A NOTABLE CENTENARY
SUGGESTED MEMORIAL AT WAIKOUAITL The Rev. M. A. Rugby Pratt, at last nights quarterly'meeting of Trinity Church oiiicers, referred , to the forthcoming centenary of the work of the Methodist Church. m New Zealand. He said that, whilst the nonour of introducing Christianity to the North Island of New Zealand belonged to the Anglican Church, that honour so far aa the South Island was concerned fell to the Wesleyan Methodists. Next year the Methodists would complete their first , century in tho north, and were prorjosing to erect a memorial oa the site of their first mission station. It was not until 1840, however, that any organised Christian effort was made tor the South Island. The first mission m this island was established by tho Wesleyans at Waikouaiti on May 17 1840 in response to tho request of Mr' "Johnny ,5 Jones. Mr Pratt holds the original letter of. ■Mγ Jones applying for a missionary to tho Mission Committee in Sydney To mark tho work of Mr Watkin, the pioneer missionary, the name of the old mountain Hikororoa had been changed to" Mount \\ atkiu on the initiative of the Maori converts- of the mission. The mission house was on the peninsula that then bore Qie name Huriawa, but is now. known as Karitane Peninsula. Many guesses have been made at the 'meaning of the word "Karitane," and Mr W. H. & Roberts, in his volume on the "Place Names of Otago" ..hazards several conjectures. The name Huriavpa, was changed to "Karitane" pn the suggestion of a Wesleyan lay preacher the chief Rawiri Temaire, who at a korero on Hautekapa Hill, on the peninsula, said that the work of Mr Creed ("Karita") should be marked as had "the work of his predecessor Mr- Watkin. He suggested altering the name of the peninsula, but as "Karita" did not satisfy the Native sense of euphony, he said to the assembly: "Let us ad ' tane' (man). The assembly acclaimed the suggestion, and Karitane it since has been. There lives at Waikouaiti a half-caste lady .'Who was baptised by Mr Watkin, and who remembers _ distinctly the circumstances of • the ronamlig of. old Huriawa Peninsula. Mrs Creed, the missionary's wife, took great interest in the Native women. She taught the women the nurture of fcabses and taughtthe girls to sew, and her name was affectionately associated with that of her husband when their name was thus geographically commemorated. It is fitting, too, that a name given in such circumstances should be borne by the homes established by Dr Truby King in the interests of motherhood and child life. Mr Pratt suggested that in connection with the coming centenary celebrations that, although tho work at Waikouaiti had been begun only 80 years ago, it was fitting that tho historic spot where Christianity mado its first efforts in the South Island should have a monolith or other monument to commemorate the event and thoea associated with it The Marsdea memorial in the North Island was off the beaten track, but a monument such as he suggested, standing on the site of the old mission house on the Native reserve, would be visited as a sacred shrine by people of all religious denominations. It would be visible aliko from' sea and land. He had no doubt that people of all creeds would gladly unite in" making the spot where Christianity began in. this island, a spot, moreover-, that had associated with it many Maori traditions of great interest. It may be added that Mr Pratt has at present the baptismal, marriage, and burial registers of the Wail»uaiti Mission from 1840 to 1859. Amongst those baptised by the Wesleyan missionaries are 22 of the 25 chiefs who signed the document for the sale of the Otago block. It was tho missionaries who first taught the Natives to read and write. Mr Watkin's successor, the Rev. Charles Creed, as early as December, 1845, preached to Natives »t Otepoti, which, is now part of Dunedin.
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