| The Streets of my city, Wellington New Zealand, |
by F. L. Irvine-Smith. (1948).
Part Three Chapter Five
|Contents: a letter | Part One chapters: 1 | 2 | Part Two chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 |
Part Three chapters: Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Appendix
chance would have it, I directed my course to the east.
ROSENEATH, Oriental Bay, Mount Victoria and Hataitai form the first block of the city's eastern suburbs, comprising a somewhat blunt triangle lying between Lambton Harbour and Evans Bay. Of these, the first three form what is postally known as E.1.
Roseneath forms the northern portion of the triangle, with its apex jutting into the harbour at Point Jerningharn, a reminder of the only son of the Great Founder, Edward Jerningham Wakefield. Sir George Grey at one time was anxious to secure this site for Government House, but it was looked upon by the authorities as too exposed for that purpose. It was owned by W. G. Brown, who was connected with the Union Bank. Mr. Brown went to Tasmania where he became General Manager of the Bank of van Diemen's Land, but as he got into financial difficulties, the creditors took over Roseneath and cut it up for sale, disposing in 1888 of one hundred and four acres for four thousand eight hundred and fifty pounds. One suggestion which was defeated was to use it for a cemetery.
Speaking of names, some would say the prettiest of all Wellington suburban names is that of "Roseneath." Not connected in any way with roses, the name is an Anglicised form of the Gaelic "Rossinath."(1) The original Peninsula of Roseneath, which gives its name to the Peninsula of Roseneath in Wellington, is on the Firth of Clyde, within easy reach of Glasgow, in the County of Dumbarton, and is flanked by the waters of the Clyde and those of the Gareloch. It has been the scene of many a stirring episode of Scottish history. For centuries the Peninsula was in the hands of the Earls of Lennox, and when, in 1489, their lands were forfeited, these were awarded to Colin, first Earl of Argyll, ancestor of the Duke of Argyll, who when Marquis of Lorne, married Louise, third daughter of Queen Victoria. Here for centuries stood the hoary Castle of Roseneath, destroyed by fire at the commencement of the last century, and here in 1803, was erected the new Castle, or rather Palace, of Roseneath, one of Scotland's great homes.
The Scotch peninsula, lying between the waters of the Gareloch and the Clyde, which remind a Wellingtonian of Oriental and Evans Bays, is similar in configuration (though on a larger scale) to its local prototype, and consists of one continuous ridge rising from the wooded point opposite Greenock to the highest hill, eight hundred feet above the sea. But in later years its wild beauty, as described by Sir Walter Scott in the "Heart of Midlothian," has given way to the march of civilisation, and its winding shores and heathery hill-sides are today closely built upon with piers and pensions and seaside villas of neighbouring city dwellers.
Among the records of Roseneath School, Wellington, is to be found a handsome illustrated volume entitled, "Roseneath, Past and Present," by W. C. Maughan, the gift in 1913 of Mr. G. G. Young, M.A., Headmaster of Roseneath School, Scotland, to Mr. Robert Darroch, Headmaster of Roseneath School, Wellington, New Zealand.
Oriental Bay, sundwashed and sheltered from southerlies, takes its name from the second of the Company's vessels to arrive with emigrants on January 30th, 1840. Settlement was slow to move as far round the harbour as Oriental Bay, and in 1840 George Duppa (q.v.), an arrival on the "Oriental," was the sole resident. He lived in a house called "Castle Doleful," below the present monastery of St. Gerard, and close to the beach, where at times whalers boiled down the blubber in their large trypots. His place was taken not long afterwards by D. N. Wilkinson (q.v.), also an early arrival, the father of Wellington viticulturists. Another earlier personage of this suburb, though he had come first to Canterbury, was James Edward FitzGerald, the Controller-General, who after moving from Karori, lived till the close of his life at OrientalBay. His house was situated on a most commanding site above Fitzgerald Point. It was afterwards purchased by the Redemptorist Order and now forms part of the Monastery of St. Gerard.
Still another notable resident of the vicinity was Captain H. S. Blackburne (I 854 - 1944), son of the Rev. Samuel Blackburne, who had come to New Zealand as chaplain to Bishop Selwyn. Captain Blackburne was one of the most distinguished master mariners of his day. Resigning after twenty years' service from the P. & O. Company, "for conscience sake," to free himself from participation in opium traffic, he became principal of the London School of Navigation from 1894 to 1899, in which year he was selected to become nautical adviser to the Marine Department and principal examiner of masters and mates in New Zealand. The monumental work however, which placed the whole sea-faring world in his debt, was his compilation of Navigation Tables, considered to be the finest publication of its kind in the world. Honours were bestowed upon him; scarcely a visiting vessel touched at Wellington but its captain paid a ceremonious call upon the great seaman, who remained to the end of his long life of ninety years, of which the closing years were spent in Auckland, the quiet unassuming Christian that had placed the spiritual welfare of his fellow-men above any consideration of material gain.
Mount Victoria (648 feet), named in 1840 in honour of the new young Queen, is the highest peak of the Te-Ranga-a-Hiwi ridge, which runs from Roseneath to Island Bay, and the suburb bearing its name lies on its sunny inner slopes. The higher portion of the peak forms part of the city Town Belt, but the lower slopes have been settled from an early date. As far back as 1842, Messrs. Simmons and Hoggard had a windmill on the site of the present Embassy Theatre, and Sir William Fitzherbert, a farm close by, with a farm residence known as Victoria Cottage. In 1866 the Signal Station, formerly on Mount Albert, a lower peak of the same ridge, was transferred to Mount Victoria. Very eagerly did city eyes once scan the summit when boats were expected! In 1906 the construction of the Hataitai Tunnel for the passage of trams through Mount Victoria was completed, a great advantage to suburbs further east, and in 1927 a broadcasting station for 2YA was erected near the summit.
Increased transport facilities have done much towards the bypassing of the ascent of Mount Victoria as a constitutional for young Wellingtonians, but in earlier days it was a favourite breather for active pedestrians. Mary Taylor, in one of her letters to Charlotte Brontt in the forties, mentions walking to the top to look for a ship that was likely to bring a letter to her. Miss Taylor, always business-like, is said to have been the first to import a sewing-machine into Wellington, and among other uses machined tucks, at a shilling a tuck, around white underskirts, such a decorated garment being the pièce de resistance of any local trousseau. On her departure, the machine passed to her neighbour, Mrs. Kinniburg. What a museum exhibit it would make if unearthed today!
The most interesting institution in E.1 is undoubtedly Wellington College, opened in its present position in 1874, though founded twenty-one years previously by Sir George Grey.(2) From a modest beginning the roll has continued to mount to almost a thousand boys (a questionable advantage) and in the present year of grace (1948) the school rejoices in having an "old boy" as next-door neighbour and Governor-General of the Dominion.
The College of 1874, erected in wood, at a cost of approximately ten thousand pounds, has been demolished since 1930. How imposing it looked to earlier Wellington eyes with its central tower, large Gothic windows and beautiful internal timbering of New Zealand woods - all the more so from standing solitary and untouched in the midst of an unrivalled expanse of sixtyfive acres of College grounds. To a few who grumbled at its distance from the more thickly built sections of the borough, the prophecy of the Governor, Sir James Fergusson, as expressed on the opening day, was not amiss: "Some day this will be a central site." A true prophecy.
Year by year the "site" has grown in grace. From its natural state of hills, gullies, manuka scrub and gorse, it has become a noble expanse of shaven playing-fields, whose background of hills serves but to enhance the stately College buildings at the foot - an oasis to which the eye of the crowded city dweller turns with constant refreshment and delight, and whose worth from an educational point of view is inestimable. Wise old pioneers. Our gratitude.
In 1925, at a discreet distance from the seminary of the sterner sex, a Girls' College was erected to meet the increasing needs of the eastern suburbs.
Skirting the College grounds and now forming an approach to the Hataitai Tunnel is Patterson Street commemorating the Rev. Jas. Paterson, one of the Colony's leading churchmen, who retired from the charge of St. John's Presbyterian Church in 1903. Like most of his countrymen he was keenly interested in education, and as well as being a Governor of the Boys' College, was from 1877 to 1903, a very penetrating member of the Senate. This street was at first called Lauriston Street by Mr. Crump, who carried out its construction, but a request to the City Council (8/2/1904) from Messrs. Brandon, Hislop and Johnston was granted for the above change. The double 't' in the name may possibly record the marriage of the Rev. Jas. Paterson with Miss Margaret Patterson of Castle Douglas, Scotland.
