CHAPTER I. TWELVE YEARS IN CANTERBURY.
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TWELVE YEARS IN CANTERBURY, NEW ZEALAND.
TWELVE YEARS IN CANTERBURY.
IT is rather surprising, and also amusing, to those who have lived long in a distant land, to find, on their return to the old country, how little even the well-educated of earned England have thought it necessary to inform themselves of any particulars relating to those far-off coasts, so familiar to themselves and so favoured by nature.
Those who "sit at home at ease," though they may have maps before their eyes and books at their right hand, yet, unless any individual interest, or relations or friends living there, should perchance draw their attention to that spot on the map, or the contents of those books treating on that country, seldom think it necessary to obtain much knowledge on the subject, beyond the one item that such or such a place does really exist.
Residents there can scarcely realize to themselves the somewhat humiliating truth of how very indifferent the fondly-remembered Fatherland is, in a general way, to all the hopes, fears, and excitements incident to a young settlement; yet, for the most part, all goes on
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there as in the old land, only with the greater force and stronger impetus of youth. Those who would have striven to improve their condition in their native land, strive harder there; those who were but lukewarm, passive Christians here, become often zealous and active supporters of their religion in the far-off home of their adoption; while, on the other hand, those who were good for nothing at home will be good for little, or perhaps become worse, in New Zealand, or go where they may; and the reckless or hopeless spirit that wandered in darkness in the old land, will probably reject the light of the guiding star in that new land to which he emigrates.
We take our natures, characters, dispositions, and even habits with us round the world, and land them, as surely as, our bodies, wherever our destinies may be cast. This would, seem to be a truism scarcely worth the stating, but that I have, since my return from a residence of above twelve years in the Antipodes, been frequently asked such questions as the following: --"How do people live in New Zealand?" "How do they employ themselves?" "What are their habits there?" "How did you dress?" "Does not living with the Maories make people become savage?" etc. One friend asked me whether I had been much at Tasmania, supposing that to be a part of New Zealand; another, to whom I mentioned that I had visited Australia on my way home, inquired whether I went thither by sea or land from New Zealand. In like manner, one who heard me say that I had come through France, asked, in some surprise, "Why, how did you manage that? Did you come all the way by land?" "Did you know Mr. -----?" inquired a gentleman. "No," I replied; "what part of New Zealand was he in?" "Oh, I don't know," was the rejoinder; "I thought you all knew each other there. Is it not all one town?" All have apparently heard of the war unhappily going on in New Zealand for some years past, but very few seem to know that there is any difference or division between one part of the country
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and another; they think that if you have been in New Zealand at all, you must have been in the midst of the war. The facts of there being north, middle, and south islands, and the two last being perfectly safe from the dangers of the first, where alone the war has been, is quite a new idea to most of the people I have conversed with on the subject in England. 1
Fortunately for myself, the part where I was resident was Canterbury, in the middle island, founded, as is mown to all who interested themselves in the original colonizing of that part of the country, by a number of influential members of the Established Church of England, in the year 1850. There was at that time a pretty general impression that this church settlement was to one composed of a rather High Church community, and many who felt dissatisfied with the aspect of Church matters in England emigrated thither in those first days, with the hope of founding among themselves a satisfactory and orthodox Church Establishment. In September, 1850, four ships sailed together from England
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with emigrants of a high class, each ship bearing its own chaplain.
Two of these ships arrived at the port of Lyttelton on the 16th of December, and the first man of all the passengers to step on shore was J. E. Fitzgerald, Esq., who, three years afterwards, was elected the first superintendent of Canterbury.
The colonists, or, as they were then called, the "Canterbury Pilgrims," were received by Mr. Godley, who had preceded them as agent for the Canterbury Association, and had prepared for them such accommodation as was possible.
The Governor (Sir George Grey) and his lady had also come down from Wellington to welcome the new arrivals. A third ship came into port on the following day (the 17th), and the fourth on the 27th of the same month--all landing their living freights in high health and spirits, and in lovely Midsummer weather.
