married Miss Annie Haylock, daughter of Mr Geo. Haylock. He leaves a widow and eight children, three sons and five daughters: Messrs T. Rhodes, of Christchurch, Herbert Rhodes, of Akaroa, and Victor Rhodes, of Chatham' Islands, and Mesdames A. R. Haylock, Lai Haylock, Johnson (West Coast), E. May, and Miss Ivy Haylock. Mr Rhodes was one of the finest types of old settlers, industrious, cheerful, and always thoroughly fair in his dealings, and he fully merited the general esteem in which he was held.

Source: Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume L, Issue 5180, 11 June 1926.

RHODES, James (I6495)



The death has occurred at Hawera of Mr. Joshua Mellor Gatenby, a well-known resident of Mangatoki and a prominent Taranaki landholder. Mr. Gatenby was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1879, and came to New Zealand with his parents in the same year. He was educated at the Auckland Grammar School and Queen's College, Auckland, and at an early age engaged in farming in North Auckland. Receiving a substantial legacy from a former employer, Mr. Gatenby settled in Taranaki in 1900, and engaged in dairy farming on a large scale at Mangatoki and Ngaere. He is survived by his wife, six daughters and three sons. The interment took place at Eltham, and was attended by a large number of settlers from all parts of Taranaki.

Source: New Zealand Herald, 13 July 1927, Page 12.

GATENBY, Joshua Mellor (I133)



The death has occurred in Wellington, after a long illness, of Mrs. Ada Frances Buscke.

Mrs. Buscke, who was born at "Homebush," Waipaoa, was the eldest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. A. M. Newman, well-known pioneer residents of the Gisborne district, and spent all her life in this district.

She married Mr. R. L. Buscke in 1912, and during her married life lived at Tutamoe station, Tolaga Bay, and at Wharerata, where Mr. Buscke was in partnership with his brother, Mr. Charles Buscke.

In 1921 they came to live at the old family home "Riverford," Ormond, where Mrs. Buscke spent the remainder of her life. Mrs. Buscke was known and respected by a wide circle of friends, and took an active interest in church functions connected with St. Luke's Parish, Wae-renga-a-hika.

Being a keen lover of gardening, she was well known for her success as an exhibitor in floral work. She has been a member of the Ormond Women's Institute, the Women's Division of Federated Farmers, and the S.P.C A.

Her husband predeceased her by nearly four years.

She is survived by her only daughter, Mrs. G. T. Allcock, and one grandchild, of Cook Street, Gisborne; also by three brothers and three sisters, Mr. G. M. Newman, Patutahi; Mr. I H. Newman, Waipaoa; Mr. R. H Newman, Napier; Mrs. A. M. Trafford, Te Karaka, Mrs. W. E Ward. Waipaoa and Miss E. P. Newman, "Riverford," Ormond.

Source: Gisborne Herald, 27 November 1950, Page 6.
NEWMAN, Ada Frances (I9357)



The death of Thomas H. Bateman, which took place at his home at "Fairview," Mt. Stuart, at midnight on Sunday 10th inst., came as a great shock to the residents of Waitahuna, and also to his own family (writes our correspondent). Though it was known that he had been in failing health for some time no one dreamed that his death was so near. Born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1811, he succeeded to his father's business of grocer and ironmonger at the age of 21 which he successfully carried on for over twenty years. Thereafter he sailed for New Zealand where he arrived with his wife and seven children in March, 1883, and came straight to Mrs Bateman's aunt, the late Mrs George Milne, at Hound Hill, and then took up their house on Mt Stewart where they have lived since. During his thirty-one years residence here, Mr Bateman busied himself dealing in wool, sheepskins, rabbit skins, &c., and was the first man in the district to buy rabbits for export, a work which he loved and he carried on till within a few days of his death. Mr Sullivan, for whom he acted as agent for most of that time, expressed his great regret by telegram and stated that all his staff would miss the kindly cheery word which was so characteristic of the man. The neighbours and residents here most heartily join in this appreciation, as it was always a pleasure to do business with the bright and cheerful gentleman who always had a kindly word or bright story. He was a member of the Mt. Stewart School Committee for twenty-seven years and acted as clerk and treasurer all that time. He was also a member of the Waitahuna Farmers' Club, and was a successful exhibitor at the shows. He also took a great interest in horticulture and had this season a splendid garden of many varieties of vegetables. He leaves his widow for whom much sympathy is felt, nine children, and twenty-nine grandchildren. His family of six sons and three daughters are all married and doing well. Two are in the North Island and three - Mr J. H. Bateman, Mr A. E. Bateman, and Mrs J. B. Roberts, are resident in the Waitahuna district. The others are settled in the South Island in various parts. The funeral was largely attended, the Rev. Archdeacon Richards officiating at the grave.

Source: Tuapeka Times, 20 May 1914, Page 3.
BATEMAN [Henry], Thomas Henry (I5290)



The death of Mr. George Robert Buscke in Wellington removes one who had spent practically all his life in Gisborne, where he was well known to the older generation.

During his early years, Mr. Buscke was a member of the Gisborne Rowing Club, which he represented in regatta crews, while as a winter sport he took up Rugby football and later hockey. His employment took him into the timber trade many years ago, but he was better known in the freezing industry, working as a clerk for Messrs. Nelson Brothers, and Messrs Armour and Company Limited, and latterly for the Gisborne Refrigerating Company Limited.

He is survived by his wife and one daughter, Miss E. Buscke, to mourn their loss.

Source: Gisborne Herald, 28 October 1942, Page 2.
BUSCKE [George], Robert George (I9360)


The death of Mrs T. H. Bateman at the residence of her daughter, Mrs R. Allen (Moneymore) removes one who was a resident of the district for many years. Born at Bampton, Oxfordshire, England in 1845, Mrs Bateman with her husband and family of nine children left England in the ship Wellington at the end of 1882 and landed at Port Chalmers in February of the following year. Shortly afterwards the late Mr Bateman took up "Fairview Farm," at Mount Stuart, and the family resided there for many years. Mrs Bateman leaves four sons and three daughters - Mr A E. Bateman (" Hillcrest," Waitahuna, Mr E. G. Bateman (Caversham), Mr W. S. Bateman ("Fairview," Mount Stuart), Mr A. M. Bateman (Wanganui), Mrs R. Allen (Moneymore), Mrs William Jackson (Mornington), and Mrs J. B. Roberts (Orari), 18 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.

Source: Otago Daily Times, 28 January 1929, page 8.
EDWARDS, Elizabeth (I5291)



St. Andrew's Church, Gisborne, was the scene of a pretty wedding recently when a marriage was solemnised between Alice Freda Korte and Ivan Max Buscke.

The Very Rev. John Davie performed the ceremony, and Miss Lucy Brook was the organist.

The church decorations were arum lilies, white clematis and mauve lilac, stocks and rhododendrons, which made an attractive background.

Escorted by her father, the bride's gown of white self-patterned cloque featured long sleeves, sweetheart neckline with scroll piping, low-waisted bodice with buttoned and looped back and a full skirt forming a train. The fine tulle veil was an heirloom lent by a great-aunt of the bride; it was dressed with a halo of white cherry blossom. White roses and irises were carried.

The maids of honour were Miss Helen Redpath, the bride's cousin, chief, and Miss Joyce Korte, sister. Their gowns of apple-green self-checked organdie had shirred bodices, sleeves and voluminous skirts. Each wore a green head spray. Elbow-length gloves in green crochet and autumn-toned bouquets finished a colourful toilette.

The best man and groomsman respectively were Messrs. Albert Hall and George Tidswell.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Korte, Matawai, and the bridegroom the son of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Buscke, Manutuke.

The after-wedding festivities were held in the Bon Accord Lounge, where Mrs. Korte received her guests in a gown of navy cloque, matching hat and navy coat with red and blue trimmings and shoulder spray to tone. The bridegroom's mother assisted, wearing a black and white figured frock, black coat and lint and floral spray of white roses.

For travelling, Mrs. Buscke chose a smart pink wool suit with navy accessories. Their home address will be Patutahi.

Source: Gisborne Herald, 22 October 1946, Page 7.
Family: Ivan Max BUSCKE [Bunny] / Alice Freda KORTE [Allie] (F18)



St. Paul's Church, Motu, was the scene of a very pretty wedding on August 19, when Frances Patricia, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. L. Fisher, Motu, was married to Stuart Logan, elder son of Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Redpath, Rakauroa.

The Rev. P. H, Blakiston officiated, and Mrs. F. Mazengarb was the organist. The church had been beautifully decorated by friends of the bride, with lilies, spring bulbs and primus blossoms.

The bride, who was escorted by her father, wore a white embossed silk frock over cream taffeta. The full gathered bodice was buttoned down the back to the waist and came to a peak in front; it had a square lace yoke and round neckline, and long tight fitting sleeves buttoned at the wrists. The full panelled skirt fell from the waistline to form a train at the back. Her white embroidered net veil was held in place by a coronet of orange blossom. She wore a blue pendant, a present from the bridegroom, and carried a bouquet of hyacinths and winter roses tied with a lace ribbon bow. The frocks of the matron of honour, Mrs. G. Cantwell, sister of the bride, and bridesmaid, Miss June Paine, were of lemon Swiss embroidered organdie over gold taffeta. They were made with fitting bodices pointed back and front at the waist, round lace yokes with round necklines, and short puffed sleeves. The skirts were gathered and very full.

They also wore lemon silk lace mittens, coronets of matching organdie and gold leaves, in their hair. Each wore a gold locket and carried bouquets of blue hyacinths, yellow freesias and daffodils.

Mr. B. Briant was best man and Mr. A. Redpath groomsman.

At the reception in the Motu Hall the guests were received by the bride's mother, whose honey gold woollen frock was embroidered in saxe blue, buttoned down the front with blue and gold buttons. She also wore a saxe blue coat and hat and blue accessories. Her spray was blue hyacinths and daffodils.

Assisting with the reception of the guests was Mrs. T, A. Redpath, mother of the bridegroom, who had chosen a violet woollen costume with which she wore a paler violet blouse and matching bat. She had black accessories, and carried a posy of violets.

Mrs. R. Davis, sister of the bridegroom, was wearing a powder blue wool georgette frock, navy hat and navy accessories. She had a powder blue spray.

For going away the bride chose a brown and fawn checked costume, a fawn blouse, a brown hat and brown accessories.

Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Redpath will make their future home in Wairata.

Visitors to Motu for the Redpath-Fisher wedding were: Mrs. F. C. Briant and Messrs B. and D. Briant, Ngatapa; Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Picken and family, Patutahi; Mr. and Mrs. K. Walker, Tauranga; Mr. and Mrs. T. Watson, Te Teko; Mr. T. Buller, Mr. and Mrs. H. Redpath, Mr. and Mrs. J, Redpath, Opotiki; Mr. and Mrs. A. Macrae, Waioeka; Mr. and Mrs. G. Mead, Wairata; Mr. and Mrs. Cameron, Ormond; Mr. and Mrs. A. G Beets, Mr. and Mrs. M. Paine, Mr. and Mrs. G. T. Hutchins, Mrs. Tansley, Mrs. Anderson and Misses Picken, S. Wilson, J. O'Connell and B. Crafts, Gisborne; Mr. and Mrs. W. Stewart, Ruakituri.