Commemorated too in this suburb in the name of Moir Street is Mr. Paterson's predecessor, the Rev. J. Moir, who, at the invitation of some seventy Wellington Presbyterians of the Free Church of Scotland, came from Scotland in 1853 to take charge of the congregation of St. John.
Like most Wellington street names, those of E.1 are varied in origin. Some are of much historic interest and will be found in greater detail in special chapters. New Zealand Company directors of the forties are well represented, Here are three parallel streets, Ellice Street, Pirie Street and Majoribanks Street, all conmemorating 1840 directors of the Company - Russell Ellice, Sir John Pirie and Stewart Majoribanks, M.P., while a fourth parallel street of later origin, Elizabeth Street, recalls the late Mrs. Woodman of D'Urville Island, née Miss Elizabeth Muir. These four are all main thoroughfares leading from sea-level at a sharp angle up the slopes of Mount Victoria, favourite testing-grounds, by the way, for candidates for motor-driving certificates. Three similar uphill streets leading from Oriental Parade (known to old identities as Clyde Quay) are Hay Street, Baring Street and Grass Street. Of these Hay Street is an 1840 Company Street, and may possibly commemorate Lieutenant-General James Hay, C.B., a hero of the Peninsular War, who died in 1854. His exploits would probably be well known to members of the Company. Baring Street is a new name for Hill Crest, after the Hon. Francis Baring, M.P., Deputy-Governor of the Company in 1840, and Grass Street was mapped, as early as 1841, through a grass reserve.
Ship Streets are not wanting. Roxburgh Street takes its name from the emigrant vessel which touched port in February, 1840, Brougham Street, presumably after the store ship "Brougham" (1840) which brought the artist Brees to our shores and took the highly disgruntled Captain Chaffers back to England, and Hood Street, a modern street at the water-front, named for a modern triumph of shipbuilding, H.M.S. "Hood," fated to be a war casualty in the late war. Austin Street is named for an early Company official, and Hawker Street, either after Mr. C. C. Hawker, a Cornish supporter of the Company, or the Rev. R. S. Hawker, another English colonising enthusiast.
In the early days Peter Tutchen, an arrival by the "Arab" in 1841, ran his dairy herd on the slopes of Mount Victoria. Hence, Tutchen Avenue. Robert Rixon, a property owner in Austin Street and Willis Street, "mended shoes well" in a tiny shop in Austin Street and gives his name to the adjacent Rixon Grove, Charles Mclntyre baked fragrant loaves in Tory Street, but also owned land in this locality, whence Mclntyre Avenue.
Mercantile interests are well served. Shannon Street keeps alive the memory of G. V. Shannon of Thompson, Shannon & Co., the forerunners of the D.I.C., and a leading promoter of the Wellington and Manawatu Railway, after whom the town of Shannon is called. Robert Port, a highly esteemed merchant of the seventies, is remembered in Port Street, and John Telford, merchant, who arrived in the "Bengal Merchant" in 1840, but later settled in Christchurch, in Telford Terrace. Lipman Levy, a large boot importer, has two streets in E.1 to his credit, Lipman Street and Levy Street, constructed when his estate was cut up and roaded by Mr. T. K. Macdonald in 1881, as well as Alpha Street in C.3. Mr. Levy, who was one of the earliest members of the Wellington Philosophical Society, had a very beautiful garden which extended from Kent Terrace to Brougham Street, enhanced, to the great interest of the children of the neighbourhood, by a pair of longlegged storks. A little story goes that on one occasion a stork mistook a small nose protruding between the palings for an edible morsel-with colourfol damage to the nose. Mr. Macdonald himself is recorded in Kennedy Street.
Lloyd Street is old history and harks back to 1858 when "Thomas Lloyd, Esq., of Birmingham" purchased for £145 from Alfred de Bathe Brandon (q.v.) town acres 291 and 292. Lloyd's attorney was Waring Taylor who, in 1872, in the purchaser's interest, sub-divided the land and constructed and so named the street.
Royalty is represented in the name of Mount Victoria, in that of Alexandra Road, a scenic road constructed around the upper slopes of the Town Belt, and in Albany Avenue, a name changed in 1911 from that of the Queen (Victoria Avenue) to that of her son, the Duke of Albany. One vice-regal chatelaine is brought to mind in Dufferin Street, after the Marquis of Dufferin, father of Lady Plunket. Caroline Street is named after Mrs. Caroline Jacobson, whose husband also named Jacobs Place (C.3). Robieson Road preserves the memory of Mr. Norman Robieson of the City Treasurer's staff, who fell in the Great War. Macfarlane Street, Patterson Street and Moir Street are Church streets - all Presbyterian, by the way. Staford Street and Vogel Street commemorate two past Premiers of the Colony; Wilkinson Street an early 1840 pioneer. Stephen Street is a new designation for a former Edward Street, and is named after a resident of long standing, Mr. Stephen Campbell; Moeller Street records Mr. Philip Moeller, licensee of the old Occidental Hotel and a councillor of the city, and Doctors Commons, a district in London long associated with law.
Brougham Avenue, Ellice Avenue and Albany Avenue, all tap the Gray Estate, an area of several acres on the slopes of Mount Victoria, acquired by its owner about 1870, and first subdivided by his widow in 1895, when the above streets were laid out. A final acre was subdivided and sold in 1919. Mr. and Mrs. William Gray were natives of Scotland and had come to New Zealand from Aberdeen by the "Simlah" in 1852, settling first in New Plymouth, where their son, Sir Alexander Gray, KC., was born, In 1855 Mr. Wm. Gray (1817 - 1873) entered the postal service and subsequentley rose to be Inspector of Post Offices. His eldest son, William Gray (1844 - 1907), born in Aberdeen, was Secretary of the Colony's Post and Telegraph Department from 1881 until his death.
One of the newest streets of E.1 is Moncrieff Street, constructed through the property of the late Mr. Young, Wine and Spirit Merchant, by Mr. E. Palliser, who named it after Lieutenant Moncrieff, one of the two ill-fated aviators who attempted in 1928 to fly from Sydney to Wellington, 1,200 miles. How true it is that the wonder of yesterday is the commonplace of today. In that year all New Zealand, and Australia too, was on tip-toe of expectation as to the result of the proposed Tasman flight by the two New Zealanders, Captain G, Hood, and Lieutenant. J, R, Moncrieff. Their aircraft, the "Aotearoa," had been specially constructed for the occasion on the lines of the machine in which Colonel Lindbergh had crossed the Atlantic. It had accommodation for but two fliers, and one of the three men involved in the plan, Captain Kight, by the toss of a coin, found himself (fortunately) excluded.
On January 10th, 1928, excitement ran high in the city. Before daylight Hood and Moncrieff had taken off from the Richmond Aerodrome and reckoned to arrive between 6 and 7 p.m. of the same day at Trentham, where the Racing Club had given permission for the enclosure to be available to the public. Thither as early as 2 p.m. a procession of cars started for Trentham; special trains were run, and before 6 p.m. it was estimated that between ten and twelve thousand, including the Mayor, the official party and the relatives of the airmen, were awaiting the arrival of the "Aotearoa."
Seven o'clock - eight o'clock - nine o'clock. The hopes of the waiting crowd grew fainter. The airship carried but two hundred gallons of petrol, but in the event of coming down was provided with a rubber raft. On through the night waited a great part of the crowd, reluctant to depart in case their hopes, already so dim, should at the last moment be miraculously realised. It was not to be. Silence - and an empty sky ... till the sea gives up its dead!
It is a very far cry from Early Wellington to Early Britain, and who would expect to find in E.1 a street to bridge the gap? This is Lindum Terrace, which, though surveyed in 1889 when some hundred acres of Roseneath were cut up and sold, may have received the designation of "Lindum" later, when Mrs. Louisa Trollope in 1894 acquired three lots (3 roods, 13 perches) on the far side of the Terrace and built some houses, still standing. Her husband, Henry Cracroft Trollope, who also came to Wellington, was a nephew of the well-known writer, Anthony Trollope (q.v.). His birthplace was Lincoln, the old "Lindum" of pre-Roman times, a purely Celtic name (the hill fort by the pool) which the Roman invaders changed to the Celto-Roman hybrid, Lincoln, a town that has remained down the ages one of the most historic spots of historic England. Its glory is its Minster, the oldest purely Gothic building in Europe. "Lincoln - Cathedrals - Trollope," words inseparably associated in the minds of book lovers. Mr. and Mrs. Trollope of Roseneath passed on later to South Africa, and eventually returned to England.