On the Sunday following the first arrivals, Dec. 22, 1850, divine service was performed for the first time in Canterbury, and the first sermon also preached by the Rev. Henry Jacobs, who had come out as chaplain on board the "Sir George Seymour." The other clergymen were at the same time performing service on board their] respective ships, whose passengers had not yet landed. The Association's store at Lyttelton had on this occasion to do duty as a church, the seats being made of planks laid across sugar barrels, and the place fitted up with red blankets, etc., by the exertions of Mr. and Mrs. Godley, and the Rev. H. and Mrs. Jacobs. On Christmas day also the sermon was preached by the Rev. H. Jacobs. 2 On the 27th of the same month arrived the little schooner yacht "Undine," bringing Bishop Selwyn from Sydney, where he had been attending the conference of Australian bishops. He preached in the same impromptu place of worship on the following Sunday,
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taking for his text Gen. xiv. 18, and setting forth Abraham as the pattern and father of colonists, and hawing a parallel between his seeking the blessing of Melchisedec, and paying him tithes, and the prominence given to the Church in the Canterbury Association's scheme.
Not till February did the bishop-designate (the Rev. T. Jackson) arrive on a visit to his intended diocese, where he remained about six weeks, and, then leaving, returned no more.
The Canterbury Pilgrims had not long been landed in their new country before they discovered that the plan of exclusiveness as to religious creed must be abandoned. Wesleyan, Scotch, and various other, congregations were soon established; and though Canterbury continues to the present day to be nominally a Church of England settlement, there is not, and has not been from the commencement, any sort of bigotry, jealousy, or ill-feeling between the different denominations. With that, mutual goodwill and warm-heartedness which generally characterizes colonists meeting together in a new land, all have been ready to stretch forth the right hand of friendship, and pull together zealously in aiding the good cause of both the temporal and spiritual interests of the settlement. In proof of this, it may be observed that at public meetings for religious, charitable, or instructive purposes may be seen and heard clergymen of the Established Church, both "high" and "low," Wesleyan and, Scotch ministers, etc., all addressing in turn one interested and attentive audience from the same platform, and all using their eloquence for one and the same good end, without clashing or dissension, sinking their differences, and whatever their own individual opinions may be, taking heed to carry out the precepts of St. Paul, "to give no offence in anything," and to do nothing which might "cause a weak brother to offend."
One of the remarkable features connected with these first settlers was the number of families from, the higher classes of society who went out in the early ships--men
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of first-rate education, intelligence, and. general abilities, with wives, daughters, and sisters of refined manners and elegant tastes, thereby transplanting to that then rough soil the charms and advantages of civilized life. There were but few servants or labourers there then. 3 All, however delicately nurtured, had to rough it. University scholars and London club-men had to dig, chop wood, fetch water, work at hedging and ditching, and help to build their own houses; 4 while ladies had to use their soft, white hands in downright, earnest household work, at the churn and the wash-tub; and right well, too, did all perform these various and arduous duties, losing not one jot of natural refinement, though few trained servants could have done their work better.
It is useless now to dwell upon the disappointments or discontents incident to most settlers in a new land. It is extraordinary how little the generality of emigrants reflect upon, or realize before starting the disagreeables and positive hardships they will inevitably have to encounter on arriving in a young colony. They seem to forget how unreasonable it is to compare a new country with an old one. Those who have been accustomed to luxuries in their own land, and those who have never yet known them, both appear equally to expect that they will find, them in the chosen spot, wafted, as it were, on before them, where only nature hitherto has ruled. When the reality comes upon them, though they usually set to work and make the best of it in practice, and are, in fact, inwardly cheerful and happy (though they may refuse to confess it, even to themselves), they are yet too apt, in writing home, to indulge freely in the spirit of
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grumbling, and make the worst of their adventures and troubles. Injudicious friends in England have sometimes published these little irritable effusions, greatly to the regret and annoyance of the writers, who probably, before they can receive the answering sympathy of their correspondents, have ceased to need it, and become quite reconciled to their difficulties, finding in them a source of amusement, and experiencing a peculiar satisfaction in meeting and overcoming them.
