His wife, my grandmother, however had been married before, her first husband's name being ROBERTSON... After leaving CLINKSTON, where my father and uncle were born, my grandparents came to live at Begshill in the Parish of DRUMBLADE, ABERDEENSHIRE, SCOTLAND. My uncle married from there, Jane Mann also belonging to the parish. My grandfather gave him, or rather leased for him a small farm adjoining his own. He was there when I came of age to remember him. He had seven daughters and two sons. Their names were Grace, Jane, Alexander, James, Elizabeth, Jessie, Isabella, Barbara and Margaret. Jane, James and Barbara died unmarried, while the others all married. James left a son named Alexander. My uncle left the farm (Newton of Begshill) which I have mentioned sometime about 1849-50, and came to reside at Begshill in a house given him by my father.
My mother's side: My grandfather's name on my mother's side was THEODORE DUFTON and his wife's name, my grandmother, was ISABEL ANDREW. He was a blacksmith by trade, and lived about a mile and a half from us, at what was called Mosside of Drumdolls. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters - Alexander, Theodore, James, Robert, Jane, CHRISTIAN, ISABEL and MARGARET. Isabel became my mother and Margaret became my wife's mother. Their family all married and settled in the neighbourhood. My uncle Alexander married Elspet Forsyth, Uncle Theodore married Isabel Ledingham, Uncle James married Mary Booth and Uncle Robert, later in life, married Barbara Booth widow of Alexander Booth, a brother of Uncle James' wife, - her maiden name was mchattie. My Aunt Jane was married to William Gerrard, Aunt CHRISTIAN to JOHN SANGSTER my mother to JAMES ROY and Aunt MARGARET to ROBERT BAGRIE. They nearly all had large families most of whom are still alive.
I never knew anything about grandfather Dufton's relations. As regards grandmother Dufton I was 'born again' ere she died, and well do I remember sitting up with my cousin, Jane Gerrard, one night while she was a corpse. She died in the winter of 1852-53, a very snowy winter indeed.
My wife's family
Her grandfather's name was John Bagrie and her grandmother's name, Isabel Tocher. Her grandfather had one brother Robert, and three sisters, Isabel, (Mrs Fletcher), Christina (Mrs Watt), and Annie who was unmarried. Grandmother Bagrie had two brothers James and John, and two sisters, Janet (Mrs Cowie), and Jane (Mrs Young), Grandfather and grandmother Bagrie had two sons, Robert and John, and two daughters Annie, (Mrs Sim) and Jane (Mrs Wilson).
Having thus far given an account of our ancestors and their immediate relations, I will now come more immediately to our own. I have said that James Roy of Begshill, my father, married Isabel Dufton, and that Robert Bagrie of Burnside of Drumshill in the parish of Forgue, married Margaret Dufton. These were my wife's mother and father. My parents had 10 children, James, Alexander, Isabella, Jane, John, Grace, Andrew, Margaret, William and Christian. Alexander was drowned in the garden while yet a child, which I well remember, a sore trial to my parents. Andrew and Margaret died of scarlet fever whole yet young, William died here in Wairuna while yet a lad.
My wife's parents had 8 daughters and 2 sons: Annie, Isabella, Margaret, Christina, Jane, Robert, Jessie, Annie (no 2), Mary and John. The two Annies and Jane died in youth, when about 12 years of age. The father died ere the youngest child was born. Sore times for a mother of so large a family, and no grown son to take the father's place. But God is merciful and very gracious especially to His own, he strengthened the mother to bear her trials, and brought her and the children through wonderfully, proving himself indeed a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow. I was married to Margaret Bagrie at Burnside of Drumdolls, in the Parish of Forgue, Aberdeenshire Scotland, on the 20th day of September 1860. We lived together in her mother's house for a year and a half, and it was there that our first child was born, Margaret Ann. From the time that I left school, I had learned and followed farm work. At the time of our marriage I was then working on my father's farm. Having married, and no home of my own, it came as a serious matter, what was I going to do? I did not think there was room enough for our expansion and suppose I did settle there, I could see that it would be a hard grind all the days of my life, and perhaps have little for it after all. So I waited and considered, and looked about, but could get nothing to suit, or that seemed of the Lord's providing, so made up my mind to emigrate. It was not New Zealand that I first thought of, but the United States of America. I was acquainted with some people who had sons there and at first was minded to go to the States, but the Civil War broke out, and that put a stop to America, and my thoughts turned in other directions
About this time William Murray (who was afterwards my brother-in-law) and two other young men went off to New Zealand. I had not made up my mind to go at that time, but resolved to wait and hear the report they would send of that country, for it was little known at that period, and it was doubtful whether it was all true that handbooks etc. Said about it. But we could believe our friends, and their reports proved sufficient, with other favourable circumstances to decide our, or rather my mind to try New Zealand as our future home.