Source: Opotiki News, 5 September 1950, Page 3.
Family: Stuart Logan REDPATH / Frances Patrica FISHER [Pat] (F50)



St. Mary's Church was the scene of a picturesque wedding this morning, when Joanne Felicia, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cyril Buscke, Manutuke, was married to Bernarr Thomas Clive, son of Mr. Harry Alley and the late Mis. Alley, Gisborne.

The church was beautifully decorated with early spring flowers. The Rev. Father Rogers officiated at nuptial mass. Miss Neill presided at the organ.

The bride, who entered the church on the arm of her father, looked charming in her lovely frock of honey gold satin, which was modelled on graceful lines. The bodice was shirred at shoulders and wrists, forming a full bishop sleeve. The soft neckline was adorned with a tiny sprig of orange blossom. A long train added grace to the skirt. A plaited satin girdle forming cascade ends fell to the hem. A simple veil of net edged with lace hung in soft folds over the face, being arranged to the head with a lovely coronet of orange blossoms. Gold shoes and hose to tone and an artistic sheaf of lilies, snowdrops and blue statice intermingled with ferns completed a very attractive toilette.

The maid of honour, Mrs. Karl Buscke, the bride's sister-in-law, and bridesmaid, Miss Irma Buscke, the bride's sister, were frocked alike in lovely gowns of Wallis blue net over full skirts of blue taffeta. A pretty effect was obtained by a profusion of tiny pink and blue rosebuds scattered over the skirts. The shirred bodices with pleated necklines had large puff sleeves tied with tiny black velvet bows. A half-circle of rosebuds, finished with black velvet streamer, formed the waistline. Picturesque mid-Victorian bonnets, adorned with roses were tied under the chin with velvet ribbon, while black net mittens and black velvet sandals were worn. They carried dainty posies of pink camellias, blue statice and ferns, creating a lovely old world impression.

The tiny flower girl, Shona McDonald, was an exact replica of the bridesmaids, her frock being shell pink net over satin of the same shade. Her Dollv Varden hat was tied under her chin with black velvet ribbon, and she carried a dainty posy of pink and blue flowers. The bridegroom's gifts to the bridesmaids and flower girl were pretty cameo rings.

The bridegroom was attended Mr. John Hogan as best man and Mr Brian Parker as groomsman.

Following the service at the church a reception was held at Le Grand Lounge which was tastefully decorated in shades of blue and gold. Three horseshoes were suspended above the bride and bridegroom's table.

Mr. and Mrs. Buscke, assisted by Mr Alley and Mrs. J. H. R. Egan, the bridegroom's sister, welcomed the guests.

A floral Kimbola crepe, in tonings of brown and pink, with a brown coat and hat, were worn by the bride's mother.

Mrs. Egan looked smart in a brown costume, and floral blouse and brown hat.

The usual toasts were honoured at the wedding breakfast, and later a pale gold wedding cake was cut and dispensed by the bride.

Many telegrams of congratulation were received by the popular couple. The gifts were numerous and costly and they also received many cheques.

During the afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Alley left for their wedding tour, the bride travelling in a navy tailored coat with wide revers edged with fur, under which was worn a frock of Lido blue woollen crepe relieved with red, navy shoes and hose to tone. A smart red bag and a close-fitting navy velvet toque offset with a red quill completed her ensemble.

Source: Poverty Bay Herald, 28 July 1937, Page 2.
Family: Bernarr Thomas Clive ALLEY [Bern] / Joanne Felicia BUSCKE [Joan] (F1842)



A wedding of interest was quietly solemnised at the lovely little Anglican Church in Manutuke on the morning of Saturday, July 27, when Zelda Barbara, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. K. White, Te Pura station, was married to Dudley Ross, third son of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Buscke, Manutuke. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. H. Speight.

The bride, who was escorted by her father, wore a smart model frock of navy blue wool cloque with a tiny velour hat to match, caught at the back with looped ribbon, and a skunk fur cape accented with a spray of violets.

After the ceremony a family reception was held at the home of the bride's parents.

Source: Gisborne Herald, 3 August 1940, Page 10.
Family: Dudley Ross BUSCKE / Zelda Barbara WHITE [La] (F1843)
Alger Cooley, born 18 August 1882 in Wellington. His birth registration did not name the father and Ann Cooley was the name given by his mother. Given that George Cooley died in 1880 and that Alger was subsequently known as Mudgway, it is reasonably assumed that Richard Mudgway was his father.

COOLEY [Algor MUDGWAY], Alger (I12034)
Elizabeth Redpath was born in Scotland in 1856 and immigrated to Otago, New Zealand with her parents when she was 4 years old. Elizabeth left home at age 12 years to help the wife of Dr Inglis in Mosgiel and stayed many years. She was housekeeper for Mr & Mrs Ross at Waitahuna and subsequently housekeeper for Mr Archie Moffatt at Raes Junction and later Waitahuna for many years. Elizabeth gave her mother her first sewing machine. Elizabeth died in Waitahuna in 1933 and was buried in Waitahuna Cemetery.



By the death of Miss Elizabeth Redpath at her residence, Waitahuna, last week, the district lost one who was highly respected by all who knew her. The deceased arrived in New Zealand with her parents by the Robert Henderson in the year 1860, being then four years of age. She received her education at the East Taieri and Akatore Schools, and later entered the service of the late Dr Inglis, of Mosgiel. Miss Redpath was for many years in the employ of the late Mr and Mrs John Ross, of Murray's Flat, Waitahuna, and faithfully attended them in their declining years. Generous and faithful service was also given to the Waitahuna Presbyterian Church, of which she was a member. The deceased was buried at the Waitahuna Cemetery on Saturday afternoon, when a large gathering paid their last tributes. The Rev. A. R. Chisholm conducted the services at the house and at the graveside.

Source: Otago Daily Times, 11 May 1933, page 7.

REDPATH, Elizabeth (I510)
Lyttelton Lucas CUBITT was born 19 May 1847 in Bucklesham, Suffolk, the first son and third of five children of Benjamin Lucas CUBITT, rector Catfield, Norfolk, and Emma HOLYOAKE.

His father was curate Bucklesham, Suffolk (1851); rector officiating minister Studley, Warwickshire (1861); and rector Catfield, Norfolk (1871). His father died 03 Jul 1872 aged 63 at 6 Dorset Square Marylebone. Benjamin CUBITT married 28 Nov 1832 Emma HOLYOAKE. Emma was born 1809 Tettenhall, Staffordshire, died 28 Feb 1885 aged 75 Cambridge St, Hyde Park. She was the daughter of Dorothy Elizabeth HOLYOAKE heiress of Philip LITTELTON of Studley Castle.

Lyttelton Cubitt was educated at Repton school (founded 1557), Derby and at St John's Hall Highbury (founded 1863) (London College of Divinity).

In Apr 1876 Lyttelton migrated to New Zealand on encouragement from the bishop's commissaries to "do mission work in the colony". The following Obituary gives details of his life in New Zealand.



(Special to 'Northern Advocate.')


The death of the Rev. Lyttelton Lucas Cubitt, aged 82 years, occurred at his late residence at Devonport last evening.

The Rev. L. L, Cubitt, accompanied by his wife, arrived in Auckland in April, 1876, by the auxiliary boat Durham. He was sent out to New Zealand by Bishop Cowie's Commission to do mission work in New Zealand. Shortly after his arrival he was ordained Deacon by Bishop Cowie. The first four months after his ordination he was on mission work with headquarters at Onehunga and his district extended right to Bombay and Tuakau and all intermediate districts. Nearly all of the travelling was done on horseback. He was afterwards appointed to Whangarei as Curate-in-Charge. Two years later he was ordained Priest; and made Minister in full charge of the Whangarei Parochial District, which position he held for 33 years without a break. During the 33 years of faithful service to the church, it can be truthfully said that Mr Cubitt had a lion's share of pioneer work. There was only a small church in existence on the site where the present fine church now stands. As years went on and the congregation increased, the church was added to, but in a short time this also proved to be too small, so a chancel in the shape of a T and an alcove for the altar were added. Finally, the old church was taken away and a new nave built, making an entirely new building. New churches were also built at Maunu, Otaika, and Hikurangi. The whole of the Whangarei Parochial District was run by one ordained man, who had the assistance of a loyal band of lay readers. Two years before leaving Whangarei, the late Mr Cubitt was given the additional charge of the Kamo Parochial District.

Deceased was a prominent member of the Star of the North Lodge and was presented with a jewel on leaving Whangarei. He was also chaplain of the Marsden Mounted Rifles with the rank of Captain, and also the Whangarei Rifles, afterwards being put on the retired list as Major. He was a member of the High School Board of Governors and with Mr R. D. Duxfield was instrumental in getting a high school started in what was known as Cubitt's Hall. The school shortly afterwards was placed under the control of a Board of Governors. A new site was then bought from Mr T. McClintock and the school building was then the nucleus of the present Junior High School. The last act done in the late Mr Cubitt's life on the Board of Governors was to assist in procuring from Mr McClintock another piece of land adjacent and to build the present Boys' Hostel.

When deceased first arrived, in Whangarei there were very few metalled roads. One of the most noteworthy roads was that which led to Ruatangarta, and in spite of the bad roads and long distances travelled, he always kept his engagements.

On retiring from Whangarei, on March 31, 1910, the late Mr Cubitt was tendered a farewell in the Theatre Royal, and the Mayor, Mr T, McClintock, in making the presentation of an inscribed gold watch, said "Mr Cubitt had worked in Whangarei for a third of a century, and his was the most honourable and sacred calling a man could follow. In discharge of his clerical duties", said Mr McClintock, "Mr Cubitt had been brought into contact with all classes of people, some of whom were in need of material as well as spiritual assistance, and by helping these, in a quiet way, it was shown that he possessed the true essence of Christianity." The gold watch was inscribed as follows: "Presented to the Rev. L. L. Cubitt by the parishioners after 34 years of service."

After leaving Whangarei the Rev. and Mrs Cubitt settled at Devonport where he resided till the time of his death. Both he and Mrs Cubitt had a large circle of friends.

The late Mr Cubitt was the only son of the Rev. Benjamin Lucas Cubitt, late Rector of Catfield, Norfolk. Before leaving England for New Zealand, Mr Cubitt married Miss Margaret Hopper, daughter of the late Captain Hopper, of Devonshire, and she was practically his curate all the time he was at Whangarei. In addition, she was for many years organist at Christ Church, Whangarei.

Mr Cubitt is survived by his widow and four sons and four daughters. The eldest daughter died two years ago. The sons are Mressrs Edward Randall and Arthur Lyttelton, of the Railways Department, Auckland; Percy, of the Agricultural Department, Wellington; and Frank Lucas, engaged in farming at Wiaiotira. The daughters are: Mrs. R. D. Duxfield, of Horotiu; Mrs Hetherington, Ngaruaiwahia; Mrs Joe Hetherington, Otahuhu; and Miss Cubitt, | Auckland.