No doubt many were deceived by the exaggerated praises bestowed upon the country selected for the Canterbury Association by some of the too ardent promoters of the scheme. This "Eden of the Southern Sea," as it was termed, like all other countries, had its defects, and still has some, though many have been remedied by the enterprise and art of man. Taken as a whole, however, it may be safely said to be as near perfection as we can hope to find an earthly country. It has its fierce "sou'-westers," which, however, are supposed to contribute to the healthiness of the place; and in summer it has occasionally "nor'-westers," which parch up the vegetation for the time. The winds do not blow harder, perhaps, than they frequently do in England, but they certainly blow oftener and more continuously, and are apt to disturb the equanimity of newly-arrived immigrants, when toiling over the hill between the port and the plains. "Dear me!" petulantly exclaimed a lady who had lately landed, and was being conducted over the bridle-path by a friend who had gone into port to meet her. "Dear me! does it always blow like this here?" "Oh dear no," quietly answered her conductor, "it generally blows a great deal harder."
The climate, though variable, is always temperate; there is no unbearable summer heat nor any long winter frosts. It often freezes sharply at night, but the bright, unclouded sun arises, wherever his rays reach, all frost disappears, and a mild, genial day follows. Snow is seen perhaps once or twice during the winter months, sometimes not at all, and not above twice during my
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long residence there, was it seen to lie on the ground during the day. 5
The thermometer seldom rises above 70 deg. in the shade in the summer, or falls below 46 deg. in the day-time, in winter; the atmosphere is clear, and there is an elasticity in the ever-moving air which produces a buoyant kind of feeling, making troubles seem to sit more lightly on the mind than they do in our own country. The most pleasant weather is considered to be from the latter part of summer, through the autumn, and the beginning of winter; that is, from about the middle of January to the middle of June. The latitude of Canterbury extends from about 43 deg., 30 deg. to 45 deg. S., being the same as Tasmania (late Van Diemen's Land), and answering to that of the South of France in the northern hemisphere. 6
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It need scarcely be said that at first there were no roads; a bridle-path, however, was soon formed over the formidable hill (1100 feet high), which divided the port from the site of the intended capital. A most toilsome journey it certainly was, and indeed is still, though now much improved; a carriage-road was afterwards completed round the hill sides, also connecting Christchurch with Lyttelton, and at the present time there is an excellent railroad (with carriages so comfortable that they shame some of those of the mother-country), from Christchurch to the foot of the hills, and a tunnel through them is rapidly approaching completion. Another railroad is also progressing across the plains and up the country, a part of this is already open and in full use. Excellent carriage-roads are now formed in all directions. Nothing can mark the rapid progress of this settlement more obviously than these facts.
An English carriage was, in the first days, taken out by a family; it was of course utterly useless, and served only for a laughing-stock, so ridiculously out of place did it appear, where only the roughest kind of strong bullock-drays could be used as means of transit from place to place. There were at that time no proper means even for landing a carriage, and in attempting to do so, the unfortunate vehicle got sunk in the harbour, and being afterwards fished up, the owners were glad to tranship it out of sight, and send it off to Sydney for sale. Now, however, numerous handsome carriages, with first-rate horses and highly-finished harness, are common everywhere, and besides the number imported, a large coach-builder's manufactory is doing a flourishing business.
It is not easy for the early Canterbury Pilgrims to forget the desolate appearance presented to their gaze by the plains, when after toiling up the steep bridlepath, they stood on the top of the hill and looked down and beyond in the distance upon the site of their intended city. Few spots in nature could look more dreary or ugly; they could only comfort themselves by
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the assurance that it was healthy, and the hope that they might in time become accustomed to its ugliness; and then they looked, upon the ever-grand and majestic mountains that bounded the view, and felt that in them, there was a magnificence that could never fail, and that in beholding them, the eye could never tire.
