Thursday, 29 November 2018

Port Molyneux 1 - the beginning

AN ESSAY  (or attempt)

IN 



THE DESCRIPTION OF



THE HISTORY



OF 



PORT MOLYNEUX







HUMBLY DEDICATED TO



THOSE THAT ARE GONE 

AND ESPECIALLY



THOSE WHO DANCED AT THE HALL



UNTIL MORNING LIGHT SAW THEM HOME





CONTENTS

Introduction
1 The Early Years
7 Holidays and Wars
Appendix 1 - The curious career of Amazing Amy
Appendix 2 - The Southern Steam Navigation Co.

With thanks to: the original writers of the material.  The team at "Papers Past."  The friends who have encouraged me.


INTRODUCTION

This is an experiment.  I am using the technique I have developed to compile biographies from historic newspaper stories to try and compile the story of a location.  This being the first time I have tried to do this, I don't know if it will work.  Fortunately, being part of a blog, it isn't set in stone - or on paper - so I can correct mistakes and omissions.  On the subject of mistakes, the writers of times gone had different opinions to those of today.  Those opinions are presented but not necesssarily endorsed by myself.


Port Molyneux, Chapter 1:  The Early Years


The place now known as Port Molyneux was discovered by Lieutenant James Cook, RN, in 1770.  Sydney Parkinson, draughtsman to Joseph Banks, described it thus: "On the 4th March, 1770, after having been beat about with adverse winds for nearly a week, by the favour of a breeze from the north we again got sight of land, which tended away to the south–west and appeared to be of great extent. We had a continual rolling swell from the south–west, and saw the appearance of a harbour which we named Moulineux's Harbour, after the name of the master of our ship."

The discovery of "Molineux's Harbour" would have been news to the local inhabitants, who had discovered it themselves some time before.

The "modern" history of Port Molyneux as believed by this author (and, after a quick trawl through the internet, most other people) is that the Port was founded just before the Otago gold rush, flourished during the rush and died after the great Clutha River flood of 1878 broke through the long sand spit at the shore end and formed the current mouth.  The truth, it turns out, is slightly different.




THE SOUTHERN MAORI.
STRAY PAPERS.
Written for the Otago Daily Times,

By H. Beattie. 
XXXI.—The KAITAHU INVASION. (excerpt)


What his aged friends have told me is that Waitai used to make excursions inland, killing off the peaceful Waitaha, who then existed in considerable numbers, haying been left unmolested by the Katimamoe. The bad example he set the latter and the effect of evil company are to be seen in the case of the famous Katimamoe chief Rakitauneke, who actually joined Waitai in a drive against the inoffensive inhabitants of the Port Molyneux district. The fighting here is remarkable, inasmuch as it caused a wholesale superseding of the old Waitaha place-names and the bestowing of a new batch marking incidents of the fighting. 
The fighting began down at the Nuggets Point in the early morning and rolled northward. There is a cave near the Nuggets called Te-ana-o-tuwhakapau, and it was associated with the conflict, being named after one of the combatants. The huge cliff behind the lighthouse was called after a chief Taumata-o-te-rakipokia, and so was Campbell’s Point, its name being Taumata-kotare, while the creek there bears another warrior’s name Owaea, the reef of it being Te-tau-o-waea. Hay’s Gap runs through a big rock on the seaside and on top of one side is some hardy vegetation and a spring, and here a woman named Waitoriki was killed. One of my accounts says she was the mother of Waitai, but an old genealogy gives the name as that of the wife of Rakitauneke. In either case she was a lady of distinction, and both the spring and the gap have since borne the name Puna-a-Waitoriki. 
The fighting in this confined space was very fierce, but the death of Waitoriki brought a breathing space, and the Waitaha hurriedly retreated northward, their foes soon following after. One of the Waitaha lingering behind to act as a rearguard to cover the retreat and to spy out what the enemy was doing was caught and killed at Cottage Point, since then known after his name, Te-awa-mokihi.
As dusk was falling the Kaitahu-Kati-mamoe force caught another Waitaha chief who was scouting and reconnoitring their advance, and they cooked him at the picturesque headland where is now situated the Maori Cemetery near the Reomoana School, his heart serving as a special delicacy for the lenders of his foes. That spot has since borne tho name Makatu, which was his name, but its full designation is Te-tunuka-o-te-manawa-O-Makatu (the roasting of the heart of Makatu). Nearby is the site of an ancient whare where a bone mere, partly burned, was dug up and given to Captain Bollons of the Hinemoa. The next point of interest is the creek called Whawhapo (groping at night), which received its name because some of tho holder spirits resumed hostilities during the night, and had to feel round for the enemy. Next morning the pursuit of the unfortunate Waitaha was resumed, and a chief was killed at Jenkinson’s Creek, since known as Wairawaru after him. At the point known as Tuapohia the man of that name was caught. He had smeared himself with scent extracted from a vine that grew at Papanui, Cape Saunders, and, becoming detached from the rest, he secreted himself, but the scent betrayed him, and he was captured. The survivors scattered and fighting ended. One of the leaders of the raiding force was Rakitamau, and his name was applied to the hill behind Kaka Point. It will be noticed that a dozen place-names came into existence through this fighting, but I was unable to secure any of the Waitaha names they displaced.   -Otago Daily Times, 3/1/1931.

THE SOUTHERN MAORI.
STRAY PAPERS. 
Written for the Otago Daily Times. By H. Beattie. 
XXXV. OLDEN OTAGO VILLAGES.   (excerpt)
The collector was more fortunate at Kaka Point, where the Maranuku Maori reserve is situated. One of my aged Maori friends spelt the name of the reserve Maranu-uku. Some hold that it is a genuine old Maori place-name; others say it is merely the Maori way of saying Molyneux. While it is probable that the Maori would transform Molyneux into Maranuku, there is extant some slight evidence that it is an old name, but I shall leave it a moot point. Not far distant from the present reserve is the old mouth of the Molyneux River, and on its south side was situated the very ancient village of Murikauhaka a village which was inhabited until after the white settlers came, but of which no trace now remains except the whare-eites. An old man considered that muri meant "behind” and kauhaka “a bay,’’ and that the situation was the origin of the name. He took me to the spot and showed me the sites of the wharekura and the dwellings, the canoe landing and the unu-tupapaku (burial ground), where his father, a brother, and a sister had been buried.
Another old man mentioned that Murikauhaka was “e kaika tahito ” (an old village), and another of my informants remarked: “Behind the old pilot station there is no trace of the old kaik except some big stones known as Hau-maukoroa, and all smeared with red marks where the ochre was ground up to make red paint. The old kaik was called Murikauhaka, but the burial ground had a different name which I forget.”
The point on which the old pilot station stands is called Tu-apohia by the Maoris, a name given to it during some fighting 250 years ago. The rise behind it bears the name Ka-oriori, which was originally the name of a lump of greenstone brought from Westland by canoe and broken up here. Then we come to the Wai-rawaru, or Jenkinson’s Creek, a small bay called Huirapa, a tribal name, and then to the jutting Kaka Point, known formerly as Parau-riki. The rise behind this point bore the name Rakitamau, and near the road across it a small trickling spring was called Waitaha, a tribal name. Three of these names were revived since the pakeha came, when a garden was called Hakitamau, another Huirapa, and Henderson’s boarding bouse was called Waitaha. Near Inglis’s house behind Kaka Point is a place called Pau-upoko (hit the head), and this was once a celebrated spot where the Maoris dug up fine edible fernroot. 
The name of the spot where the Kaka Point store now stands is O-tiwha. The word “tiwha” means a patch put on a poha or kelp bag which has sprung a leak, the patch consisting of a shell or stone or bit of wood so skilfully affixed that the bag can again be inflated without loss of air. 
Crossing the Whawhapo (pronounced Fafa-po) Creek, we are on Maori ground. The rise where stands Potiki’s house was called Tiharua by one informant, but a better-informed elder said it was correctly Te Harua (the scab). The full name of the section, he added, was Te-harua-nui-a-taupo, and it was named in memory of the tipuna (progenitor) of that name who was a predecessor of the tribe called Kati-huirapa, and a very far-back-ancestor of Mrs Potiki. 
A patch of sand lying between the whares and the Karoro Creek was planted under Government supervision with marram grass some years ago. The Maoris called it O-marama after a chief named Marama, who was a tipuna of the late Korako Terehe. 
Our attention is now drawn to the school standing on Makatu point. The extraordinary fact about this school is that the Education Board officials coined a name, “Reomoana” for it when, by inquiry, they had a choice of numerous genuine Maori names within a radius of a mile of its site. About a mile behind Whawhapo is the flat known as Tuapapa; it was once densely bushed, but is now denuded of trees. The hill which is now the Port Molyneux Cemetery bore the ancient name Puketi (Cabbage-tree Hill) and the flat behind this rise towards Tuapapa lias the modern name Tiniko. The whole ridge behind Port Molyneux is named after an olden chief, Tamahika. 
The name of the rocks scattered along the shore under the Maori ground seems to be forgotten, but a rock well out in the bay is now called Makariri, after Wilsher's Maori wife, because she was a splendid swimmer, and was in the habit of swimming out to it. My oldest informant considered that its correct name was Tiko-moana, but another said this was a reef nearer the shore. Another rock further up the coast is named Honekai, after the chief of that name. The rocks in front of the bathing sheds were called Uru-tane (gathered by men), and there is an interesting tradition that the name was bestowed because of the gathering of a heap of mussels by a party of men.  -Otago Daily Times, 31/1/1931.

THE SOUTHERN MAORI.
STRAY PAPERS. 
Written for the Otago Daily Times. By H. Beattie. 
XLII.—REVIEW OF FIGHTS AND APPROXIMATE DATES.  (excerpt)
A number of years later an outbreak of trouble occurred in the Port Molyneux district, but what caused it I cannot say. The inhabitants of this ill-fated locality had had a trying time on many a previous occasion, but it is said they were practically wiped out this time, their place being taken in later years by those who drifted in from other parts. The fighting or killing started at Murikauhaka at the old mouth of the Molyneux, and then the scene of action shifted to Whawhapo. The leading men of the aggressors are said to have been Taikawa, Pokohiwi, Tamahika, and Waitai (second chief of this name). Tamahika chased a Katimamoe man for several miles and finally caught and slew him on the long ridge called Taukohu. Behind Parauriki (Kaka Point) there is a rise called Rakitamau, and here dwelt Te Hika-paki, a Katimamoe woman, whom Pokohiwi seized and carried captive to Pukekura, where she became his wife. Taikawa had cause to remember this armed excursion, for his little son Taita died during it and was buried on top of Hill above Wilsher Bay, and the top of that hill is now known as Taita after him. It was Taikawa who prevailed on the combatants to cease fighting, but there was only a remnant of the district folk left by that time.  -Otago Daily Times, 21/3/1931.