Palliser Road, a name changed in 1911 from Oriental Crescent, was called after the late Chas. Palliser, Land and Estate Agent, of the firm of Palliser and Jones, who sold a large part of Roseneath. The name recalls another Palliser, staunch friend and patron of Cook, Sir Hugh Palliser, after whom he named Palliser Bay. One of the great, fertile friendships of all time. Was ever a spot so centred in a galaxy of great names as this nook-shotten corner of our own? What does it mean for us today?
But since their hearts are small,
Ordained for each one shot should prove,
Beloved over all.
On the outer or seaward slopes of Mount Victoria lies the suburb of Hataitai covering a district known to the earliest pioneers as "Jenkins Estate." The present name of Hataitai, which was the ancient Maori name for what is now Miramar, was given to it by the syndicate which cut it up for building in 1901. Many may still remember the novel way of advertising the new suburb by cutting gigantic letters in the turf on the town side of Mount Victoria :
In 1841 Robert Jenkins, who afterwards became the first owner of the New Zealander Hotel in Manners Street, acquired in this part an estate of a hundred acres of hill pasture. In order to reach it he made a road up Mount Victoria (described in Wakefield's "Adventure in New Zealand", Vol. 2, p. 270) , fenced in much of it and used it for breeding horses. In these days he was one of the most enthusiastic supporters of racing, and figures prominently in the first Petone race-meeting, October 20th, 1842.
As at Eastbourne, most of the Hataitai streets (3) are named after native trees, such as Hinau Street, Konini Street, Matai Road, Rata Road, Rewa Road, etc. Postally speaking, however, E.2 also includes a part of old Kilbirnie whose street names will be considered under that heading.
the ultimate seas.
(J. M. Barrie, in Rectorial Address to University of St. Andrew's, May, 1922)
The road due east over the lowest saddle of the Te-Ranga-a-Hiwi Heights, that is to say, the route followed by Constable Street and the eastern tram line, takes us out of sight of the city proper and into view of the open sea and Miramar Peninsula, connected to the mainland by a sandy isthmus lying between Evans Bay and Lyall Bay. This portion of the city is inseparably connected with the pioneering activities of J. C. Crawford as the land selected by him comprised much of what was known until 1873 as Watt's Peninsula.
The name of Watt's Peninsula is due to Jas. Watt, an arrival by the "Lady Lilford" in 1840, who also purchased a cattle run in this locality. The Maori name of the peninsula, so given by the Ngai Tahu natives, who are said to have pre-dated the tribes of Ira by about seven centuries, was Hataitai or Whataitai, not to be confused with the present suburb of that name (E.2) on the opposite shores of Evans Bay, The more modern name of "Miramar" ("Wonderful Sea") was first applied by Mr. Crawford's brother-in-law, Major McBarnett, to a house (4) built by him in 1868 on a hill at the south-east of Evans Bay and afterwards occupied by Mr. Crawford. Because of its extensive seaviews the Major called it "Miramar," after the well-known castle of that name on the shores of the Adriatic, and later, when the peninsula became a borough, it was given the name of the house.
James Coutts Crawford was one of the finest pioneers that landedupon the shores of Port Nicholson. Lieutenant in the Navy, son of a naval Captain, grandson of one Admiral and son-in-law of another, the sea was in his blood, and it is scarcely to be wondered at that for his new home he selected the sea-girt peninsula that now forms the closely populated eastern suburbs of the city. Notwithstanding the many changes of duplicated names necessary when the outlying suburbs joined the borough of Greater Wellington, its place names are shot through and through with recollections of the land of his birth and the kinsfolk he had left behind.
After the purchase of Miramar, J. C. Crawford returned to England and remained there until 1846. On his return to New Zealand he took a very active part in the affairs of the settlement, but for the closing years of his life returned to the Old World and died in London in 1889.
Portions of Miramar Peninsula were at first selected by several of the pioneers, including Messrs. Luxford, Watt and Molesworth, but the first purchaser, Mr. Crawford, subsequently bought out the others and became sole owner. By 1848 there were two farms on the peninsula, one at the north belonging to Mr. Crawford and known as "Glendavar," and one at the south,east owned by Mr. Francis Molesworth and known as "Tetcott." The latter was reached by crossing the flat at Rongotai and travelling southeast, while the road to Glendavar led along the flat to the north. The block which Mr. Crawford named the Monorgan Block, after an old Scotch family holding, is now flanked by Monorgan Road (E.4). which forms the western boundary of the grounds of Scots College. The highest point of the Miramar Peninsula is Mt. Crawford, 530 feet, near the Massey Memorial at Point Halswell.
As Wellington expanded over the eastern hills, Mr. Crawford sold some of the lands, but at his death in 1889 the estate was still a very large one. To his sons Alex. and Chas. Crawford he bequeathed the greater part of the peninsula proper, and to his son, H. D. Crawford, the "Isthmus." Before this, however, he had in 1871 cut off and sold lands at Kilbirnie, and in 1874 had offered to the Wellington City Council the whole of the Lyall Bay-Rongotai area for £200, but the offer, under Mr. C. B. Borlase, then Mayor of Wellington, was refused!
It was H. D. Crawford who, towards the end of last century, commenced the partition of the estate into building allotments, though little progress was made until the construction of the tunnel through Mt. Victoria in 1906 and the extension of the tram-line to Kilbirnie. Ultimately the tram service was extended to Lyall Bay and Miramar, with the result that these districts are now an integral part of the city, containing some of its finest secondary schools, Wellington's first airport and one of the best golf courses in the Dominion.
And southward dreams the sea.
E.3 includes the districts of Melrose, Kilbirnie, Lyall Bay, Maranui and Rongotai. Of these, Melrose alone, nesting upon the heights overlooking Watt's Peninsula, was never part of the Crawford Estate. The views from the hill tops are superb - a delightful retreat in which to "muse an hour" (behind window-glass, if the breezes so ordain) upon the historic panorama at one's feet. Melrose, not so named by its earliest proprietor, was first farmed and owned by Alexander Sutherland (1806 - 1877) a native of Caithness, who arrived at Port Nicholson, December, 1840, by the "Oriental," the first of the Company's emigrant vessels to leave England, though the second to reach port. In company with Mr. Sutherland, his wife and infant daughter, were Dudley Sinclair, son of Sir George Sinclair of the New Zealand Company, and Richard Barton (widower) and his daughter, all three groups embarking from Brora, on the coast of Sutherlandshire. Mr. Barton, in later years, took up land in the Wairarapa, but before doing so, had secured through a gift of his late employer, the Duke of Sutherland, a 100-acre section in the Hutt Valley at Trentham.(5) Mr. Dudley Sinclair eventually went to Australia, while Mr. Sutherland, after first landing at Petone, was allotted his one hundred acres at Lyall Bay. Here he lived at first in a raupo hut until a more substantial home was built on the site of a later residence erected by Henry M. Hayward, and a still later one built by Hope B. Gibbons and recently disposed of to the Roman Catholic Church.
Mr. Sutherland subsequently bought more land from absentee owners until he possessed a freehold of 440 acres, adding to this a lease of most of the Town Belt in the locality, as well as from neighbours whose land adjoined his own. Obtaining sheep from Australia, he farmed here successfully for some years, but feeling the need for more pasture, acquired in the late fifties a valuable block in the Pahaua Valley (Ngaipu), still in possession of the family. In 1877, Alex. Sutherland died and in 1878 the Lyall Bay property, as it was called, was put up for sale and purchased by Messrs. Mace and Jackson. These retained the land for but a short time, when it passed to a syndicate known as the "Melrose Proprietors," who called it the "Melrose Estate" and laid out the streets and building allotments. Only a portion of the estate was sold at the time, as it was too steep a proposition for most home-seekers, even attuned to Wellington heights, and finally Mr. Hayward bought out the remaining partners and the syndicate was wound up.