But how different is the sight that now meets the eye from the same spot! On that river (the Avon) which then wound and wriggled through a desert-looking flat, giving it almost the appearance of a swamp, stands now a goodly-sized and handsome city containing a population of above seven thousand, with churches, chapels, extensive Government and public buildings, and pretty country-houses in its suburbs, following the winding course of the river along its banks. The brown native grass, and flax, toi-toi, and tutu, have given place to fenced and cultivated fields, green hedges, gardens, plantations, pleasure-grounds, a park and acclimatization grounds, so that one looks and wonders how it ever could have been ugly; all is changed now, save those glorious distant mountains, in their everlasting beauty.
A cathedral has been commenced in Christchurch, from designs furnished by Mr. G. G. Scott, by whom an architect was specially chosen, and sent out from England to superintend the work of erection. It is estimated that the building, when completed, will have cost not less than £25,000, which sum was expected to be raised principally by private subscriptions. Within a few months after the first appeal to the public for this purpose, the sum of £17,000 was subscribed, and the foundation-stone was laid with much ceremony and solemn religious observances, on the l6th December, 1864, being the fourteenth anniversary of the founding of the settlement (by the landing of the first Canterbury settlers, as before stated). In the following year a further appeal was made for subscriptions, and another £1000 was promised. Obstacles, however, arose to the progress of the undertaking, and unfortunately gave
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time for the first enthusiasm of the well-wishers to the great work to cool down. Then came hard times, and the greatest commercial depression that the province has ever known; arrears of subscriptions were left unpaid, and much that had been promised was lost altogether by failures and deaths; so that the work has come to a temporary stand-still, which is greatly to be regretted. There are three good-sized churches in Christchurch (which has now been divided into three separate parishes), each church attended by a full congregation. One of the very first buildings erected in the incipient town was that used as a church and school-house (now St. Michael and All Angels'), several times since enlarged and strengthened, and finally consecrated on Michaelmas day, 1859, by Bishop Harper (Bishop of Christchurch). Then followed. St. Luke's, and lastly St. John the Baptist's, a handsome stone building. Close around the town are other pretty and substantially-built churches, with commodious parsonages, such as at Avonside, Riccarton, and at many other small towns a few miles further off. In all directions churches and school-houses have arisen, and are constantly arising; in fact, wherever a few houses are collected together, forming small towns or villages, exertions are immediately made, subscriptions raised by the residents, and churches, etc., built.
It must be confessed, however, that the Wesleyans and Methodists keep pace with, and in many instances outstrip, the Established Church in zeal, having their places of worship almost everywhere.
In Christchurch the Wesleyans have erected a very large and massive-looking stone chapel, in a most conspicuous and commanding situation. The Scotch have an extremely pretty church and manse, and nearly every known denomination has its place of worship in the town. The Jews also have their synagogue, and the Roman Catholics their church a little beyond the town boundaries.
The Church of England cemetery is beautifully
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situated on a gentle eminence, on the prettiest part of the winding Avon; it is tastefully laid out, and well kept. Within the enclosure is a chapel, in which are several handsome memorial stained-glass windows, some of them of beautiful design and perfect execution. There are divisions in this cemetery set apart for Roman Catholics and Dissenters. The Scotch Church has a separate cemetery of its own elsewhere.
Christchurch College was founded in May, 1855, by the Church Property trustees, by deed of foundation, and was incorporated by ordinance of the Provincial Council, in June of the same year. The first stone was laid by the Bishop of Christchurch, with all due services and ceremonies. It is under the government of the bishop of the diocese, as warden, a sub-warden, who must be a clergyman in priest's orders, 7 and a body of fellows, not fewer than six, nor more than twenty-five; the first body having been appointed by the Church Property trustees, the rest by the body itself.