THE SOUTHERN MAORI.
STRAY PAPERS. 
Written for the Otago Daily Times By H. Beattie. 
XLIII—SOUTH OTAGO.  (excerpt)
Cannibal Bay’s name was Orakiutuhia and its point Te-rae-oraki-utuhia. Sandy Bay was Te-one-o-pirias and the boat landing south of it and also the hill was Pirino. The point north of it was Te-ra-tunuku, and Roaring Bay was called Haka-paraoa. The lighthouse hill at Nuggets was Taumata-o-te-rakipokia. The cave on the north side of the Nuggets lighthouse was known as Te-ana-o-katiwairua and was lived in by Te Rakipokia and his wife Hakinikini for some time many generations ago, but I do not know any particular story about that cave.
“ Lying off Nuggets Point are about 20 of the islets and rocks called ‘nuggets’ by the whalers. They all had Maori names, but I only know four of them. One which had a cave was called Te-una-puta, another frequented by shags was called Pae-koau, three small ones on the north side were together called Makunui and formed a noted seal resort. The small nugget furthest out to sea was called Porokawa or Porokaua, and beyond it was a famous fishing ground. [Note: He drew me a rough plan of the 20 nuggets,] The landing place now used by the fishermen was called Te-matau, the point below it was Tawhiri and the hill behind it was also called Tawhiri. Hay’s Gap was called Puna-wai-toriki, and the hill behind Campbell’s Point was Taumata-kotare, Campbell’s Point was O-waea and the reef that runs seaward from it was called Te-tau-o-waea. 
“The name the pakeha calls Ahuriri should rightly be Tauhuriri, and the point next to Wilsher’s Bay was Te-awa-mokihi to us, but is now called Cottage Point. Once two boats were coming up the coast and Tuhawaiki’s boat struck a sunken rock off Te-awa-mokihi Point, but managed to get off and landed safely. The other boat, the name of which I forget, went on and was wrecked at the bar of the Molyneux River and all her crew were drowned. Tuhawaiki’s boat was known as Kai-pirihi, which means that a codfish was not taking the bait properly, and ever since his escape from destruction in that storm that sunken rock or reef has been known as Kaipirihi.
"Wilsher’s Bay was called Te-karoro, and Fisherman’s Hill near it was generally given this name also. The Taukohu Ridge runs from Karoro Creek to Omaru. Kaika-te-ra is a wooded hill east of Mount Omaru and south of Romahapa township. The name means ‘a dwelling facing the sun,’ and William Hay built a house under it and called it by this name. The hill now called Mount Omaru by the pakeha was called Tipua-marakai by the Maori after the famous Katimamoe fighter whose name is usually shortened to Marakai. Romahapa is perhaps a name brought down from the North Island by some white man, as our name for that stream was O-maru, it having been named after Maru, a Kaitahu chief.
“Although there is a point near Wilsher’s Bay called Tauhuriri, this is also the correct name of a hill near Macintosh’s place at Jacob’s Hill. The white man sometimes calls it Ahuriri. The hill at George Wilson’s near Glenomaru was called Oraki-matua-nui, and another hill near was Toheraki, a word which means ‘arguing the point,’ while the hill now called Thickwood was formerly called by us Ka-umu-o-kahauki because fires were lighted to cook a slain chief and some of his men. A hill near Glenomaru was called Opawa, one further south was Timu-patoka, one at the seacoast was Taikawa, and two behind Port Molyneux were Purehuatahi and Puketi.   -Otago Daily Times, 28/2/1931.

In January, 1830, an American sea captain, trader and explorer named Benjamin Morrell visited Port Molyneux.  His ghost-written accounts of his travels have been criticised and disputed in recent times, many of his claims being proven false or inaccurate.  His diary entries are presented below, with that caution:

Jan. 8th.--On Friday, the 8th of January, we left Stewart's Isle, with a fine breeze from south-south-west, and fair weather, and at 10, A. M., were close in with what is called Molyneux's Harbour, on the south-east side of New-Zealand proper; but instead of a "deep and spacious harbour," as reported by its discoverer, we found nothing but a small bend in the land, between two low points about three miles across, and one mile deep.
We soon had a friendly visit from about fifty natives, who came on board without the least hesitation, and opened an intercourse with us without reserve. We made them some trifling presents, which appeared to give them much pleasure. In return, they gave me a pressing invitation to visit their little village, at the foot of a valley near the head of the bay.
The village at the head of Molyneux's Harbour, which is called by the natives Tavaimoo, contains twenty-eight huts, of miserable accommodations. The best among them are shaped like our barns, being about ten feet high, thirty feet in length, and twelve or fifteen in breadth. The inside is strongly constructed, and well fastened together by osiers or supple vines. They are painted, generally, with red sides and black roofs, using the same kind of material as that with which they daub their faces. At one end is a small hole, just large enough to admit one person, stooping low; this serves as a door; while another hole considerably smaller, answers the double purpose of chimney and window.
Few of their habitations, however, are constructed in this luxurious manner. The most of them are less than half this size, and are seldom more than four or five feet in height. They are framed of young trees, and thatched with long coarse grass. Their household furniture consists of a few small baskets or bags, in which they deposit their fishing-gear, and other trifles. They squat down in the middle of these huts, around the fire, and often sleep all night in this manner, without any other covering than what they have worn during the day.  -"A Narrative of Four Voyages to the South Sea..." 1841.

As a known port, Port Molyneux was visited by the whalers operating off southern South Island, four men from the schooner "The Brothers" being reported killed by local inhabitants in the early 1820s.  The shore station was at the southern end of Wilshire Bay  By the late 1830s whaling had ceased in the area.  It is difficult to assess population numbers of those days but there seems to have been a dramatic decrease in the Maori population of the area between Morrell's visit and the next account of the Port.  This era coincides with the disastrous epidemic of measles among a people with no natural immunity to such illnesses.


Thomas Jones, a wine and spirit merchant of Sydney, also made extensive purchases and on January 7,1840, obtained two hundred and fifty six  acres in the Molyneux district, a block some twenty miles square which Tuhawaiki disposed of for "thirty pounds sterling money of Great Britain and other goods," together with a twenty pound annuity.  Although Jones took no steps to survey or subdivide the original block, some serious attempt was made to develop the land for settlement.  A syndicate was formed in Sydney and plans for establishing a colony at Molyneux Bay were at once proceeded with...There was need for haste for, on January 14, Governer Gipps of New South Wales (and, at the time, New Zealand) issued a proclamation forbidding future sales except to the Crown...

Thus eventuated on February 15, 1840 - a full month after Governor Gipp's proclamation - the most amazing land transfer in the history of the south when Wentworth and Jones signed an agreement with Tuhawaiki, Karetai and three subordinate chiefs, Kaikoarare, Taikawa and Poneke, all of whom had arrived in Sydney on January 31.  -History of Otago, A H McLintock

This transaction was, as far as Jones and Wentworth were concerned, the buying of the entirety of the South Island of New Zealand, except for areas already sold to others.  This was a gamble on the Australians' side.  They were hoping for a title to be ratified by the new regime which was expected to arrive in New Zealand shortly.  It was not.

On June 9, at Ruapuke Island, Tuhawaiki signed the Treaty of Waitangi which had been brought there by the HMS Herald.   


In 1840 a small party of four settlers arrived to take up land in the area.  A large amount of land had been bought by Thomas Jones, a Sydney merchant, from the Chief Tuhawaiki.  This transaction, as many others, was annulled under the auspices of the Treaty of Waitangi which forbade selling of Maori land to agents other than the Crown.




“In April, 1840, I joined Mr. Jones in the purchase of the Brig ‘Portenia’ for the purpose of establishing a settlement upon the land purchased of the Natives, and we embarked on board that Vessel a number of Settlers consisting of a Surveyor and builder, Superintendent, an Agriculturist, Carpenters, Sawyers and a Ploughman. We also shipped on board the Brig a full sized whale–boat, twenty–seven cows, one bull, six working bullocks, drays, harness, ploughs, harrows and other farming implements. Houses in frame, pitsaws, Carpenters’ tools for erecting houses, together with stores of every description necessary for eighteen months’ consumption; and pigs, goats, poultry, grain, potatoes and garden seeds, and, in fact, everything necessary for the use of first inhabitants forming a New Settlement.
“The Settlers were landed with much expense and trouble at Molyneux Bay in June, 1840, and the Brig discharged her cargo. She afterwards returned to Sydney, where we sent her a second voyage to Molyneux with a further eighteen months’ supply of stores for the Settlers.”  -Edward Hunt, letter, 10/10/1846.

 One was a Mr George Willsher (sometimes spelt "Wiltshire") after whom the bay is named.



A SCRAP OF EARLY HISTORY.
(Southland Times.) A copy of a letter has been handed to us, for publication by a gentleman from Sydney at present in Invercargill. It may be interesting to our readers at this day, having been written 49 years ago, and was probably the first letter written by a settler in Otago. The epistle was evidently written with a pointed stick and a dark red fluid, probably the juice of the tutu berry. It is very much faded, many of the words being quite illegible. The Mr Cohen to whom the letter was written was afterwards the manager or other officer in a bank in Melbourne, where he died many years ago. He never came to New Zealand: had he done so, and brought the rabbits with him as advised, what a deplorable condition the country would have been in when the first Scottish settlers arrived! The writer of the letter was engaged by the person to whom it was addressed to settle upon and impreve several thousand acres of land at the mouth of the Molyneux river (Molyneux Bay) purchased, from the New South Wales Government early in 1840. For this the writer was to receive certain moneys, and also a portion of the land so improved. Owing to the conditions not being fulfilled neither of the received his land; the claim being disallowed by the Land Commissioners at Auckland a few years after, subsequent to the control of matters pertaining to land being transferred from Sydney to Auckland in 1841. The writer of the letter was killed by natives at one of the South Sea Islands in 184l. Some of the foregoing particulars, so says our informant, were obtained from an aged lady resident in Sydney, the widow of one of the persons spoken of in the letter; a lady under whose hospitable roof and encouragement a portion of the opera "Maritana" was written and who arrived in Sydney at a time when Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Auckland were not yet in existence. The letter was written before envelopes were invented, being a double sheet of paper folded up, into letter shape and sealed with wax.
There were originally four persons who settled at Molyneux Bay, bringing with them the stock mentioned in the letter in the ship Portenia, Captain Morris. Of the cattle only one cow was landed. Fortunately this cow was in calf, and with much joy to her owner, Mr Wiltshire, the calf was a bu11. From this beginning a herd of 600 head was eventually raised. Some of the goats and pigs that were  landed strayed into the bush. These pigs probably formed the nucleus of the wild pigs at present in the southern portion of the Middle Island.  For some years there were were goats about the Nuggets and Catlin's river, but after being sought after by subsequent settlers for their flesh they have decreased out of existence. The names of the original settlers were Thomas Russell, Robert Conning, Mr Wiltshire (acting for Thomas Jones, merchant, of Sydney), and T. W. Bessant (acting for Cruickshank and Cohen, of Sydney). Of these Russell and Wiltshire obtained grants of land. Bessant and Conning resided there about 12 months, and being disgusted with the solitude and privations forced upon them returned to Sydney at the first opportunity. Russell died about 15 or 20 years ago in Dunedin; Wiltshire left for England about 12 years ago, and it is not known whether he is still alive. Until the Lower Molyneux and Inch-Clutha were settled by farmers or graziers these intrepid pioneers endured a hard life for 10 or l2 years. They lived on potatoes and vegetables grown by them; for meat they shot the wild pig, pigeons, &c., whilst fish was relished as a luxury. A whaler putting into the bay once in 12 months or so provided them with a taste of flour, tea and sugar, and received in exchange potatoes, ducks, and other wild fowl, money having for a time gone out of use with these two primitive settlers. Russell's grant, about two miles south of the township of Port Molyneux, is now owned and resided upon by the Wilson Brothers, and evidences are still left of the early settlement. Russell was a stonemason, and built a chimney to his house which is still standing, and on one of the stones of which he cut the date, "1840." The letter is as follows :— 


