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A REMINISCENCE OF JUDGE GILLIES., Issue 7974, 1 August 1889
A REMINISCENCE OF JUDGE GILLIES.
In Monday's 'Post,' over the signature " E.T.G." (Mr E. T. Gillou, editor of that paper, and a settler in Otago upwards of a quarter of a century ago), the following appears:—
It 19 only a few weeks ago, towards the close of the late sittings of the Court of Appeal, that at the dinner table of .a mutual friend I met the late Mr Justice Gillies, and we had a long talk over old times in Ofcago, when neither he nor I thought we should ever bo what we afterwards became. I knew Air Gillus—" Tom Oillies," as he was always culled in those days—from my boyhood. Ho arrived in Otago very soon after we did, and while his father settled at the Halfway Bivdi he too!: np a farm in the Tokomairiro district, purchasing it from Mr Itobisoa, who, with his partner, the late Mr Stuart (afterwards the well-known Premier of New South Wales), had taken up land at the foot of Mount Misery. After a brief residence there, Mr T. V,. Gillies moved further south to the Warepa; his brother—Mr John Ldlie Gillies, new secretary to the Otago Harbor Board, who had in the meantime arrived with his family from Australia— succeeding him at Eiycrsdale. Mr T. B. Gillies and his wile, a fiharmiag and most amiable lady, went through all the rough and hard work of oioneer settlement on the Warepa farm for a, year or two, until lie determined to complete his legal studies, and to exchange a country for a town life. It was not a difficult thing at that time to secure admission a* a legal practitioner. I think it was iu 1854 that Mr Gillie 3 left the Warepa form. We were then living at Waihola, twenty-six miles from Dunedin, on the shores of the lake. At that time everybody in Otago knew everybody else, and travellers expected and alwavs received hospitality, rough probably, but genuine, wherever they went. There was no ceremony. No onewaited to be asked. The traveller, on reaching a homestead, turned his horse or bullocks into the paddock, fed them if there was anything to feed them with, and walked up to the house, sure of a cheerful welcome, a hearty meal, and a comfortable shakedown. Generally the fare did not go beyond salt beef, wild pork, or occasionally mutton, with bread and tea. Most of the early settlers at any distance from Dunedin had to make the bread from the wheat grown and ground by themselves. The other flour used was Adelaide, but it was terribly dear, and the difficulties of carriage enormous. We used to get ours round by sec and the Taieri River iu a little •schooner named the Spec, but her trips •were few and far between, and occasionally our supply ran short. One day I had been out on foot from 8,11 early hour in the morning on the run, looking for a cow that had calveJ. It was after asrk- when I got her driven home and put up the stockyard Blip-panels. Then I saw a strange bullock in the small paddock behind the barn. A single working bullock was a novelty. They always went in pairs, and I think that south of the Taieri River there were only two that worked in harness. One was well known to me, " Duke," who belonged to Air Dewe, of Tokomairiro. I knew Mr T B Gillies had another, and as the stranger was not Duke I concluded Mr Gillies must have arrived. Before I could reach the houas I was met by our old servant Janet whom we had brought from Home with us, and she told me I was correct but added that Mr Gilljes was accompanied by his wife and, I think, two young children, adding that there was nc flour ground, and that I must g 0 at onua and grind some wheat. I was dead tired with my long day's walk, but my father and the men were absent, I forg.ot where, and there was no help for it. A here must be bread for breakfast. In no vary amiable mood I got some wheat horn the bwn, and started down to the cottage where the steel mill was. I wonder if maty of my readers know what grinding not over dry wheat in a steel mill is. I can assure them that it i* about the most severe way of earning one'u bread by the sweat of the brow which anyone c&n try. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work to get half a bushel converted into flour. I grumbled a way as I labored at the fly-wheel, but Janet, who was strong as a horse, came aiid helped me at the crank on the other side, and at last we had enough flour, but then I had to sift it through brass wire sieves, while Janet .made her preparations for baking a loaf that nfrht, and for hot scones for breakfast. In the morning I saw how Mrs Gillie* and the children were travelling. Mi Gillie had himself made a large sledge. There >V m not a wheeled vehicle south of the iaien, and they would have been no use hat they been there, as there were neither road* nor bridges. On th* sledge a low chair had been securely fastened, And in this Mrs 'Gillies sat with the children at her fee; while Mr Gillies walked besiftG wad drova *b© Wlock \xs Tceiam a-ttacbed to b *p» s / The harness of that equipage was like My* vehiole itself, of home manufacture, coneistingmore of raw hide and rope than of leather. Mr Gillies prided himself greatly on this smart turn out, and he had not loafc nride in his workmanship when we were laughing over the recollection a few weeks ago. I remember he helped Jtpet and W
self in the stockyard work before breakfast, ami after the meal was owr the bullock was duly hariiesstMl, ge.od-byc was said, and with lib family he staru:;! on the journey which was to lead him to professional political cliatinotioii, ending ou the Bench of tho Supreme Court. As showing the dilli cultica of travel in t'nu.-<o days, 1 may mention that Mr Gillies, with his belongings, did not reach Dnnedin till the closo of the fourth day after nil start iVoni ffurcpa, although till) (Hjrr.MC,', t-. Hl!.' *:: V('llty-fivt> [lines, can now be dune in ,•■. 'e-.v !n>i;r->.
A REMINISCENCE OF JUDGE GILLIES., Issue 7974, 1 August 1889
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