The main feature of the College at present is the Grammar School, which contained in the year 1866 about sixty-five pupils, and has now probably many more. The present head-master is the Rev. W. Chambers Harris, B. A., formerly scholar of Brasenose College, Oxford. The second master is the Rev. G. Cotterill, of St. John's College, Cambridge. The Very Rev. the Dean of Christchurch prepares divinity students for holy orders in connection with the College, as Watts Russell, Professor of Divinity, and the Hon. H. J. Tancred holds the Hulsean Professorship of Modern History, founded by the Rev. E. Hulse (now Sir Edward Hulse), of All Souls' College, Oxford.
In the commencement of the year 1866 there were twenty-eight clergymen of the Church of England in Canterbury; the number is now, probably, much increased. We learn from the Lord Bishop's charge, in November last (1866), that nine churches had been
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consecrated in the diocese since Easter, 1865, and that two more would probably be ready for consecration before the end of that year.
The charitable institutions are numerous. The principal are, the Orphan Asylum, in connection with the Church of England; the site (given by H. Sewell, Esq.), being vested in the bishop, who is chairman ex officio, and eight persons, four of whom are elected annually by the Synod of the diocese, and four, annually also, by the subscribers. Then there is the "Benevolent Aid Society," which is very largely supported by all denominations, having been originally promoted by the leading members of society, both of Church and Dissenters; all have worked amicably and liberally together in distributing relief to cases of temporary distress, arising principally from prolonged absence of husbands and fathers on the west coast gold-fields, from whom no remittances may have been made to their families. Relief is afforded by this society in the shape of food, coals, wine, blankets, clothing, and sometimes rent; given by a committee, on the application of subscribers, countersigned by clergymen and others, each of whom is responsible for a particular district. There is a "Female Home," for respectable women of good character, out of employ, which is a very good and useful institution. Also a "Refuge" for fallen and destitute women, which has done great good, under much difficulty; the sole manager is the Rev. H. Torlesse (Government chaplain), who is also chaplain and treasurer of this institution, of which he was the originator. The first annual report was published early in the year 1866, from which it appeared that eleven women had been received into the Refuge during the preceding year, of whom two only had relapsed into their former mode of life; of the rest, some found places, in which they were going on well and steadily; one had married, and some were remaining in the house. This institution, it was hoped, would become self-supporting, the sum realized by the women's work (principally washing) having
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amounted, during the said year, to upwards of £157. There is, moreover, an admirably-conducted lunatic asylum, in which the system of kind and gentle treatment, with recreations and amusements of various kinds, is found to answer so well, that inmates are frequently discharged, cured, and restored with sound minds to their families. Mr. and Mrs. Seager are the excellent master and matron of this asylum.
The hospitals are supported by the Government; they are four in number, namely, at Christchurch, Lyttelton, Timaru, and Hokitika.
A branch "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel" has been for some years established, supported, and promoted alike by clergymen and ministers of different denominations, aided by the united exertions of their various flocks. A diocesan branch of the "Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge" has also been established, with a central depot in Christchurch. There are several other good and charitable societies, got up and actively supported by little knots of private individuals; and we must not forget to mention the readiness with which large subscriptions have been occasionally raised, at the calls of distress, far away from New Zealand homes, such as the Crimean destitution and Lancashire cotton famine. About once a quarter a most pleasant and instructive meeting takes place in the town, under the title of the "St. Michael's Church Institute." At these gatherings, the bishop and clergy give information, in a familiar and agreeable form, of all church matters throughout the diocese. Laymen give readings of a light and amusing character; scientific men exhibit inventions and experiments; amateur musicians (both ladies and gentlemen) diversify the proceedings with songs, and the church choir, perform glees, choruses, etc., forming altogether very delightful reunions.
Amateur concerts and oratorios are not unfrequently produced in excellent style. An Italian operatic company occasionally visits the place, and reaps golden harvests.
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Dramatic, or other kinds of entertainments, are almost always going on.
