A CANTERBURY PIONEER
Mr Hugh Elder, sen., died at his residence at Timaru last week. He was born at Falkirk, Scotland, in 1832. After serving for five years with the 93rd Regiment (Gordon Highlanders), he emigrated, arriving at Lyttelton in January of 1864. Some time afterwards, with his brother, the late Peter Elder, he entered the live stock business. The brothers organised their business in a masterly manner, buying cattle and sheep from a long stretch of country, extending from Mendip Hills in North Canterbury to Longbeach, and obtained a long lease of Hagley Park, Christchurch, as a rendezvous for their stock. At the time of starting business, tho gold rush was in full swing on the West Coast, and the business developed rapidly into a highly profitable one. The journeys across to the Coast were hazardous, the routes being via Arthur’s Pass, Hurunui .Saddle, and Ohau Saddle. The chief market centre on the Coast was situated in Hokitika, which at that time was the most prosperous town on the West Coast. After remaining in the stock business for 14 years, the brothers bought a freehold farm, Elderslie, Kaiapoi Island. This venture did not prove to bo such a profitable one as the former, owing to the treacherous Waimakoriri River, which was continually in flood, ana which worked havoc with valuable crops of wheat. Tho brothers wore unfortunate in this respect, and they were the heaviest losers in the whole district, through the medium of the floods. During the occupation of Elderslie, Mr Hugh Elder took an active part in public life, and was associated with all the local bodies, and with every movement of progress in the district. Mr Elder was deeply interested in sport and was one of the founders of the Ohoka and Eyreton Jockey Club, and was elected treasurer for 10 years in succession, and ultimately was made a life member. Highland dancing and pipe music also interested him, and he acted as judge of these events at the principal Caledonian gatherings in North Canterbury for some years. Being a successful breeder of sheep and sheep dogs, his services were often requisitioned to judge sheep and dogs at the agricultural shows in North Canterbury. Ploughing matches found an enthusiastic supporter m the late Mr Elder, and he took an active part in their management. After disposing of his farm, he entered business at Kaiapoi as a wool and skin broker,, and he carried this on successfully for the last 25 years.
Permanent link to this item
A CANTERBURY PIONEER, Evening Star, Issue 15663, 30 November 1914