“Molyneux Bay,
Dear Cohen,—Here we are, and have been since Sunday week, after a passage of four weeks exactly [from Sydney], during which we experienced all kinds of misforturne. In the first place, on leaving Sydney Heads we popped into the midst of a heavy gale of wind, which lasted four days and destroyed twenty–eight head of cattle. You can imagine the state the hold was in—the dead cattle all rotting. The people had to cut them up and heave them overboard. As you may suppose, our provision for the stock was soon wasted, and we were at our wits' end to find feed for them. I am sorry to say poor Billy and one of the pigs died, and one of the goats dropped her kid. Russell lost one goat and two pigs. We are now all on shore with our stock and some of the things, but they are not all landed yet. By the by, you may guess what a harbour it is when I tell you you must bring all your things in ironbound casks, except the small cases you can carry. I have had to unpack all mine, and find the iron has destroyed all the [illegible]. Now I must tell you the land is, by everyone's account, and I think so too, everything you could wish, and when Jones gets his piece, as he says he will, the place will prosper.
The land here is covered with a thick bush, and all around the place is the same, but by the river all tremendous hills and dales with nothing but grass and flax upon them. You cannot imagine how beautiful the country looks.
Russell and I penetrated a long way back yesterday and found some splendid trees [indistinct, may be grass], and the whole country watered by small bits of brooks. I must tell you the chart is no more like the place than you. There is no island in the river, but a bar thrown up by the sea, and impassable for any boat. Jones is a man of no enterprise or the place would soon be valuable; we have been a week here now, but instead of laying out a town he is fuddling about on board ship for fear his wine would be drunk in his absence.

However, we have got our houses at the only landing place, and it, of course, will be the town. My goods are all at the tent, and I have got a house nearly finished. I have a small stream of water at the door. I do not think he intends measuring the land now, but talks of sending a surveyor down and plenty more people; but as long as he will measure the water frontage we can do the rest. Of course, I cannot tell you the bounds, nor can Conning sign the deed (as we have not got the land yet), but you may rest assured I am on the lookout, and will take pretty good care of them all.
I like Russell and Conning very well indeed. Conning is a hard–working fellow; Russell is a schemer. The captain no doubt will speak bad enough of the bay, so I will only say look at the best side of the question, as a sailor, of course, looks to the safety of his ship, and not at the land. If we could get a craft from 60 to 80 tons we should do splendidly, and I hope some day or other we will. Russell says, ‘Never mind, the hills are as good as the dales, and the dales as good as possible.’ The whole country is covered with flax. Mr. Jones says he will get a piece here, and if so we shall soon … There is a very heavy surf here, but a whale boat can always manage to land. Should you get a boat, it must be a whale boat … It is good holding ground for a ship, but the bay is quite open. Our stock are all running about, and find such food they will not eat anything that we have to give them. As for the weather, it is not at all cold, though winter time.
In our excursion yesterday we shot a tremendous dove … it was the size of a fowl … and we had him for supper. When you come, please bring … a cap as I always wear a … and a pair of strong shoes. You could not do better than bring the cattle and some rabbits, another billy goat, etc. We must get a cutter, and if, by and by, we should be able to get a brig or schooner from Home, it would be a fortune about here, for Johnny Jones has too much of his own way.
We went to Rubucka (Ruapuke - GBC) Island, where Bloody Jack lives. Mr. Jones went to see him. It was about five miles from the port. He was ill, but talks of calling on us when he gets well. He engages to defend Jones in his purchase, and gave him to the chief to come with us.
PAGE 13
I shall very likely write to Mr. Ellard, but as the land is not measured yet, have nothing to tell him. I forgot to say there is a clerk of Johnny Jones' living with Bloody Jack, and there are no natives at Molyneux, so, of course, we have no assistance; but I do not mind that, as they understand money so well as to prefer it to anything else, and will do nothing here for a handkerchief. I could say a deal, but cannot put in a letter. Come as soon as you can and persuade as many as you can, for the place wants people more than anything. Do not forget to look out for my letter and give my brother a paper or two.
Relying upon seeing you, I am, with best respects to Mr. and Mrs. Cruickshanks, etc., etc.
Yours truly,
T. W. BESSANT.

 Morris says he promised to write from Port Nic (Wellington) and will do so. I expect to see you next trip. Russell and Conning want you to put a paragraph in the paper about the place; they intend doing so. Jones has a store here, and you should get one too, for we shall have callers from all the places about here. Here comes the boat. Goodbye. Should you have a store, buy plenty of spirits. I intend making a survey of the harbour, and am going up the river to have a look at the land, I hope you will be able to make this out, but can hardly do so myself, I shall write by the first ship that we see and take it out (the letter) in the whaleboat. 
This letter was addressed to W. H. Cohen, Mr Cruikshanks, Pitt Btreet, Sydney,

Of the four settlers who arrived on the "Portenia" in 1840, two were still there the next year - Willshire and Russell.  Willsher formed a relationship with the daughter of the local chief - Makariri, daughter of the Chief Tahu.  The other remaining settler, Russell, must have objected to this arrangement - he did not speak to Willsher again.  



On Monday morning early Mary Anne  Terehe, bettor known as Makariri, died at the Kaika near Port Molynoux. She had been ill for rather more than a while. In her younger days Makariri saw something of the world, as she went with a sea captain to Sydney and other ports. When they returned to Port Molyneux, Makariri and another woman were sent ashore to wash clothes, and instead of returning to the vessel they concealed themselves in the bush, until the vessel, which waited some time for them, sailed away. At another time she distinguished herself by protecting some sailors who had landed at Tokata Point, between Port Molyneux and the Nuggets, and who would have been killed and eaten had not Makariri put her mantle over them, and so prevented anyone from touching them. Makariri was the daughter of Terehe, a great chief, and therefore had considerable influence with her tribe. When an important person wished to protect a prisoner from violence, the way was to throw his or her garment over him and he was thus to all intents and purposes Tapu (holy). In the bush at Tokata Point there are several skulls just beneath the ground. Evidently some other victims have been demolished there, having' no friendly Native to intercede for them Makariri has been very kind to Ben Rakitapu's children since their mother died, and has been true to her womanly instincts, although childless herself. The man who is leader in the meeting at present being held at Waitaki is brother to Makariri. The funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon, when the chief at the Kaika, Haimona Rakitapu, read the service in Maori.   -Clutha Leader, 13/3/1885.


Willsher and Russell  (excerpt)

Romance found its way into the lives of the new settlers, as it is claimed that but for the intervention of Mata Makariri, the Maori chieftainess, Willsher and Russell might have been killed by the Maoris and possibly served up at a cannibal feast. Willsher married Makariri, and their life together has been woven into the legends of Early Otago. She is reported to have possessed an ungovernable temper, and in her rages she frequently threw about the pots, pans, and furniture of their home. On the other hand, she was ill-treated, by Willsher, and to escape from his beatings it is said that she would swim out to a rock known at Makariri’s rock, where she waited until his temper had subsided. The couple had no children, but they adopted the eldest son of the chief Haimoni Rakiraki, also known as Ben Lakitapu, and between the two foster-parents, the boy had a very Spartan upbringing. Many tales are recounted of the prowess of Makariri as a swimmer, and she is credited with once swimming a distance of a mile in a heavy tide holding a lighted pipe in her mouth to win a bet. George Willsher appears to have been a tall, powerful man, with a good education and a pleasant manner when he chose.- He conformed fairly closely to the trader and whaler type of those days. Russell was a quieter more resolute person, who had once followed the trade of a stonemason. He never became reconciled to the conduct of Willsher in marrying a Native woman and then treating her so badly, and relations between the two settlers became strained until Willsher deserted his wife and finally went to England to live. 

No account of Willsher’s activities can be complete without a reference to his famous bull, which indeed has won for itself a permanent place in our history. The solitary cow which survived the rough wintry passage in the Portenia gave birth to a fine bull calf not long after she was brought ashore. It is stated that from these two animals there sprung a herd of 600 cattle, and by 1855 Willsher was sending his beasts as far afield as Clydevale to graze. In his old age the bull became a great roamer, and wandered off to Wyndnam where he died, his remains being found there and identified by brand marks. In 1844, when Frederick Tuckett, the New Zealand Company’s surveyor, made his preliminary survey in connection with the selection of a suitable site for the Free Church settlement, he found Willsher and Russell well established on their holdings. He did not treat them with the deference, however, that he accorded Johnny Jones at Waikouaiti. On the contrary, when he advised Daniel Wakefield, the agent of the company, that he had decided on the land that should be acquired for the settlement, he advocated that these squatters should be evicted, as they had no claim to the land at the Molyneux other than that they represented a Sydney firm. This view was not adopted by John Jermyn Symonds, the agent for the Government, who after investigation, found that the settlers were justly entitled to the land they had acquired from the Natives. He recommended that their claims should be noted for favourable consideration by the Government, and as a result Crown grants were issued to them in due course.  -Evening Star, 28/6/1940.



WILLSHER GRANT.—A CORRECTION.