Besides the small towns, which have arisen immediately around the capital, such as Riccarton, Avonside, Heathcote, Prebbleton, Templeton, etc., there are many flourishing towns spread throughout the province, such as Kaiapoi, Timaru, Akaroa, and many others too numerous for description in the present work; but we must not omit to mention the large town, now rapidly rising in importance on the west coast, amid the new gold-fields of Hokitika, to which a good road has been opened (at an enormous expenditure) with Cobb's coach running to and fro once a-week.
There are many fine rivers throughout the province, and abundance of good water everywhere. In and around Christchurch there are numerous artesian springs. Every owner of a garden or piece of land may have his own fountain. They have but to bore a few feet, and scarcely ever fail to strike a spring at the first spot selected, for the experiment. The water from these springs is extremely pure and good.
The soil is generally good and fertile; all English fruits, flowers, and vegetables are of easy cultivation, and do extremely well. Peaches and plums of all kinds, etc., ripen on standard trees, without the aid of walls; grapes also do well. Fuchsias, myrtles, geraniums, etc., become large shrubs. The native forest trees are ever green, and attain a very large size; many of them are very beautiful; the tree fern and tree fuchsia are among the most curious. All English trees flourish, and are of far more rapid growth there than in England. The red, blue, and other gums from Australia grow easily and rapidly in New Zealand.
There are no wild animals, save such as have been formerly tame, and have escaped from their owners. No venomous reptiles or scorpions.
Several kinds of birds are indigenous to the woods and waters; among them the oyster-catcher, bittern, kingfisher, cormorant, quail, wild-duck, mocking or
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parson-bird, 8 parrots, paroquets, woodhen, pigeon, etc. (the gigantic Moa bird is believed to be now quite extinct). There have been imported pheasants, partridges, turkeys, geese, ducks, common fowl, guinea fowl, pea fowl, canaries, bullfinches, etc. Bees also thrive amazingly.
The following account of the trees, etc., of New Zealand, is taken from Chambers' "Papers for the People:"--
"The indigenous trees tower, many of them, to a prodigious height, producing timber in unequalled perfection; some close-grained, heavy, and durable for domestic and public architecture; some fit for shipbuilding; others hard, light, of fine texture, and elegantly veined for cabinet work; and others, indeed, for every variety of purpose. The white, yellow, and red pine, the last with leaves like ostrich plumes; the totara, a reddish wood, with roots that take a beautiful polish; and many others not known in Europe. Some of the timber trees bear fruit, others rich clusters of flowers, like the purple honeysuckle; others with leaves like the myrtle, and blossoms with crimson petals and golden. stamina. One produces leaves affording a fragrant beverage, resembling tea. All are in immense variety and abundance, yielding materials for every kind of work, etc.
Equally important with the timber is the native flax of New Zealand, a peculiar plant, of which ten or twelve varieties have been found. Some in the low marshes, others on the surface of rich alluvial plains, others on hill-sides, barren of everything else.
The largest kind has leaves ten or twelve feet in height, and tapering from three or five inches to a point. These never lie open, but are folded in a graceful curve, like huge eccentric sea-shells. Bunches of flowers grow from the stem, with purple chalices, full to
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the brim of a delicious syrup. Though it grows wild everywhere, it must be planted and. cultivated with care to be made available for manufacturing purposes.
Fifty or sixty kinds of fern plants exist in New Zealand. Their roots once formed an important article of food with the natives, but since the settlement of Europeans, so many materials of superior substance to them have been introduced, that the lordly Maories have abandoned to the wild hogs this humble provision, together with the root of the bulrush. From the edible pulp contained in the stem of one variety, the early colonists used to make a very respectable imitation of apple-tart. The fruit of one shrub, called, tutu, affords the natives an insipid but harmless wine; the seeds, however, are poisonous, and, at particular seasons, the leaves highly injurious to cattle, especially to those newly arrived, and therefore unaccustomed to it.
"An indigenous aniseed grows in many parts, greatly improving the flesh of the animals feeding on it."
