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HISTORIC LANDING PLACE., Press, Volume LXII, Issue 18879, 20 December 1926
HISTORIC LANDING PLACE.
MEMORIAL AT "THE BRICKS."
Fine weather favoured the. ceremony on Saturday afternoon of the unveiling of the cairn erected on "The Bricks" site, near the Barbadoes street bridge. Here in tho early days goods and supplier were landed from whaleboats that crossed the Sumner bar and were pulled up the river Avon. Later a small wharf was built, but when the river Heathcote was found more suitable for the transport of goods, "The Bricks ! ' lost its original usefulness. From the fact that amongst the earliest cargoes landed 011 the site were loads of bricks for building purposes, the site got, its name . For Saturday's ceremony the cairn provided by the Christchurcli Beautifying Association was complete with tho exception of the inscription that will be chiselled on one side of the stone panels in a day or two. A large Union .Tack fluttered from a temporary pole near the cairn which, itself, was draped with a smaller Union Jack. Several were present at the ceremony, who remembered "The Bricks" when established as a landing place. Amongst these was tho Rev. Frederick (Juiso Brittan, from whose father's house tho bricks contained in the memorial cairn were obtained, and who vividly remembered ketches, timber-laden, discharging at "The Bricks." Others present included two of tho Charlotte Jane's passengers —Mrs T. V. Whitmoro (who appeared wearing tho Charlotte Jane flag) and Mrs Rapley. Very appropriately the unveiling ceremony was performed by Mr John Deans, a grandson of one of tho founders of Riccarton. Just before tho ceremony started the Christchurcli Coaching Club'B old West Coast coach drove up with a number of the descendants of the pioneers, and the Mayor (Mr J. K. Archer) on board.
Avon and Heathcote Waterways. Mr Arthur Dudley Dobson, president of the Beautifying Association, who was nine years of ago when he arrived with his parents in the Cressy, said that the memorial was intended to honour the people who came to Canterbury in the early days. At "The Bricks" the tide ceased to have any influence, and from that point downstream it was practically dead level at high water. In 1835 whalers had visited Canterbury. Port Cooper (the original name, given to Lyttelton harbour) and. Port Levy were named after the partners in a Sydney firm that traded to New Zealand. The Canterbury Association appointed Captain Thomas their chief surveyor in 1849, and his records showed that there was a hut near "The Bricks" site, which was occupied by two surveyors, Messrs Jollie and Scoggs. The Avon was not found a good river for navigation purposes, and the Heathcote was found better suited, as boats could be towed. In thosq days boats could not be towed up the Avon as it was not possible to get near enough to the banks. He himself had often seen whaleboats come up the Avon. He explained the Beautifying Association's connexion with the day's ceremony, and its desire to preserve historic sites and to beautify them, p-® asked Mr John Dcuns, iis representing the first settlers to unveil the cairn. • Ideals Of tlie Pioneers.
Mr John Deans said ho thanked the Beautifying Association very much tor tho honoui" done him and tnose he represented in asking him to unveil the cairn. It was rather . interesting to speculate as to whether Canterbury and Christchurch had developed on the lines the pioneers hoped they wouM. It was rather hard to understand what wero tho ideals of the early settlers unless they tried to visualise what kind of men and women they were. lhey must have been men and women ot great heart, of great courage and ot very high ideals. It seemed to inm that they must have possessed all those qualities to have mado it possible lor them to leave tho Old Country. Io come out to New Zealand must have required a big heart, and they usually found that where thero was a big heart there was a cheerful spirit. Ihe pioneers had taken tho_ smooth with the rough, had taken things as they came, had been self-reliant, and had not gone whining to the Government. (Laughter.) Perhaps if they had more of the old spirit nowadays they would get on better. From the material point ot view the progress of Canterbury would' have pleased the early settlers very much. Tho wildest dreams of the greatest optimist amongst them had been more than realised. They would have been pleased with the progress of the City, with its buildings, its beautiful homes and gardens, and with tho manner in which the trees had grown. As to the men and women who had taken their place, he did not know if he would be quite as safe in saying much about them. (Laughter.) Could they say that they were living the lives that the pioneers expected them to live? Could they say that their ideals to-day were as high as those of the pioneers—that they helped each other along tho road aa tho pioneers did, and that they appreciated disinterested public senvioe as much as they did. If they could answer those questions truthfully in the affirmative they need not fear the verdict. He thought that a few lines from Kipling's poem, "Tho Seven Seas," expressed better than he could what was in his mind: —
"By the smoke of a hundred coasters, By the sheep on a thousand hills, By the sun that never blisters, And the rain that never chills. The land of the waiting sunshine. Of five-meal, meat-fed men, Of tall, deep-bosomed women, And the children nine and ten.
Thoso words, Mr Deans concluded, embodied the ideals of the early settlers better' than any -words he could use. (Applause.) • Mr Deans then unreded tho cairn. Mr Dobson: I now declare this monument duly established. Giro three cheers. , . The cheers •were lustily given. "Book in Eunning Brook."
The Mayor (Mr J. K. Archer) said he could say the City Council of Christchurch would always respect the monument and-keep it in order and keep its surroundings in a satisfactory condition. He had thought of Shakespeare's lines: "Books in running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." (Applause.) And it occurred to him that there was a book in the running brook by their side. If they had been able to read it, its story of those first brave men and -women who landed at that spot would be more .fascinating than any novel. It wa3 their business to be worthy of the past, and one of the things about the people of the early days was that they did not live selfish lives.
The inscription to be carved on the cairn will be:—"This cairn marks the site of The Bricks Wharf, where the early settlers landed in 1843. Erected in 1926."
HISTORIC LANDING PLACE., Press, Volume LXII, Issue 18879, 20 December 1926
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