Article image
Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

NOTES FROM STREWART'S ISLAND.

One of the oldest of the white settlers in Stewart's- island has just • passed away. Robert Lowrie Ballantine, familiarly known ,in the .island .as-" Old/. Lawrie," bad;, been, ..until his) dqath on- Sunday "last, , for 45 years one of the most, conspicuous figures on the j " neck." He was one of the old whalers-who made that place their home, when settlement in New, Zealand had hardly begun. It is unnecessary to say 'what changes he witnessed in the colony during Ms lengthened sojourn, I and how completely he had outlived nearly every' Vestige of the old state of things on the Neck. "Bloody Jack" was the dominant I chief, and dispenser of land titles in Stewart* Island an'dKuapake 'when Lowrie landed in the,former.abput lS^Tand. it is qxciting to, hear from the lips'of his confreres, what rich endowments were then to be had for a shirt or a musket. Lowrie was in his 78th year, having been nearly as old as' the century. He seemed to haye grown to the where - his hqge figure was long to been seen daily at ■ the ;door of his house, a red cowl on his head, and in his hand a telescspe with which he was wont to sweep the expanse of water which the Neck commands- He has dropped -from that perch at last, and has left but few, of his old mates behind. Still- one or ,two aged men of course— and witnessing, 'as others have done, to the remarkable salubrity of the abode tfcey hava chjasen. One of these survivors is above-* 80, and the other above 70, and neither shews indications of leaving the Neck for .-awhile..' Sometime sinee -the writer of these notes heard from Lowrie's lips, and noted down some curious " yarns" of the "early . days, which perhaps _ may yefc see the light. Tfce oyster se^sori'lia^ fairly opened; here,

The -cutters on the; bed numbered 10 'yesteiv day; iand 12 to r (i^;: Yesterday the weather was snperb,' saewing Stewarts Island at its best;, and it was a most picturesque sight to s^Btlje little flotilla .moving along in line, witH topsails set, before a light breeze, and se'einingly contending in a; race, as no doubt they ; w^ere. -: althpngh;- the : prize was not for ,speed/;It appears the take lias been good, i <and;in;aiVhkelihood a rich harvest is awaiting "fine owners bf^Ke; busy little fleet. z&JI- good many strangers here this season visited the island to make acquaintance with its, ,heautie3 and it .is .not; yet.,too late to enjoy a little boating : up the -inlet andalong the coasts. The climate here is a bland one, and summer seems .stilly to linger when thesun gets out. The flowers bloom-late in the year, and will be fresh months hence, and :are: justw now ;in; full :^iQte, srTery,-numerous,5 rTery,numerous, and making.;the bush ring in the early morning. This is' written from the island of Ulva, which Mr Trail! has done so much; to cultivate s and ornament, and into .which . he.£urpose3 shprfci^ mtrodiicing a number: of English" song birds.^'),;; One thing militates against the progress of S te- : w;af,tslsiandV and that isthehighprice at which the land is held by.Government. £2 an acre is almost prohibitive of settlement where the forestis ; so dense, and the cost of clearing,sa: enormous. An exception^ might well be made of an out-of -the- way region like this, and the ; price for timbered land made simply nominal to those who would dear.and cultivate it. ■ It; is to be hoped that in any change of .the Land Law proyisidn will, be,^ made to some such effect. '■■'" '/■,-"■-:■ ■■' ■"■'■[■ ' : -_,; ;,'"'. ". V'-.' The sawmills in iSorseshoe/and Half-modn Bays are employing 'a number of people, whose condition would be, betteir. but for the baneful presence fof a p.ublic house_ in/I the, latter locality. It , is prettjr^ certain^ that a Local :Option Bill would Vsettle. the v que^ promptly agairis^ such, an institution there, to :the great benefit' of the' workmen ; and their families. "■'. Nothing is' here ' said againsfc : the conduct of the house referred to, , but the existenc^ of such a house is totally uncalled for, and is simply a. snare to men ,who in its absencejinight in such a place as' Stewarts Island live simple, frugal, and sober lives, The Schoblin Half -moon Bay is no' small boon to the district.: It is well attended, and is conducted with. yigoj: and success by : Mr Peterson. : . Ohildrenirpm^Horseshoe Bay haVe to travel Tfo school by a; traclc that is somewhat deterring, ;but the energy of the settlers should be sufficient: to; remove the -obstacle without any outside assistance, now that they^en joy free' education for their,- chll'.dren.■•--.■■.'..-.::---. ..'/■: . . ■;■ ' ■^■-:-: -. '-■ ',■:,},.: \ It .woflld; ■berunfajr > nqt to notice the ad • vantage to the island. that is derived from [the conduct of;the weekly mail cutter,' Ulva. • This smaricratt performs the service with remarkable regularity ,_and in weather that •would sometimes^ be. .a ; |uflicient excuse for '■■ failiire. Captain Joss! deserves no little .credit" 'for' the." pluck that- h6 "shows so often ■ in crossing theStMtSjandforthe trim, clean, and smart condition in which his vessel: is always to be found:: ■" • -- - -

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ST18790409.2.15

Bibliographic details

NOTES FROM STREWART'S ISLAND., Southland Times, Issue 3370, 9 April 1879

Word Count
847

NOTES FROM STREWART'S ISLAND. Southland Times, Issue 3370, 9 April 1879

  1. New formats

    Papers Past now contains more than just newspapers. Use these links to navigate to other kinds of materials.

  2. Hierarchy

    These links will always show you how deep you are in the collection. Click them to get a broader view of the items you're currently viewing.

  3. Search

    Enter names, places, or other keywords that you're curious about here. We'll look for them in the fulltext of millions of articles.

  4. Search

    Browsed to an interesting page? Click here to search within the item you're currently viewing, or start a new search.

  5. Search facets

    Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.

  6. View selection

    Switch between images of the original document and text transcriptions and outlines you can cut and paste.

  7. Tools

    Print, save, zoom in and more.

  8. Explore

    If you'd rather just browse through documents, click here to find titles and issues from particular dates and geographic regions.

  9. Need more help?

    The "Help" link will show you different tips for each page on the site, so click here often as you explore the site.

Working