As stated, the first Melrose purchasers were Messrs. Mace and Jackson. Henry Mace was a Christchurch resident, a brewer and aerated water manufacturer; Henry Jackson (1830 - 1906) a surveyor, who had travelled widely and was an expert linguist. Entering the survey department in 1862, he was in 1865 appointed Chief Surveyor of Wellington Province, and in 1879 represented the Hutt District in Parliament. Both the partners are commemorated in Jackson Street and Mace Street, now included postally in the neighbouring suburb of Island Bay, which also contains Buckley Road, named after another of the Melrose proprietors, while Sutherland Road and Sutherland Crescent(6) rightly commemorate the first pioneer of this part. Antico Street and Caprera Street are On a sub-division made by Carlo Antico, an Italian who came from Caprera. On Melrose Heights he built and occupied a spacious house, still standing, was an expert wine-maker, and frequently made wine for his friends. For the closing years of his life Carlo Antico returned to his native land, taking with him the ashes of his wife, who was one of the first to be cremated in Wellington.
Most of the remaining Melrose street names are derived from English sources: Buckingham Street, Highgate Road, Hornsey Road, all spell London; Tavistock Road (Devon); Hungerford Road (Berks); Clonmel Road (Tipperary); Lerwick Terrace (Shetland); Eildon Street, from the Eildon Hills near Melrose, Bella Vista Road, with its spacious view, and Auckland Road and Dunedin Terrace.
Alex. Sutherland, grandson of the pioneer, in his interesting book, "Sutherlands of Ngaipu," (7) remarks that his father, David Sutherland, as a small boy, walked each morning from Lyall Bay to Pinnimore's School on the Terrace, via the track, now Sutherland Road, the sole holidays for the year being a week at Christmas. Nor did his grandfather, until a year or two before his death, think anything of riding the hundred miles from Lyall Bay to Ngaipu in a single day. Upon one occasion, during her husband's absence, a marauding party of Maoris entered the house, demanding the family valuables, stored in a seachest upon which Mrs. Sutherland seated herself and defied them, compelling them with the aid of a dog to depart. Not for naught is the Sutherland motto, "Without Feare."
After the sale of the Lyall Bay property, the only land in the vicinity retained by the family was two acres at the entrance of Newtown Park, where Alexander Sutherland had built a house to which he retired for his closing years and where he died in 1877. This land subsequently came into the hands of Archibald Hall, who thereupon constructed Roy Street.
For many years Mr. Hayward (q.v.), who had reached Wellington in 1877 by the "Calypso," retained his Melrose interests and resided on the site of "Ngaroma" the late residence of Mr. Hope Gibbons at Lyall Bay, where the Queen's Drive, a road extending dong the shore from Island Bay to the Kilbirnie boundary, was constructed on two and a half miles of land which he gave to the city for the purpose. The construction was carried out during the "depression of the early nineties" and provided work for a thousand men not otherwise employed. Nearly thirty years ago Mr. and Mrs. Hayward moved to the Lower Hutt, where in 1934 they presented to the Government for a scenic reserve forty-three acres of beautiful native forest known as "Hayward Park." It was at the Lower Hutt on June 1st, 1946, that Mr. and Mrs. Hayward, still in our midst, celebrated their Diamond Wedding, having been married by the late Ven. Archdeacon Stock in June, 1886 at St. Peter's Church, Wellington. Mr. G. H. Luxford, the father of Mrs. Hayward, had arrived in the "Adelaide" in 1840. One hundred and six years later his daughter celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of her marriage in the great city her father had helped to found!
To the north, Melrose merges into Kilbirnie, which takes its name (per J.C.C.) from Kilbirnie in Ayrshire. This was cut off his main Miramar estate by James Crawford in the seventies, when he sold 227 acres for £2,300 - £11 per acre. Kilbirnie is thus one of the oldest of the city suburbs, and separated by the eastern Wellington hills from sight and sound of city life, its unpretentious houses packed cosily into niches in the hillsides or lazing in rows about the waters of the bay, it possesses, notwithstanding the later advent of the trams, a quietude suggestive of many of the smaller Mediterranean hillside towns. Yet in spite of its drowsiness, Kilbirnie suggests more than meets the eye, and indeed, in no other suburb of the city are the street names more redolent of history than in this quiet corner. Like the man whose spirit still seems to dominate the banks and braes of Para's Vale,(8) they touch life at many points.
Its main highway is Crawford Road, down which the tram glides from the Constable Street saddle to sea-level and to the north of which, gazing into the placid waters of Evans Bay, nestle against the hill-side several little terraces named originally by Mr. Crawford, though some of the names have since been changed. Here is James Street, since 1935 known as Samoa Street, to commemorate the taking of German Samoa by the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on August 30th, 1914; Henry Street and Duncan Terrace, after his eldest son, Henry Duncan Crawford. The name of Naughton Terrace may be due to the fact that the Crawfords were connected with the Laird of Naughton in Fifeshire, through the marriage of the laird's niece with one of the family. Tully Street takes its name from John Tully, one of the Company's assistant surveyors who Left England in the "Brougham," October 2nd, 1841. Descendants are still to be found in the Wairarapa, a great-granddaughter being Miss Phyllis Trapp, M.A., of Richmond, Carterton. Vallance Street is after a family of that name who were on friendly terms with the Crawfords, and whose descendants are farming in the Masterton district.(9) At the first meeting of the Wairarapa and East Coast Pastoral and Agricultural Society, held August 18th, 1877, the Vice,President (the only one) was Mr. C. A. Vallance. His portrait hangs in the Anzac Club, Featherston, which was built mainly by donations made by descendants of the earliest settlers. H. D. Crawford by the way was one of the first boarders to be enrolled at Wellington College in 1874, and the Vallance and Crawford boys were fellow-boarders.
Childers Terrace recalls a name of much interest to naval men in the late seventies, when these streets were in the making. This was Sir Hugh Childers, at that time First Lord of the Admiralty. He was the earliest to embark upon the policy of making England equal to any other two maritime powers, and in 1869 had been the first to advocate the purchase of Suez Canal shares, later carried out by Disraeli. In the eighties he became Secretary of State for War and was responsible for many military reforms. He subsequently succeeded Gladstone as Chancellor of the Exchequer and and was M.P. for Edinburgh.
At the commencement of his career Childers had spent some seven years in Australia, where as Auditor-General of Victoria, at the unusually early age of twenty-six, he controlled the revenue of the Colony, and in his first budget set aside £10,000 to establish the Melbourne University.
Bourke Street and Upper Bourke Street are named after Jas. Bourke, a native of Limerick, who in 1869 purchased from Mr. Crawford on the shores of Evans Bay a piece of land upon which he established large wool-scouring works. Today his son, Mr. J. J. Bourke, conducts similar works at Lower Hutt, and his grandson, nephew of J. J. Bourke, conducts St. Patrick's College in Wellington. It is said to have been Jas. Bourke, Senr., who suggested to Mr. Crawford the bequest of Kilbirnie Park to the residents of this suburb, a delightful expanse of three and a half acres of shaven sward at the head of the bay, green as an emerald, and historically speaking, the old "holding-paddock" for stock driven to and from Miramar. Across it in bygone days wriggled the little Waipapa Stream, now interred for ever. Unlucky little city streams! Sooner or later must they enter their subterranean prisons to sparkle in the light of the sun no more. Does the busy pedestrian hurrying along the Quay, past the foot of Woodward Street, ever realise that beneath his feet is running the Kumutoto Stream, where the first schoolboys of the settlement fished for bullies or launched their "korari" fleets,(10) or the northern suburbanite, whirling away to his home, know that his road leads him over the bed of the Kaiwharawhara Stream, where hefty natives a century ago waited to carry across the residents of those same parts?
Another local gift from the Crawford family was the land for the Kilbirnie Presbyterian Church donated by Mr. H. D. Crawford, the condition of acceptance being that no bell should be hung. The donor lived at the time in Abelsmith Street, and was said to have been much worried by the ringing of St. Peter's bells.
Postally speaking, the fringe of Evans Bay, to the north of Kilbirnie Park, is part of Hataitai, but historically it is part of the much longer-settled Kilbirnie. The main thoroughfare is Moxham Avenue, now increased in length by the addition of the former Charles Street (after J. Charles Crawford). This street commemorates William Moxham, an early farmer of what is now Kelburn (q.v.) who owned property in this neighbourhood where he was also responsible for the construction of William Street (William Moxham). Parallel to it is Drake Street, which since 1911 takes the place of the earlier name of James Street. Another naval touch.