The funeral will leave Trinity Church, Devonport, tomorrow afternoon for Purewa Cemetery.

A wreath was sent by the Christ Church (Whangarei) Vestry today.

Source: Northern Advocate, 25 June 1929, Page 8.

CUBITT, Lyttelton Lucas (I10600)
NOTE: Lucy Eileen Townsend was the illegitimate daughter of Florence Townsend and unknown father. She was bought up by her grandparents. Information provided by Francis King, granddaughter of Lucy Eileen Barry on 29 August 2020.
TOWNSEND [Eileen Lucy], Lucy Eileen (I1505)


Wilhelm Fredrich Carl NIETHE was born in Brandenburg, Prussia, now Germany in 1867. Aged 17 years, he migrated to New Zealand on the new steel steamer "Ionic" in 1884, arriving in Wellington on 13 March 1884 and in Lyttelton on 21 March 1884. A report of the voyage is given below. Wilhelm was listed amongst the single men immigrants discharged at Lytellton as W.F. Neethe in the Shipping section of the Lyttelton Times on 22 March 1884. His widowed mother Caroline (56 years), and older sister Maria (23 years) were also on the ship amongst the single women for Canterbury. Caroline had paid for her passage, while the passage of Wilhelm and Maria were paid for by the Government.


Wellington, March 13.

Arrived - Ionic. s.s. at 7 this morning. Left London on Jan. 24, Plymouth on Jan. 28, and Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, on Feb. 3, making the voyage in 43 days 5 hours, exclusive of stoppages. The longest day's run was 338 miles. The Ionic has 20 first, 39 second, 74 third cabin, and 238 steerage passengers, and 2147 tons of cargo. No deaths occurred the voyage, and there was one birth. She experienced a fierce gale, with heavy squalls of rain and wind and a high head sea in the English Channel. Passed the Cape of Good Hope early on tho morning of Feb. 20. Had moderate weather, with occasional squalls, wind, and rain. From the Cape to Wellington, a fresh breeze and overcast weather. The Ionic has 4 first, 4 second, 21 third, and 180 steerage passengers for Lyttelton, and 1002 tons of cargo.

Source: Lyttelton Times, 14 March 1884, Page 4.

Wilhelm obtained work at Oxford in Canterbury and soon met Ida WILKE who had migrated to Canterbury from Germany on the ship "Friedelbug" in 1872 with her parents and 3 older siblings. The WILKE and NIETHE families were from the same village in Germany. The couple had a son in 1886 and were married soon after on 17 November 1886 in Oxford. A further 12 children were born while living at Oxford, before the family moved to Stratford in Taranaki in 1908. Two additional children were born while the couple lived in Taranaki. Wilhelm worked on dairy farms while in Taranaki, but struggled to earn enough to support his large family while suffering from ill-health. In 1914 Wilhelm was bankrupted after entering into a sharemilking agreement with insufficient capital, as reported in the following newspaper article.



A meeting of creditors in the estate of Wilhelm Neithe, sharemilker, was held at the office of the D.O.A., Mr C. A. Budge, on Tuesday afternoon, the creditors present were: Messrs R.J. Hughes, H.E. Harris, W.S. Lockhart, C. E Hollard, H. Priestly (R. Hannah and Co., Ltd.), J. G. Osborne (Osborne and Turnbull), J. W. Yearbury, W. Good (N.Z. Clothing Factory). The bankrupt and his wife (represented by Mr D. Smart) were also present. Mr G. Ryan appeared for Mr H. E. Harris, secured creditor.

The bankrupt's filed petition showed that his total debts amounted to £177 5s 11d and his assets £44, leaving a deficiency of £133 5s 11d. The amounts due to unsecured creditors totaled £133 5s 11d. There was one secured creditor. The list of unsecured creditors is as follows: W. K. Wallace £7 14s lid, M. Barraclough £16 3s 9d, Gray and Barley £8 9s 6d, C. Tonkin £12 4s 11d, Quin Bros. £2 19s 10d, G. C. Sage £6 5s, Hallenstein Bros. £2 15s, N.Z. Loan and Mercantile Agency Co. £8 14s 9d, W. S. Lockhart £2 5s 5d, R. Hannah and Co., Ltd £1 13s 5d, R. J. Hughes £5 8s 6d, Hawera Bacon Factory £1 8s 6d, E Bach £11, T. Barmby £5, J. W. Yearbury £9, C. E. Hollard £7 14s, Fitzzell and Shaw £9 18s 5d, Cole and Donnelly £2 10s, Dr Paget (Stratford) £11. The only secured creditor is H. E. Harris, grocer, Hawera, the amount of the debt being £105, and the estimated value of the security £60.

The bankrupt, in his written statement, said: "In April of 1908 I came with my wife and 13 of a family to Stratford. I had only a few pounds by me when I arrived in Stratford. I got some casual work, and in July of the same year I commenced milking. The herd was a very small one, and I had never been sharemilking before. My wife was ill for 22 weeks with rheumatic fever, and my mother died, and I had to pay her funeral expenses, and at the end of the season I was about £50 in debt. The following season I went to Okato and worked for Mr William Gray, milking at the wages of £15 per month. The wages barely kept us in food, and I got further into debt. In 1910 I came to sharemilk at Mr Harry Barr's, Inaha, receiving 30 per cent of the milk cheques. We just managed to keep afloat in this place, and I do not think we got further into debt. In the beginning of the milking season of 1911 we came to Mr J. R. Corrigan, who started us milking on his Taiporohenui farm. He paid for our back debts and bought for us a waggon, 3 horses, 19 cows, spring dray and harness, and pig tubs. I was quite unable, without incurring debt, to maintain myself and family on the money I received from Mr Corrigan. During the first season I had to pay out ha wages £1 per week, and during thew second year I had to pay out, on an average, £3 13s per week in wages. In the winter of 1913 I was laid up with rupture for three months, and my wife was ill with rheumatic fever for three months, in the same winter. In July of 1913 we went sharemilking for Mr Henson, Glover road, receiving 40 per cent of the milk cheques and half the pigs and calves. I have had to pay out £6 per week from September 1 last for wages. Mr Henson has been deducting half the cost of the pigs and half the cost of food for the calves. Since I was 12 years of age I have suffered from rupture, and have never been strong. About 14 years ago I underwent an operation in the Christchurch Hospital, and I was unable to do any work for two years. I have altogether 15 of a family, of whom seven are under 16. My present position has been brought about through, my own ill-health, which has prevented me from making enough to maintain my family without incurring debt."

The D.O.A. said that in December last and in January deposits amounting to £50 had been paid by Mrs Neithe on a section in Fantham street. This was from moneys due to two sons, who decided to put their savings into a home for their mother.

Replying to the D.O.A., the bankrupt said he had never kept any books, except one wages book since September 1913.

The D.O.A. read a statement of the transactions between Mr Corrigan and the bankrupt, which showed that at the completion of the contract the bankrupt had been given a cheque for £36 18s l0d. He said there were several matters which required looking into, and the creditors could rest assured that he would do the best for them.

After several matters had been discussed Mr Hughes suggested an adjournment until such time as the D.O.A. had made his enquiries.

The D.O.A. said he would make his enquiries, and if it was necessary would convene another meeting of the creditors. In the meantime, if any three creditors desired a meeting that meeting could be called. He then declared the meeting closed.

Source: Hawera & Normanby Star,, 4 March 1914, Page 4.

Note: D.O.A. abbreviation for Deputy Official Assignee.

Wilhelm and Ida were living in Hawera, Taranaki in 1922, and in Ponsonby, Auckland in 1925 according to electoral rolls. Wilhelm worked as a labourer. Wilhelm died in 1929 and Ida in 1946, both in Auckland. They were both buried Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland.

Source: Sean Rooney's family tree on
NIETHE, Wilhelm Fredrich Carl (I20919)


Child Dies After Injury When Firearm Discharged

HAMLTON, This Day.

The death occurred in the Waikato Hospital early yesterday morning of Geoffrey Richard Kenah, aged five, son of Mr. G. P. Kenah, of Raglan, who was wounded in the chest as the result of the accidental discharge of a firearm yesterday.

The boy and his two brothers, aged nine and six, were together when a pea-rifle discharged and the youngest boy was wounded. He was taken to the Waikato Hospital. An inquest was opened this afternoon and adjourned.

Source: Northern Advocate, 20 December 1945, Page 8.
KENAH, Geoffrey Richard (I1595)



The management and staff of Advance Cars Limited assembled together yesterday to bid "au revoir" to one of their members, Mr Peter Rushbrooke, who is about to leave to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Mr John Sterritt, in a few well chosen remarks, presented Mr Rushbrooke, on behalf of those assembled, with a money-belt as tangible evidence of goodwill and as a token of their best wishes for the future, and the hope that, while he would worthily uphold the best traditions of the Services in the hour of trial and testing, he would make a safe return to Te Awamutu.

Mr Rushbrooke acknowledged the gift in appropriate language.

Source: Te Awamutu Courier, 6 June 1941, Page 4.



There was a large crowd of local residents and visitors from Te Awamutu at the complimentary social tendered to Leading Aircraftsman Rushbrooke in the Te Mawhai Hall on Friday evening. Dancing, interspersed by a number of well received items, resulted in a most happy and pleasant function.

Instrumental items were contributed by Mr E. Willers (Te Awamutu) and his sons, Dennis and Barry, the two last-named earning special applause for their efforts. Vocal numbers comprised a duet by Mrs W. S. Earwaker and Mr E. C. Perrott, and solos by Mrs G. Ramsay. Mr J. Dalton was the pianist for the dancing, Miss Olwyn Laurence providing an extra.

After the serving of supper, Mr G. L. Daniell, on behalf of both the Te Mawhai settlers and the Tennis Club, presented Leading Aircraftsman Rushbrooke, with a writing-case, leather hold-all and purse. In a short speech, Mr Daniell referred to the popularity which the guest of honour had enjoyed during many years of residence at Te Mawhai and to the willingness and enthusiasm with which he had always entered into district activities. In receiving the presentation he was assured of the cordial good wishes of his many friends. The speaker also made reference to the young airman's coming-of-age on Sunday, and later in the evening the event was toasted by guests.

Dancing continued till a late hour when "Auld Lang Syne" closed the function.

Source: Te Awamutu Courier, 10 August 1942, Page 2.



On Friday evening last a very large gathering of friends and well-wishers attended the welcome home function tendered to Flight Lieutenant P. G. A. Rushbrooke, Bombardier A. A. Rushbrooke, Leading Aircraftman T. A. Rushbrooke, and Leading Aircraftman V. S. Oates. The hall was tastefully decorated with golden broom and flags, added to this, the splendid music of J. Dalton's Orchestra, elocutionary items by Miss H. Alexander, Miss j. Webber, songs by Mrs G. Ramsay, and by special request, saxophone solos by Mr S. Barret, the evening proved an outstanding success.