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, —In your to-night's issue appears an interesting account of the annual gathering at Willsher Bay, Port Molyneux. There is one statement, however, made therein which I hasten to correct—namely, that the property was the gift of Mr Thomas Mackenzie, M.H.E. Perhaps I can best serve my object by giving a brief history of how that charming property has become a public park. The land was originally granted to George Willsher in 1854 by Governor Wynyard. Willsher came over in the very early days, and settled at Korero Stream, where he married a Maori wife named Makariri, a woman of high birth and temper. Of these folks Mr William Hay can tell many a good story. Many fears ago Willsher disappeared, and no trace of his whereabouts could be found. The reason why the land was granted to Willsher was because of his hospitality to the Hon. Walter Mantell, and it was, I understand, on his recommendation that the gift was made. As I have said, Willsher disappeared, and the property became a sort of no man's land. The settlers for miles around always held their New Year's gatherings there. As the land became more valuable speculators tried in vain to find the owner, m order that they might acquire the land to cut up into building sections. It was felt that were such to happen it would be a very great loss to the whole district. There is no lovelier spot in all Otago for a healthy social gathering. It is situated on the sea coast, with miles of golden beach stretching along. The beautiful Korero Stream sweeps around several acres of deep green sward, whilst native forest covers the remainder of the property. Hills rise around covered with noble pines, ratas, kowhais, etc.; whilst the denizens keep the retreat alive with their lovely melody. A New Year's Day, spent there is a treat to be remembered. From early morn may be seen conveyances of every description all wending their way to the one goal. The glens, the plains, and the uplands pour forth their hardy settlers, all bent on spending a really happy New Year, drays, buggies, waggonettes, spring carts, horsemen, all going to swell the glad throng. There may be seen the honest farmer plodding along in his capacious straw-cushioned dray, with his jolly wife and family, all looking as happy as can be. Everybody knows everybody; no class distinctions exist, and "Happy New Years" go ringing out in the most whole-hearted manner conceivable. Then, when the place is reached, picnicking begins, the lasses dance on the green, while the lads try their prowess in the ring. The old folks meet old friends, and many happy reunions occur. Everything is bright, happy, and wholesome. As far as I am aware, no licensed booth has ever been on the place, and I hope never will be. But to my story. While I was attending a meeting of the Education Board in January, 1896, by the purest accident I heard that Mr Chapcott had discovered in going through some old papers which he was burning that he held the deeds of Willsher's property, and was also attorney for it. The whole affair had been absolutely forgotten by him for thirty or forty years. I forthwith went in quest of Mr Clapcott, and to make a long story short I took home with me that night the Crown grant of Willsher Bay. And that fact was good news to the Clutha folk. Everybody helped to make that property a park for the people for all time. Prominent among the helpers were Mr Wm. Hay (of Romahapa), Messrs Paterson, Shiels, Wilson, Campbell, Alf. Jenkinson, and others. Concerts and lectures were given and collectors appointed. Government, too, helped through Clutha's member, Mr J. W. Thomson. All, therefore, have had a hand in making that spot a public park. And such briefly is the history of a spot which will for generations to come be in the possession of the people. —I am„ etc., Thomas Mackenzie. January 3.  -Evening Star, 4/1/1902.

Frederick Tuckett, conducting his survey of the geography and resources of the Otago area for the proposed Scottish Free Church colony, was dropped off by the brig Deborah at Moeraki in April, 1844.  He engaged local guides and walked to what is now known as Otago Harbour.  There he met the Deborah again and walked further to the mouth of the Molyneux.

Monday May 6th.
As we proceeded, about the time of low water, along shore I was gratified to observe very abundant large pieces of drift coal of good quality, still no bed was visible in the face of the cliff, further on the beach became again rocky and quantities of coal were lodged between the rocks and soon appeared in view a black cliff, I felt certain it must be a vast formation of coal, although M. Jones at Waikauirati (Waikouaiti) had declared that there was no other coal discovered along the coast but the insignificant appearance which I had examined at Matakaea. Approaching this cliff I found it to be a mass of coal for about 100 yards length, in thickness from 12 to 20 feet, as seen in the face of the cliff above the sand, and to what depth it exists beneath the sand I could not ascertain, I should suppose from the appearance of coal adjacent, to the depth of low water. The beach is not accessible on account of the heavy swell and great surf. The coal must therefore be worked inland and the bed will be no doubt discovered near the bank of the Matau River, which in a direct line inland is probably not more than 4 or 5 miles distant.
My next discovery proceeding along shore was a carcass of a fine young whale recently stranded and quite fresh, of which I took possession by cutting out a few steaks for my hungry dog, it measured upwards of 50 feet in length.
Within the Nuggets I was glad to observe the schooner at anchor, for this overland journey having occupied six days instead of three or four as I had expected, and then not arriving until the seventh, I was afraid that she might have left to return to Otago.  We fired the guns along shore, which was observed by Mr. Wiltshire, and when we reached the bank of the Matau his boat was coming across the river to convey us over.
The Matau is a River which even an American would not contemn, its course inland is so distant that I cannot pretend to estimate the distance. The hills west of its course are certainly 20 miles from the shore and no snowy mountains are visible, Mr. Wiltshire informed me subsequently that he had ascended it in a Boat for at least 50 miles, and that it was still navigable for a long boat, also that many navigable creeks unite with it, by one of which a boat may be taken to a lagoon, called Kai Tangata, and then by a narrow channel to another lagoon, called Raki-toto, from whence the distance to the Tiaria valley does not exceed six miles.
Mr. Wiltshire is an agent of a Mr. Jones of Sidney, and has the care of a few head of cattle, he landed 4 or 5 years ago and beyond erecting a good dwelling house, neither he nor his neighbour Mr. Russell appear to have made much progress. This Mr. Jones pretends to a claim for land here preposterous in extent, it was not submitted to Col Godfreys investigation (?of the Land Commission), Russell states that he has purchased land here of Jones. They appeared to be ill supplied with the comforts and necessaries of life. This Mr. Wiltshire is well known by some of my relations, and I had become acquainted with him and pleased with a brief intercourse which occurred a few weeks previous to his embarkation at Bristol for Sidney, but I did not recognise him, and had he not alluded to the circumstance I should have left Molineux without an idea of having ever seen him before.
Tuesday May 7th.
Paid my Maori guides, or rather followers and engaged two other Maoris, resident at Molineux, to accompany me inland to Tutu Rau, a district separated from Molineux Plain only by low grassy hills and said to present a very extensive District of 
level and good land. From thence I was to proceed along the S. W. bank of the Totui River to its mouth, an uninterrupted succession, they say of rich land on the banks of a navigable River. Impossible as I should have thought this to be whilst surveying lands in the Settlement of Nelson, it was almost credible after seeing the Plain of the Matau from the mouth of the Totui. I was to walk along shore to the Bluff (near Invercargill) and thence to the New River (Oreti River, Invercargill), the journey to the Bluff, they assured me would be accomplished easily in eight days. On starting I should have gone some miles up a south western branch of the Matau and across the lowest land of the Plain to rising ground, which would have afforded me an opportunity of estimating the extent of swamp land and the facility of draining it. For providing that there is a sufficient fall area that the earth will nearly sustain a mans weight in walking without us sinking, I consider that the land in New Zealand can hardly be too wet in its natural state. At the first rise of this Plain, as I looked down upon its extent, I observed a continual line of dry land, indicated by the number of Te trees and the frequent succession of Pine groves.
The Captain of the Schooner and the Pilot examined at my desire the entrance of the Matau, it has but a narrow channel and a bad bar adjacent, so that the water breaks across although this is more than two fathoms at low water, and five fathoms in a beautiful basin within. I believe that the schooner might have entered and with the aid of a steamer a much larger vessel. To the owner of a vessel it may not be very agreeable to be the pioneer, but time will verify my present opinion.
Messrs Barnicoat & Davison engaged, with permission of the resident Maoris, on surveying the roadstead and mouth of the River, they remained on shore and I returned on board to complete my arrangements for another journey overland. During the night a swell set in from the north east, and the Master, fearing a gale of wind might ensue, heaved anchor and stood out.
The principal Maori resident is an aged woman named Toki, the widow of Tahui, formerly chief of Kurreroa, the native name of Molineux Bay, she is a relation (aunt) of Tuawaiki, who does nothing to make the remainder of their existence comfortable, though he can well afford to do so. I sent her a half cwt of sugar, a blanket and a shirt. Her daughter Makariri protects Mr. Wiltshire, they, with an old man Toweras and three younger men, Raki Raki, Mirihou and Tahatu, are the only resident natives, as far as I could ascertain, excepting Te Raki and his family who sometimes reside here, but usually on the Tiaria. The native name of the S. E. point of Kurreroa Bay, opposite the Nuggets is Tuwata. The rivers Matau and a branch called Te Koau, contains between them an Island called Jacks Island, said to be 25 miles in length and about one mile in breadth.



George Willsher lived at Otago until he left for "Home" in 1859.  In that time his one surviving cow, which happened to be in calf when she landed, became the ancestor of a good herd, the calf being a bull.

The next settler family to arrive in Willsher Bay were the Hays.  


The family landed at Willsher Bay early in March, 184-9, and were welcomed by Makariri, the Maori wife of Mr Willsher. Maoris at that time were numerous at the Bay, but they were still somewhat uncivilised. Besides Mr Willsher an Englishman named Thos. Russell lived at the Bay. Shortly before the arrival of the Jumping Jackass the Maoris under the old Chief Tongata had forcibly seized Mr Russell and robbed him of all his movable property. Lakitapu, the well-known chief who died a few years ago, was present at, but not a party to the robbery, and through his instrumentality the whole of Mr Russell's property was subsequently returned. On another occasion Makariri was compelled to conceal herself in the bush for a day or two in order to avoid being killed by a Maori named Rawore, who had been pursuing her with murderous intent with a tomahawk. It was also related that Makariri herself, when in a "pet" with her husband, Willsher, was in the habit of retiring up the wide chimney of Willsher's hut, and that Willsher on such an occasion would induce her to abandon her exalted retreat by lighting a smoky fire beneath her. The late Mrs Hay, however, would not vouch for the truth of this story, as she was ever most distinctly of opinion that Makariri was the senior and more potent partner in the Willsher matrimonial firm.

After the arrival of the party at Willsher Bay Messrs Fuller settled on land which is at present comprised in the Hilly Park property, and the Messrs Chalmers took up the land afterwards purchased by the late Mr David Dunn, of Romahapa. Mr and Mrs Hay for the first six months lived with the Messrs Chalmers, and afterwards returned to Willshcr Bay, where they lived about four years. At that time there were no regular means of communication with Dunedin, and the settlers had often to depend for provisions on potatoes and what they could obtain in the way of native game, fish, and wild pigs. Pigeons and Kakas were speared by the natives with long manuka spears, and the settlers also used spears consisting of a steel or iron blade affixed to a wooden shaft for the purpose of killing wild pigs. For many months at one period the Hay family had no flour and no tea. As a poor substitute for tea an infusion of manuka leaves or biddi-biddi was used. After remaining at Willsher Bay for four years Mr Hay bought Fullers' property, and he and his family removed to what is now known as Hilly Park, which became the headquarters of the family. 
After Mrs Hay's arrival in New Zealand a son James, a daughter Helen and a son Charles were born. James was born at Saddle Hill, near Dunedin, and his mother carried him from there on foot to Willsher Bay, crossing the intervening rivers in Maori mokis or any other available boat. The moki was a rough boat made from flax stalks. It was not watertight, and its occupant usually sat half submerged. Miss Helen Hay was the first white girl born in the Molyneux.  -Bruce Herald, 9/1/1908.