Although I had fully made up my mind to leave Scotland, and old associations and friends it was not such an easy matter when it came to carry out my resolution. I had to leave all my family behind, father and mother, sisters and brothers. Also part or rather most of my wife's family. I had to leave the place I was brought up in, and the Church I was a member of, with all its associations - the Minister and his wife, our Sabbath School teachers, of whom my wife and I were of the number, near and dear friends and neighbours, for these were many. For some years past I had been constantly engaged in seeking to do good among my neighbours and friends for a considerable distance round, and that brought regret and sorrow on both sides, so it was hard parting with dear relations and old and tried friends.
I remember that some of my neighbours would not believe I was going until one Sabbath evening I took as the text from which I spoke "Our conversation is in heaven". I illustrated this with an emigrant's thoughts and actions ere he finally set sail for a foreign country. This settled the matter. One Neighbour (our nearest), John Alexander, described he did not believe I was to go till he heard that address. One may be sure there was much talk, much thought, and much preparation one way and another, ere we got away. Visitings were the order of the day, to far and near. Presents were bestowed on us of various kinds showing that we carried with us the hearty good wishes of an endeared neighbourhood. Unless from a strong sense of duty I would not like to pass through the same ordeal again. Once in a lifetime is enough.
It was finally resolved that along with me and my wife and child, there should go with us a brother and sister of my wife - Robert and Jessie Bagrie. Jessie had been an invalid for some time and it was thought probable that the change would do her good as it did. I make arrangements with the Robert Henderson Shipping Company to sail in one of their ships, and the one that suited the time of our departure was the "Grassmere", a comparatively small vessel of 609 tons or so and not a new one either. So the last day of April in the year 1862 we sailed from Glasgow bound for New Zealand. Besides the above-mentioned, five there also accompanied us from our Parish, Jane Calder, James Bain and Alexander Wisely. Our voyage was without any special incident, only that it was lengthy occupying four calendar months and a week, as we arrived in New Zealand on the 6th of September 1862.
Both my wife and I endured a great deal of seasickness, and I was rather the worst. Indeed I was halfway here ere I was free of it. The voyage on the whole was agreeable but for the seasickness and the food, which was anything but good; at any rate for us who had not been used to food of that description. We had lectures and dances of board, that was after we were all on our feet and favourable sailing weather. We had also religious services on the Sabbath, mornings and evenings. Our minister, the Rev. James Cameron, officiated in the morning, and James Bain and I in the evening. One incident I might mention that occurred one night of a dance. All, that is all who enjoyed that sort of thing, were busily employed; even the lookout man was there. I was on the forecastle or side of the ship looking out on the sparkling sea, when I espied a light ahead. It did not take long to call the sailor's attention to it, and it now reminds me of another celebrated dance mentioned in song - (The Ball held by the Duchess of Richmond on the night before the Battle of Waterloo). There was a hurrying to and fro, shouting and pulling of ropes and turning the vessel clear of the oncoming ship. We just cleared it and no more. We had no deaths on board but two births. The health of the passengers was generally good. We had however, a case of lunacy, which occupied the doctor's attention a bit.
I do not think it will be readily forgotten what the feelings were that Sabbath's morn, when the cry arose, 'NEW ZEALAND IN SIGHT!' It was a beautiful calm morning and continued so as we sailed nearer and nearer the shore, the land of our adoption and desired haven of rest! Strange that the first sight we should see was the snow-clad peaks of the distant mountains. That, however, gave way to lowlands and sandy beach. We had missed our way - we had gone too far north. Our captain's chronometers (two) had varied, and he was not sure which to trust to, so was out in his reckoning. We expected to arrive at Otago Heads, but were as far north as Canterbury. About ship was now the order of the day, and Southwest as far as possible. But it happened that directly Southwest was out of the question, as the Southwest wind blew, and we must go to sea again. Before we got to Otago Heads we had to encounter the most violent storm of the voyage. But the long looked for came at last, and on the 5th September 1862 we cast anchor outside the heads, a day long to be remembered by all on board the 'Grassmere' ship.