After supper had been partaken of, the chairman of the Association, Mr G. Short, in a few well chosen words, welcomed home the guests of the evening, and he referred particularly to the record of the Rushbrooke family in having three sons overseas and serving in different theatres of war, and all arriving home within a week and so being welcomed home together. On behalf of the settlers and residents Mr Short made suitable presentations to each guest. Musical honours were accorded to the guests, after which each suitably replied.

Dance novelties were won by Mr and Mrs Ratcliffe, G. Crawley and Miss V. Owens.

Source: Te Awamutu Courier, 7 November 1945, Page 4.

RUSHBROOKE, Peter George Alston (I8096)



Still another member of the Courier staff has joined the armed forces. On Friday afternoon last Mr T. A. Rushbrooke was entertained by the staff at afternoon tea, and, in Mr A. G. Warburton's unavoidable absence, Mr H. T. Haselden presented the young soldier with a money belt, at the same time wishing him the best of good fortune in whatever part of the world his military duties might take him. Mr Rushbrooke, in his own inimitable way, thanked his fellow workers for their very useful gift and the good wishes accompanying it; they could depend upon him to do his best for King and Country.

Source: Te Awamutu Courier, 12 January 1942, Page 2.



A large and representative gathering of friends and well-wishers attended the Te Mawhai Hall recently to honour A.C. T. A. Rushbrooke and Q.M. (2nd class) Harry Short, U.S. Navy. After supper had been served Mr J. E. Short (chairman), on behalf of the settlers and residents asked A.C. T. A. Rushbrooke to accept on their behalf a beautiful writing compendium, and in so doing mentioned that he was the third and youngest of his family to go overseas, a truly great record and one of which they, the settlers, were very proud. Mr Short wished him a safe and speedy return. A.C. Rushbrooke suitably replied.

Mr H. Owens, on behalf the settlers, then asked Q.M. H. Short to accept as a small memento a gold mounted eversharp pencil to remind him of his very brief stay with his old associates in Te Mawhai. Though it was 16 years since he (Q.M. Short) had left New Zealand to go to America, and had become a naturalised citizen of that country, he was still to the settlers here, Harry Short of Te Mawhai. Te Mawhai was certainly very proud of the fact that one of her boys was serving with our great ally in the U.S. Navy. In concluding his address Mr Owens wished him God speed, a safe and speedy return to the land of his adoption.

Q.M. Harry Short suitably replied, and stated that the people of America were a great people, and that New Zealand was now a very famous name in that great country. The people of the States thought highly of New Zealand's war effort.

Both recipients were accorded musical honours.

Songs by Mrs G. Ramsay were well received. Miss P. Rathbone and Mr A. Murtagh provided the music for dancing, and with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" a very unique evening concluded.

Source: Te Awamutu Courier, 18 June 1945, Page 4.



On Friday evening last a very large gathering of friends and well-wishers attended the welcome home function tendered to Flight Lieutenant P. G. A. Rushbrooke, Bombardier A. A. Rushbrooke, Leading Aircraftman T. A. Rushbrooke, and Leading Aircraftman V. S. Oates. The hall was tastefully decorated with golden broom and flags, added to this, the splendid music of J. Dalton's Orchestra, elocutionary items by Miss H. Alexander, Miss j. Webber, songs by Mrs G. Ramsay, and by special request, saxophone solos by Mr S. Barret, the evening proved an outstanding success.

After supper had been partaken of, the chairman of the Association, Mr G. Short, in a few well chosen words, welcomed home the guests of the evening, and he referred particularly to the record of the Rushbrooke family in having three sons overseas and serving in different theatres of war, and all arriving home within a week and so being welcomed home together. On behalf of the settlers and residents Mr Short made suitable presentations to each guest. Musical honours were accorded to the guests, after which each suitably replied.

Dance novelties were won by Mr and Mrs Ratcliffe, G. Crawley and Miss V. Owens.

Source: Te Awamutu Courier, 7 November 1945, Page 4.


A pleasing ceremony took place in the Courier printing works on Friday afternoon when Mr T. A. Rushbrooke was farewelled by the management and staff of the firm, on his impending departure for Auckland. Mr Rushbrooke joined the staff of Couriers, Ltd., 11 years ago, and has been continuously employed with the firm, except for a period when he was overseas on active service. A presentation was made on behalf of the staff by Mr F. Laskey, and the recipient suitably returned thanks for the gift and the good wishes which accompanied it.

Source: Te Awamutu Courier, 16 August 1948, Page 4.

RUSHBROOKE, Thomas Alston (I8098)



The death occurred last evening of Mrs Mortleman, wife of Mr A. Mortleman, of Makauri, as the result of injuries received on Saturday, when she met with a trap accident on the- main road, near her own home.

Mrs Mortleman was driving home with her ten-year-old daughter, shortly after 3.30 p.m. on Saturday, and when about fifteen chains on the Gisborne side of the King's road corner, the horse, usually a quiet one, apparently was startled suddenly by something moving near the big hedge, and it ran off the road into a large scoop-drain on the right-hand side. The vehicle was a four-wheeled one, and owing to the wheels from one side running up against the fence, the buggy capsized. There was a general mix-up, and the horse, which also fell over, kicked itself free of the harness, excepting for the winkers and reins. Mrs Mortleman got up, still holding on to the reins at the extreme end, but apparently being exhausted, she let go. The shafts of the trap were broken. Mrs Mortleman appeared to be suffering severely, and Mr T. Alston Coleman, who witnessed the accident from the road leading from Bushmere, drove up in his motor car. He found that Mrs Mortleman was slightly dazed, and got no distinct reply to a question as to whether the lady was hurt. Mrs Mortleman was evidently suffering from shock, and had an abrasion on her forehead, while the little girl also had a bruise on her forehead. Mrs Mortleman appeared to be injured internally, and had severe attacks of retching. Mr Coleman telephoned for Dr. Williams, and drove Mrs Mortleman home in his car.

Yesterday the condition of the unfortunate lady became worse, and she was brought in to a private hospital, but despite all that medical skill and attention could do, the patient passed away early in the evening.

The deceased lady was 47 years of age, and was highly esteemed by a wide circle of friends, who will join in expressing their sympathy with Mr Mortleman and his family. The funeral will leave Mr Mortleman's residence, at Makauri, to-morrow afternoon.

An inquest is not considered necessary.

Source: Poverty Bay Herald, 6 April 1914, Page 3.
FLEMING, Elizabeth Ann (I18713)

Abandoned Family

LEVIN - 31st ultimo, on warrant for failing to maintain his wife, Dorothea Eileen Raymond, and three children, Salisbury Street, George Norman Raymond, alias Robert Irwin Meachleam, age forty-one, height 5 ft. 9¼ in., mechanic, native of New Zealand, strong build, fresh complexion, brown hair, grey eyes, long nose, clasped hands and flowers on right forearm, woman, Maltese cross, ship, flag and "M.C." on left forearm, scars on nose, on left forearm, and on back of left hand, sinews on left hand injured. )See Police Gazette, 1933, page 70, and photographs, 1921, page 27.).

Noted - Arrested 21/12/38.

Source: New Zealand Police Gazette, 22 September 1937, Page 664.
Family: Robert Irwin MEACLEM [George Norman RAYMOND] / Dorothea Eileen MUDGWAY (F3840)


Mr David Scott (farmer, Stirling) had the misfortune to be caught in the machinery of his oil engine last Thursday, whilst engaged pumping water from his land. He had several ribs broken, besides being injured internally. Medical attention was at hand, but it will be some weeks before he is fit again. Mr Scott would most certainly have been killed but for the presence of mind in calling to his son, aged 11 years, to turn off the engine - Mr Scott was formerly farming in Milton district.

Source: Bruce Herald, 21 June 1917, Page 2.


The death occurred at his residence, "Inveresk" Stirling on Saturday last of Mr David Scott. Deceased, who was in his 59th year, was a well-known farmer in the Bruce district. Prior to taking up "Inveresk" the late Mr Scott held the Mt Wallace property, having previously resided on a farm within a few miles of Milton. He took a great interest in local matters, and was elected one of the first members of the Matau River Board. For some time he had been in failing health, and at the board's meeting on Saturday a letter was received from him tendering his resignation on the grounds of ill-health. It was little expected that he would pass away on the eve of the day when his resignation was regretfully accepted. He leaves a widow and large family to mourn their loss.

Source: Clutha Leader, 17 February 1920, Page 5.

SCOTT, David (I144)


The Tinui race meeting has been marred by an accident, which at first was thought not to be serious, but which has subsequently proved fatal. Mr D. C. McDonnell, the victim of it, is well known in this district as a fine young fellow who, on the Malakuna station, was serving an apprenticeship to pastoral pursuits. On the first day of the races he was riding into Tinui with a friend when his horse slipped in crossing a bridge and threw him. It is supposed that while on the ground either the horse trod on the rider or rolled on him. At any rate, Mr McDonnell was picked up in an unconscious state and conveyed to the Tinui Hotel in a buggy. A special messenger rode into Masterton for medical aid. Within twelve hours of the time of the accident Dr Beard was in attendance on the sufferer. He found it impossible to diagnose the extent of the internal injuries, and advised that if the patient showed signs of getting worse that he should be sent down to Masterton. On Saturday morning, about 10 o'clock, Mr McDonnell had a relapse and became so ill that it was considered that it would be imprudent to move him. He got worse until at 3 p.m. on Saturday, after enduring several hours of severe agony he expired, We understand that an inquest is not deemed necessary. The deceased, we hear, was twenty-six years of age. He has relations as well as friends in this district. The funeral has been arranged for two o'clock this afternoon in the Tinui cemetery.

Source: Wairarapa Daily Times, 10 March 1884, Page 2


Daniel McDonnell, manager of Johnston's station, Mataikuna, while riding from Tinui races on Thursday evening, met with a fatal accident. He was standing on a bridge filling his pipe, and gave his reins to another horseman to hold for a second. At this moment another rider came galloping up and this started McDonnell's horse, which gave a plunge and slipped off the planking of the bridge rolling over his rider. At first it was not supposed that the injuries were very serious. He was conveyed to the Tinui hotel and Dr Beard was sent for during the night, but he must have been ruptured internally, as he died about 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Source: Wairarapa Standard, 10 March 1884, Page 2

McDONELL, Donald Cameron (I19174)



Through coming in contact with a broken live electric wire leading from a dwelling to a pump, Robert James Scott, aged 37, a carter at the Kaitangata coal mine, met his death on Saturday afternoon. Deceased was getting through a wire fence at the time. The deceased was a widower with five children and was well-known and respected in the district. The inquest was opened yesterday afternoon, Mr F. Carson, J.P., sitting as coroner. Constable Irwin represented the police. Evidence of identification was given by John Thomas Scott, a brother of the deceased, after which the proceedings were adjourned sine die.

Source: Evening Star, 1 September 1936, Page 11.



The adjourned inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Robert James Scott, who was electrocuted at Kaitangata on August 29, as a result of touching a wire on a fence which had come in contact with a fallen electric wire, was held at Kaitangata yesterday before Mr F. Carson, J.P., acting-coroner, and a jury of four. Mr W. H. Carson watched proceedings on behalf of Thos. Middlemass and another interested party; Mr J. M. Paterson on behalf of the Public Trustee, and Mr G. M. Lloyd on behalf of the Otago Power Board.