Wellington Road commemorates the Iron Duke who gives his name to the city. Off this is Walmer Street, another "Wellington" name selected in recent years by Mr. E. P. Norman, Town Clerk. At Walmer Castle on September 14th, 1852, the Duke of Wellington died and was honoured with a public funeral of surpassing magnificence.
With a nation's lamentation.
His remains were at first placed in the chapel of Eton College, but on the following November 18th were deposited in St. Paul's Cathedral, the national shrine of Britain's most honoured soldiers and sailors. At Eton College may be seen his well-known portrait by Romney.
Yet another reminder of both Duke and pioneer is Busaco Road, which recalls the Battle of Busaco, 1810, when Wellington beat Massena on the precipitous ridge of the Sierra Busaco. In command of a post-brigade fighting at Busaco was General Hamilton, a close relation of J. C. Crawford, who gave the general's name to Hamilton Road near by. Adjoining Hamilton Road is Goa Street, by some regarded as a misespelling for "Coa," a tributary of the Douro River and the scene of several combats, including that of Almeida, prior to the Battle of Busaco. Prominent in these operations was General Robert Crauford, a cadet of the House of Crawford, and a relative of our early pioneer. Again the Peninsula-Crawford theme appears in the name of Rodrigo Road, abbreviated from Cuidad Rodrigo after the battle (1812) at which General Robert Crauford commanded a division. He was the third son of Sir Alexander Crauford of Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Scotland.
The name of Belvedere Road, like that of Miramar, carries us away to the Gulf of Trieste where, across the inlet from the castle of Miramar, lies the little village of Belvedere which possibly suggested, across the inlet of Evans Bay, with a similar configuration, the same name to the builder of the pioneer homestead of "Miramar," Major McBarnett, late of Torridon, Scotland, whence Torridon Road (E.4). Belvedere is an early street name and was so called on the original plan, though for long the road was known locally as "Brown's Road," since Charles Townley Brown, chief detective of the police, who owned a block of land in the vicinity, built the first house in the road. Belvedere Road runs into Overtoun Road, another link in the Scottish chain, both Overtoun and Seatoun being family holdings of the Crawford family in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire (not Forfarshire). The name recurs in that portion of Watt's Peninsula, first subdivided between Fortification and Nevay Roads and Karaka Bay Road, and known on the maps as the "Township of Overton," a modem spelling of the word. Evans Bay Road and the bay name itself are the chief memorials Wellington possesses of the 1840 arrival, doughty George Samuel Evans, D.C.L. (q.v.), chief advocate for the removal of the settlement from the banks of the Hutt to Lambton Harbour.
Baden Road was on a sub-division made by Fredk Beetham, who acquired land in this part and constructed the street at the time of the Boer War, naming it after the popular hero of the day, General Baden-Powell. Mr. Beetham's first choice was "Badenrhode," to commemorate two of his heroes, but this was shortened by the Council to Baden. Zohrab Street keeps alive the memory of Constantine Zohrab, a prominent citizen of earlier days, who reached Wellington in 1863. In 1876 he established in Panama Street the well-known firm of Zohrab & Co., General Merchants, in which Dr. Newman (q.v.) was for some years a partner. Mr. Zohrab was a pillar of strength in Anglican matters. He was also the possessor of nine pretty daughters, with two sons for good measure.
be done, even though it should take him beyond the sunset.(11)
Eastward from Melrose and Kilbirnie are to be found Lyall Bay and Rongotai comprising the flat sandy neck which lies between Evans Bay and Lyall Bay. Known to early settlers as "The Isthmus," it was a bleak, barren stretch of land regarded as utterly useless for any purpose whatever, an area of shifting sandhills which were not finally checked until the extensive preparations were completed in 1940 for the erection of the buildings of the Great Centennial Exhibition. Lyall Bay suburb takes its name from the bay which washes its southern shore, this in turn being derived from the name of Dr. Lyall of the H.M.S. "Acheron" (1847). In consequence of the wreck of the barque "Winwick" in 1842, Lyall Bay was in early days often known as "FaIse Bay."
Part of the Lyall Bay foreshore adjoining Island Bay is known as Maranui, meaning "the big expanse," a name given in 1896 by H. D. Crawford and H. M. Hayward. This should be spelt "Maraenui," and refers to the vast ocean expanse visible from Lyall Bay, Like so many Maori names, it is both euphonious and full of meaning.
Lyall Bay, which washes the southern shores of the suburb of the same name, is an arm of Cook Strait along which sailed the greatest of all navigators (acerrimus oceani investigator (12)), anchoring but a mile off Barrett Reef, the man who above all others has done most to "help draw the true outlines of the habitable globe." Very fittingly therefore, has an endeavour been made to establish a Cook theme in the naming of Lyall Bay streets, and the names of some of his ships have been bestowed upon various streets in this locality. Here too, in street name(13) is commemorated the first great sailor of the air to cross the Tasman Sea, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, who on September 10th 1928, at dusk took off from the Sydney Aerodrome and landed at Wigram at 9 a.m. of the following day.
Fitting too is it that the pioneer who first tried his fortune on this sea-girt spot should be a naval man, Lieutenant James Coutts Crawford, R.N., and come of naval stock. Of both Cook and Crawford alike it may truly be said that they belonged to the realm of the circling sea.
The main highway of Lyall Bay is Coutts Road, whose origin is easily discernible, J. C. Crawford's father being connected with Coutts the bankers in Edinburgh. It is a fine roadway, continued into the next suburb under the name of Broadway, so called by H. F. Logan after the principal street of New York. As most know, the latter is one of the finest and busiest streets in the world and runs the entire length of Manhattan Island. Cook Street, Endeavour Street, Endeavour Avenue, Resolution Street (see Ship Streets) are names familiar to lovers of annals of the sea the world over, and happily chosen for a city suburb washed by the waters of Cook Strait. Kingsford Smith Street commemorates one of the kings of the air who perished at the early age of thirty-eight; Freyberg Street, one of the heroes of the land, Paul Freyberg, the second of a quintet of brothers, all five in their youth almost as much at home in the waters of Port Nicholson as on its shores. What New Zealander will ever forget the epic swim of Bernard Freyberg (now Governor-General of New Zealand) who, on the night before the historic landing at Anzac Cove, with body darkened with oil and boot polish, swam two miles to shore pushing before him a raft of flares, which he ignited at intervals to decoy the Turkish forces and enable the British to land at the other end of the peninsula - an episode which gripped the world, and was used later by Sir. Jas. Barrie in his rectorial address on "Courage" to the students of St. Andrew's University.
Near Freyberg Street are three Maori streets with easily remembered names - two, three, four (Tahi Street (one) is in E.4) that is, Rua Street, Toru Street, Wha Street. Palm Avenue and Palm Crescent are constructed on land cut up in 1923 by Jas. Stellin, who selected these names as "giving a seaside effect." On the higher land overlooking the isthmus Mr. Stellin also purchased in 1926 from Mr. Hayward a piece of land which he called the "View Royal Estate," and through which he constructed the streets Imperial Terrace and Regal Gardens, selecting names in accordance with the aristocratic name of the estate.
Cutting almost across the isthmus is Onepu Road, (14) a name given by H. D. Crawford to accurately describe its earliest stage - a veritable road of sand. Branching off it is Apu Crescent, swept by the breezes of the outer sea, (15) and also Cockburn Street, which recalls one of the leading figures of English naval history, Admiral Sir George Cockburn (1772 - 1853) who consistently outwitted the plans of Napoleon on sea, and finally had the distinction of conveying him on board the "Northumberland" to his island prison of St. Helena (16). Ross Street is sometimes said to have been named after Mr. Ross, an accountant to a firm which often conducted the business affairs of Mr. Crawford's estate (17). Yule Street, until 1911 known as Leslie Street, commemorates an early pioneering family of that name, members of whom reached Wellington in 1840 in the "Bengal Merchant."
