Findings in My Research

New Mental Hospital Early Hokitika Temuka Pioneers Day
A Historic Battle Wakefield Hospital  

The Ashburton Guardian 27th August 1957 shows
(P.A) Wellington, Aug. 26
Expenditure of 1M pounds For New Mental Hospital Approved
Seacliff Accommodation to be Replaced
The works committee of the Cabinet today approved in principal the expenditure of more than 1,000,000 pounds to replace accommodation lost through the closing of buildings at Seacliff Mental Hospital, near Dunedin.

The Minister of Health (Mr J. R. Hanan) said today that most of the new accommodation would be at nearby Cherry Farm Hospital.

The main building at Seacliff had to be evacuated earlier this year because it was unsafe.

Mr Hanan said today that Cherry Farm would now have to be developed to a full-size 1060-bed hospital, instead of 750 beds as originally planned, and provision would have to be made for the admission of woman patients.

418,000 pounds For Land
Approval has been given for the immediate erection of buildings and the purchase of additional land at Cherry Farm at an estimated cost of 418,000 pounds.

This would involve the building of two standard 50-patient villas and two standard villas for disturbed patients, each holding 54?, the purchase of two areas of land for staff housing, and the erection of six staff residences.

In addition, the works committee had approved the immediate designing, preparation of working drawings and contract documents for other buildings the Minister said. These with preliminary assessments of their cost, were an admission block for 80 patients (225,000 pounds) a nurses home (200,000 pounds), a new type 50-patient villa as a standard for lower grade patients (75,000 pounds), and a 50-patient top-line security block for national requirements (125,000 pounds). The site for the last had yet to be determined.

As Cherry Farm was being developed to an extent not originally intended all available building sites there had to be used for new villas, leaving no site for residences for medical officers or other married staff. It was therefore necessary to purchase sufficient land for the ultimate erection of at least 24 residences for rental by married male staff.

The admission of woman patients to Cherry Farm would make the erection of a nurses home there essential.

Seacliff Accommodation
The Minister said that the wards remaining at Seacliff would accommodate, with other patients, those necessary for operating various services such as boilerhouse, laundry, butchery, bakery and various workshops until they could be transferred to Cherry Farm.

The proposal approved in principle by Cabinet were, the Minister said, additional to works programme for the Mental Hygiene Division of the Department of Health approved for the current year. The Minister of Works, which carried out the normal programme, would also be responsible for the urgent additional measures which have been approved.

The “Guardian” 5th December 1934 shows
Early Hokitika: A Growing Number of Resident’s Here in the 1860’s
The late William Williams, carpenter arrived here in 1865, camping in Tancred Street, where the Catholic day school once stood later. Within the year he moved to what became Fitzherbert Street north. At that time the locality was dense bush, and native pigeons could be shot off the trees. When his wife and son Hebert arrived, the last mentioned still residing here on the same spot as his father selected first, Hokitika was then in its third year (1867). To reach their new home they had to travel along the sea beach and thence by bus track to the dwelling, the late Joesph Brocklehurst being their guide. The formation of the street cam later, being made by prison labour.

The son Herbert went to school originally at a private institution kept by Mrs Dunbar. The school was a private place at the corner of Sewell and Park Streets. Later on, he went to Scott’s Academy, a school under Presbyterian influence, and a fine school it was. Mr Scott was a very popular teacher, and he made his mark in the teaching profession. When the school in question was taken over under the State system of 1876, Mr Scott removed to Timaru, where he continued teaching to a ripe old age. The State School at the outset was under the direction of Mr E. B. Dixon, who with two other masters, Messrs Soundy and Easton, came from Victoria, as also did a mistress. Among the pupils at the school at the time who can be recalled by Mr Williams, were Moses and Solomon Goulston, Jim and George Shields, George Park, Colin Macfarlane, Peter Helming, and Adam Ellis who was from Arahura, where his father had one of three hotels then open there. Mr Williams remembers Mary Malumby, a young woman who was murdered one Sunday morning by a negro. She resided opposite Scott’s School. There was a hue and cry chase for the offender, who to escape capture took to the sea, swimming far out, and eventually returning when he was captured. It was an event which made a great stir in the town, and there was great excitement about the crime.