Robert William Miller, trucker, of Kaitangata, said that about 3:45 on the date mentioned he saw deceased on the section where he kept his horses. Witness saw him walk towards a haystack, and immediately afterwards heard him call out as if in pain. Witness went round to see what was wrong and saw deceased sitting down by the fence at the stack. He was sitting with his legs underneath the fence, his two hands gripping the top wire, and his body and head thrown backwards. He was then unconscious. Witness tried to lift him under the arms to support him, and then put his hand on his face and received a fairly severe shock. He then called out to his brother and told him not to touch the wires, and the latter went away to have the power cut off. Shortly after, one of deceased's hands slipped off the fence and witness pulled the other off. Deceased then appeared to be dead. He and his brother tried artificial respiration till the arrival of Dr Dodds. In his opinion, deceased had been getting through the fence or over it.

To a juryman: He went under the fence and did not feel any shock. Ten minutes had elapsed before deceased's hands fell from the wire. Deceased would either have to go over or under the wires before he could reach the stack.

Clarence Forrest, a trucker, gave corroborative evidence. He said that when he touched the top wire of the fence he got a slight shock in the tips of the fingers. It was raining heavily at the time and the ground and fence were soaking wet.

Dr Dodds, of Kaitangata, gave evidence as to finding deceased lying inside the fence. Life was extinct. The cause of death was heart failure from shock. Death had been known to have been caused by 50 volts under wet conditions. It was raining heavily at the time and deceased's clothes were wet through.

Thomas Middlemass, station master at Kaitangata, said that deceased had a paddock leased from him on which he kept his horses. Forrest told him deceased had been electrocuted at the haystack fence, but he had no idea where the current was coining from. Witness had two electric wires leading to a pump in the section deceased was using. Two poles supported this line. There was a third wire running from the house to the first pole. On the 27th the pole at the pump fell down and the two wires lay over the fowl run fences. That evening he saw Mr McDonald, of the Power Board, and asked him to disconnect the wires at the pump. Mr McDonald pulled a plug on the switchboard and told witness to let nobody touch it. At that time he thought everything was disconnected on that line. On the 28th a Mr Smith was putting in a support for a new pole at the pump and while he was working at it the other pole nearer the house fell down. The three wires were then lying across the netting-wire fence alongside the house. On the 29th deceased brought a load of coal to his house and witness went outside and lifted the wires to let the horse and cart under. It was raining at the time, but witness felt no shock. He would not have handled them had he not thought the current was off. Mr McDonald disconnected the wires after the accident. Witness said he thought the whole line was "dead."

Norman McDonald, electrical inspector in the district for the Otago Power Board, said that on August 27 Mr Middlemass had asked him to see if some wires outside his house were safe. He disconnected a fuse controlling power to the pump. Mr Middlemass told him that a third wire was one that had been used to supply light to a tent and was now disused. On being informed of the accident, he cut off the power, and on arriving at Middlemass's residence found that a pole previously standing had fallen, and that the disused wire from the house to that pole had been alive up to the time the power was cut off. This wire and the other two were lying across the fence near Middlemass's house. The voltage would be about 230 to earth.

In reply to Mr Carson, witness said it was subsequently found that the "live" wire had worn through the insulation and made direct contact with the top wire of the fence.

Evidence was also given by Lester Frank Withers, electrical engineer to the Public Works Department, Dunedin, Robert D. Veitch, engineer to the Otago Power Board,, and Constable Irwin.

The jury returned a verdict that the deceased died from shock through coming in contact with the wire fence, which had become alive through the fall of a pole conveying electric power wires from Mr Middlemass's house to an outside pole. The Acting-coroner added that a word of commendation was due to Mr Miller and those who went to try to remove the deceased from the fence, also for the prompt steps they took at resuscitation. The sympathy of the court went out to the family of deceased in their

Source: Evening Star, 24 September 1936, Page 10.

SCOTT [Bob], Robert James (I146)



The circumstances surrounding the death of Mrs. Jane Heavey, who died at the on Wednesday as the result of receiving severe burns at a fire at her house, 139 Taranaki Street, the previous evening, were investigated by the coroner, Mr. W. G. Riddell, S.M., yesterday.

William Heavey, husband of the deceased, said the latter was about fifty-three years of age. When the fire was discovered deceased went downstairs, and witness followed her a minute or two afterwards. Being unaware that he had gone down, deceased went up again to rouse him, as well as some boarders. The next thing witness saw was his son carrying the deceased downstairs. Dr. Holmes was summoned, and ordered her removal to the hospital.

Dr. Fitzgerald, house surgeon at the Wellington Hospital, said that the deceased was very badly burned, and when admitted to the institution was in a state of collapse, with a very weak pulse. The cause of death was shock, due to the large area df the burns.

Michael Heavey, a son of the deceased, corroborated his father's evidence.

The coroner returned a verdict' in accordance with the medical testimony.

Source: Dominion, 12 October 1918, page 8.

McCOLLUM, Jane (I17198)


George COOLEY was involved in two accidents resulting in loss of life in 1880. First he ran over and killed a child in the Hutt and a few days later was accidently drowned while duck shooting on Lake Wairarapa. Two boating/shooting companions were also drowned.


Shortly after 10 o'clock this morning information was conveyed to the police that a child named Emily Miller, between one and two years of age, had been killed in John-street by a cart passing over it. The circumstances under which the fatal accident happened are somewhat singular. It appears that about 10 o'clock George Cooloy, son of Isaac Cooley, gardener at the Lower Hutt, was driving a cart loaded with vegetables up John-street. He was going at a walking pace, and occupied the centre of the roadway. When he got near the end of the street he heard a woman shouting out, and saying that he had run over a child. He got down from the cart and went back, and found the child apparently dead, in the arms of a woman. Dr. Grace was sent for, and pronounced the neck of the child to have been broken. Death was instantaneous. Cooley states that he was sitting on the near side of the cart, and it must have been the off wheel that ran over the child. He did not see the little girl in the road, hear any cries, nor did he experience any shock from the wheel passing over her. The child's parents reside in John-street, near the scene of the accident. An inquest will be held at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning.

Source: Evening Post, 2 April 1880, Page 2.


An inquest was held at the Hospital on Saturday morning, before Dr. Johnston and a jury of whom Mr. Thomas Bould was foreman, on the body of Emily Mallows, who was run over on the previous day, as described in our issue of Saturday. The mother of the child (who was fifteen months old) said that about ten o'clock in the morning she had put the child near the back door, and it had wandered out on to the road. A minute or two afterwards one of the other children ran in and said the baby had been run over. When she went out she found the child lying dead in the road. On Dr. Grace being called, he said that death must have been instantaneous. George Cooley, a farm labourer, living at the Lower Hutt, deposed that he was driving along John-street at a walking pace, and did not see the child nor know anything about it until it was run over. The coroner, in summing up, spoke of the carelessness of parents in allowing their children to wander about the streets. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, with the following rider: "This jury begs to impress upon the City Council the necessity of passing a by-law compelling all hawkers to walk by the side of their horses' heads while passing through narrow lanes." Mr. Cooley, who appeared to deeply regret the unfortunate accident, contributed the sum of £5 towards the funeral expenses.

Source: New Zealand Times, 5 April 1880, Page 2.


On Saturday afternoon we received intelligence that a sad accident was supposed to have happened on the Wairarapa Lake, by which the lives of three young men had been sacrificed. At the present time very meagre information has been received, but full particulars are hourly expected. Two of the three young men were Mr. Cross, jun., a son of the well-known settler of Cross' Creek, and George Cooley, son of Mr. Isaac Cooloy, vegetable grower, of the Lower Hutt, with their companion, whose name was Devereux. They are reported to have hired a boat on Friday for a day's duck shooting on the lake. The day was very squally, and, as is well known, the lake is very dangerous when exposed to the violent gusts from the southwest, the direction from which the wind came. It is thought that in one of these squalls the boat was upset, and that as none of the three could swim they were all drowned. On Saturday morning Mr. Cross and Constable Brunskill organised a search party, and started off with the object of recovering the bodies. It was reported this morning that the body of George Cooley was brought to his father's house yesterday morning. Word to that effort was received during Sunday by a brother of the deceased, who is living in Wellington, and he immediately left town for the Hutt. It is a singular fact that this George Cooley was the man who inadvertently caused the death of the little girl Emily Mallowes by running over her with his cart in John-street on the previous Friday. Up to the time of our going to press no definite information had been received, and a private telegram from Featherston states that no trustworthy intelligence at all had yet been gained beyond the single fact that the three men were missing, it being added that neither boat nor bodies had been found. Constable Brunskill returned from the lake late last night, and has reported to the Superintendent of Police that after searching all day with Mr. Cross and others for the missing men, they could find no signs of them or the boat, except a bag of ducks which had been washed ashore. Other search parties that were out have also returned, with no better success. The names of the missing men are Francis Cross, aged 19; George Cooley, aged 20; and Dovereux, aged 15.

Source: Evening Post, 12 April 1880, Page 2.


An inquest was held yesterday afternoon, at 3 o'clock, before the Coroner, Dr Spratt, on the body of Edward Devereux who was drowned in the Lake on Thursday last.

Mr Wm. Candy was elected foreman of the Jury.

Mr F. V. Bockett, sworn, deposed: That he was working near his home on Thursday, the 8th inst, with another man and noticed a boat containing three men about a quarter of a mile from where he was working. He noticed that they were in distress and could not manage the boat, they were evidently being driven from the shore, they attempted to raise a sail of some sort but could not the wind was so strong. It was blowing, strong from the N.W. He watched them for some time till he lost sight of them. He did not think there was any danger. He went to tell Mr Cross that he saw them drifting across the Lake. He could not recognise the people in it, but he knew the boat. He knew that Mr Cross' son with Mr Devereaux, and Mr Cooley, were going out and were expected home. It was quite impossible for him to render any assistance where he first saw them, the water could not be more than six feet deep. It was a flat bottomed boat. It was more a punt than a boat. It was fourteen or fifteen feet long. He thought it safe enough in calm water. He did not think it would easily be capsized but it would be easily swamped. He lived about six miles from Mr Cross.

Mr Lot Cross, sworn, deposed: That his son, Henry Pranklyn Cross, with Edward Devereaux and George Cooley, went out in a punt on Sunday, the 4th inst. His son said he would be back about Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. He had not seen any of them since. On Thursday evening Mr Bockett came to his place and told him that he had seen them off the point about one or two hundred yards, they came up to the point with sails up, and a squall caught them and they lowered the sail, and all three took to pulling. The wind was too strong for them to make headway, they tried to hoist the sail but could not, after that they lost all management and appeared to drift before the wind. He (Mr Bockett) watched them till they were about two miles out. After that he lost sight of them it getting dark, he did not think there was any danger as they would probably reach the other shore. The boat was his (Cross') son's, it was 17 feet long 4 feet 4 inches broad and 16 inches deep, it would be quite safe in ordinary weather, he had gone round the Lake in it himself. There had been a heavy squall at his place at about 5 o'clock. It was the first time his son had gone ont in it on his own account. He understood from Cooley that he knew all about boating. No man could live in that sea swimming.