On the northern side of Coutts Street, extending to the fringe of Evans Bay, is a block of land purchased from H. D. Crawford by the Watts Peninsula Land Co. and cut up in 1907. This is traversed by a group of streets including Gaudin Street, not a "Councillor street," but named after W. J. Gaudin, one of the above syndicate, and the father of Councillor Gaudin; Bridge Street, after the late Mr. C. Bridge, also a member of the syndicate; Rongotai Terrace, a melodious name meaning "sound of the sea"; Wexford Road, formerly called the Old Farm Road, which led to the homestead of Mr. Crawford, Senr. On this side of Miramar are also to be found two streets constructed by Samuel Salek, that is Salek Street and Te Whiti Street, the latter name recalling a Maori leader much opposed in the seventies to British intrusion into the Taranaki district. Mr. Salek was a member of the Oamaru Guards sent to Taranaki to arrest Te Whiti.
The stillness of the central sea.
Following the tram line eastward we reach the Miramar Flat (E.4), that portion of the peninsula lying between the Isthmus and the Seatoun Heights, known to the Maoris as "Vale of Para." Until fairly late in the century this remained an uninhabited expanse, covered in parts with flax, tutu and koromiko and dotted at intervals on the coastline with clumps of karaka trees. Maori tradition averred that at a remote time much of E.4 had been an island, with the sea covering the isthmus, and Mr. J. C. Crawford, himself a natural geologist, stated that it was evident that the whole of Miramar Flat, at a late geological period, was covered by the ocean, probably at a time when the land lay about fifteen feet below its present level. In later years, when excavating for drainage pipes, at a depth of twelve feet along Miramar Avenue, extensive deposits of shells and blue sand mud, signs of a sea-bottom were uncovered. Mr. Elsdon Best in some of his writings has put forward the theory that the rising of the isthmus now connecting Miramar with the mainland was possibly due to a violent earthquake about the fifteenth century.
But if Miramar Flat at first offered little inducement to settlers, the reverse was the case with game-turkeys, rabbits and pigs. Pigs especially found abundant shelter in the swamp and scrub. And thereby hangs a tale, one of Miramar's sidelights of history, when no less a person than H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh was visiting the colony in 1869, the first royal visitor in fact to reach New Zealand. This was the occasion of the slaying of the "Wild Boar of Watt's Peninsula," a more or less legendary monster that had long been a more or less legendary menace to the safety of adventurous pedestrians. The Entertainment Committee, casting around for amusement for their exalted guest, had a brain wave. The Duke should remove the Miramar Menace, but in case the said Menace failed to materialise, a farm pig or two should be, safely planted in the flax swamp in readiness for the royal gun. Enter the Duke. The beaters beat. A terrified pigiwig is driven to the royal feet. Bing! bang! Piggie is no more. A day of rejoicing, followed on the next by a jubilant newspaper account of the horrific struggle between the Prince and the porker. Long live the Prince - and the Press!
Recreation. An open-air concert in the Botanical Gardens
The roads to Rugby. Rintoul Street and Adelaide Road deserted, and Athletic Park crowded during a Rugby test game.
New Zealand has always enjoyed her royal visitors and made high holiday in their honour. The first such auspicious occasion was the visit of the above-mentioned Prince who came, not only as representative of his Sovereign Mother, Queen Victoria, but also as post-captain commanding H.M.S. "Galatea" on which he travelled. Wellington was only a four-year-old capital at the time; she was passing through troublous times, but she showed royal and seasoned hospitality to this son of the Royal House. At the wharf the Prince was received with due ceremony by the Governor, Sir G. Bowen, the Hons. Stafford, Hall and Haultain, Dr. Featherston, J. C. Crawford, R.N., H. D. Pitt, aide-de-camp to the Governor, Lieutenant-Colonel Reader, Commander Lambert and Archdeacon Hadfield. Dr. Peatherston, as Superintendent of welllington Province, read an address of welcome, and Mr. W. H. Eyes, Superintendent of Marlborough Province, presented another from his part of the colony.
Large numbers of outlying settlers had been travelling all night, many in bullock drays, to reach the city where gaiety and hospitality of every description was the order of the day. The Duke was taken for several drives, at times handling the reins himself. NO trains for the holidaymaker in those days, indeed it was not until the Duke reached Canterbury that he saw a railway - Lyttelton to Christchurch - the only one at that time in New Zealand. Wellington produced four greys for the royal equipage, Nelson followed suit, Christchurch six jet blacks and Dunedin no less than eight greys, driven by Ned Devine, the greatest whip of the coaching days.
The Wellington Citizens' Ball, in spite of only lamps and candles, must have seemed a Fairy Dream to the maidens of the sixties fortunate enough to be present. A large public picnic, at which four thousand were present, was held at Howe's Farm, between what are now Elizabeth and Pirie Streets. At night six bonfires lit up the surrounding hills, and before taking his departure His Royal Highness planted four trees in the Government House grounds. The Duke paid two further visits in 1870, but came only as Captain of H.M.S. "Galatea," and at his own request was received as a naval officer.
Queen Victoria closed her great reign in 1901, and in the same year the Duke and Duchess of York, later to be King George V and his consort, Queen Mary, in the course of a World Tour of the British Dominions, reached Wellington. The "Ophir," the pride of the Orient Line, had been chartered and fitted out as a royal yacht, and was escorted by the cruisers, "St. George" and "June." On June 10th, 1901, it reached Auckland with the royal pair, and was met by the Earl of Ranfurly, Governor, and the Hon. R. J. Seddon, Premier of the Colony, who reminded the Duke that New Zealand was the first colony to be founded in the reign of Queen Victoria.
A week later, June 16th, 1901, in the sorriest, stormy weather, the Royal visitors reached Wellington. Among other attractions, a trip by rail had been arranged to the Wairarapa but owing to the unfortunate weather, this was cancelled and a visit to the Petone Woollen Mills took its place, Both visitors remarked that it was the first time either had seen the interior of a woollen mill. As the Court was in mourning, black and purple were the prevailing tones of the season. These were the days when women wore trained skirts in the streets.
Nineteen years later, on April 24th, 1920, His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, eldest son of the visitors of 1901, reached Auckland in H.M.S. "Renown" and came by train to Wellington where he remained three days. He was in the first flush of young manhood, joyous of heart and good to look upon, and the "Digger Prince" took young New Zealanders by storm. Wellington gave him an enthusiastic civic reception in the Town Hall, a military review in Newtown Park, a Ball at Government House as well as a Citizens' Ball, and an Early Settlers' Pageant at Petone, which somehow didn't go off quite as well as it might have done - the props got a bit mixed - but everybody was very happy and very merry.
In 1927 there came another Duke and Duchess of York, little thinking no doubt that they would one day reign over the vast British Dominions as King and Queen. They also travelled in H.M.S. "Renown," reached New Zealand, February 22nd, 1927, and for four weeks toured the Dominion. Dropping anchor first at Auckland, they proceeded by train to Wellington, where they arrived on March 5th for a four days' visit. Among numerous ceremonies the Duchess opened the Karitane Home on Melrose Heights. How pretty she looked with her deep blue eyes, seraphic smile and husky voice. Governor Fergusson named a whole nest of streets after her family (v. "Women Streets"). Fond mamas snowed her in with Teddy Bears for the baby daughter left behind. Everybody felt she was just one of themselves and preened not a little if their forebears hailed from Caledonia stern and wild. They were a friendly pair.
In 1934 came our fifth Royal visit, that of the Duke of Gloucester, younger brother of the present King. At 9 a.m., December 15th, 1934, H.M.S."Australia," with the Royal Duke on board, berthed at Pipitea Wharf where, waiting to board, were His Excellency, Lord Bledisloe, accompanied by Lady Bledisloe, the Prime Minister, the Hon. G. W. Forbes, the Hon, J. A. Young, Minister in charge of arrangements for the visit, and Mr. Malcolm Fraser, Under-Secretary of the Department of Internal Affairs. The first offcial act of the Duke was to lay a wreath on the Cenotaph, where he was received by Colonel A. Cowles, V.D., President of the R.S.A. Then followed four days of Wellington's happiest hospitality - a civic welcome in the Town Hall, where the Royal visitor was presented with an illuminated address contained in a casket of native woods, a display of 14,000 children at Newtown Park, a visit to the Trentham Races, a Government House Garden Party and the laying of the Foundation Stone of Wellington's new Railway Station. Everybody happy and a very festive-looking Christmas to follow, with the use of the same decorations.
Later on, as 1940 approached, Wellington was again looking forward to Royal visitors, and to seeing the Centennial Exhibition opened by their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, but owing to the tragic outbreak of war, that was not to be.