Regarding matters educational it is interesting to mention that the roll strength in the private schools in 1870 was: – All Saints’ 80; St. Mary’s 81; Presbyterian 63; South Spit (Mr Stanton) 21. An effort was made to establish a High School in 1870, but the school was not formed till later. The first school committee was Messrs R. C. Reid (chairman), G. G. Fitzgerald, J. Churches, W. G. Johnston, J. Mulligan and R. Patterson. The Central Board of Education, established in 1874 was:– Messrs G. G. Fitzgerald (chairman), Patten, Gibson, Seddon, Mueiler, Revell and Kenrick. Mr E. T. Robinson became secretary.

Mr Charles Downie, of Murchison, now in his 92nd year, along with his son, Mr J. Downie, chairman of the Murchison County Council, will be among the visitors to the Jubilee celebrations. Mr Downie senr. came to Hokitika in March, 1865, arriving from Melbourne. He worked at Blue Spur, Ross and Stafford. His son was born at the latter township.

Mr James Thomson, now of Oxford, Canterbury, and formerly of Okarito, who has donated a silver mounted jockey whip to the Westland Racing Club for presentation to the rider of the winner of the Westland Cup at the Christmas meeting, is a son of the late Captain Thomson who was harbour master at Okarito. Mr Thomson is one of those living who remembers the race meeting at Clapcott’s paddock on the south side of the river, and he hopes to be present at the forth–coming race meeting.

Mrs S. R. Honey, at present of Hokitika, but who resided for many years at Callaghans, is one of the very early inhabitants, having reached Hokitika when very young with her parents, Mr and Mrs John Havill, in 1864. At the outset the family lived in a small cottage on the beach in North Revell Street, for which the rent was £1 per week. The family had come from Auckland and found the experiences here in sharp contrast. Her family was for a time in business at Okarito when that rush broke out, but later returned to Hokitika, and set up business on Gibson’s Quay, then very busy with shipping. Mrs Honey has enjoyed good health and has many relatives about her to brighten her days.

Among the pioneer band are Mrs Phelan, of Ruatapu, 90 years of age, Mrs Dempsey, Ruatapu; Mrs M. Henderson, of Hokitika; Mrs Atkinson, of Hornby, daughter of an official, Robert Ferguson, here in 1869.

The Jubilee Executive will be issuing shortly to all persons whose names are registered an official badge, the wearing of which will afford free admission to the various events of the carnival period.

(Names with any early records of experiences in the 1864 to 1870 period here will be acceptable, and will be registered. All information should be sent to the County Office as soon as possible)

The “Timaru Herald” 14th December 1925 shows
(From Our Own Correspondent)
Temuka Pioneers Day 75th Anniversary of Province
The 75th anniversary of the arrival at Lyttelton of the first four ships of the Canterbury settlement was commemorated in Temuka yesterday morning, when a special service organized by the Mayor and councilors, and attended by many pioneers, was held in the Methodist Church. Amongst those present were the Mayor (Mr G. B. Cartwright), Councillors W. F. Evans, J. B. Sinclair,A. H. Fenn, A. W. Buzan, D. White, D. McInnes, J. S. Lee, T. Gunnion, and the Town Clerk (Mr A. J. Macpherson). Councillor J. J. Ellis, represented the Geraldine County Council.

The pioneers gathered at the Post Office, and amongst their number was Mrs L. H. Rooke, who arrived at Lyttelton in the ship “Cressay” (one of the first four ships), seventy five years ago. The old folk were motored to the church, headed by the Pipe Band and Mayor and Councilors.