Henry Busche, sworn, deposed: That he had seen the young men on Tuesday, he never saw them after till he found the body of Devereaux on Thursday. He bad been with others looking for the missing men. He found the body at a point called "Land's End." There were two men with him at the time he found the body. It was lying half in and half out of the water. They brought the body to Featherston. Witness was employed on the Lake fishing for the last eleven months. He did not consider the punt was safe, there was no bilge. It was large enough, but the sides were too straight. He had told the man that built it that it was not fit for the Lake. The boat could carry a small sail but it required to be well managed. He did not think it safe to put up a sail or pull against the wind on that day.

The Coroner summed up the evidence and without farther discussion the Jury returned a verdict of 'Accidental death by drowning.'

Source: Wairarapa Standard, 17 April 1880, Page 2.


The body of poor Cross was found floating in the middle of the lake on Tuesday, and he, with Cooley, the other unfortunate young man, whose body had been found on the beach, were taken to their last resting place, the Featherston cemetery, on Wednesday, at 11.30. A large muster of inhabitants attended the funeral.

Source: Wairarapa Standard, 24 April 1880, Page 2.

COOLEY, George Wilkins (I19866)



The following statement has been filed with the Deputy Official Assignee in the bankrupt estate of James Angus McDonnell, farmer, Gisborne: - "I came to the Poverty Bay district in 1896, and was then solvent. For the first four and a-half years I was engaged in station work, first as head shepherd on Rangatira station and afterwards as manager for Mr G. O. Ormond, at Mahia. I then started sheep-farming at Pouawa, in partnership with my father-in-law, Mr A. Nicholls, and continued there until 1910, when the partnership was dissolved, I taking over the property and selling out to Mr Jobson with about £2500 to the good. I then resided at Mangapapa for nine months, and was engaged in stock driving work. During this period I was laid up, and was unable to work for four months, through blood-poisoning. I next leased a house and small property at Patutahi, and was farming there until last October, when the house and contents were totally destroyed by fire. Since the fire I have been wool-classing, fencing, droving, and doing kindred work for a living. I would not have needed to file but for the fact that the secured creditor stepped in under his security to realise. At the time of the fire my furniture was insured for £300, and the company has declined to pay me under the policy, resisting my claim on technical objections connected with the signing of the proposal for insurance. Short of actually bringing an action in the Supreme Court for recovery of the insurance moneys, I have done everything possible to obtain payment. With my livestock taken from me, and not having any funds to purchase new furniture to replace that burnt, I am practically without means, and after consultation with a number of my unsecured creditors had no option but to file."

The unsecured, creditors are : Gisborne - J. R. Shaw (settler) £26, G. G Shierlaw (agent) £l0, N. Hooper (clothier) £3 8s, A. G. Gunn (draper) £6 15s, Dr. C. W. Wilson £l2 12s, Dr. Coker £9 9s, Dr. Reeve £3 3s. G. Barton (dentist) £4 10s, G. Dodgshun (dentist) £3 3s, Langford, Hogan and Gillies (stable-keepers) £3, Gisborne Publishing Co. £2 4s, P.B. Herald Co. 6s., T. A. Crawford (chemist) £4 10s, R. Robertson (clothier) 12s 6d, W Hay (coal and firewood merchant) £1 12s 6d, J. B. Leydon (coach builder) £l0 10s, Adair Bros. (drapers) £42, R. Hannah and Co. £8 10s 6d, G. R. Paslev £7 10s, Thos. Adams (stationer) £3 15s, G. Wildish (saddler) £1 8s, McLernon and Son (jewellers) £l, Common Shelton and Co. £2 4s, Chrisp and Coleman (solicitors) £7 7s. Patutahi - Mrs Taylor (formerly hotel-keeper) £20. J. McIldowie (farmer) £24 10s. Mangapapa - Bell Bros, (storekeepers) £4. Te Karaka - J. B. Poynter (sheepfarmer) £l2. Tokomaru Bay - B Taylor (hotelkeeper) £2 6s. Auckland - New Zealand Farmer £2 15s: total, £241 6s. The only secured creditor is F. Hall, for £l50.

Source: Gisborne Times, 18 August 1913, Page 3.


The meeting of creditors in the estate of J. A. McDonnell, sheepfarmer, was held before the deputy-assignee (Mr J. Coleman) this afternoon. There were present: Messrs J. Adair, J. B. Leydon, R. Mitchell (for Hannah and Co.), L. T. Burnard (for South British Insurance Co.), G. K. Paslev, J. Shaw, and W. Hay.

The debtor, for whom Mr T, Alston Coleman appeared, gave evidence bearing out his statement. He said he had lost, on 300 ewes which he bought at 15s, and also lost on a shipment of frozen mutton which he sent Home the year prices dropped. The house that was burned at Patutahi was insured for £300, and when he claimed for the insurance he was told that owing to complications they could not pay. Mr Burnard, who appeared for the insurance company, said that there were three reasons why the company would not pay up. The first was that bankrupt, when he insured, did not disclose to the company, that insurance had previously been refused by another company; secondly, that the chattels of the bankrupt were mortgaged; and thirdly, he did not disclose that he had had a previous fire.

Bankrupt said he had never been asked to sign any papers by the company. Mr T. Coleman said that the secured creditor had seized the stock, which would realise about £150. The amount owing to Mr Hall which, owing to lawyer's expenses and interest, now amounted to about £180 or £190.

Counsel put m a letter from Dalgety and Co. in regard to, the mortgage and insurance.

To Mr Burnard : He saw the South British Insurance Company, and they took his insurance. Had they asked him any questions he would have answered them. He held shares in the Gisborne Sheepfarmers' Company but sold them two years ago. He was canvassing for the Bristol Producers' Company, and received £3 per week, but lost on his work, owing to travelling expenses being so heavy.

To the Assignee : He purchased the shares in the Mount Owen Rising Sun Mineral Company two years ago. He was perfectly solvent at that time. If he had received the fire insurance money he could have paid everybody in full.

Mr Adair said that his company held a lien on bankrupt's shares in the company.

Mr Pasley commented on the statement that an insurance policy had been issued without details being required.

Mr Coleman said it was for the meeting to decide if they intended to press the matter further.

Mr Burnard said that the Insurance Company's reasons for not paying out were not technical grounds, but for three substantial reasons that he had given. The three points were all in favor of the company. It was the duty of the insurer to make full disclosures.

The Deputy Assignee thought he should be instructed by the meeting to request the company to pay the insurance.

Mr Pasley said he did not consider the insurance company had any right to withhold payment on the grounds set forward.

It was decided to apply to the insurance company for the amount of the insurance, and if a refusal is given, legal opinion to be obtained, and a meeting to be called to consider any further steps.

Source: Poverty Bay Herald, 25 August 1913, Page 6.

McDONELL, James Angus (I19176)


David Robert Haggie JEFFREY was the eldest child of David Jeffrey and his partner Charlotte (Lottie) Stewart Burt, born in 1909 at Taihape. David Robert Haggie JEFFREY was usually known by the name Robert David Jeffrey. Robert's father, David Jeffrey, was from Scotland and after moving to New Zealand in 1882 worked as a surfaceman for the NZ Railways. Robert's mother, Lotte, had a daughter Thelma Charlotte WILLSON from a previous marriage, and had six sons with David Jeffrey, the youngest born after her husband's suicide. Robert's father committed suicide in 1916 after attempting to kill his family and murdering two of his children. Below are two brief newspaper accounts of the incident.

During his early life Robert David Jeffrey was convicted of several offences as outlined in newspaper reports below. He married Nellie Elizabeth ROBINSON in 1932 and they had a child. However, Robert had difficulty obtaining employment and providing for his family, resulting in further imprisonment following stealing to provide for his family. Nellie and Robert separated, and Robert eventually obtained work as a labourer and miner in the Waihi and Te Aroha districts. During WW2 Robert enlisted in the army. The 1949 Electoral role gave his occupation as a driver at Waharoa in the Waikato. Robert Jeffery died in 1964 and was buried at Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.

Newspaper Report of Father's Suicide.

Tragedy At Kakahi
Man attacks wife and family.
Then commits Suicide

Taumarunui, Thursday.

Some time during the night a gruesome tragedy occurred at Kakahi, a small township eleven miles south of Taumarunui. A labourer named David Jeffrey, aged 43, shot his wife with a pea rifle, and attempted to murder his six children - Gordon aged one, George three, Neal five, Jack seven, Robbie eight, and Thelma nine.

All were terribly knocked about, and sustained fractured skulls.

The infant, Gordon, died this morning, and it will be a miracle if all the others survive.

Jeffrey afterwards committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth.

Mrs. Jeffrey was shot in the forehead, but is still alive. The parents, the infant, and one other child, slept in one room, and the four other cbildrien in an adjoining room.

The wife, in a dazed state, about seven o'clock this morning, struggled to a neighbour's fence to summon assistance.

A man named Gordon went over to her residence and found her on the couch, a terrible sight.

No instrument has been found yet to show how the childen were attacked but a gun was found at the wife's side of the bed.

The dead infant was lying at the bottom of the bed.

Jeffrey left a letter, which is in the hands of the police.

Jealousy is supposed to be the cause of the crime.

Source: King Country Chronicle, 8 July 1916, Page 5.

Verdict of Murder and Suicide

TAUMARUNUI, this day.

The inquest on the Jeffrey case was completed to-day. A verdict was returned that David Jeffrey committed suicide after having killed his two children, being temporarily insane.

On July 7 last at Kakahi, a small township on the Main Trunk line, about 15 miles south of Taumarunui, David Jeffrey, a railway surfaceman, aged about 30 years, attempted to murder his wife and six children and then shot himself. Jeffrey gashed his wife's forehead with the barrel of a pea-rifle and then clubbed the skulls of the children. One child died about four hours after the discovery of the tragedy, and another died a few days later.

Source: Auckland Star, 5 August 1916, Page 6.

Newspaper Reports of Robert's Crimes.

Committed For Sentence

A charge of having committed a serious offence against a girl of 19 years of age was preferred against Robert David Jeffrey, of Turanga-o-moana, a probationer, in the Matamata Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, when Mr. S. L. Paterson, S.M., presided. An order was made for the suppression of the witness' names. Mr. G. G. Bell appeared for the accused, and Constable Mathieson conducted the case for the police.

