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OBITUARY.

*&- — MR C. W. HURSTHOUSE, C.E. [itV TKL!:;;KAPU. I'IIKSS ASSOCIATION*.] Wellington, Monday. Mr Charles Wilson Hursthouse, who retired from the Public Works Department two years ago, died at the Lower Hutt last night, aged 70 years. He arrived from England when an infant, and \vsi3 educated at New Plymouth. He entered the Provincial Government Survey Department in iSSS, and in 1860 was chosen to carry out the survey of a block at Waitara, over which land the Maori War ostensibly began. For the next four years he served with the Taranaki Volunteers, and took part in two battles and many engagements. He was concerned in Te Whiti and Tohu troubles. Towards the end of 1884 he started laying out the line between Te Awamutu and Otorohanga —the first fifteen miles of the Main Trunk railway. He retired in March, 1909.

Ac the end of ISB2, says an interesting writer in the N.Z. "Times," Mr Hursthouse. having completed the roadwork in the Taranaki district, was directed to accompany the Hon, the Native Minister to Kawhia and the King Country, and was present at Mangaorongo, at the pardoning of Te Kooti for the part he had taken in the Maori disturbance. While doing exploration work for the Main Trunk line, he was made prisoner by the Maori 3, and with his one European companion was assaulted, robbed, bound hand and foot, and placed in a cook-house at a place called Te Kumi, near Te Kuiti, where they were insolently treated, and suffered much from cold, hunger, and thirst. After remaining thus for 41 hours —which included two nights—they were rescued and taken by Te Kooti to his residence at Te Kuiti, where they were most hospitably and kindly taken care of. Communication was then established with the outer world. During the assault on Mr Hursthouse a very small display of temper on his part would very probably have led to disastrous results, but fortunately he kept his temper — otherwise he and the country would have suffered. Towards the end of 1884 he started laying out the line for the construction of the railway between Te Awamutu and Otorohanga —'the first fifteen miles of the Main Trunk railway—and in April of the following year he began the construction as resident engineer, carrying the work to Mokau station, thirtyfour miles from Te Awamutu. There was then a pause in railway construction for several years. The Poro-o-tarao tunnel was completed under Mr Hursthouse's supervision, and in 1891 he was transferred to the Lands and Survey Department, to take charge of road construction, in which position he laid out a great deal of road work in the King Country and also constructed many miles. Mr Hursthouse also had charge of the Rotorua road district. In 1899 he was transferred to Wellington to take a more general charge of the road work under the Lands and Survey Department. In 1901 it was found that this class of work had so much increased that it was considered best to make a separate department for the execution of road works only. This department was established in April of that year, and Mr Hursthouse was appointed chief engineer in charge. At the time of his retirement from the public service at the end of March, 1909, he had worked for the Government — provincial and general—for 47-J years. It was 54 years since he first joined the public service.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/KCC19110301.2.16

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY., King Country Chronicle, Volume V, Issue 341, 1 March 1911

Word Count
568

OBITUARY. King Country Chronicle, Volume V, Issue 341, 1 March 1911

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