There was a very large congregation, and the service, which was a most impressive one, commenced with the hymn. “O God Our Help in Ages Past.” The Psalm was the 103rd, commencing “Bless the Lord, O My Soul.” The preacher, the Rev. R Richards, in referring to the pioneers, said: We meet to celebrate a diamond jubilee, to witness that three quarters of a century have rolled by since the pilgrim band of old pioneers laid the foundations of future greatness in this southern province. Many of that stalwart band have long since gone to their eternal rest, but we are proudly and affectionately greet the old pioneers who are with us today, and pray for the continuance of Divine blessing upon them and their work. No one can think upon the early beginnings of the province without realizing how rapid has been the growth within so short a time, without paying a tribute to those early settlers whose tireless energy and dauntless perseverance overcame every obstacle and converted a waste into a wonderland. With simple tools and many a makeshift implement they made clearing in the tussocky country or back in the hills; they took up land, built themselves houses, and made a home in the wilderness. They were men of energy and strong heart, who pushed their way through many difficulties. We of the younger generation hail them today with glowing veneration. We realize that other men laboured, and we are entered into their labours. May we have grace and courage to carry on not unworthily the work they have handed down to us. Do we sufficiently consider our history, and the great heritage which is ours? And, at last, what is the secret of our progress? Is it the genius of race, the accident of locality, the foresight of our founders? Is it not rather, in all these things, the good governance of God? The warp and woof of our national life, from pioneer days down to the present is founded upon Divine and Biblical concepts, and our colonizing greatness is not so much the result of cleverness as of God’s over ruling love. Our pioneers were great men, great in their religion as in other things, and they teach us that our one supreme need today is to consider our attitude towards God, the God of our fathers.

The sermon was on the soul’s glory, based on the words. “We are changed from glory to glory.” The preacher spoke of the last glory of humanity according to Jewish conceptions, and of the power of religion to impart a new glory and dignity. There was a threefold glory chain in Christian thought, and each link was very different from the common ideas of men generally. They were the innate glory of human life, as opposed to the pessimistic views of many writers and thinkers. There was also the glory of going on, and old age was not to be looked upon as evil, but as a glorious thing in itself. Lastly there was the glory of the hereafter. Many of our obituary notices were distinctly gloomy, and we were often inclined to look upon death as a doubtful adventure at best. But in the Christian vision there was no doubt, but a great glory.

Thanks are due to those who place their cars at the disposal of the pioneers.

The Pioneers
The following is a list of those to whom the Council sent invitations, many of whom attended the service:

  1. Mrs N. G. Nicholson
  2. Mrs E. Lee (arrived in ship “Victory” March 1866)
  3. Mrs Paterson (Winchester)
  4. Mrs E. Pye
  5. Mrs Edgar, Waiape
  6. Mrs John Talbot, Rangitira Valley
  7. Mr George Levens (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Indiana” 1858)
  8. Mrs Geo. Levens (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “St. Lawrence” 1873)
  9. Mr W. Hopkinson (arrived in ship “Zealandia” 1858)
  10. Mrs W. Hopkinson
  11. Mr David Taylor (arrived at Timaru in ship “Marope”(sic) 1875)
  12. Mrs David Taylor (arrived at Timaru in ship “Eastern Empire” 1864)
  13. Mr James Findlay (arrived in Lyttelton in ship “Mermaid” 1862)
  14. Mrs James Findlay
  15. Mr S Cain (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Clontarf” 1859)
  16. Mrs S Cain, Seadown
  17. Mr Joseph Wareing (arrived at Auckland in ship “Surat” 1864)
  18. Mrs J. Wareing (arrived at Timaru in ship “Echunga” 1861)
  19. Mr and Mrs A. L. Barker, Winchester
  20. Mr Geo. Smart (arrived in s.s.“Attrato”(sic) 1874)
  21. Mr and Mrs Cargo, Temuka
  22. Mr and Mrs Geo. Davey, Winchester
  23. Mr James Blyth (arrived at Timaru in ship “Strathallan” 1859)
  24. Mr E. Brown (arrived at Timaru in 1865)
  25. Mr John Fitzgerald (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Echunga”)
  26. Mr O. Matthews (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Matoaka” 1867)
  27. Mr T. H. A. Trezise (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Matoaka” 1867)
  28. Mr Geo. Butler (arrived in ship “Lancashire Witch” 1863)
  29. Mr John Brown (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Blue Jacket” 1869)
  30. Mr Geo. Gibbs (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Zealandia” 1858)
  31. Mr R. Austin (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Crusader” 1874)
  32. Mr Geo. Preddy
  33. Mr W. G. Rutland (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Glentanner” 1857)
  34. Mrs Whitehead, Temuka
  35. Mrs M. Garrney, Arowhenua
  36. Mrs J. Scott, Winchester
  37. Mrs A. Hayhurst (arrived at Timaru in ship “Victory” 1866)
  38. Mrs J. Maze, Milford
  39. Mrs Eliza Woodhead
  40. Mrs Agnes Woodhead
  41. Mr James Benbow, Bankside
  42. Mrs F. Hooper, Temuka
  43. Mr H. Voice (sic) (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Crusader” 1873)
  44. Mr Colin Campbell (arrived in ship “Tudor” 1865)
  45. Mr John Brosnahan, Temuka
  46. Mrs Crompton
  47. Mr F. Park, Temuka
  48. Mr J. Douglas, Temuka
  49. Mr Robert Day, Timaru (arrived at Wellington in ship “Arab” 1841 and came to Timaru in 1847)
  50. Mrs Groundwater, Temuka
  51. Mr Geo. Phillips (arrived in Timaru in ship “Peerless” (sic) 1873)
  52. Mr C Story (arrived at Lyttelton in ship “Canterbury” 1864)
  53. Mr John Bambridge, Temuka
  54. Mr G. Smith, Orari
  55. Mr E. B. Cooper, Temuka