And NOW comes the news that before the summer days are gone the coming year (1949) will see a Royal Trio in our midst - King, Queen and Princess! Cead mile failte - and again!
It is curious to reflect that in this part of the City (E.4), selected as the very home farm of our first pioneer (his residence is still standing), the modern streets that have arisen record in name so little of past happenings. For the most part they are mere place names drawn from a variety of sources, and call for no comment. Of the remainder, two or three- Crawford Green, Townsend Road, Stone Street - commemorate past residents, while a group of Maori street names includes, as at Hataitai, the names of some of our native flora.
Can e'er untie the filial band,
That knits we to thy rugged strand!
Still proceeding due east we reach the fringe of highlands forming the eastern confines of the peninsula. These are the Seatoun Heights, whose coastline forms the western shore of the passage leading into Wellington Harbour.
As with Melrose, there is something about Seatoun which makes an unexpected appeal. Sea and sky and hilltop in excelsis! A true bit of his ain countree, must it have seemed to its first "laird," gazing across the narrow Heads of Port Nicholson at the towering heights beyond - a Scottish loch in all but name - and treading its busy streets today is a constant reminder, both in name and form, of the hills and heughs, to say nothing of the "airts," of the same countree.
Seatoun was slow in coming into its own. Watching busy trams emerging today from the Seatoun Tunnel (completed in 1906) unloading their quota of summer holiday-makers or regular residents, whose snug houses closely line the Seatoun streets, it is difficult to realise that until the seventies, the sole inhabitants of these eastern shores were the pilot and crew of the old Pilot Station, their wives and children and two or three Maori families, in fact, not until 1890, in the form of a thin trickle of settlers, mostly fishermen, might civilisation be said to have really reached this spot.
Though stores in early days arrived from Wellington by boat but once a month, food on the whole was plentiful. Rabbits and hares were fairly numerous; good fish abundant. Until the eighties wild turkeys and peacocks roamed around, while the settlers' own goats and poultry supplied them with milk and eggs.
The Pilot Station in the sixties was situated between Lyall Bay and Breaker Bay. It was afterwards moved to Worser Bay, which takes its name from James Heberley, pilot in 1840 to the New Zealand Company. He was known as "Old Worser," as he frequently prophesied "worser" weather. The station, at first under the control of the Provincial Government, was later taken over by the General Government, and later still, by the Harbour Board.
The early isolation of Seatoun is little to be wondered at when we consider the intervening area of the Miramar Flat, then for the most part a soggy swamp covered with raupo, flax and grey tawhiri scrub. The nearest school, when children made the venture, was that of Kilbirnie, opened in 1877, on the opposite side of Evans Bay, up the Hataitai Valley - a journey necessitating departure at daybreak and return at dusk. Puir bairns! They must have been ready to fall asleep at either end. Not until 1897, on July 12th to be precise, did Worser Bay branch out into a school of its own with Miss Annie Banks as its first teacher.
With increasing transport facilities, and the rapid development of the city, the population and popularity of these outer eastern suburbs has steadily increased. Swept by fresh (sometimes over, fresh) southerly breezes and washed by Pacific rollers, these eastern sea-girt edges form one of the best lungs and sources of vitamins that Wellington can provide, to say nothing of adding variety and beauty to a city whose configuration is generously endowed with both. They are moreover the first signs of Wellington that greet the eye of the sea-weary traveller as he enters the "Heads," eagerly waiting to round Point Halswell and feast his eyes once more upon the city of dear remembrance, the shining city of the hills.
Swept in a tide that ne'er abates,
The riotous breezes tumble down;
My heart looks home, looks home, where waits
The Windy City of the Straits.(19)
Street names in E.5 are interesting - -a mixed list with more than a good sprinkling of unadulterated Scotch. To begin with the newest ones, there is the Strathmore Park Block (included postally in Seatoun) divided in 1927, when eight streets (20) were named by our Scotch-born Governor-General, Sir Charles Fergusson, in honour of the approaching visit of the Duchess of York, our Scotch-born future Queen, née Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. The selection was accordingly made from the Bowes-Lyon family records as follows:-
Strathmore Avenue, Cavendish Square, Bentinck Avenue,
Elphinstone Avenue, Tannadyce Street, Streatlam Crescent,
Kinghorne Street and Glamis Avenue.
Turning back the pages of Seatoun history, along the Seatoun Heights runs Fettes Crescent, a reminder of Sir William Fettes, Lord Provost of Edinburgh in 1800, and again in 1804, and Founder of Fettes College, Edinburgh, the alma mater of many a thinking Scot. As might be expected, Edinburgh has commemorated the Lord Provost in one of its street names. Forres Street is mother touch of Scotland, from the Highland town of Forres on the Moray Firth. Dundas Street takes the name of the daughter of Admiral Sir James Dundas, who married James Coutts Crawford in 1843 and died in 1852, while Inglis Street (21) records the name of his mother, the daughter of Admiral John Inglis.
Scotland is again to the fore with Munro Street, a visible reminder of Sir David Munro (1813 - 1877), a former Speaker from 1861 to 1870 of the New Zealand House of Representatives.
Sir David was the son of Dr. Alexander Munro, Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at the University of Edinburgh. In 1842 he purchased land from the Company and settled in Nelson, where he took a prominent part in the politics of the district. Another son of Edinburgh, commemorated in Seatoun streets, is Sir James Hector, a notable explorer and geologist of the New World. He reached New Zealand in 1863 and for many years, among numerous public duties, filled the office of Chancellor of the New Zealand University. A son-in-law of Sir David Munro, he gives his name in this suburb to Hector Street.
Two more Scotch names are to be found in Nevay Road and Sinclair Street, indeed, the deeper one dips into street numenclature, the further is one impressed by the fine infusions of Scotch blood that ever and anon nourished the stream of our early pioneering. Nevay was the name given to a holding of the McLeods near Loch Assynt in Sutherlandshire, and among our southern constellations the bright and particular star of the cIan must ever remain Norman McLeod (1780 - 1866) who might well be called the "Moses" of his day. Refusing to enter the ministry of the Church, he became an independent preacher, and in 1817 led a party of his countrymen "out of bondage" to begin life anew in Nova Scotia. Thirty years later, when the settlement was suffering from the effects of the potato blight, McLeod, at the age of seventy-one, led a second emigration, this time to the Southern Hemisphere. In six vessels (22) built and manned by themselves, the largest of which was 336 tons and the smallest 107 tons, they sailed to Australia, the leader himself navigating his vessel, the "Margaret," from St. Ann's to Adelaide, but seeing no suitable place in which to settle, passed on to New Zealand, where the promised land awaited them at Waipu, in the north of Auckland. For twelve years at Waipu, until his death in 1866, McLeod remained the counsellor of his followers in body, mind and spirit. It is one of the world's great stories of pioneering, and has been well and ably recorded by a descendant, (23) both of whose parents can be numbered among these Highland vikings to our shores.
Sinclair Street recalls a New Zealand Company director, Sir George Sinclair, whose family seat is Thurso Castle, Caithness. Several of his sons, including Dudley SincIair in 1840, found their way to New Zealand. The present occupant of Thurso Castle is Sir Archibald Sinclair, the fourth baronet, Air Minister in 1940.
South from Seatoun is Breaker Bay (by no means a misnomer) reached by the Pass of Branda, named from the well-known pass at the head of Loch Awe, though the Scotch way of spelling it is "Brander." To the north, Karaka Bay Road leads to a bay of the same name, still adorned along the coast with occasional dumps of the original karaka trees, a handsome 'aurel-like native tree which grows freely in maritime situations as far south as Banks Peninsula. Commemorated in Mantell Street is the first postmaster of the city, Walter Baldock Mantell (q.v.), intellectual son of an intellectual father, and Ludlam Street (24) recalls Alfred Ludlam (q.v.) , a prominent early citizen of much culture who loved trees like a brother. As early as 1872 this part of the Peninsula is marked "Ludlum's Valley." Townsend Road, E.4 and E.5, is a tribute to Frederick Townsend, for many years Mayor of the Miramar Borough Council, Beerehaven Road to Edward Holroyd Beere, C.E., a member of the Seatoun Road Board in 1895, whose picturesque home, "The Gables," is now occupied by Mr. L. W. Green. Rawson Place is on land cut up by Mr. Herbert Rawson, for many years a well-known Wellington dentist.