Shipping Intelligence
H.M.S. Steamer "Acheron."— The Otago News of the 8th of June has the following notice of the recent exploring trip of this vessel:— H.M.S. Acheron, Capt Stokes, arrived from the southward on Tuesday last, having been absent about 11 weeks. The principal part of this time was passed at New River, where exploring parties were sent to Jacob's River, the Bluff and towards the source of the New River. Mr Hamilton and Mr. Spencer left the Acheron and proceeded overland to the Molyneux, which they reached on the 6th day. The country through which they passed is described as one extremely favourable to pastoral pursuits, but rather scarce of timber. After a stay of a few days in the Molineux district, finding the Acheron did not make her appearance, they started for Dunedin, and arrived here a few day ago; thus accomplishing a journey of nearly 200 miles, the greater part through a country seldom if ever traversed by Europeans. We believe the Acheron did not make any lengthened stay at the Molineux, but will possibly return there in spring, for the purpose of taking an accurate survey of the bay and the bar at the entrance of the river.  New Zealander, 31/7/1850.

Coastal shipping began to cross the bar of the Molyneux River but it was a dangerous pursuit.  A ship large enough to brave the sometimes heavy seas on the voyage from Dunedin would draw too much water to make it far up the river.  It soon became apparent that the idea way to take freight to and from the lower Molyneux River district was to use shallow-draught steamers on the river and to trans-ship freight inside the river bar.  The beginning of coal mining at Kaitangata, not far from the river mouth, meant fuel for river steamers and further exports to Dunedin.  Thus was born Port Molyneux.

Chapter 2 - A Flourishing Port.  Link here.

Port Molyneux 7 - Holidays and Wars



SOCIAL HALL AT PORT MOLYNEUX.
ITS INTERESTING HISTORY. 
Recently a committee of residents purchased the old jetty shed at Port Molyneux, to be retained as a hall for holding dances, etc. It was sold by the Clutha River Board for £2O, and should be of considerable service yet with a few minor repairs. 
An interesting history attaches to the building, as the following facts will illustrate. 
The shed was originally erected at Clydevale in the early sixties, and was not long there when it was brought down in the old river steamer Tuapeka by Captain Murray, and erected at the mouth of the Puerua, and used as a flaxmill by Capt. Murray and, a Mr Miller. A brief run as a flaxmill, under the control of these gentlemen, resulted in Messrs Geo. Balloch and John Wylie, of Port Molyneux, taking it over as a going concern. Prices for hemp fell below a paying price, and these gentlemen gave it up. The building was sold by them to the late G. F. Reid, of Dunedin, then interested in the steamers plying between Dunedin and Port Molyneux, and he got Mr Andrew Melville, of Port Molyneux, to shift it bodily to its present site, to be used as a general storage shed at the wharf. It was erected on a reserve belonging to the Waste Lands Board. Mr Melville did the work with his bullock team, and Mr Mason, who had superintended the building of the river steamer "Balclutha" on the beach at Port Molyneux, had charge of the shifting operations, and the building was placed on its present site and turned into a general cargo shed. After Mr Reid's death, Mr Nimmo, of the firm of Nimmo and Blair, took the building over, and for some time it was used in connection with the ocean freight traffic Dunedin to Port Molyneux and vice versa. Many tons of grain were often stored in it by the up-country farmers. 
After the flood in 1878, when the river changed its course, the shed lay useless. The sea traffic had come to an end. Dances were often held in it but its purpose as a storeage accommodation shed had passed away. 
When Mr A. Melville was a member of the Clutha River Board of Conservators, he got small grants for its repair, and the question has arisen as to how the present River Board came to claim control over it, nor is it clear why it was ever repaired at the expense of the Conservators, as they were then called. Possibly the fact that the Board spent money on it gave them some sort of control over it, but it was never their property, and is not erected on their property. At least these are statements made to us by those who claim to know. 
However, the local people are to be congratulated on getting possession of it, and with a few pounds spent on repairs should be a valuable asset to the district.  -Clutha Leader, 5/7/1910.


The Hall or Jetty Store - better photo will be added after I return to the place.

Reused railway sleeper holding up the (once) river end of the Hall.


On Wednesday night an old identity of Port Molyneux passed away there in the person of Mr George Cunningham, aged 73, who settled in the district in 1876. He served in the Indian Mutiny with General Whitelock, and possessed a medal for his active service in that campaign. His favourite pastime was draughts, and he once had the pleasure of defeating "Herd Laddie" on the board. His family is all grown up, and Mrs Cunningham survives him. For the past few years deceased had not enjoyed good health, being a sufferer from asthma.  Otago Witness, 19/3/1913.



War came to Port Molyneux, as to the rest of New Zealand, in 1914.  As was the case around the nation, the ladies of the area went to work to produce "comforts" for the troops.    Equally important in the minds of New Zealand's population were the civilians of Belgium, suffering under German occupation.  Money was raised for the Belgian cause all around New Zealand and Port Molyneux was no exception.

Alexander Kenneth Campbell joined up in 1915 and left for the army in May.


PERSONAL
On Saturday all the officials in charge of the various telephone bureaux in the Kaitangata Post Office district, with their families, assembled at Port Molyneux to make a presentation to Mr W. F. Bennetts, postmaster at Kaitangata, in recognition of the kindness he has shown to those who are  isolated by reading the latest war news in the evenings by telephone. A splendid repast was provided, after which Mr T. Johnson (Wangaloa), in a neat speech, eulogised the services and kindness of Mr Bennetts, and presented him with a beautiful gold pendant, suitably inscribed. In reply, Mr Bennetts, who was taken by surprise, returned thanks for the unexpected gift.  -Otago Daily Times, 4/1/1916.



There was a record crowd at the Port Molyneux sports on New Year's Day, and the gate takings were £91. The proceeds of the sports are to be donated to patriotic funds, and, as there were good entries in nearly every case and several competitors handed back their winnings in the interests of the patriotic funds, the society will be able to hand over a substantial cheque. One Milton driver who had a dragful of occupants drove too far out in the surf, and struck a rock, which resulted in the temporary "wrecking" of his vehicle and the thorough soaking of all its occupants. In this accident one young lady sustained a broken rib. Several collisions occurred between bicycles, vehicles, and motorists between Balclutha and the beach.  -ODT, 8/1/1916.



Caledonian Sports Day.  Hocken Library photo.


Part of the civilian effort was the buying and packing of clothes and medical supplies for the troops.  Descriptions of the effort made appeared regularly in the local papers and this is a good example, one of many - 



NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR

PORT MOLYNEUX RED CROSS. The secretary of the Port Molyneux Red Cross Association begs to acknowledge with thanks the following donations:—
Mrs Melville £l, Miss Kinder 4s, collected by Y. Paterson £4, Mrs A. Johnston £l, Mrs F. Bates 5s. A case of goods forwarded to Dunedin contained 15 calico bandages, 17 flannel bandages, five pairs overall sleeves, two face cloths, 23 carbolised shirts, six pairs flannel pants, six flannel singlets, 21 pairs socks, two pairs cuffs, 31 medicine cloths, 26 fomentation cloths, l6 diet cloths, six hussifs, 10 service bags, 10 dusters, 71/2 pyjama suits.  -Clutha Leader, 23/6/1916.

PERSONAL
In the casualty lists issued this week appears the name of Lance-corporal Thomas Henry Cross as being severely wounded on August 4. Lance-corporal Cross is a son of Mr T. Cross, of Port Molyneux.   -Clutha Leader, 18/8/1916.

A few days later, Thomas is reported as being in the 2nd Australian General Hospital, Boulogne, with lung trouble.  He survived the war and farmed in Canterbury.




KAKA POINT NOTES
A meeting of the Kaka Point Welfare Society was held at Mrs Henderson's boarding-house on Monday night, to make arrangements for the annual concert. Mr E. J. Boyd presided over a representative attendance of members. It was decided to hold an open-air concert on New Year's night on Mrs Henderson's grounds, and a strong committee was elected to draw up a programme and make other arrangements. The chairman reported that a deputation from the Port Molyneux branch of the Red Cross Society had waited upon him relative to the disposal of the money collected at the concert, and suggested that monetary assistance might be given to this branch of the Red Cross Society. Mr Boyd stated that he had not held out any hope to the deputation of giving assistance in the direction indicated this year, as he thought any surplus funds should be utilised in improving the roads, etc., at the Point. The matter was fully debated, and it was unanimously decided that the proceeds from the concert should be spent on local improvements.  -Clutha Leader, 29/12/1916.

In January, 1917, David Melville was called up for the army.  A month later, it was the turn of fisherman Charles Moore. In March, James Cunningham and James Scott, in April it was John Aitkenhead and James Campbell.  James Scott appealed his call-up but his appeal was dismissed.  James Campbell appealed his and was given a "C3" rating (usable for sedentary work only).  John Aitkenhead also appealed his -
MILITARY SERVICE BOARDS
John George Aitkenhead (a Crown tenant at Port Molyneux) had his appeal supported by Mr R. R. Stewart. Appellant said he had married in December last. He managed 200 acres for his father, who was 65 years of age, and he had his own farm as well. Captain Barrett said it seemed to be only a question of labour required. The case was referred to the Efficiency Board, and adjourned for one month.   -Otago Daily Times, 4/5/1917.

CASES AT BALCLUTHA
FEW APPEALS ALLOWED
THE "RAKE-OVER" AT THE END OF FIRST DIVISION
In the adjourned case of John Geo. Aitkenhead - (farmer, Port Molyneux), Mr D. Stewart said this matter had been adjourned for a report from the Efficiency Board. — The appellant answered a number of questions put by the chairman, principally on financial matters. — The appeal was dismissed, the appellant to go to camp with the 33rd draft on August 18.  -Otago Daily Times, 16/6/1917. 

In September of 1917 it was the turn of David Marshall and Andrew Wylie - Andrew had volunteered previously but been refused.

ROLL OF HONOUR
Corporal Vincent Martin (Mrs L. Henderson, Port Molyneux, mother) was wounded on October 12. He was well known in this district, more especially the Port Molyneux locality. Before going abroad on active service with the 16th reinforcements he was employed as a cleaner on the New Zealand railways at Taumaranui, North Island.   -Clutha Leader, 30/10/1917.

Vincent was 21 when he was wounded, he had served for about a year and a half.  He suffered a gunshot wound in the right arm and was eventually discharged as unfit for military service.  Before his discharge he was sent to a VD hospital in March, 1918.  In June he was sent to Torquay, where it is possible he met his wife, Amy, a native of the town.  They were married in Birmingham in August and Amy sailed with him on the army troopship which took them home.  They arrived in October of 1918.

ATHLETIC UNION. At a meeting of the Otago Centre of the New Zealand Athletic and Cycling Union affiliation was granted to the following clubs : —Port Molyneux, Kelso, Mount Ida, and Luggate. It was decided to notify all societies under the jurisdiction of the centre that should the total expenses of any meeting exceed 25 per cent, of the total proceeds, it would be necessary for the society concerned to comply with the new regulations governing the amusement tax. The meeting also decided to forward a congratulatory message to Lance-corporal A. K. Campbell — a life member of the Port Molyneux Caledonian Society — who recently won the Military Medal in France.  -Otago Witness, 5/12/1917.