The “New Zealand Herald” 9th September 1933
By Arthur O’Halloran
A Historic Battle Causes Black Days in Taranaki
In 1865 the young colony forwarded its petition to Downing Street for the withdrawal of the Imperial troops. At the same time Mr Ward was Premier and Sir George Grey Governor. General Cameron had been for several years operating in Taranaki with a force of four thousand five hundred Imperial soldiers, plus colonial troops and friendly natives. He had not succeeded in subjugating Titokowaru. There had been conflict of control, “feeling” between Imperial and colonial officers, and the young colony had already been obliged to negotiate loans to the tune of 3,000,000 pounds to meet war commitments. The Imperial Government seemed in no mood to be generous, even though wool was bringing the colonists desperately low prices. All things considered, the Government of the day favoured control and prosecution of the war under the “self–reliant policy.” It was singularly bold essay, and worthy of more generous reception than that accorded it by the House of Commons.

At the beginning of September, 1868, Colonel McDonnell was encamped at Waihi, some miles from where the progressive town of Hawera stands today. In part his force consisted of experienced, reliable campaigners, men who had stormed many a redoubt and successfully matched valour and skill with Titokowaru’s braves. On the other hand, there had been rushed up from Wellington a levy of raw recruits as yet totally unfitted by proficiency or discipline for the grim drama of desperate bush fighting. But the politicians had called the tune: McDonnell had to play it. When the full fruits of the Government’s ill–advised haste had been reaped, when Von Tempsky, Hunter, Buck, Palmer, Hastings were no more, along with many a trooper who had been marked out for death, it was necessary to find a scapegoat. Who better could be found than Thomas McDonnell himself?

Record of an Eye–Witness
My father, the late Captain and Sub–Inspector O’Halloran, could claim to have known Colonel McDonnell as few men did. As his orderly he had spent months in the saddle alongside his chief; had observed McDonnell’s “mana” with the friendlies and the fluency of his Maori. As one of his officers at Ngutu–o–te–manu he was to be an eye–witness of the colonel’s personal bravery, coolness and leadership in that black disaster of September 7. He for one did not blame McDonnell for the reverse, and many another held to the same judgement. As to the fight itself, I cannot do better than quote from my father’s memoirs.