On some lands immense crops of grain have been occasionally raised. There are records of 70 bushels of wheat per acre having been obtained, of 80 and even 100 bushels of oats, and 50 of barley; but these are unusual cases, and according to the statement of a gentleman experienced in farming at the present time in that country, the average, taking the province throughout, would be, of wheat not much above 25 bushels per acre, oats about 33, and barley about 30.
Wool, it need scarcely be added, is the great staple of the country, it is said to be of the very highest quality, and averages 4 lbs. the fleece. Wages are extremely high; a labourer earns from 8s. to 10s. a day; carpenters, builders, etc., 12s. to 14s. A day's work consists of eight hours, and those who choose to work extra time are of course paid in proportion. In harvest or shearing time, a man can earn 15s. or £1 per day. A good female servant receives £30, or sometimes £40,
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per annum; a man-servant £60 or £70; and a man and wife £80 to £100, according to their capabilities.
The cost of living necessarily varies so considerably at different periods, that it would not be possible to lay down any accurate scale of prices.
Provisions are, however, far cheaper now in Canterbury (and indeed all over New Zealand) than they were a few years back, though, with one or two exceptions, all things are still dearer than in England. Meat is one of these, and tea is another (the latter being imported direct from China). Both these necessary articles of consumption are at a lower price than in England at the present time.
Wheat during the last two years has sold at 5s. 6d. per bushel; barley from 7s. to 8s.; oats, 5s. to 6s.
The price of land varies according to its quality and distance from town. Within the city of Christchurch it has been sold and let at fabulously high prices per foot frontage; at the outskirts of the town the price is about £250 the quarter acre; at two miles from town it would be about £50 per acre; from that to within five miles, about £20 or £25; and at ten miles, farms might change hands at from £8 to £12 per acre; but where-ever townships are planned or laid out the price is of course higher.
The population of Canterbury at the time of the last census (1864) was 32,276. 9 This calculation, however, refers to the eastern side of the settlement only. Since the discovery of the Hokitika gold-fields, the west coast has also become peopled to an almost equal extent, 10 making the whole European population of the province amount to over 60,000. 11
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The two coasts are now connected by the new road above mentioned, and immense numbers of stock have been driven over. The difficulties of this work were great, but it was deemed imperatively necessary to undertake it, and that without delay. Commenced in the middle of winter, carried on across a country previously considered to be almost inaccessible, and destitute of supplies of any kind, the work yet proceeded steadily on to completion. This road from Christchurch to Hokitika is about 160 miles long, and for 90 miles of that distance it passes over a succession of lofty mountains, precipitous ravines, and rapid rivers. Some parts of it traverse through swamps and thick forests. For 60 miles not a bit of pasture is to be seen; nothing but rocks and hills, shingle-beds, etc., presenting altogether a series of engineering difficulties which only the greatest skill and energy could have overcome.
The number of sheep in Canterbury at the date of the last census (1864) was 1,567,320; of horses, 10,868; cattle, 45,263; 342,416 acres of land were fenced in, of which 70,000 were under crop. These figures refer (as aforesaid) to the eastern part only.
An interprovincial telegraph is now in full work from the extreme south of the Middle Island, a point called "The Bluff," to the Northern Island; a submarine wire having been successfully carried across Cook's Strait. Another line of telegraph connecting the east and west coasts was in progress, and probably now completed.
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Coal of good quality is sold, at the pit's mouth for £1 per ton. The mines on the Kowai will probably before long be connected by tramway or rail with the existing southern line, and coal will then be attainable in Christchurch at about half its present cost. 12
There are five banks in Christchurch--namely, the Union Bank of Australia, Bank of New Zealand, Bank of Australasia, New South Wales Bank, and Savings' Bank--all in large, handsome, solid buildings.
The abundance of good building stone, now easily attainable by means of the railway, has of late years been most advantageous for the improvement of the capital.
