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NOTES., Issue 8006, 7 September 1889
Spring is come again. The succession of the seasons never fails, though Advent of they sometimes get a little Sitting, mixed in New Zealand. The winter just gone gave us a good deal of weather that was quite summery, and we shall no doubt have a cold snap when the roses bloom. It is the custom of the country. Meanwhile spring is here once more; or what mean these crocuses and w iolets, primroses and daisies, polyanthuses and daffodils? Poplars and willows, for months so bare that one might have imagined them shivering in the "cauld blast," are bursting into leaf, the latter already all fairy green. So are the hedges and gooseberry bushes. Plum trees are whitening with blossom, and the gorse in many placeß is gloriously golden. Nor is spring only to be seen. It is heard in the song of the Jark, which now mounts higher and sings longer and with a fuller note, and in the loud rapturous piping of the thrush. The thrush and the lark sing all the year round in New Zealand, except when moulting. But the blackbird adheres to the custom of his ancestors, and husbands his i voice during the winter months. The pawky [loon, however, has for some weeks been warbling his mellow ditty in Dunedin gardens and in every bit of bush for miles | around, spring having wakened in his heart too. Spring, in a word, is here, there, and everywhere, inspiring hope and gladness with its own peculiar charm, and its prophecy of the luxuriant life and beauty of summer and the fruitfulness of yellow autumn. Quite unintentionally we have mentioned only some of the Bigns of spring that have been given to New Zealand by the colonists. When the first settlers arrived, spring " came slowly up this way." Owing to the mild winter and the evergreen bush, the coming of this season was at least much less noticed than it is at Home. But all that is changed now. The settlers have sadly disfigured many parts of this beautiful colony, and nowhere more ruthlessly than our Leith Valley, once one of the most charming woodland scenes in the world; but they have received some compensation. With their flowers and trees and birds, and ploughs and harrows, they may almost be said to have given New Zealand a new season, A few days ago the member for Dunßtan got leave of absence for a fortTJie Otago night on account of indispoCentraf. sition. No wonder he is out of sorts after all his anxiety in connection with the Otago Central, to say_ nothing of the anger and indignation that must have burned within him when the prospects of his long worked for line were again blasted by a log-rolling House. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick," and Mr Pyke has been compelled to seek the benefit o what may almost be called his native air. His name was among the list of passengers by the North train yesterday evening. Let us hope that a breeze from Central Otago will soon restore him. The telegram from Wellington said that he was suffering only from slight indisposition, and needed a little rest. Happily we all know that he is not bound for the pale kingdom, in the meantime at least. Did he not assure the House that he could not die till he saw the Otago Central completed, or in a fair way towards completion ? This line, which has in o manner become part of himself, is thus both " bane and antidote." It makes him ill, but it also keeps him alive. Further, Time may cut and slash ani death throw his darts at him at their pleasure, but so long as Auckland and Canterbury combine against the Otago Central he is immortal, if not invulnerable. Who does not almost wish, for his sake, that the railway whistle might never waken echoes on the banks of the Wanaka? What would the House, or what would Otago, be without the author of the Otago Central? But'it was perhapß only a strong figure of speech, and it might be that Time and Death would prove too many even for the determination of the energetic Mr Pyke. We hope he may be spared to see the Otago Central completed, and in due time rest where rogues and log-rollers are forbidden to enter.
