Monday, 28 February 2022

George Andrew Randle Blacke, 1868-27/11/1888

A serious gun accident occurred at Whare Flat, near Dunedin, on Saturday afternoon to a young man named George Blacke — brother of Miss Blacke, recently of Balclutha — who was out shootiug with another young man, Charles Irvine, son of General Irvine. At the time of the accident Blacke was kneeling down to shoot a rabbit, while his companion, some few yards away, was aiming over his head. At the moment the latter fired Black unhappily stood up suddenly and received the charge in the back of his head. What could be done on the spot was done, and intelligence was at once conveyed to the police in Dunedin. The news reached town at about 9 p.m., and the services of Dr de Zouche were obtained, who drove out promptly, accompanied by Constable Duggan. The doctor dressed the wound, and Blacke was then taken into town with all care in a dray lent by a settler. The journey had to be slowly accomplished, and it was after 5 o'clock on Sunday morning when the sufferer reached the hospital. The medical examination showed that he had suffered a compound fracture of the vertex of the skull, and an operation was found necessary, which was later in the day performed by Drs G. Macdonald and Hocken. They removed a number of pieces of bone, and found that the brain tissue was lacerated. It was not expected he could recover, but he still survives, and there is an old saying that while there is life there is hope.  -Clutha Leader, 16/11/1888.


DEATHS.

Blacke. — On the 27th November, at Dunedin, George Andrew Randall, younger son of David Eatler and Annie Blacke; aged 20.   -Clutha Leader, 30/11/1888.


DUNEDIN, Nov. 27.

George Blacke, the young man who was injured on Nov. 10 by receiving in the back of his head the charge from the gun of Irvine, his companion, while out rabbit shooting, died to-night.  -Lyttelton Times, 28/11/1888.


INQUEST.

An inquest was held yesterday morning at the hospital before Mr E. H. Carew, coroner, and a jury of six, touching the death of George Andrew Randall Blacke. Inspector Weldon watched the proceedings on behalf of the

James U. Blacke, a bank clerk residing at Heriot row, identified the body shown to the jury as that of his brother. He was a native of Belfast, Ireland; had been 13 years in the colony, and was a law clerk by occupation. Witness knew Charles Irvine, who was a great friend and constant companion of the deceased. They went out shooting together on the 9th inst., and witness subsequently saw them at Flagstaff at a distance. Both were accustomed to the use of firearms. They had intended to stay out shooting a couple of days. Witness next saw his brother in the hospital on Sunday, the 11th inst. He was then suffering from a wound. He never became sufficiently conscious to give an account of how the accident happened. Mr Irvine had frequently been in the hospital to see the deceased since the accident happened. Deceased was able to distinguish people, and had shown no displeasure at Mr Irvine's presence.

Charles Irvine, residing with his father in York place, Dunedin, stated that he had been a constant companion of the deceased for some time, and that they had been out shooting together six or eight times. They went out in company on Friday, the 9th of November, and intended to stay out a couple of days. They went to Flagstaff and down to Whare Flat. Each had a gun. Witness had a double-barrelled gun, and Blacke a single. They had a tent with them, and pitched it on Friday. On the following day they went out, and returned to the tent along the Silverstream water race. Rounding a bend in the race witness saw a rabbit on the bank, and stooped to fire. Blacke stooped and fired first, and witness firing over him immediately afterwards, saw that he had hit Blacke, who was then standing up. He fell immediately. Had he been on the line of witness' sight witness must have seen, but did not do so. When he fell witness went up to him and saw that he was hit on the crown of the head. He was unconscious. Witness got some water and gave him a drink, and then went to the nearest farmhouse, some four miles distant. Here he saw a man (whose name he did not know) at the door and told him what had happened, and asked for assistance. He said he could not come as he could not leave the farmhouse, and directed witness to another place about three-quarters of a mile distant. He went there and saw a man on horseback, and informed him of what had happened. He rode round with witness to a house that he (witness) had not seen to get assistance. Some five or six men tendered their assistance, and witness directed them where to go, he following. On witness' return to the scene of the accident he had been away about two hours. It was about 7 o'clock then, and quite light. The men were starting to bring down Blacke, who was still unconscious. He was brought down to the Whare Flat schoolhouse — a distance of four or five miles — reaching there at 9 or 10 o'clock. A doctor was sent for, and Dr De Zouche arrived about midnight and advised his removal to the hospital, which was done. Witness was of opinion that while he was firing Blacke raised himself from a stooping position. 