The landing was not altogether joyous as might have been, my wife being sick, as she had taken a bowel complaint and was scarcely able to go ashore, but managed somehow. Whatever other passengers thought, I was fairly entranced with the beauty of the bush and the bay. So new, so strange, so different from anything we had been used to before. Scarce a patch of grass or green of any kind, but unvarying evergreen bush. We and all our belongings were taken up to Dunedin on a small steamer and lodged for the time being in the Immigration Barracks. Houses were difficult to get, and there had been a great flux of strangers from Australia owing to the outbreak of the gold diggings the year before. However, we managed by and by to get a small cottage at the top of a very steep brae at 25/- per week for rent for four rooms; and thus began our residence in New Zealand.
I did not get a situation at once, but the others, that is, the three young men and the young woman who accompanied us, did. Servant girls were scarce, and eagerly sought after. Good reliable ploughmen were also in demand, and so our three lads soon found a home in the country. James Bain at Waihola, Alex Wisely at Waihola also, and Robert Bagrie at Tokomairiro, all at good wages, 60 pounds or so. My turn came after three weeks waiting. I had a letter of introduction from the Rev. Dr. John Bonar, the Foreign or Colonial Secretary of the Free Church, to the Rev. D.M. Stuart of Knox Church Dunedin, and through him I got a situation as Catchiest to First Church. My duties were to find out and visit members and adherents of that church; as the pastor, the Rev Dr Burns, was getting old and unable for much visiting. There was such an influx of strangers as recently took place it was difficult for Dr Burns to find the people out.
This situation afforded me, as I thought, the very generous salary of 200 pounds per annum. My master or masters, for I was under both the Doctor and the Kirk sessions, were all I could desire. I had perfect liberty to choose my own way, they never interfered with me one way or another, and if they needed my services on any particular occasion, would ask them as a favour, and be afraid of troubling me or putting me about. I might here record the names of such genuine friendly and generous men, as I had to do with. The Rev. Dr. Burns was minister. Our elders were: Messers Alexander Livingstone Snr., George Matthews, James Mollison, John mcglashan, R.A. Lawson, Robert mckay, Adam Johnson, James Morris, and A.W. Morris. I was also chosen as an elder. I will give an account of my work here further on.
I shall introduce two people whose acquaintance and friendship with us deserves to be recorded. Their names are Walter and Mrs Riddell. We were berth-mates on board the 'Grassmere'. Ours was enclosed steerage for which we paid 18 pounds a piece, and in a 6 by 7, or 7 by 7, there were two beds, one above the other, and the uppermost one was occupied by those mentioned. They were just newly married on leaving home, and having no children, as I suppose, were allotted the upper bunk. As may be imagined, being near neighbours, we became friendly, and more so perhaps when we came to know that our higher hopes were the same. When we arrived in Dunedin, we rented a house together. After a time, when we thought it was too heavy a rent for all the accommodation, we leased some land at ten shillings per foot frontage and that only a chain in depth in Smith Street, and built a house together. A house with a double chimney and two doors; one on each end with a veranda. There we lived together until our neighbours, having bought some rural land on the Peninsula, left us. Our friends have succeeded and made a comfortable livelihood, and also reared a large family. Mr. Riddell has also established his name and fame as Founder and manager of the Taieri and Peninsula Dairy Factory in Dunedin, which has a splendid reputation for its excellent butter. Our friendship still continues and I trust it may do so.
Before proceeding further at present with my own history, I shall relate some changes that took place at home viz., Drumblade and Forgue. My exit had evidently unsettled the minds of our family, so much so that they also came to the conclusion to follow us. When such news reached us, it was a pleasant surprise indeed, and not only did my father and mother, sisters and brothers and an aunt and her husband and family all resolved to cast in their lot with us and come to New Zealand. They sailed from Glasgow in "The City of Dunedin" on the 1st of June and arrived at Port Chalmers on the last day of August 1863. But it was the will and providence that they should not all arrive. My two aunts, Mrs Bagrie and Mrs Sangster died ere they reached land. Mrs Bagrie was buried at sea, and Mrs Sangster died at Port Chalmers aboard ship and was buried there. This made it a sorrowful landing for us all. More so as my wife was confined in childbed, only two days before their arrival. God's ways are not always ours. Man proposes, God disposes. I have no doubt it was meant for good to us all, and I hope and believe it proved so. But whoever dies, be they the dearest we have, the rest must live and active life makes us forget our sorrows, as is from the Lord.