The girl in question stated that she was 19 years of age and was employed at Turanga-o-moana. She had met a companion and set out to cycle to Waharoa to attend the pictures. The two had gone a short distance when they had noticed someone following them. It was a young man. They left to return home a little after 10 o'clock. After having gone a little distance the man in the dock came up. The three were cycling along and witness' companion said to the man: "Who are you?" He continued to cycle along. One of the girls asked who owned a certain house, and the accused replied "Boss' sisters." Later they alighted from their machines and accused asked if he could see witness home and she gave a negative reply. He again asked her if he could accompany here and caught hold of her around the waist. Witness had told her companion to go and get a stick. The other girl did so and gave it to witness, who hit accused. He continued to hold her and her companion also hit him. This continued for about quarter or half of an hour. Witness, then instructed her companion to go and get her father, and she went; but didn't come back again. Accused had his hands on her all the time, and finally she consented to let him accompany her home. She did so with the idea of getting away from him. She next jumped on to her cycle and rode off as fast as she could. Accused followed. She got off her cycle at the gate of the house where she lived, and was halfway up the drive when accused came up to her and caught hold of her. She then called out to her employer. It was then that the alleged offence took place. She had cried out. Afterwards accused said that he was sorry, and offered her some money. It was about 12.45 a.m. when she got home.

The medical evidence was to the effect that there were several bruises on both arms and both sides of the neck.

Corroborative evidence of the alleged offence was given by a school girl.

Constable Mathieson, giving evidence, stated that he went, after the accused, who denied knowledge of the offence, but later at the police station accused said he might as well tell the whole truth and be done with it. He then made a statement in which he stated that he had been in similar trouble before and was still under the charge of the Welfare Officer. The statement admitting the offence was read.

Mr. Bell entered a plea of guilty, and the accused was committed to the Hamilton Supreme Court for sentence.

Source: Matamata Record, 11 June 1928, Page 4.


MATAMATA, Wednesday.

Robert David Jeffrey (19) pleaded guilty in the Matamata Police Court to-day to a serious offence against a girl of similar age. He was committed to the Supreme Court for sentence. Jeffrey is on probation for a similar offence.

Source: Sun (Auckland), 8 June 1928, Page 16.



Three years' detention in a Borstal institute was the sentence imposed on Robert David Jeffrey, aged 17½ years, by Mr. Justice Blair in the Hamilton Supreme Court to-day. Jeffrey had pleaded guilty to a charge of committing rape at Matamata.

Mr. G. G. Bell said prisoner had been extraordinarily frank in his admissions regarding the case, and he questioned if prisoner had not pleaded guilty whether a jury would have convicted. The girl concerned had not suffered any serious injury.

Counsel said prisoner was one of a large family, whose father had died and left them destitute.

His Honor said there was a lot of truth in what counsel had said. To some extent prisoner was to be pitied. The case was not as bad as the nature of the charge indicated. He did not want to punish prisoner - he wanted to help him - and he thought in his own interests he should be put under strict discipline and training. Treatment of this kind would be given in a Borstal institute.

Source: New Zealand Herald, 16 June 1928, Page 14.

Leniency For Young Man

TAURANGA, this day.

In the Magistrate's Court this morning, Robert David Jeffrey was charged with theft of a cash box containing 10/ from a local restaurant. Accused, aged 23, has a wife and family at Te Puke. Recently he arrived at Tauranga and said he was hard up and wanted money.

Previously accused was three years in a Borstal institute, and he had been convicted of theft at Te Aroha.

The presiding justices, Messrs. A. J. Mirrielees and C. Whiting, in view of the fact that the accused admitted the theft, imposed a light sentence of one month.

Source: Auckland Star, 13 September 1933, Page 8.

Offence at Te Aroha

"It is very unfortunate for your wife and child, but the State will have to keep them. However, although your present offence involves only a small matter of 10/ in goods, I cannot possibly overlook your bad record."

With this comment Mr. Justice Ostler, in the Supreme Court this morning, sentenced Robert David Jeffrey to a period of reformative detention not exceeding two years. Jeffrey had admitted two charges of theft from a dwellinghouse at Te Aroha.

Mr. W. Noble, for the prisoner, said Jeffrey was but 23 years of age. He did not break into the house, but had gone in and taken some small articles of clothing worth 10/ for his wife and child. They were exceedingly hard up, and counsel asked his Honor to take as lenient a view as possible, and take into consideration the poverty of the family.

Source: Auckland Star, 1 October 1934, Page 3.

JEFFREY [Robert David JEFFREY], David Robert Haggie (I16255)


From the Otago Guardian

Captain John Howell, late of Fairlight Station, Kingston, was born at Eastbourne, Sussex, England, in 1810. When 20 years of age he went with a whaling crew to the South Seas; then cruised off Van Diemens's Land, New Zealand, &c, ultimately to the New South Wales coast, where he landed and remained for a short time. In 1836 he, under appointment of the late Mr John Jones (well known in this city), came over to Riverton to take charge of a whaling station, which post he successfully held until 1842, when he was joined by his relatives from Sydney. Captain Howell then, together with his half-brother (Captain William Stevens, of the Beaumont Station) started sheep farming, combined with whaling and ship building, the latter under very unfavourable circumstances. The schooners Amazon and Otago, each 100 tons, together with several smaller crafts they completed very successfully: the Otago being the first vessel registered in Dunedin. In 1843 Captains Howell and Stevens proceeded to New South Wales, to Ben Boyd's station, at Twofold Bay, from where they imported stock for their runs, which prospered remarkably well. Howell and Stevens remained in partnership until 1870, when the senior, Captain Howell, proceeded to Wakatipu, where he of late held 100,000 acres of leasehold land and about 1,000 acres of freehold, together with 40,000 sheep and 1,000 head of cattle, which his family are now in possession of besides an extensive area of land in the Riverton locality. Captain Howell had married twice; by his first wife he had two children, and by his second 17, of whom 11 are now alive and well. For some time past the Captain's system showed signs of breaking up. Therefore, with a view of recruiting his health he started from the Bluff in the Tararua steamer, about the end of April, 1874, en route for Sydney, via Melbourne, together with his fourth son Thomas and Mrs Stevens. They arrived in Sydney all safe, but the captain soon became confined to bed, and 11 days after his arrival he breathed his last. Prior to his dangerous symptoms, Mrs Stevens removed him to the residence of an old schoolfellow, a Mr Portland, 115 Kent-Street, Sydney; but the 25th day of May was the last of one of Otago's noblest settlers. A short time prior to his death he became senseless, but before this he signified his knowledge of death approaching. Medical testimony stated his death resulted from cancer in the stomach. The remains were carefully placed in a padded deal coffin, which was enclosed in lead, perfectly air tight, and then enclosed in a handsome coffin. When ready to ship for the homeward journey, the state coffin was placed in a strong plated case, in which it arrived at the Bluff on Sunday the 28th June, by the Omeo, and was conveyed to Invercargill by special train, thence to Riverton on Monday by express where on the following day, Tuesday, 30th June, the mortal remains of Captain John Howell were interred with all due solemnity and honor suitable to such an occasion. Captain Howell has left a very wide circle of friends. He was universally respected by all, both rich and poor; his purse was always ready for any charitable object, as was his home for many years free and open to any who pleased to call. In Captain Howell, Southland has lost a treasure. Requiescat in pace.

Source: Bruce Herald, 14 August 1874, Page 7

NOTE: A separate webpage provides a more detailed discription of Captain Howell's life, adventures, and achievements. The content was extracted from newspaper articles published in 1923 to record the History of Wallace, the district in Southland where Riverton is located.
HOWELL, Captain John (I19122)
44 At least one living or private individual is linked to this note - Details withheld. Living (I22490)



THE MADERIA HOTEL, (A. Rodrigues, proprietor), Lavaud Street, Akaroa. This is a two-storey wooden building, and occupies a pleasant site on freehold land not far from the waters of the bay, and yet in the main street of the borough. The house has excellent accommodation, and is much frequented by visitors to Akaroa.

MR. ANTONIO RODRIGUES, Proprietor of the Maderia Hotel, was born in the Madeira Islands in 1831. He went to England in 1857, and arrived at Lyttelton during the following year. Mr. Rodrigues took charge of the Commercial Hotel, Akaroa, for nine months, and then established a bakery and butchery. Afterwards he returned to his original occupation, as proprietor of the Criterion Hotel, which he kept for three years, when he removed to the Madeira Hotel. Mr. Rodrigues is a member of the Catholic Church, and was for some years a member of the district school committee. He was married, in 1856, to Miss Adelaide Rodrigues, of Madeira, and has two sons and six daughters.

Source The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District], 1903.


Considerable regret was felt in Akaroa yesterday, when it was known that Mr Anton Rodrigues, the popular landlord of the Madeira Hotel, had died suddenly on the previous evening. The deceased was born at Funchal, the capital of the Madeira Islands, and at the time of his death was seventy-four years of age. He arrived in New Zealand in January, 1858, by the sailing vessel Westminster. For some time he was in the employment of Major Peacock, at Akaroa. He afterwards started business on his own account, following a number of occupations. Finally he built the Madeira Hotel, where he resided till his death. The deceased was universally respected, and his cheery disposition made him a popular favourite. Mrs Rodrigues died about two years ago. Mr Rodrigues leaves four daughters and one son. The funeral will take place at Akaroa tomorrow.

Source Lyttelton Times, 5 June 1905, Page 7.


One of the oldest residents of Akaroa passed away suddenly on Saturday night in the person of Mr Antonio Rodrigues, of the Madeira Hotel at the age of 74. The deceased gentleman was in his usual state of health until late on Saturday night, when he was suddenly taken ill, and, although medical assistance was sought, the deceased, who lived for about an hour after his seizure, died before Dr. Hargreaves arrived. Mr Rodrigues was born in Madeira in 1831, and came to the colony, accompanied by his wife and family, in the ship Westminster, with Major Peacock, in whose service he had previously been in Madeira. They arrived in Lyttelton in January, 1858, and afterwards went on to Akaroa. After residing there for some time Major Peacock, owing to ill health, removed to Auckland, but Mr Rodrigues remained. After following various occupations, the deceased gentleman opened the Madeira Hotel about 30 years ago, which well-known hostelry he had successfully conducted until his death. He was of a genial and kindly disposition, having a cheery word for young and old, and was very charitably disposed. Mrs Rodrigues predeceased her husband by about two years, and of a family of eight, five remain to mourn their loss. Although taking no part in public affairs, Mr Rodrigues had a large circle of friends, by whom he will be sadly missed.

At the inquest yesterday, Dr. Hargreaves gave evidence that death was due to an attack of angina pectoris brought on by exertion, and a verdict of death, by natural causes was accordingly returned.

Source The Press, 6 June 1905, Page 3.

RODRIGUES, Antonio (I19809)


The Right Reverend and The Honourable Sir Paul Alfred Reeves ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, QSO, KStJ.

Paul Reeves was born in 1932 in working-class Newtown, Wellington, where his father D?Arcy worked for the tramways. Mortgage payments on his parents? small house left little money to spare, but that did not prevent their son from excelling at Wellington College and at Victoria College (now University), where he earned a MA before going to St John?s Theological College in Auckland to train for the Anglican priesthood.

Nineteen fifty-nine was a momentous year for Paul Reeves. He married Beverley Watkins, whom he had met at Victoria, resigned his Tokoroa curacy and travelled to Britain on an Oxford scholarship. After working in British parishes, in 1964 the family returned to New Zealand where Paul became vicar of Okato. There, in this small Taranaki community, he rediscovered his Maori heritage ? his mother, Hilda, whose Maori name was Pihemana, was Te Ati Awa from Taranaki ? his whanau, and New Zealand history. In 1971 he capped his rapid rise in the church by becoming Bishop of Waiapu, a diocese he rejuvenated while boosting Maori participation in church governance. In 1979 he became Bishop of Auckland, then Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand the following year.