William D. Harold, caretaker of No. 3 section of the Silverstream water race, deposed that on the evening of the 10th inst. he went out for the purpose of shooting a pair of rabbits to send into town, when he met Duncan McMillan, who asked him where was the man that had been shot. McMillan replied that there had been such an accident at the bridge, which was close by. Irvine now came towards witness and said that he had shot his mate, who was lying some distance up the water race. Witness, with Duncan McMillan, then started up the water race, and left Irvine with young McMillan to follow with a pair of blankets. This would be about half-past 6. About 7 o'clock he found Blacke at that part of the race known as South Coal creek. Blacke looked very wild. Witness said to him "What's up?" He replied, "Nothing, old man." Witness asked him if he would have a drink of water, and he said "Yes, please." After taking the water he became sick. Witness said that he would be all right in a minute or two, and Blacke replied "Thank the Lord, you found me. What's the matter; am I shot?" Holland then came up and held Blacke while witness made the stretcher. McInnes, to whom Mr Irvine had gone at the farmhouse in the first instance, had in the meantime come up and helped witness to make the stretcher. Mrs McInnes was a cripple, and as there was no one with her in the house at the time he did not like to leave her. As soon as Duncan McMillan came up, witness sent him into town with an express for a policeman and a doctor. Mr Irvine seemed too greatly distressed to give an account of the accident. 

Constable Duggan, stationed at Dunedin, stated that in company with Dr De Zouche he went out to Whare Flat on Saturday night. They arrived at the schoolhouse about 12 o'clock. The doctor recommended Blacke's removal to the hospital. On the way into town Blacke, who was conscious and appeared to know what was wrong with him, said it was accidental. He then shut his eyes and witness noticing that he was getting weaker did not further question him. Witness had previously spoken to Mr Irvine at the Whare Flat schoolhouse. He seemed to be greatly troubled and distressed. He said that he was in company with Mr Blacke when a rabbit sprang up, and they both aimed at it; that Blacke stood at the time, and on his (Irvine's) firing Black received the shot in his head. While giving this information Irvine several times said,"Oh, do you think he will die?" 

Dr Fleming, resident surgeon at the Dunedin Hospital, was present when Mr Blacke was received into the institution on Sunday, the 11th inst., about 6 a.m. Witness immediately examined him and found found him to be suffering from depressed fracture of the skull and injury to the brain. He was unconscious, and remained so till Tuesday last, when he died about 9.30 p.m. There were marks of shot on the skull. He saw no shot, but most of them had apparently glanced off. He had no doubt that the injuries were the result of a gunshot wound — probably, on account of the great laceration, not fired from far away. 

The Coroner said that there seemed to be no discrepancy between the statement made by Mr Irvine to Constable Duggan and that made by him to-day. There could be no doubt that death was the result of an unfortunate accident. Probably at the moment that Irvine fired deceased raised himself and received the shot into his head. A verdict of "Accidentally killed" was returned, the Foreman expressing the opinion that from the moment of the accident everyone seemed to have acted creditably.  -Otago Daily Times, 30/11/1888.


Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.


Robert Jeffrey, 1846-28/2/1888.

CASUALTIES.

A shocking accident, which had a fatal termination, happened on Saturday afternoon to a man named Robert Jeffrey, who was employed as a surfaceman on the Dunedin railways. It appears that as the 2.5 p.m. train from town for the racecourse was passing through the goods sheds yard, Jeffrey got on the line and was knocked down by the engine, which severed both his legs from his body. He was conveyed to the hospital, where, although he received every attention from Dr Hocken, he died about 20 minutes to 5 o'clock in the afternoon. He, however, was able to state that he saw the engine coming along, but inadvertently stepped on to the line which it would have to pass over to reach the Ocean Beach line. As will have been noticed by those who have passed over the line, the Ocean Beach train gradually works across at the various points from the line nearest Crawford street until it reaches that nearest the bay, and Jeffrey momentarily forgetting this got on the wrong line. He realised his danger almost as soon as he did so, but he appears to have hesitated a second and then apparently slipped in his haste, so that the engine was upon him and the wheels passed over him. The deceased leaves a wife and a large family, who reside at the Kaikorai Valley. Great sympathy is felt for them in their bereavement, and several persons have already forwarded subscriptions unsolicited to Mr Ashcroft, stationmaster, on their account, and he will be also happy to receive any further assistance. The Pinafore Company of amateurs who have been playing "Les Cloches de Corneville," assisted by other local talent, will give a performance in aid of the bereaved family, for which Mr Sibbald has promised the gratuitous use of the theatre. At the inquest, at which a verdict of " Accidentally killed" was returned Dr Hocken deposed that he was telephoned for about half-past 2 on Saturday afternoon to go to the hospital. He went immediately, and arrived a minute or two after the deceased's admission. He found him suffering from shock. The left leg was cut quite off by the knee, and the thigh above was terribly crushed. The right leg was also severed, with the exception of a little bit of skin, just about the lower part of the thigh. The deceased was pulseless, and a cold perspiration upon him. Seeing that an operation could not be performed then, he directed hot bottles to be put to him, and brandy freely administered, as well as milk and beef tea. Witness then left, and returned in about three hours to see if he had rallied at all, but found that he had died a few minutes before. When witness saw the deceased on going to the hospital the first time he asked him how the accident happened. Deceased said it was entirely his own fault; that he had seen the train coming, but thinking it was going on to another line, he got on to the one where he was knocked down. It was a mistake; it was a miscalculation. The cause of death was shock induced by the terrible injuries deceased had received.   -Otago Witness, 2/3/1888.