The newspapers, as published in Christchurch in 1866, were, "The Lyttelton Times," "The Press," and "The Evening Mail," all daily; "The Canterbury Standard," tri-weekly; and "The Canterbury Times," weekly; "The Weekly Press," and "New Zealand Guardian," fortnightly.
The following is a list of some of the principal societies, associations, etc., taken partly from the "Canterbury Directory," as published in the "Southern Provinces Almanack," 1866: --
Agricultural and Pastoral Association.
Benevolent Aid Society.
Bible Society (Canterbury Auxiliary).
Canterbury Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber of Commerce, Hokitika.
Christian Knowledge Society.
Christ's College, Christchurch.
Club, Gentleman's, Christchurch.
College Library, in connection with Christ's College.
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Church Property Trustees.
Colonists' Society, Lyttelton.
Freemasonry--Provincial Grand Lodge.
The St. Augustine Lodge, No. 609.
New Zealand Lodge of Unanimity, No. 604.
Southern Cross Lodge, No. 760.
Football Club, Christchurch.
High School, Christchurch.
House of Refuge for Females.
Lyttelton Regatta and Boating Club.
Mechanics' Institute, Christchurch.
Mechanics' Institute, Kaiapoi.
Musical Society, Lyttelton.
Orphan Asylum, Christchurch.
Philosophical Institute of Canterbury.
Presbytery of Canterbury.
Ratepayers' Mutual Protection Society, Christchurch.
Regatta Club, Heathcote.
Railway Rowing Club.
Total Abstinence Society.
Typographical and Provident Association.
Volunteer Engineers' Association, for mutual instruction in military engineering.
Young Men's Christian Association.
Nearly every district has its corps of military volun-
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teers, who occasionally muster together for reviews, shooting-matches, etc.
The rapid increase of business in the town of Christchurch may be proved by the fact that the list of trades and callings, in that town alone, occupies above twenty-five columns in the pages of the abovenamed large octavo almanack.
The town, which is lighted with gas, is extremely well laid, out, in parallel streets, and squares, with reserved town lands, and a plantation called the "Town-belt," all round it.
The rapid river Avon flows through the town, and is crossed by several good bridges, one of them being a handsome and solid stone structure.
A bronze statue (by Woolner) of the late Mr. Godley, first agent for the Canterbury Association, fore-runner and pioneer of the first colonists, has arrived, from England, and is to be erected, in the Cathedral square.
The first great public work of the province was the Lyttelton and Christchurch Railway, which was commenced, in July, 1861, urged on by, and under the auspices of, W. Sefton Moorhouse, Esq., the second superintendent of the province.
The "Moorhouse Tunnel," the main feature of this undertaking, has been steadily progressing, and is now expected very shortly (in the course of the present year) to be open for traffic. The hardness of the rock encountered has greatly impeded this work, which was commenced simultaneously at both ends, and will extend through 2831 yards.
The first sod of the Southern Railway, intended in time to connect the capital with the town of Timaru and adjacent country, was turned in May, 1865. The contract, as far as the Rakaia river, a distance of thirty miles, was let to Messrs. Holmes and Co. (the contractors also for the Lyttelton and Christchurch line). This portion was to be completed in two years from the date of commencement. The cost of the whole
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(about ninety miles) will be £200,000. It is already open and in use as far as Rolleston (formerly known as Weedon), with an intermediate station at Templeton.
Such, then, is Canterbury, and it may be seen, from the foregoing slight account of affairs there, that few young settlements ever progressed more rapidly or steadily. Would that it could be added, there had been no drawbacks; but this, unfortunately, would not be true.
All has not been prosperity; there have been periods of great commercial depression, and one of the most severe that has ever been known there has occurred, and continued, during the last two years, extending not only over all parts of New Zealand, but in Australia also. It is not the province of this work to enter into details respecting the possible causes of such a state of things; they are probably only temporary, and we trust and confidently expect that the cloud is even now about passing away, and that the bright light of prosperity will ere long again shine forth over the commercial world there, as the glorious sun in the blue heavens does over the fair land itself.