PORT MOLYNEUX CALEDONIAN SOCIETY.
EARLY HISTORY.
The following is a list of the names of the past presidents of the society since 1908: —1908, Kenneth Campbell; 1909, Jas. Wright; 1910, J. B. Campbell, 1911, D. Tilson; 1912, W. Carrick; 1913, Frederick Bates; 1914, A. C. Inglis; 1913, J. Bates; 1916, A. Heckler; 1917, Jas. Cunningham. Mr Kenneth Campbell, who was president in 1908, was also secretary at various times. It is interesting to mention that Mr Campbell, who is at present on active service, was recently the recipient of a military medal for distinguished services on the field of action.  -Bruce Herald, 7/1/1918.

CLUTHA NEWS ITEMS
A recent cable message announced that Lance-corporal A. K. ("Kenny") Campbell, Port Molyneux, had received he military medal for distinguished conduct on the field of action. Presumably it was in the Messines Battle where Lance-corporal Campbell specially distinguished himself, as after that battle he was personally complimented by his commanding officer. Lance-corporal Campbell left New Zealand with the 1st Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade (Lord Liverpool's Own), and has been in France close on two years.  -Bruce Herald, 13/12/1917.

HONOURING OUR BOYS
PORT MOLYNEUX FAREWELL. 
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. A very enjoyable social was held in the Port Molyneux Hall on Tuesday evening (April 2) to bid farewell to Private W. Aitkenhead, who was home on final leave. The social took the form of dancing, with songs and recitations. Songs were rendered by Misses M. and A. Fleming and Wilson, Mr A. Kilgour and Master Jack Stiven, and a recitation was given by Miss Simmonds. Misses Bates and Thomson were the accompanistes. During an interval Mr A. M. Wylie, on behalf of the residents of Port Molyneux, in a few appropriate remarks, presented Private Aitkenhead with a safety razor. The recipient suitably replied. An ample supply of refreshments was provided by the ladies. Music for the dance was supplied by Miss Kirk and Mr Townley (violin) and Mr Mason (piano).  -Clutha Leader, 9/4/1918. 
The side room (refreshments room?) of the Hall.  Once the place for send-offs and welcomes back.

The war news was good as the year 1918 progressed, but the war still demanded its pounds of flesh.  Frederick Arthur, a port fisherman, was called up in April; farmer John Murdoch in July.  John was able to appeal his drafting and was given a condition exemption by the Military Service Board on account of his dairying work.
Private A Prentice was farewelled in the Hall in August.
In October of 1918 came the news that Henry Tilson had been killed in action the previous month.  Henry had won the Military Medal not long before his death near Cambrai in the period of the war known as the "100 days offensive" which broke the powers of the German army.  Henry Tilson, a good scholar, who performed a recitation at the Sunday School social in 1909, who left New Zealand in October of 1917 with one more year to live.

TILSON.—In loving memory of Corporal Henry Tilson, M.M. (30th Reinforcements), who was killed in action at Bonavis Ridge, near Cambrai, September 29, 1918, dearly loved eldest son of John and the late F,. W. Tilson, in his 22nd year. 
He sleeps beside his comrades 
In a hallowed grave unknown, 
But his name is written in letters of gold 
In the hearts he left at home. 
—lnserted by his loving father, sisters, and brother. 

TILSON.—In sad but loving memory of Private Henry Tilson (30th Reinforcements), who was killed in action "Somewhere in France," September 29, 1918. —lnserted by friends, Port Molyneux.   -Otago Witness, 30/9/1919.


TILSON.—In loving memory of Corporal Henry Tilson, M.M. (30th Reinforcements), who was killed in action at Bonavis Ridge, near Cambrai, September 29, 191S, dearly loved son of John and the late E W. Tilson; in his twenty-second year. 
He marched away so bravely, His head he proudly held,
His footsteps never faltered, His courage never failed. 
Then on the field of battle, He calmly took his place, 
And fought and died for Britain And the honour of his race. 
—Inserted by his loving father sisters, and brother.  -Otago Daily Times, 29/9/1920.


PERSONAL.
On Tuesday evening, October 29, a welcome-home social was held in the Reomoana Schoolhouse to Corporal V. Martin, who went away in the 16th reinforcements and recently returned from the front, bringing his English bride with him. There was a large attendance of Kaka Point and Port Molyneux residents at the social.  -Clutha Leader, 5/11/1918.

In the wake of the Great War came the Spanish influenza epidemic.  No locality was spared but the Port did its best to "carry on regardless."  With the war over and the epidemic abating, there was a holiday mood.

A visit to Port Molyneux last Sunday found that that seaside resort was very much alive, in spite of the recent epidemic (writes our Kaitangata correspondent) in conversation with the secretary of the Caledonian Society, that gentleman stated that everything pointed to a very successful gathering at the sports to be held on New Year's Day, and the Port would be even more popular this year than ever before.  -Clutha Leader, 20/12/1918.

PORT MOLYNEUX CALEDONIAN SOCIETY.
51st ANNUAL SPORTS. The fifty-first annual gathering under the auspices of the Port Molyneux Caledonian Society was held on the Wilsher Bay reserve on New Year's Day under conditions which proved more favourable than were anticipated after the stormy weather which prevailed on New Year's eve. The fierce gale which raged with the closing hours of the old year died away toward midnight, and clear skies and a prospect of a pleasant New Year's Day appeared to bring the most pessimistic into cheerful spirits; and as the morning was hailed with bright sunshine the usual heavy traffic on every road leading to the sports ground was witnessed. Every kind of vehicle, from the luxuriant motor to the humble farm conveyance was on the road, each with its full load of passengers. A well-appointed committee had prepared everything in good time to make a start with the various events in schedule time. As a matter of course the bulk of the work fell on the willing shoulders of the secretary (Mr A. M. Wylie), an experienced veteran in sports programmes. The president (Mr J. Murdoch) was most fortunate in having a staff who fully understood their duties, and to the press steward (Mr J. Wright) the press representatives were indebted for the manner in which the results of the events were given. The sum of £95 9s ld was taken at the gates, and a pretty fair estimate of the number of persons on the grounds would be slightly over 2000. Some very close finishes to the running events added favour to the day. The 75yds dash brought out some keen competition, as it always does, and the winner was applauded for his well-fought victory. Tapp, the winner of the mile distance, neatly judged his running, and the fine spurt he put on on his entry into the last lap gave him just sufficient time to land him on the tape abreast of Kerr. The piping and dancing were evidently more in favour than anything else on the programme, and this may be partly accounted for by the remarks of the judge, who stated that he was more than pleased with the performances, which were of a higher standard than any he had previously judged at the seaside sports. The Kaitangata Enterprise Band contributed some fine selections, marches, etc., on the grounds. A number of booths on the grounds were continually besieged by visitors, and good business was done all day.   -Clutha Leader, 7/1/1919.

With a month of the enjoyment of the annual Caledonian sports the Clutha River asserted itself once again.  Its 1919 flood was second only to the disastrous one of 1878.

Heavy Flood in the Molyneux.
Stirling Inundated.
Anxiety at Balclutha. 

LOW LANDS UNDER WATER
The persistent downpour of rain during the early part of this week caused a sensational rise in the river Molyneux, and on Monday and Tuesday Balclutha experienced its most anxious time since the occasion of the record flood-in 1878.
The protective embankment at the northern end of the town has stood the terrific strain put upon it, but fears are entertained that, unless there is an abatement of the flood waters, the structure will give way. Many residents considered that the water at the traffic bridge reached as high a level as in 1878, and the lowest estimate is that it is 2ft lower.
On Monday evening a gang of men was put on to patrol the bank on the watch for possible breaks. At 5 a.m. on Tuesday the fire bell was rung to summon assistance, as the water was percolating through the bank in several places. Other peremptory summonses for assistance were given before 8 a.m., and shortly afterwards close on 100 men were working at high pressure with sandbags to stop the breaches. Gangs of men worked steadily on the embankment throughout the day. Trouble with leakages and slight breaks in the bank kept recurring during the day and evening, and at 10 p.m. one opening had become so pronounced that urgent calls for assistance were sent out, as the danger was of the gravest nature.
At 11 p.m. the fire bell again rang out a warning, and it was found that a breach near the saleyards had widened slightly, and that more labor was urgently required to save the embankment. The residents put up a stern fight against odds. By midnight on Tuesday the water had gone down nine inches, and the embankment was secure. Barnego was completely under water, and the settlers' houses were flooded. The Balclutha dairy factory, near the traffic bridge, was submerged by water to a depth of 5ft, Shortly after 1 a.m. on Tuesday the river overflowed the bank at Mr Crawford Anderson's, Stirling, and rushed in a torrent into the little township. In ten minutes the flood surged through the town to a depth of three feet, and several residents had considerable difficulty in escaping to safety. One family — Pryor's — comprising the parents and six young children, to remain in the house, with the result that at 7 a.m. on Tuesday a boat had to be sent by lorry from Balclutha, and the family had to be rescued from the uncomfortable vantage point of the roof. Stirling presented a sorry sight on Tuesday evening. Several houses and shops.were flooded to a depth of from 4ft to 6ft. Miss Morrison's shop shared the same fate as in May, 1917, being carried midway onto the road, where it rested against the telephone wires, breaking the last means of communication with Inchclutha,
A good deal of anxiety is felt concerning the safety of the settlers at Inch Clutha, Otanomomo, and the lower part of the settlement called Paretai. The roads are impassable, and there is no telephonic communication. The large and fertile flats between Stirling and Kaitangata were also completely inundated, and road and railway traffic to Kaitangata was cut off.
A considerable number of Milton residents journeyed to Balclutha on Tuesday to view the desolate spectacle caused by the flood. Spread along the terrace from Stirling to Balclutha were numbers of people, arriving in every description of vehicle, who sat and gazed in awe inspired silence at the vast waste of water spreading out as far as the eye could see in the direction of Port Molyneaux. The scene presented by Balclutha, maintaining its precarious position on a low peninsula, and surrounded by the swollen torrent as it emerges from the constricted valley above, gave rise lo mournful reflections on the inevitable fate of the town, and speculation as to what degree of danger will be necessary to convince the townspeople of the egregious error made by Mr Kettle (company's surveyor) in selecting Iwikatea as a suitable site for a town. The opinion was freely expressed that this stupid tenacity of the people to cling to their property, despite repeated warnings, will inevitably lead to disaster. The panorama of the waste of waters extending in an uninterrupted sheet from the foot of the hills round Stirling and Benhar to the opposite side by Kaitangata, was a depressing picture, covering, from hills to hills, all the flat land from Lovells Flat to Port Molyneux, a distance of 12 to 14 miles.
Looking in the direction of Romahapa, the flood extended to the low terrace on which the railway run to Owaka, the low-lying district of Otanomo being completely submerged, and the Finegand freezing works standing isolated like a sand bank at half tide. As for the Island! Where was it? This garden of Otago containing 7000 acres of magnificent land was untraceable, the only recognisable features on the whole submerged area being two straight lines faintly indicated by the trees growing alongside the Kaitangata railway and the swamp road. Patches of trees and bush would doubtless assist in the location and identification of a housetop peeping above the turgid waters. On Tuesday night it was reported that most of the townspeople — men, women, and children — spent a miserable night in drizzling rain on the hills adjacent, afraid to turn in at home, as the pulsating state of the protective bank did not afford any guarantee of their security. As a result of the river receding after midnight on Tuesday, the people returned to their homes, and on Wednesday morning the town was wrapped in slumber, but was rudely awakened by a telegraphic message from an up-river station to warn residents of a fresh flood coming.  -Bruce Herald, 30/1/1919.

