Te Hapua 1909-1922
Colin & Isabella
His first wife
Emily Key 1868-1897
Might Murdoch 1895-1962
His second wife
Waikaraka Tahana ?-1919
b. 1861 - d. 1922
The Early Years
Murdoch's parents kept him constantly on the move throughout his childhood,
as they continued their search for land of their own.
From the Wonwondah sheep station near Horsham, Victoria, Australia where
Murdoch was born, to Yarrawonga when he was 4, and on to the Goulbourn
area 2 years later. Then, at age 9, a 400 mile trek to Melbourne to board
the ship for New Zealand. Firstly to Waimate, South Canterbury, then at
the age of 16 to Lochinver Station in Hawkes Bay in 1877.
Murdoch's daughter Edie wrote of his strict Presbytarian upbringing:
"(it was) a way of life so narrow that, among other restrictions,
no one but the head of the family was allowed speech at the meal table,
and not even he was permitted, by his religious code, the levity of
whistling on a Sunday. I know this because there had been an attempt
to insinuate a little of this way of life into our generation by relatives
of that generation, but it failed."
(Edie's notes written in the late 1950s)
Looking at Murdoch's choices through the course of his life, it would
seem they failed to instill it in him too! From an early age, right up
to his death, he appears to have been trying to escape this narrow upbringing.
After an attempt in the early 1880s at farming on his own (or possibly
with brother Duncan) at Opori, central Hawkes Bay, where he suffered from
bush sickness, it would be another 27 years before he settled down on
his own piece of land, in a place and with a lifestyle where he felt he