There journeyed South the other day, en route to Melbourne, on a visit Interesting to the Australian colonies, a Reminiscence*, gentleman who was intimately associated with laying out this City of ours. Mr J. T. Roughton, of Manse street, happened to be a fellowpassenger, and in the course of conversation with the visitor the talk chanced to turn on Dunedin in the very early days. Mr Roughton informs us that his acquaintance was full of anecdote and story concerning those primeval days, and he deeply regrets that a shorthand writer was not of the company to have recorded some of the exceedingly interesting stories which Mr Allom can so well tell. However, he promised to commit to paper his recollections of his first visit to Dunedin, and Mr Roughton has obligingly allowed us to republish them:—
Looking down from the hills about Roslyn and Mornington respectively on the magnificent city below, now for the first tunc seen by me, my reflections upon the past and present were of a most peculiar nature. My thoughts ran back to the year 1844, when I actually occupied in its primeval state one small portion of the present City of Dunedin. In the early autumn of 1844 two young cadets of the New Zeabnd Company's Wellington surveying staff were ordered down to Otago to assist in making the necessary preparations for the then contemplated Scotch settlement, One was myself; the other was Kichard Nicholson (now resident in London), who received the honor of knighthood about two years ago. We left Wellington in a small schooner called the Carbon, of Nelson, and arrived thirty days afterwards at Otago. We had an eventful passage, having had three narrow escapes from shipwreck or foundering. We found our chiefs, Colonel Wakefield and Captain Symonds, on board the schooner Deborah, lying in Deborah Bay. They were on a land-purchase expedition. The Colonel was of course rejoiced to see me, as he had given us up for lost, and was about to communicate the fact to my parents in London, as we were reported to have been last seen (that is the Carbon) bottom upwards in Cook htrait the day after we left Wellington. We found Mr Tuckett (the chief surveyor of the Nelson staff) and Mr Davison (assistant surveyor) at Koputai, now Fort Chalmers. Mr Tuckett was one of these who had fortunately escaped from the celebrated Wairau massacre, in the previous year, when Captain Wakefield (Colonel Wakefield's brother) and nearly the whole of the party were massacred by the Native*. I should tell you that our Wellington staff arrived in Wellington in the barque Brougham, on February 9,1842. It consisted of a ohief surveyor, six assistant surveyors, and ten cadets. Of the assistant surveyors there are two surviving, resident in New Zealand—one being Mr Searancke, resident in the Waikato; and the other Mr H. S. Tiffen, of Napier (now on a visit to England). Of the tea cadets, four are now living in New Zealand—viz., Mr E. Jollie, near Patea; John Tully, in the Wairarapa; T. H. Smith, late Judge of the Native Lands Court; and the fourth is myself. Nicholson (now Sir Richard Nicholson) and myself were sent to the Upper Harbor, and (to keep us employed) we were ordered to lay out what is now the most level portion of the City, in the neighborhood : of the North-east Valley and the Water of . Leith, into, ten-acre lots. We were at this | work all through the winter of 1844. The time at my disposal has not permitted of my making an attempt to fix approximately the site of our camp. It was just above high watermark on the then line of the beach, about west of the present wharves, where the steamer Te Anau now lies, and must have been on a portion of what is now the meat central business portion of your olty. There were no other Europeans or Natives in the neighborhood, the nearest being the two I have mentioned at Eoputai, and to the southward another party of surveyors at Tokomairiro. We were ordered up to Wellington shortly after Christmas, 1844, and arrived there early in January, 1845. In February. 1845, our three years'engagement with the company expired, and, as their colonising operations came to ah end' abruptly, the company were obliged to part with us. After four years/ sheep, farming on the Wairarapa, in company with Messrs Clifford and Weld, the Russells, Bidwell. and others, I went <o,En gland in 1848. and assisted E. G. Wakefle'd in founding the Canterbury settlement, working with tbe late William Bowler and the present Sir Frederick Young, of the Colonial Institute, in shipping off the first expedition of "Canterbury Pilgrims." It would take too long to give you any further particulars of my very curious life. I returned to New Zealand in December, 1861, with my wife and family, after eight or nine years' residence in the West Indies as Colonial Secretary at Tobago, which office I resigned on account of ill-health. I wa: present almost at the opening of the Thames
goldfield, where I have ever since resided, holding many Government offices; but was retrenched from the Service in the latter part of 1886.—1 am, etc., Albert J. Allow.
The Early History Society should certainly keep an eye on Mr Alloin.
NOTES., Issue 8006, 7 September 1889
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