UNVEILING MEMORIAL TABLET.
CEREMONY AT PORT MOLYNEUX.
At a function held under the auspices of the Loyal Alexandra Lodge, M.U.I.O.O.F. Port Molyneux; to welcome home soldier brethren. Per. Sec. Brother Wylie, on behalf of the lodge brethren, unveiled a beautifully executed plaster tablet erected as a roll of Honour for the lodge's soldier brethren. Bro. Wylie, in unveiling the tablet, said that it afforded him very great pleasure to extend a hearty welcome to their soldier brethren. They knew how those brethren had upheld the honour of the Dominion, and in doing so they carried out the principles of their "order''— Friendship, Love, and Truth. It was a source of pride to realise the part played by the Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows during the war. Out of a total of 250,000 members, more than 230,000 had been in the firing line — brethren from every corner of the Empire — and of that number 15,000 had made the supreme sacrifice. In the Otago district itself, 1231 members had joined the Expeditionary Forces, and 173 had given their lives for their country's cause. In their own lodge 37 members had joined the rants, and four had sacrificed their lives. To the sorrowing relatives he extended, on behalf of the members of the lodge, their fraternal sympathy. To those brethren who had returned he extended the best wishes of their brethren and trusted they might be spared to live long lives of peace, health, and prosperity. The roll of honour would be placed in the lodgeroom to keep in remembrance all those brethren who had done so much for King and country. To those soldier brethren present, he said that, in years to come, when the present members had died the roll of honour would be a reminder to future generations of the brethren, of the part they had taken in the cause of freedom and justice, and it would be treasured as something for the lodge to be proud of. All present rose and stood in silence while Bro. C. Jackman sounded the Last Post.  -Otago Daily Times, 14/10/1919.

The annual New Year's sports of 1920 had a singular feature, which would have lingered in local memories for many years later.

SHOWMAN'S OUTFIT WRECKED
EXCITEMENT AT SPORTS.

A travelling showman plied a very profitable trade at the Port Molyneux sports gathering on New Year's Day until his methods were objected to by a hitherto guileless public, and then his troubles commenced, says the Otago Daily Times. His stock-in-trade consisted of various articles useful and otherwise — and should the competitor succeed in "ringing" any of them they became his property. In order to induce competition a few coins, 10s and £1 notes were placed among the articles. One of the patrons succeeded in ringing a 10s note, which the showman refused to hand over. The sequel quickly followed, the whole outfit being smashed and scattered broadcast. That was the end of this portion of the day's entertainment, the showman beating a hasty and strategic retreat.  -NZ Herald, 13/1/1920.

PORT MOLYNEUX CALEDONIAN SOCIETY.
ANNUAL REUNION DINNER. The annual reunion dinner and smoke concert of the Port Molyineux Caledonian Society was held in the Port Molyneux Hall on Friday evening. The function, which was presided over by Mr Jas. Cunningham (president of the society), compared very favourably with previous reunions. In spite of the inclemency of the weather the gathering was a very representative one. Of the total number of 59 who sat down to the dinner, 26 were members of outside societies, a number of cars coming from Owaka and Kaitangata. The Balclutha Pipe Band was also in attendance and rendered several selections during the evening. The catering was in the capable hands of' Mr H. Kirby, and a very appetising repast was provided.
After the toast of "The King" had, been duly honoured, Mr A. North proposed: "The Army, Navy and Air Forces,'' and in doing so referred to the great debt the British Empire owed to her mighty strength in these units of Defence.
Mr Jas. Robertson, in responding, said that while we acclaimed the glorious deeds of the New Zealanders, we must not forget the noble work of the British "Tommy" and the British "Jack Tar" in protecting our shores and keeping our commerce intact. He hoped the day would not be long before they had an air service from Port Molyneux to Balclutha.
The toast of  "Visiting Clubs'' was proposed by Mr Jas. Campbell, who referred to the benefit to be derived from the meeting together of members of the different clubs. Sports clubs had become a little slack during the war, but were now picking up again. The responses were made by Mr J. T. Ramsay (Kaitangata) and Mr T. Maginness (Owaka), both of whom indicated the indebtedness of their clubs to the Port Molyneux Society.
Mr. Maginess, who proposed the toast of  "The Port Molyneux Caledonian Society," said it was one of the oldest in New Zealand. The first meeting had been held in 1864. He did not know whether Mr Wylie was secretary then, but if so he had retained his age and his energy well. People came hundreds of miles to the Port Molyneux sports on New Year's Day, a fact which spoke very well for the society. It had not only lived for itself, but had always given a helping hand to neighbouring societies. He thought that it was the only society which had conducted sports meetings throughout the war for patriotic purposes. He hoped they would continue to progress to 1964.
Mr A. M. Wylie, secretary of the Society, in reply, said that the first meeting was held opposite, the old Alexandra Hotel, only a few yards from the hall. In those days vessels came in to wharf at the jetty close by. Port Molyneux was a place of importance then, and he considered it possible that if the proposed harbour scheme was proceeded with people who paid as high as £75 for quarter acre sections might get their money back. The Port Molyneux Society was probably the oldest in the Dominion. He did not think any of the original members were still living. The society was steadily progressing. They endeavoured to conduct a good sports meeting, and he contended that the only way for clubs to progress was for members to patronise the sister clubs and secure new and wider views. He had had 15 years in the society, and although his heart was in the work he would be pleased to give up the position to a younger man, and give him assistance.—Voices: No danger, Andrew. He realised that a man could hold on to his position too long. Some of their members had been real "live wires." Every member ought to do his best to boost the club. They had spent a lot of money in improving the ground, contending that a good ground was necessary for good sports, and they endeavoured to make their programme as varied as possible. (Applause.) 
Mr John Ramsay proposed the toast of "Parliament," replies being made by Messrs J. Oliver and Geo. Ottaway. 
The toast of "Kindred Sports" was proposed by Mr A. K, Campbell, who, in a well-chosen speech, referred to the .British Army as having learned its discipline on the sports fields throughout the Empire. Though the British Army was the most undisciplined at first, it was the most amenable to discipline. Sport should be given every encouragement. The Balclutha Pipe Band were genuine sports, being ever ready to give assistance by their presence.
Mr Parker, replying on behalf of cricket, contended that sport was necessary in the interests of good citizenship. He made a strong appeal for the popularising of cricket in South Otago during the coming season. The love of it should be engendered in the boys at school. There was no other game that taught them to take reverses as easily as successes. He hoped to see a cricket competition amongst the various centres round about on the same lines as the football competition. Messrs Hayward (cricket), J. Ramsay (bowling) and J. Oliver (soccer) also replied, the latter stating that a cricket shield was once competed for between Waiwera, Warepa, Kaitawgata, Balclutha and Owaka. He considered that a new shield could easily be secured. Mr A. K. Campbell thought the last shield was made at Owaka out of knotted wood.
Mr J. T. Ramsay proposed the ''N. Z. A. and C. U." It was. mow some 14 years since the Otago centre was formed. In those days there was a lot of "ringing in" done. The delegates of the Otago Caledonian Society were against it, and still are. It was the country clubs who wanted protection. Messrs Jas. Cunningham and A. M. Wylie replied, the latter referring to the justification of the centre and the losses resulting to athletics through deaths. There were now some 27 affiliated clubs, as against five last year. He advocated a competition amongst schools of the district.

Other toasts proposed were ''Agricultural and Pastoral Pursuits" (Mr W. Richardson, responded to by Messrs A. North and. W. H. Craigie), "Local Bodies" (Mr W. Spence, responded to by Councillors North and Maginness and Mr John Ramsay), "Pipe Band'" (proposed by Mr W. Carrick and responded to by Messrs J. Gold, F. Johnston, Ramsay and Morrison), "The Press" (Mr W. K. Hayward and replied to by Messrs A. E. Russell and R. Culbert}, and "The chairman" (Mr John Oliver). 
During the evening a variety of talent contributed an excellent programme of items, songs being given by Messrs F. Reid,. J. Bates, Geo. Ottaway (encored), A. M. Wylie, Alf. Bates and J. Oliver; recitations by Messrs J. Robertson, F. Johnston and C. Mason; and bagpipe selections by Pipers E. Gold and W. Smith. Mr Geo. Ottaway's contribution of a song was both well sung and heartily received, an encore being demanded. A most successful and hearty Caledonian gathering concluded about midnight with the singing of  "Auld Lang Syne.''  -Clutha Leader, 6/7/1920.
Corner of the Dining Room

Through the 1920s the Port sank back into what could be called its "lethargy."  The crops were grown, the tourists came for summer holidays beside the beach, the Caledonian Sports days were held, the Oddfellows met and raised money for good causes.  The ranks of the first settlers were thinned by time and age.  Electric light was installed in the Hall in 1927.  An occasional newspaper story recalled the Port's zenith of national fame, the wedding of "Percy Redwood" and Agnes Ottaway.  The Great Depression seems to have left little mark on the community but the 74th Caledonian Sports day of 1937 was cancelled due to an epidemic of "infantile paralysis" or polio.

MOLYNEUX BAY.
SOME INTERESTING ASSOCIATIONS. 
Written for the Otago Daily Times. By D. G. B. The 10-mile sweep of ocean from Coal Point to the. Nuggets, known as Molyneux Bay, is surely one of the most interesting stretches of coast line in Otago. There is around this, indented bay a marvellous fund of varied associations and of natural beauty. Here are to be found vestiges of old Maori villages; here is the scene of a romantic incident; here, too, is a place which once promised to rival Dunedin as the chief port of Otago, hut where there is now only an old country stove and a few scattered farmhouses. 
Suppose we take a trip through this region! As the car approaches Kaka Point from Balclutha, after passing the Puerua Locks bridge and the Baratta Creek bridge—a nasty corner for unwary motorists —we stop at a store, the centre of old Port Molyneux. The galvanised iron structure near by, which is now the scene of the social gatherings of the district, was once a jetty shed, and at the rear of the building is the row of piles where the wharf itself was Here, 50 years ago, before the disastrous flood of 1878, came quite an array of shipping, and here, one may be told, a ship’s captain once dropped his gold watch overboard into 40 feet of water. One can picture the place as it was when Captain Cook saw it in 1770 and gave the place its name. One can picture the little town springing up nearly a century later, with its church, its stores, and its hotels. But now, indeed, it is a place from which the glory hath departed. The harbour is a stretch of mud flat threaded by brackish channels, the haunt of wild fowl and fish. 
We go on again, and, after we pass a red brick house, if the tide is low, a jutting stick will be pointed out in the channel. This is supposed to be the beam of some ship that came to grief here in the days that are past. Whether this is so, or whether the “mast” is but an old tree stump, is open to some doubt. As the car climbs a slight incline just before the road sweeps round a bend and down along a bay, there is a blind road up the right-hand side. Let us leave the car here while we go for a walk, first noting the house that stands alongside the road. A weather-beaten old place it is, and, to the casual eye, just-another “beach crib.” This house is known to the old residents as the “Pilot Station.” The site of the house was well chosen for its purpose, for a splendid seaward view is obtained from here. 