Five years later, Reeves returned to Newtown as governor-general. It had been a difficult decision for the couple, since it meant relinquishing careers they loved, but on 20 November 1985 Sir Paul became New Zealand?s first Maori governor-general. They brought a new atmosphere to Government House. "I've tried to hitch the house onto the life of the community", Sir Paul said in 1990, "so that it flows in and out", remembering a successful public open day and nights when 100 Maori camped in the ballroom.

The 1980s were turbulent. In his church days, Sir Paul had supported progressive causes but now he had to deal with Labour?s market-driven reforms and ministers? views on Waitangi Day. He modelled his governorship on the role of a bishop: ?a bishop travels, a bishop stands alongside people and searches for a common ground?. He paid special attention to hard-hit rural and small town New Zealand.

Although most of his predecessors had reduced their public role after leaving Government House, Sir Paul launched himself into another two decades of service at the very highest levels, starting with three years as Anglican Observer at the United Nations. Later, on behalf of the United Nations or the Commonwealth, he observed elections in Ghana and South Africa, helped write constitutions for Guyana and Fiji, and chaired the Nelson Mandela Trust. He earned wide respect throughout the Pacific.

At home, Sir Paul continued his work for Maori, race relations and Treaty settlements. Amongst other things, he became Ahorangi of Te Rau Kahikatea, St John?s Maori theological college, chaired the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust and the Bioethics Council and helped to select judges for the new Supreme Court. He continued his lifelong commitment to education through visiting professorships and becoming chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology. In 2007 New Zealand awarded him its highest honour, membership of the Order of New Zealand.

Sir Paul died in Auckland on 14 August 2011 after a short battle with cancer. He was survived by his wife, Beverley, Lady Reeves, and three daughters.

Source: Paul Reeves, URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), 21-Aug-2014.

REEVES, Right Reverend Sir Paul Alfred (I5955)


Ann Fraser, the fifth daughter of Duncan and Marjory Fraser was born in the two-storeyed stone cottage on the Ardgour Estate on 12 September 1829, and was 11 years old when the family arrived in New Zealand on 27 December 1840. She had celebrated her birthday on the Blenheim, which, according to Jessie Campbell's diary at noon on that day, was at latitude 24° 34' North by longitude 20° West. This placed the Blenheim in the Atlantic Ocean just north of the Tropic of Cancer and some 400 kilometres off the coast of West Africa.

On Christmas Day, 1849, at St Peter's Church in Willis Street, Wellington, she was married to Thomas Furner Richardson, a carpenter and bricklayer. Thomas was the eldest son of Thomas and Delia Richardson (née Burgess), and was born at Hastings, Sussex, on 1 April 1825. Thomas and Delia along with their family had arrived at Port Nicholson on 21 October 1841 on board the Arab.

Thomas had been apprenticed to his father, also a carpenter and bricklayer, and by the time he was married was a tradesman in his own right. They lived in Willis Street near to his parents, where their first six children were born.

By the mid 1850s all of Ann's brothers and sisters had moved away to the Wanganui or the Rangitikei district, and so her and Thomas decided to follow about 1861. Their first home was on Duncan Frasers property near the Fraser Burial
Ground. About 1871 Thomas purchased 300 acres of coastal land further west of Pukehou and built his own home there and called it "Sandridge".

The timber for the house came from Rowes Steam Sawmill and Planing Factory, at Makowhai. The ruling price for timber then delivered by bullock wagon was four shillings and sixpence per hundred feet. The house was then reached by crossing the paddocks from Brookie's Lane, a road which was later named Pukehou Road. There was also a paper road named Sandridge Road but this was never officially formed.

The country around "Sandridge" was fairly sandy and Thomas eventually sold out to the Keiller brothers about 1890 and purchased another property on the other side of the Rangitikei River near Ohakea, where he built the "Karaka Terrace" homestead. The "Sandridge" property was eventually bought by the Dalrymple brothers and the house became the home of the sharemilkers employed by the owners. The house was last occupied in 1958, and today has nearly all gone.

"Karaka Terrace" was a large single storied house built on the terrace between the river and what is now the Ohakea Air Force Base. Unfortunately it too has succumbed to time and was demolished some years ago.

Thomas Richardson died at Palmerston North on 10 October 1904 and was buried in the Family Burial Ground on 12 October. Ann remained at Karaka Terrace in the care of her daughter Jessie, where she died on 8 October 1907.

Source: Pukehou: The Frasers of Lower Rangitikei, Ian Clapham, 1998.
FRASER, Ann (I19342)


Jane Fraser, the youngest daughter of Duncan and Marjory Fraser was born at Wellington on 16 February 1848, being named after her mother's sister Jane, who had accompanied the family on the voyage to New Zealand on the Blenheim. Both Jane's and her sister Kate's birth were registered on the same date, 3 July 1848. Marjory's sister Jane was married by the Reverend J Mason at Wanganui on 7 February 1842 to Thomas Crosbie, shoemaker, which is perhaps the origin of the Crosby as a second name in later records.

In The Old Place Ralph Richardson wrote: "It has been recorded that Jane and her sister Kate, busy in the garden one day when the rest of the family were absent, were approached by a party of Maoris. In those days such native reconnoitring parties might be friendly or not but in either case they were always on the lookout for arms and ammunition. Jane told her sister to slip into the house and hide the rifles while she kept the Maoris outside as long as possible. The Maoris entered the house but soon went away taking nothing. The incident had its sequel in the evening when their father, Duncan Fraser, getting into bed, landed on a mass of disagreeably hard objects. Kate had hidden the weapons under the blankets."

In the early 1870s while visiting her sister Ann, she met James Richardson, a younger brother of Ann's husband Thomas. James was born in Hastings, Sussex, England, on 18 September 1835, the third son of Thomas and Delia Richardson. After arrival in New Zealand he attended William Finnimore's school in Wellington and later took up the building profession like his brother Thomas before him. At the age of nineteen he left for Melbourne with the intention of settling there, but returned to Wellington a short time later, starting up his own building business. He married Charlotte Waters on 22 August 1859, but their marriage was only relatively short, producing two daughters Annie and Beatrice, as Charlotte died on 23 February 1865. After the loss of his wife James decided to move north and had settled in the Marton area by 1866.

Jane and James were later married on 20 March 1871, and they moved into his home in Maunder Street, Marton which later became known as "The Old Place". Here their son Harold Hasting Richardson was born on 22 January 1872. Jane was delicate but she was able to bring up her son and also looked after her stepdaughter Beatrice.

James had joined the Marton Defence Volunteers shortly after his marriage and was appointed an ensign on 3 June 1871. On 28 October 1871 he was promoted acting Lieutenant of the Marton Rifle Volunteers. Although Marton was not directly involved with the Land Wars, there was always the threat and in 1886 redoubts were built in the vicinity Of St Stephen's Church.

Family life was cut short again for James as Jane died on 11 October 1886, at the young age of 38 years. James remained at "The Old Place" and was elected a borough councillor in 1892, a position he held until his death. For his last years he moved in with his son H H, as he was known, who lived in Bond Street. James died at Marton on 16 January 1905 and was buried beside Jane at the Fraser Family Cemetery at Parewanui.

Source: Pukehou: The Frasers of Lower Rangitikei, Ian Clapham, 1998.
FRASER, Jane Crosby (I19354)



A baby was taken from the water unconscious last evening after a car failed to take a bend in Humphreys drive and plunged into the Estuary shortly after 8 p.m. The baby is Michael Charles Aberhart, aged 16 months, a son of Mr and Mrs E. C. Aberhart, of 91 Ohoka road, Kaiapoi. The car, which was travelling from Kaiapoi, smashed into two concrete posts before it entered the water. The driver of the car, Mr W. A Huxtable, of Amberley, dragged the child's parents from the vehicle which was upside down in the water. He then returned for the child which was floating unconscious in the water inside the car. The baby was taken by St. John Ambulance to the Christchurch Public Hospital where he was reported to be on the seriously ill list late last evening. Mrs Aberhart was treated by Dr. D. Simpson, given a change of clothes and taken to the Christchurch Hospital where she was treated for shock but was not admitted. Her husband and Mr Huxtable were treated by Dr. L. R. Chapman and taken to hospital and treated for shock.

Source: The Press, 27 April 1956, Page 12.
ABERHART, Michael Charles (I6584)

Two Boys' Bodies Still Untraced


After five days of inquiries, the Takapuna police say they have little doubt that Rodney Watkins, aged six. and his brother, Peter, aged two, were in a car with their father when it plunged over the edge of the Birkenhead wharf last Sunday night. The body of their father, David Howard Watkins, aged 37, salesman, was recovered from the car later that night.

Senior-Sergeant W H. Slater, officer in charge at Takapuna, said today that it had been established that the car left Cambridge about 4.30 p.m. and was next traced to Birkenhead when the boys were still with their father.

The fact that the back doors were locked and the boys' clothing, toys and footwear were inside supported the belief that they we're in the car at the time, he said.

It was possible they had been forced out of the broken back windows by the inrush of water.

Mr Slater said beaches In the vicinity were still being searched.

Source: The Press, 7 May 1960, Page 12.


Wife's Evidence At Inquest On Tragedy At Birkenhead


The bodies of two children believed to have been in the car driven by their father over the Birkenhead wharf on May 1 have never been found, but today at an inquest into their deaths the Coroner (Mr W. S. Spence, S.M.) found that they were drowned. He said there was not the same direct evidence of their deaths as in the case of their father, but the inference that they had drowned was irresistible.

He found that David Howard Watkins, aged 37, bus driver, of Takapuna, died by drowning on May 1 after driving his car over the Birkenhead wharf into the Waitemata harbour.

He also found that the two boys, Rodney James Watkins, aged 5, and Peter Ronald Watkins, aged 2, died by drowning through being in a car driven by their father over the wharf.

The mother of the two boys, Kathleen Bonita Watkins, said she and her husband had entered into a separation agreement earlier In the year. It had been agreed that her husband would leave their house by May 2, 1960.

She gave details of three earlier instances when her husband had threatened to take his own life.

Mrs Watkins also gave evidence of a number of debts she had had to settle for her husband.

She said her husband had taken the children out at 9.30 a.m. on May 1. He had mentioned he was going to Cambridge to see his brother.

He telephoned her at 7.50 p.m. "He said that I was going to suffer till the day I died - that the children were with him and they had had a lovely day, that he could not live without them or me, and if I would not go back to live with him completely he knew what he was going to do."

Mrs Watkins said she had then notified the police and her solicitor.

Mrs Watkins said that on May 21 she found a note placed under the carpet beneath a settee in which her husband had stated: "Rodney and Peter will be with me - I have not acted on the spur of the moment - I have had it planned for some time."

Source: The Press, 10 September 1960, Page 14.

WATKINS, David Howard (I6085)

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