Burnham Street is so named after Burnham Water, the old Para Lagoon on Watt's Peninsula, which in its turn was called after Burnham Hall, the Sussex home of the Wakefield family. Fortification Road leads to the Forts at Kau Point.
As with other outlying suburbs, the amalgamation with Greater Wellington necessitated changes in many street names. Among newer names are those of Netherleigh Street (formerly Mortimer Terrace), given at the instigation of Mr. John Rigg who "had just finished the perusal of 'Netherleigh' by J. H. Riley," and that of Pinelands Avenue, at the suggestion of Miss Rigg, after the home of a friend at Pinelands Garden City, a suburb of Capetown. So, too, Ventnor Street and Newport Terrace were bestowed upon Seatoun thoroughfares from a fancied resemblance to, and recollection of the sea-fringed shores of the Isle of Wight. Church Street, in like manner, passed into the name of Ferry Street, leading as it did to the Ferry Wharf. Beacon Road now takes the, place of Signal Station Road, which connected the Signal Station with the old Pilot Station of Worser Bay. Old, old history. Pinnacle Street is self-explanatory, likewise Khyber Road - both alpinist climbs in keeping with the general contour of the locality.
It is however, in the realms of Maori history that the records of Seatoun go back the farthest - a thousand years back to, the story of the great explorer, the first Kupe, to whom the discovery of New Zealand is attributed. In one of the greatest voyages of all history he sailed from equatorial seas out into the blue, turned his prow to the south-west and made at long last a landfall at the northern tip of the North Island. Over the headland hung a heavy pall of cloud. Hence to the newcomer, it became "Aotearoa," the Land of the Long White Cloud. He then made his way down the east coast, sojourned for a while at Castle Point and Palliser Bay, and landed on the Seatoun foreshore, known to the Maori to this day as Te Turanga-o-Kupe, the foreshore of Kupe. Sailing on into Wellington Harbour, Kupe named the two islands within it after his two daughters, Matiu (Somes Island) and Makaro (Ward Island), after which he visited the South Island and then returned to his equatorial islands to enrich Polynesian legends with the story of his mighty wanderings.
The next to break the slumber of the Land of the Long White Cloud were supposedly Toi and Whatonga, about A.D. 1100. Theirs is the story of a storm which blew the young ariki Whatonga away from his island home of Tahiti. His grandfather Toi sets off in search of him and in the course of his investigations reaches Aotearoa. Whatonga returns to Tahiti to find his grandfather gone, sets out to find him, and in the course of the search also the new land. He settles in the Bay of Plenty, but in later years his two sons, Tara and Tautoki, come south to "the sea of Tara" (Port Nicholson). They settle on Somes Island, each with a following of one hundred Maoris. Whatonga visits them and advises them to make their home upon Miramar, at that time an island, where they erect a pa, procuring the timber from the Hutt Valley. Tara becomes the ancestor of the Ngai-Tara tribe who, when they increase in numbers, hive off and form three large Maori villages at (1) Point Jerningham, (2) the summit of the edge south of Mount Victoria and (3) the hills overlooking Island Bay.
Those are long-ago days, since which Miramar Peninsula has been occupied by various tribes, among them the Ngati-mamoe, the Ngai-Tahu and the Ngati-Ira. In due course some moved away to the north, some across Raukawa (Cook Strait) and settled in the South Island. The centuries came and went until the day dawned when, looking out from their stockaded pas on the Seatoun heights, they beheld, not the lean carvel-built canoes of their own kin, but the winged monsters of the pale sea-demons sailing into Whanganui-a-Tara. (25)
Their time was over. Today there is not a single Maori settler upon Miramar to bear witness to the age when the Peninsula was a refuge for harassed tribes from north and south. The only visible relics of past days are the overgrown shell-middens, at one time very numerous, the hill-terraces forming the hut sites of neolithic man and - a few Maori place names, for the most part bestowed by succeeding Europeans, because of dim tradition. For it must always be kept in mind that most of the present-day Maori names are given by Europeans, not because they relate to the particular locality, but because they are euphonious and not elsewhere duplicated. For this reason too they are frequently mis-spelt and only rarely appropriate.
Seeking thus for traces of the past, we note Maupuia Road, near the site of the ancient Maupuia Pa, which crowned the ridge at the Evans Bay end of the Peninsula; while above the heights rising from Karaka Bay stood the Taepaku-paku Pa, which gives the name to Taepakupaku Road. Another highway taking its name from a pa of early days is Kakariki Road, after the Kakariki Pa; Onehunga Road (26) from the canoe landing-place. Mamari Street takes its name from one of the canoes which brought early Maoris to these shores. Rongotai Terrace is a modern and certainly euphonious appellation meaning "Sound of the Sea"; Awa Street from awa, a gully, denotes the road up the gully; Nakora Street is probably a mis-spelling for Nga-Koura, from koura, a crayfish, the track to where the crayfish were caught, and can still be caught today. Tirangi Road (known to earlier boys as "Rabbit Hill") may come from Te Rangi, the sky, as the northern end of the peninsula rises up into a hill. Para Street is the old Maori name for Miramar Flat; Tio Tio Road is called after the chief of the Ngati-Kuri tribe who once inhabited Miramar. Kauri Street, Miro Street, Manuka Street, Totara Street and Puriri Street are names of New Zealand Flora-lofty forest trees for the most part, none of which grew on the Peninsula in European times nor for long before, though Mr. Crawford found stumps and logs in the drained bed of Burnham Water. The lofty forest trees are gone. Gone too from the Vale of Para the race who had landed when Miramar was an island, the men who, for countless generations had held undisturbed and undisputed sway until displaced, as Nature moves along, through the sheer survival of the fittest.
And so the story goes. One epoch dawns; another dies. It may be that in some distant age an archaeologist will unearth a nameplate and with halting fingers decipher it as the runes of an Aryan race, that in the nineteenth century of the Christian Era descended upon these shores. But why anticipate? What of the living present? That gallant band who crossed the world and in the compass of a single century transformed bushed gully and bare hillside into a spacious city throbbing with life and trade. Up and down, in and out, its roads and streets beckon us along, each street name the leaf of an ever open book, recording for seeing eyes its fragment of the shining story of the past. Their story. Our heritage. We are because they were. And in these names shall they still live and remain with us, as a light to lighten our path, and a hallowed reminder of our beginnings for all the days to come.
And their work continueth,
Broad and deep continueth,
Great beyond their knowing.
1. From "Rossneveth" meaning "promontory of the sanctuary" as a peninsula or island was in ancient times a favourite spot for burying the dead.
2. Under an Act of 1872 there was conveyed to the College Governors sixty-nine acres of the Wellington Town Belt.
3. Such street names were presumably selected by members of the Hataitai Land Company (Secretary, O. S. Watkins) in 1901.
4. Still standing.
5. The name Trentham comes from Viscount Trenthem created Duke of Sutherland in 1833. It is also the name of the Duke's seat in Staffordshire.
6. At Trentham there is a Sutherland Street and Sutherlend Avenue named b Mr. Barton after the Duke.
7. A. H. and A. W. Reed 1947.
8. The Maori name for Miramar Flat.
9. See report of wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Vallance, "Evening Post." February 28th, 1947.
10. The flower-stalks of the Phormium Flax, used as toy boats by children of the pioneers.
11. "Cook's Last Voyage" (Sir Henry Newbolt).
12. Captain Cook's epitaph in St. Paul's Cathedral.
13. This street is now closed.
14. One = beach or sand; pu = a heap.
15. Apu = squall or gust.
16. It is possible that Cockburn Street commemorates Christina (1838-1910) eldest daughter of Alex. Sutherland who married Alex, Cockburn of Rangitikei. She died in 1910 at Marton, aged 72.
17. Or after Mrs. David Sutherland, daughter of Donald Ross of Boss-shire who had come to New Zealand in 1873.
18. A hundred thousand welcomes. (Gaelic greeting.)
19. Arthur Adams.
20. See Women Streets.
21. Pronounced Ingles.
22. "Margaret," "Highland Iass," "Gertrude," "Spray,'' "Bredalbane," "Ellen Lewis."
23. "The Gael Fares Forth," by the late N. R. Mackenzie, of Eastboune, Wellington.
24. Mr. Ludlum built his first house here in the early fifties, but had to abandon it.
25. Port Nicholson.
26. Onehunga = company on the beach.