The arrivals who landed were: My father and mother, sisters Isabella, Jane and her husband Charles Finlayson, Grace, Christina and Margaret Chan; Brothers John and William; my wife's sisters Christina and May, and her brother John; my uncle John Sangster, and his son John and his daughters Christina and Isabel, and one grandchild Annie Sangster. Another daughter Margaret Horn, came later in 1884 and one son Alexander, James having come some 4 years earlier.
When we arrived here the Otago Settlement was only 14 years old, Very few of the streets of Dunedin were formed, not even Princes Street all the way, and the salt water came to the pavement, that between Rattray and Stafford Streets. In the country, roads were only being formed, and very few bridges over the rivers and streams. The larger rivers such as the Taieri and Clutha were crossed by means of punts. There were, of course, no railways. Foreign birds, beasts and fish had not been introduced and scarcely even thought of. Road traffic was carried on under great difficulties through bad roads and want of bridges, especially in the winter. At first sledges were much used for carrying things. The first funeral I attended in a country place, had a corpse carried on a sledge. Bullock teams of 8, 10 and 12, were much used when we arrived and it was a common sight to see them in Dunedin hauling drays or wagons. But as the Victorian and other immigration increased and the need of the diggings required, horses were then used. At the time we came to Wairuna, 14th January 1866, it took us three days from Dunedin, and that in the month of January. There were only patches of metal on the roads here and there to Tokomairiro, and none further on. In Wairuna we had all our roads and bridges to make our selves, with the exception of the main road. There were as yet, no up-country townships, they were just being formed. A few houses at Waihola, Milton, Fairfax and Balclutha, none further west.
At the present period (1905) what a change! Dunedin for size, miles in extent, electric tramways traversing the streets. Large streamers coming to its wharves beside on arrival. It was thought a considerable advance to have small steamboats for the passenger traffic, and only lighters to take the goods from Port Chalmers to Dunedin, and that always depended on the wind. Turning to the road traffic in the country, it is now carried on all through or at least to a great extent where settlement has taken place, by well constructed railways. Looking over the railway guide today, I was struck with the difference when I counted between 800 and 900 railway stations in the country, that is all New Zealand. Only those who have been in the country from the first can realise the wonderful extent of the progress made. God be the Glory of all His goodness in permitting and enabling us to do what we have done. When would the aborigines (The Maori) if left to themselves, have accomplished so much? It is reasonable to think - never! It is all of God and his goodness to put us in possession of this fair land, and to enable us to cultivate the wilderness and raise so many smiling houses and homesteads as are to be seen in town and country.
As already stated I had got a situation as a Catchiest or home missionary in connection with First Church Dunedin, and was still in it for more than two years longer after our family arrived. I will now record some of the happenings of our friends after their arrival. Lodgings were got for the old people until such time as they could look about and get some permanent settlement. The young folk took such situations as they could get, John, (my brother) at Halfway Bush, Grace at Waihola, Charles Finlayson (my brother-in-law) was a bootmaker by trade, and his outlook was to see where he could settle down and follow it. After some enquiries and journeying to and fro, he made up his mind to settle at Port Molyneaux which he did and followed his occupation there for a few years. It was reckoned dear living in Dunedin in those days, or at least when we came very dear. We had to pay 1/- for a 4lb loaf, 1/- for 1lb of steak, milk 6p per pint, 2/6 even in summer for a lb. Of butter and the same for a dozen eggs. So after Finlayson got a house at Port Molyneaux, my father and mother and one or two of the younger members of the family, and sister Isabella, went to reside with him.
The journey to that place for father and mother was, ever after, a memorable one. What with the bad roads, wet and weariness, etc., Etc., The entertainment they received from Mr. And Mrs. Hay of Romahapa was most welcome, and never to be forgotten. They remained at Port Molyneaux until such time as they got a piece of land of their own. Robert Bagrie, my brother-in-law, who had come with us had gone to Tokomairiro to work on a farm there (a Mr Dewe's), had not been in good health there, so he came to town, and afterwards leased a 69 acre farm on the Peninsula. Jessie and he lived there till our people came out, when Isabella went to live with Robert. Jessie thereafter went with her sister Christina, to live at Port Chalmers, where they had bought a small section and built a house and started millinery together. John Bagrie then only a boy of eleven went for a time to school in Dunedin or rather North East Valley where Mr. Tallor with whom I was acquainted was teacher. Mary Bagrie got a situation as a domestic servant. My Uncle John Sangster got labouring work in town, and his daughters Christina and Isobel went into domestic service. Thus all were provided for the time being.