Now we go back along the road and down on to the sandhills. Here is the site of an old Maori cemetery, the pa itself was further back along the road and was, roughly, somewhere about the site of the brick house mentioned before. There are ample traces here to show that the Natives frequented this neighbourhood for many years, for, in the gravel pit, there can be seen, three feet below the surface, layers of embers and burnt bones and others. The stones, too, are mostly rounded, and bear traces of many fires. Here I have myself picked up fragments of green-stone chippings, apparently, from the laborious process of fashioning axes and other implements, bone needles and other articles have also been found here. One interesting feature is the prevalence of oyster shells among the heaps of shells which are so rotted with age that they can be crushed to a fine chalk between the fingers.  Where did all these oysters come from? Were they all brought right from Stewart Island or thereabouts, or were there extensive oysterbeds nearer at hand which have now been lost sight of, or have disappeared? Here, too, in 1823, according to an early visitor named Meurant, the flesh of the moa was seen and a bone “which reached four inches above his hip from the ground, and as thick as his knee at the end, with flesh and sinews attached. The flesh looked like bull beef.” 

Setting out on the two-mile walk to the mouth of the river, we first cross an open stretch that is clean swept from the water’s edge back to the swamp. Out here was the old river mouth which became choked with the debris of the 1878 flood and the waters burst through in another place, completely ruining the harbour. On the left is a sand bank of peculiar formation. It rises steeply and regularly into a bank about 10 feet high and runs, curving with its points to the sea, almost a mile in length. It is of a uniform breadth and is flat like a plateau on top. This bank is, in all probability, the old river bar which the changes have laid bare. 

At last we come to the mouth of the river where, after joining with the Puerua, the waters of the Clutha rush through a comparatively narrow channel out to the sea, and here on the calmest of days there is a visible warring of the currents which in times of flood and storm becomes almost awe inspiring as an exhibition of mighty power. Here the Clutha River pours out the bulk of its volume of 1,600,000 cubic feet of water every minute. As we hasten back to the car we go a little out of our way to a reef of rocks that runs out from the point where we started from. On the most distant rock another good ship perished, and it was somewhere in this vicinity that the Port Australia struck while en route to Melbourne in 1867. 

On we go, and just at the foot of the hill a small creek runs, and round the section where the church stands there is the trace, plainly visible, of a track which was once much used, and at the end of the track there are several small excavations. Here was the scene of one of the many gold “scares” in the old days. The first strikes here were so rich in comparison with what was found later on that there has been a suspicion that the ground was “salted.” A more probable theory is that the “pay dirt” had been brought down by the Clutha River and cast up by the currents at this point. “Black Peter,” who first discovered gold in the Tuapeka district, also worked here and, like others, obtained a few grains from many washings. 

In the seaside resort of Kaka Point there is nothing to interest us, although it is prettily situated and has, besides the fine bathing beaches, the added attraction of fine native hush on its outskirts. On the road to Karoro Creek, or Karroro River, as the old survey maps have it, halfway along Willsher Bay we see, well out, a big rock jutting up. This is Makariri’s Rock. Tradition has it that Makariri, or Makareta, who was of course, a “Maori princess,” was subject to fits of sulking and used to swim out to the rock and sit pitying herself to her heart’s content. This Makariri is quite a popular figure, for she reappears in a most romantic little story, and this time in the role of a Pocahontas. 

About 1840 the first settlers arrived in this district. They were seven in number, and settled near the Maori village at Karoro. Difficulties greater than they imagined arose, and all left with the exception of two, Willsher, after whom the bay has been named, and Russell. The exact details of the affair seem to be unknown, but there was some disturbance, and but for the intervention of Makariri the two white men would in all probability have furnished the chief dish at a cannibal feast. Willsher showed his gratitude to his dusky rescuer and married her after the Native custom. Presumably they lived happily ever after, but there is another version of the legend of the which says that the “princess” used to flee there from her husband’s ill-treatment. The records of early settlers do not give this latter tale much support, for there is evidence that visitors were received by Willsher and his wife with many kindnesses. 

The Maori village of the tale was called Maramiku, but, to my knowledge, there remains no trace of it. It was probably on the hill where Mr Poole lived for many years, tending the gardens which had considerably mote than a local fame. 

From this stage of our journey the attractions are almost wholly scenic. There are several rocky points, and then, close to the water’s edge, just below the boarding house in Campbell’s Bay, at low tide can be pointed out the ironwork of still another of the wrecked ships that in the early days strewed the coast from the Catlins to the Taieri. 

The next point of interest is in the fishing camp at Nugget Bay. In olden days the little cove was used by the Maoris as a favourite canoe landing place. There is a tradition that a considerable tribal battle was fought in the neighbourhood, and the number of curios that have been found hereabouts lends some colour to the story. Kaimataitai, which means ”the place where shellfish were eaten,” is the name which has been given to this place, although the spot which really bore that name is nearer Pounawea. The title is not inappropriate, however, when one recalls the quantities of pawa, or paua, shells which can he obtained near by in Roaring Ray. Here traces of moa as have been found, some of the old residents possessing small articles manufactured from bone.
Of our trip there now remains only the walk through the native reserve up to the Nugget lighthouse. Here no legend lends a grace to the bold scenery, even the Maori name of the point seems to have been lost sight of, which is a pity, for surely the name would have had some appropriate significance. This place is too well known for me to need to dwell on it. The sheer cliffs, the pretty picture of Roaring Bay, the magnificent view of Kaka Point, and of the Clutha district away back to the mountains, and of the coastline running, point after point, till it merges into the haze of sea and sky on the horizon; these form a climax to the short trip that is indeed arresting. 

Such is the varied interest and natural beauty which can be found in one small stretch of our coastline and Molyneux Bay cannot be said to be exceptional. Consider these names; Measley Beach, Cannibal Bay, Murderer’s Beach, and think of the history of Waikouaiti, Taieri Beach, and Tautuku with all their associations with the old Maoris and the picturesque whalers. He who would seek romance, let him not ponder on the distant places; at his hand is all he needs, and that in bewildering profusion. We have need here of a Longfellow and of a Fenimore Cooper.  -ODT 15/10/1930.




New Zealand's centennial year of 1940 was marked by the unveiling of a plaque and a dance - not at the Port's hall but the newer one at Kaka Point.  References to the Port's heyday were made in local newspapers.
The Second World War took men from Port Molyneux.  Cheesemaker Gordon Parks was called up for foreign service in 1941 but his fate was to die of electrocution instead of in war.  David Tilson was also called up in 1941, to die and be buried in Italy in December, 1943.

YOUNG MAN ELECTROCUTED
UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES 
Gordon Anderson Parks, aged 20 years, employed as a cheesemaker at the Paretai dairy factory, was  electrocuted under unusual conditions about 12.30 on Sunday morning, reports our Balclutha correspondent. A car driven by J. D. Aitkenhead went off the road at Port Molyneux and struck a power line pole, breaking the pole about 12ft from the ground. The driver of the car and two women and a man then got out of the car. Deceased was following in another car and left his car to see if there was anyone else in the damaged vehicle, and on touching this was electrocuted by a live wire lying across the car. An inquest was opened yesterday evening before Mr W. Roy, and after evidence of had been taken was adjourned sine die.  -Evening Star, 31/1/1944.

BEREAVEMENT NOTICES
TILSON—Mr and Mrs D. Tilson, Port Molyneux, and family wish to express their sincere thanks to their many kind friends and relations, for letters, cards, telegrams, and personal expressions of sympathy received in the loss of their dearly loved son and brother, Private David Harold (Punch) Tilson, killed in action, Italy, December 15, 1943. Please accept this as a personal acknowledgement.  -Otago Daily Times, 27/1/1944.

FOR THE EMPIRE'S CAUSE
In Memoriam
TILSON.—In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Pte. David Harold, 300855, killed in action, Italy, December 15. 1943. 
Duty called him, and he was there, To do his bit and take his share; 
His heart was good, his spirit brave; Now he is resting in a hero’s grave. 
In the bloom of his life death claimed him, In the pride of his manhood days; 
None knew him but to love him; None mentioned his name but with praise. 
Always we shall remember. He gave his life for those he loved. —Inserted by his loving mother and father, sister and nephew, Lily and Alan Aitkenhead, Port Molyneux.

TILSON—In proud and loving memory of our dear brother and uncle, 300855 Private David Harold Tilson, killed in action, Italy, December 15, 1943. 
Not just to-day, but every day. In silence we remember. 
—Inserted by Lennie, Nessie, Jean, and Eunice. 

TILSON.—In loving memory of 300855 Private David Tilson, 23rd Battalion, killed in action, Italy, December 15, 1943. 
In the bloom of his life death claimed him, In the pride of his manhood days. 
None knew him but to love him; None mentioned his name but with praise. 
—Inserted by his loving sister Eileen.   -Otago Daily Times, 15/12/1944.
Portrait - This image may be subject to copyright

An earlier death in action was Ronald Prentice.  He was in the 23rd Battalion, as was David Tilson.  He was killed on the first day of the El Alamein offensive but his death was not confirmed until after the war.  His name is on the memorial stone at El Alamein cemetery which indicate that it is likely his body was not identified.

PARETAI
Welcome Home.—There was a very large attendance at the welcome home social held in the Port Molyneux Hall to Private D. Shaw, who returned from the Middle East with the last replacement draft. Mr C. M. Murdoch, who presided, presented the guest with the usual monetary gift. Private Shaw suitably replied. During the evening items were given by Miss Ruth Blomfield and Mr Ben Gold (vocal solos), and Misses Betty Thomson and Grace Munro (step dances). For the dancing, Miss V. Rush provided music and Mr Alan Marshall was M.C.  -Otago Daily Times, 16/5/1945.

"Papers Past," on which I base my research, ends for copyright reasons in 1950 and so does my story of Port Molyneux.  Appropriately, their last reference to "Port Molyneux" is this, from the Otago Daily Times on December 29, 1950:

KEEP NEW YEAR'S 
(MONDAY JANUARY 1) 
DAY FREE FOR THE PORT MOLYNEUX CALEDONIAN SOCIETY’S 87th ANNUAL SPORTS. 
Enjoy a splendid Day’s Sports in the Beautiful Picnic Setting of the Wilsher Bay Domain, Kaka Point. 
EXCELLENT ENTRIES. 
Including several Otago and Southland Champions. 
AMATEUR FIELD AND TRACK EVENTS 
PIPING AND DANCING, SIDE SHOWS 
Refreshments and Hot Water available on the ground. 
A SPLENDID DAY’S OUTING FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.