“On the previous evening (September 6) we could see that a move of some kind was contemplated. Extra rations had been served out to the cooks, who were busy boiling beef, etc. Later, just before dusk, extra ammunition, biscuit and grog were served out to all hands. About 10 p.m. Major Von Tempsky struck lightly on my tent with his sword, whispering in his foreign accent, ’Get up, get up. Fall in.’ Going on parade, I found a number of men already there. The rolls were called in low tones by the different sergeants, and in an hour’s time we were on the march. No lights were allowed in case native scouts were about. The force consisted of between two hundred and fifty and three hundred Europeans and some friendly natives. Of the former a large number were raw recruits, hurriedly enlisted and sent off to the front. Many of them hardly knew how to load.”

“After marching through dense bush, and crossing the Whangangora River, which was breast–high and very cold, we arrived at what appeared to be a clearing, and we halted to await daylight. At this time, with the exception of perhaps two or three of our principal officers, none of use had any idea of our destination. It being now broad daylight, the men stepped out in ? style. Silence, however was insisted upon. Some of out native allies scouted in front.”

Engaging the Enemy
“Suddenly shots were fired, and moving forward at the double, we found ourselves in a large clearing, at the entrance to which our native advance guard had discovered an enemy picket, most of whom were at once shot or tomahawked by the friendlies. Several, however, escaped and gave the alarm. We had hardly emerged for the bush when we received a withering fire at short range from all sides and even from above. Some, having climbed the trees, were firing from the branches right down on us. This we did not discover for some time.”

The last time I saw Von Tempsky he was standing ankle–deep in a small creek some few yards from where my men, attached to No. 2 division, were placed. He was talking in animated manner with Colonel McDonnell and Major Hunter. Many officers and men had by this time been killed or wounded, and an order was given to send the wounded to the rear. In this great difficulty was experienced, particularly owing to the behaviour of some of the new levies, who considered they had enough to do to look after themselves.

“By the time Von Tempsky, Hunter, Buck, Palmer and Hastings had all been killed, and the whole force was compelled by the murderous fire of the natives to retire, carrying as many wounded as possible. Had it not been for the steadiness of the old officers and men, their obedience to orders and good example they showed, the orderly retreat would have become a stampede. We kept up a heavy return of fire, and must have killed and wounded a good many of the enemy. On arrival at the Whangagangora River we found it flooded, and had great difficulty in getting our wounded across. By the aid of ropes and long poles we eventually succeeded, and arrived in camp weary and depressed. We found a number of men, principally the new levies, had preceded us by some hours and reported the whole force decimated, as indeed we might have been for all the assistance they had rendered.”

Results of the Reverse
“Captain Roberts, who commanded Von Tempsky’s division after his death, somehow got separated from the main body in retreat, and had to spend the night in the bush. He came in the next morning with the loss of several men. Our total loss was twenty–six killed and thirty wounded.”

Serious indeed, as had been the reverse, it was magnified beyond all proportion. In Parliament the “alarm” motions were immediately brought forward by politicians with an axe to grind and old scores to pay off. The Premier, Mr Stafford, survived only by the casting vote of the Speaker. New military developments saw the appointment of Colonel Whitmore to the command, the evacuation of Waihi and the retirement of the forces upon Patea. Von Tempsky’s division, which had virtually mutinied, was disbanded by order of the Defence Minister, and Major Fraser’s division was brought from the East Coast. The wily “Tito,” as a result of his success, received many recruits from the suspect natives, and advanced over the evacuated area, burning the homesteads en route.

Wakefield Hospital known as Lewisham Hospital was opened in 1929
The Evening Post 30th July 1929
Lewisham Hospital
A party of eleven sisters for Lewisham Hospital, Wellington, arrived from Sydney by the Marama this morning to take up duties here. The new hospital in Florence street, Wellington South, is now nearing completion and will be opened on 18th August. Those who arrived today are all from the Lewisham Hospital, Sydney, and their names are Sisters Coral, W Delaney, C Erbacher, E Fitzsimmons, J Galvin, A Hopkins, M Joseph, C Laughlin, P Moylan, O Magee and E O'Brien