Our people being farmers in Scotland, naturally wished to follow it in New Zealand. When arrived here there was scarcely any land open for selection, only a few rough sections that were scarce worth buying; and so for a time we had to wait till land that was being surveyed, came on the market. Then there was a considerable quantity in both north and south of the province. We happened, no doubt in the providence of God, who chooses our lot and the bounds of our habitation, to go southwards to see land, and were satisfied with the appearance of it. If it did not go much above the upset price, we resolved to purchase there. Had we known, as we came to know afterwards, that the land in the north was better that the south, we might have tried there; but we are only to be where God willed it. The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing there is of the Lord. At the sale very little of it went above the upset price, and amongst us, we bought TEN sections. John for father bought 3, I bought 1, and John Sangster 1. The land was in Block IX Pomahaka Survey District and the name Wairuna was given to the flat where it was situated; the name was taken from the stream, which flowed through it. Here my brother John, father and mother and two or three of the younger ones came to live in the year 1864. They were the first to settle on the flat. Mr. George Steel had previously acquired the pre-emptive part, or piece of land the runholder was entitled to who held the run previous to the survey. I parted with two of my sections to my brothers-in-law, Robert and John Bagrie, who also came soon after my father's people to reside. Not long after John Sangster came too.
For a few years there were very few people on the flat, till more land was surveyed. I did not come till January 1866. At that time the settlement consisted, besides those of our families John Moffat, Ronald mcdonald, Peter Clark, George Edwards, William Murray, James Cruickshank, James Gray and Charles Finlayson who had left Port Molyneaux and had bought land beside us... There was also Alexander Allan, George Divers and William Alexander and Robert Scobie. John Turnbull also bought land but never came to live on it, and his father Thomas Turnbull, who came to the colony later on occupied it.
My own health failed when in Dunedin, I thought it advisable to leave there and come to Wairuna, which I did. Being not flush with money, I felt it difficult to go on with farming, and there being a goodly number of children needing teaching, I offered my service to the Education Board as a teacher, and my house as the school, and was accepted. It was a small school with a salary of 75 pounds, which the Board paid, but I received 25 pounds for the use of a room as a school. We managed with what fees I got, to live fairly well, and I kept at it for 8 or 9 years. By that time the district, or rather the settlement had become larger and necessitated the shifting of the school to a more central position, on which I gave up teaching and confined myself to my farm. As time went on changes took place in our different families; my sister Grace married William mcgregor Murray; Isabella married Richard Moffat and settled at Waikaia. Robert Bagrie married Janet Turnbull; Isabella Bagrie married George Cruickshank who bought land at Wairuna and settled there. Before that however, Jessie Bagrie had married Mark Mayson while in Port Chalmers; Christina Bagrie had married John Jackson also in Port Chalmers. Jessie's husband, Mark Mayson was a sea captain of a trading vessel between New Zealand and Australia, and on one of his voyages both ship and crew were lost, for they were never heard of and she made a widow. She afterwards married George Divers and lived at Wairuna. Mary Bagrie married Harvey Allan while at Palmerston South, but afterwards lived at Invercargill. John Bagrie married Joan Turnbull and lived at Arthurton. My sister Christina married Peter Murray and lived at Waipahi. In 1871 my father died, and mother, after a time (John having sold the farm) came to live with us, she died in 1881. On father's death, as I have said, John sold the farm and took to storekeeping. He and our brother-in-law Charles Finlayson, built the first store in Clinton, but did not continue long there, for they dissolved partnership and sold the business. It was bought by James Garden. Thereafter John entered into partnership with James Horn and John Cruickshank and built a store in Stirling and there married. His wife's name being Clara Bailey.
The descendants of
the two families, Roys and Bagries, so far have been as follows P12 of
the diary My sister married to Charles Finlayson. She had five children
- James, Charles, John, Jane and Frank ... 13/14 of the diary.
My first schools and schoolmasters
At the age of 4 or 5 years, I was sent to Dame's school, where I could learn my letters and get the rudiments of my education. The name of this notable was Nanny Elshoner, Aberdeen Scotch of Agnes Alexander, her maiden name or Mrs. Alexander, her married name. Alexander, being both her own and her husband's name. Her schoolroom was her kitchen, indeed the only room she had; or seats were long stools without backs. No desks had she for there was no need as writing was not taught there. Discipline was not lacking, as Nanny kept a good leather strap and used it pretty freely as occasion required. One of her methods of punishment was to send the offender up the road with a long broom which she had for sweeping the chimney, the whole school following.
Our lessons consisted according to the age - of learning the letters, reading small words out of a primer, reading the Bible and learning the Cateckis, that is, the shorter Catechism, concerning which she was very strict. It was a wonderful academy for nanny was a bit of a Tarter. The scowl on her face was enough to frighten many a newcomer, and even those who had been there some time with her did not care to see her looks. Our friend here Miss Fordyce who was at the same school though a little before me, as was also my wife, though a little later. A goodly number of my cousins and others got the beginning of their education there. I have heard them say how they would give it to Nanny when they grew up, but by that time their minds changed and Nanny's punishments and scolding forgotten. Many years after I had the opportunity of taking part in a prayer meeting at her house.
My next school was the Parish school, which was some years previous to the Disruption in the Establish Church of Scotland. I even remember the first day I went. A cousin of the same name as myself was with me. I saw the crowd of boys surrounding to see the newcomer. I had a tin flagon on my side carried by a cord over my shoulder. It had a flattened side for convenience to carry, and this was a great curiosity, as no else had such a vessel. This flask contained milk I was to use with my oatcake. It was common for the boys to have nicknames, my cousin's being "Foxy". And so I was nicknamed "Little Foxy". Such was my introduction to my school companions. My new teacher this time was a man, and college bred one at that. He was called Sandy Rainy, a not very tall person, with a very red head of hair. I remember he wore a swallow tail black dress coat, and when using the taws on the culprits, the tails would be flying up behind, but he did not often use the strap on me. I was soon at home here, as most of the boys, and especially the girls were very friendly with me. I soon got to be an adept at their games, marbles in the summer and football in the winter.
On one occasion, and as far as I remember the only one, we having a half holiday, in considering how we boys would spend it, resolved to pay a visit to some apple trees that grew alongside the churchyard fence. I can remember that by the shape of the apples, they must have been Kewsick Codlin, but they were not up to the mark of ripeness and few of them served us. Had it been night instead of day nobody would have seen us there and the apples would have been safe enough.
I was seldom at the top of my class but as seldom far from it. I liked to be second or third from the top, I did not like the responsibility of Dux, I might not be able to keep it and therefore did not care to try.
It was my father's desire that I should be a scholar, and by and by, before I was very old, I was put into Latin with another one or two, and laboured on at that with Mr. Rainy until the Disruption. That, however changed the order of things entirely. Mr Rainy stuck by the Established Church and became Rev. Alex. Rainy minister of the Parish Church of Drumblade, and I was a pupil in the new Free Church School. My new teacher bore the same name as my first one, Alexander, but a man instead of a woman. The new order of things, however, was not to my advantage as a scholar.
So it came to pass that I was again sent to the Parish school. The name of my teacher was John Douter, a graduate of the University and a good teacher as far as ability was concerned, but a hard master. Few, if any, of his scholars liked him. Lessons were driven into them with the cane on the hand, the edge of a book, or the edge of a pocketknife on the head. Many a time have I got both the latter. Being Latin scholars, my mate and I suffered more than the others. It came to that pitch my father had to speak to him about it. I could stand it no longer. Things went better after that. I stayed with him two or three years, till I went to Grammar school in Aberdeen
During the time of vacation, and indeed before it, my mother had been ill, and had required a good deal of doctoring, and this had been taking away more of father's means than usual. When the time came for my return to Aberdeen and school I did not feel inclined to go, and I think father did not see his way clear to send me back. This put a stop to my further pursuit of a classical and college education. From this time I entered labour. I cannot say that I ever regretted the step. It must have been consistent with the Lord's plans for my future life and labours. I remained at farm work for the next ten years during which I served a good apprenticeship to it.
WAIRUNA January 1866
This was now my new home and has remained my home until now, October 1906. When we arrived here we were not burdened with cash, though I got a fairly heavy gold purse when I left Dunedin, it soon went. We came to Wairuna to a weatherboard house without lining, partitions or chimneys, and the shingles on the roof so open that when a shower came, one would need an umbrella to keep off the wet. I had to borrow a few pounds from a friend to help make a start. All I had to start with was 60 acres of land, two cows and neither horses nor implements, with the exception of a swing plough and harrows, which were brought from the old country. What was I to do. How to make a living with such poor appliances, was a question easier asked than answered. We never till now wanted milk, flour or potatoes. I soon found that being in ill health and not used to manual labour for some years I was not able for a heavy turn of work, and this caused me to think of lighter employment. By the time we settled here, there were a few settlers around, and several of them with large families, and in need of education. The 25 families in the district granted a side school, which offered salary 75 pounds per annum. I offered myself as teacher and room for a school. The Education Board paid 25 pounds rent for the same.
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