THE JEFFREY BENEFIT.

'Les Cloches' was reproduced last night, the performance being in aid of the fund for the relief of the family of the late Robert Jeffrey, who was accidentally killed on the railway line last Saturday. The public responded to the appeal by packing the house in all parts. The performance was one of the best the company have yet given us, for the singers were in good voice, the orchestra gave a splendid rendering of interludes and the accompanying music, and the stage arrangements did not suffer by the revival. Had encores been permitted the show would not have been over before midnight. Before the last act, the Mayor appeared at the footlights, and, on behalf of the suddenly bereaved widow and children, thanked the company, the orchestra, and all who had assisted in the performance. He did not think there could be anything more sad than to see a man cut off in the full vigor of his manhood at a moment's notice, and he had felt sure the citizens of Dunedin would be happy to come forward and give aid in such a cause. He was glad to state that L135 had been taken in the theatre that night — (applause)— and as the expenses were very light, he believed they would be able to hand over Ll30 as the net proceeds. — (Renewed applause.) He should like to ask similar assistance from the public on the succeeding night, when a performance would be given for the family of John McCutcheon, who was drowned while nobly endeavoring to save the life of a fellow-creature. If all those present could not come themselves, they could, he urged, get their friends to come, so that there might be an equally good house. A presentation would be made on the occasion to Mr Cannon, who had also heroically gone to the assistance of the young lady who was drowning, and with better fortune. — (Applause.) The committee are also desirous of thanking the performers and orchestra who took part in last evening's entertainment.  -Evening Star, 3/3/1888.


Northern Cemetery, Dunedin.


John Keith, 1898-16/7/1927.

 

Deaths

KEITH — On July 16, 1927, at, Dunedin Hospital, John, dearly beloved eldest son of Mary and John Keith, of Latheron, Caithness, Scotland; aged 29 years. Deeply mourned. Interred this day at the Anderson’s Bay Cemetery. — W. H. Cole, undertaker.


The late Mr John Keith, who was buried yesterday at the Anderson’s Bay Cemetery, was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs John Keith, of Caithness, Scotland. The late Mr Keith had to his credit a long war record, and had been in New Zealand for the last six years. As a tribute to his memory the local Pipe Band, of which Mr Keith had been a member, headed the procession to the cemetery. Suitable music was played as the cortege passed through the streets, and when the casket was conveyed to the graveside.  -Evening Star, 19/7/1927.


The death occurred in Dunedin recently of Mr John Keith, a gentleman well known in these parts, Locally he was more familiarly known as "Scotty." He came from Scotland after several years war service, and was employed on various jobs in the district. He was a fine type of man, and with a happy and genial disposition, and a cheery word for all, was soon a general favorite with all who knew him. He was a piper of more than ordinary ability, and his services were given freely and in the right spirit. It was hard to imagine that such a fine type of young man should have such a sad and sudden call, as it is only a brief period since he contracted the illness which caused his death in Dunedin. As a leading member of the Dunedin Pipe Band, he was accorded a pipers' funeral. News of his death was received witb feelings of deep regret in a district wherein he was so well known.  -Cromwell Argus, 1/8/1927.


Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.


Sunday, 27 February 2022

Alexander Michael McLeod, 1910-7/6/1931.


HOLIDAY ACCIDENTS

CRASH INTO POLE

MOTORIST FRACTURES SKULL

(By Telegraph. — Press Association.) DUNEDIN, this day. Mr. Alexander McLeod, a single man, aged 21, was admitted to hospital on Wednesday night with a fractured skull, and injuries to an arm and a hand. He was picked up on the main north road, where he collided with a telegraph pole while riding a motor cycle. He is in a dangerous condition.  -Auckland Star, 26/12/1930.


FATAL SEQUEL

TO AN ACCIDENT MOTOR CYCLIST’S DEATH 

(Per Press Association). Dunedin, June 8. The death occurred in hospital of Alexander McLeod, a single man, 21, as the result of injuries received in a motor cycle accident. The deceased was found on the road on Christmas Day, with a fractured skull, apparently having collided with a post. He was discharged from hospital on January 21, and readmitted on May 22 for head trouble, being operated on shortly after.  -Fielding Star, 9/6/1931.


Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.



Gerald Davidson MacGregor, 1902-25/6/1934.

DEATHS

MACGREGOR. — On June 25, 1934, at Dunedin (result of an accident), Gerald Davidson (Bob), beloved husband of Rita Macgregor, Pine Hill; aged 31 years. — The Funeral will leave the residence of Mr Hastie, Pine Hill, on Tuesday, 26th inst., at 2.30 p.m., for the Anderson's Bay Cemetary. — Hugh Gourley Ltd., undertakers.  -Evening Star, 25/6/1934.


HUNT MEMBER’S DEATH

FATAL JUMPING INJURIES 

The injuries which Gerald Davidson M‘Gregor received when he was bumped off a horse jumping a hurdle at Tahuna Park on Saturday proved fatal, death occurring at the Dunedin Hospital at 1.45 a.m. to-day. 

Deceased was a married man, living at Pine Hill, where he was employed by Mr William Hastie, a farmer. On Saturday he was with the members of the Otago Hunt Club at Tahuna Park. He was riding a horse across a hurdle in company with another horse, which jumped crossways in frout of deceased’s mount. Deceased was bumped off. His foot caught in the stirrup. The horse stopped dead, and as McGregor was being released he rolled underneath the horse, which moved forward, apparently striking his head. Deceased was admitted to the Dunedin Hospital at 3.55 p.m., and did not regain consciousness, death being due to internal haemorrhage. An inquest was held at the hospital this afternoon before Mr H. AY, Bundle, S.M. (coroner).

William Hastie gave evidence of identification. Deceased, who was thirtyone years of age, was a very skilful horseman, and, being a member, always attended the runs of the Hunt Club. On Saturday the ground was too wet for a run, and a meet was held at Tahuna Park, where some jumping took place. Deceased was riding witness’s horse, Rainbow. He knew the horse well, having ridden him often before. He was jumping with another rider (Thomas White) over a hurdle, when White’s horse jumped in front of Rainbow. As deceased fell off, his leg was was caught in a stirrup iron. Mr Binnie, who was looking on, rushed up and released MacGregor’s leg. Deceased fell underneath his horse, which walked over him, apparently striking him on the head with its hoof. Dr Fulton arrived within ten minutes and ordered deceased’s removal to the hospital. The occurrence was a pure accident. 

Thomas Arthur White, an apprentice baker, said he was riding his father’s horse Blackthorn. They were jumping a hurdle the second time when the accident occurred. His horse was half a length in front at the take-off, and he seemed to jump in front of Rainbow. He did his best to straighten the horse, but Rainbow was bumped and MacGregor was bumped off. Blackthorn was a quiet horse. 

Dr Murray Alexander Falconer, a house surgeon at the hospital, said deceased was admitted at 5 p.m. on Saturday. He was attended to by Dr Highet. He was unconscious, suffering from cerebral compression. His condition became worse after an hour, and an operation was carried out by Dr Newlands and witness. The operation disclosed that deceased was bleeding from one of the largest veins inside his skull, and that was controlled before his return to the ward. He gradually sank, and died at 1.50 a.m. The cause of death was intercranial haemorrhage and oedema of the brain. 

A verdict of accidental death was returned.   -Evening Star, 25/6/1934.


Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.




405849 Leading Aircraftman Albert "Bill" Maher, 1919-21/6/1941.

 

DUNEDIN AIRMAN KILLED

CRASH IN TRAINING FLIGHT 

(P.A.) CHRISTCHURCH., June 21. Leading Aircraftman Albert Maher, aged 23, of Dunedin, was killed instantly when an Airspeed Oxford bomber that he was piloting crashed at Halswell at 10.40 this morning. Maher, who was the sole occupant of the machine, had just taken off on a cross-country flight. No witnesses have yet been lound of the accident, which happened barely half a mile from Wigram. The machine was wrecked, but did not catch fire. Maher was undergoing a normal training course. His father is Mr Michael Maher, who resides at 34 Frame street. North-east Valley, Dunedin.  -Evening Star, 21/6/1941.


FATAL CRASH

DUNEDIN AIRMAN'S DEATH 

EVIDENCE AT INQUEST

The death of Albert Maher, an airman pilot, who was killed instantly when an aeroplane he was piloting crashed at Halswell about 10.40 a.m. on June 21, was investigated at an inquest completed in Christchurch. The coroner, Mr E. C. Levvey, S.M. returned a verdict that Maher died of extensive injuries to the head and body, received when the aircraft he was piloting went out of control and crashed to the ground and was destroyed. 

Maher was a pupil pilot, aged 22 years, son of Mr Michael Maher, of 34 France street, North-East Valley, Dunedin. He had just taken off from Wigram in an Oxford Airspeed aeroplane on a cross-country flight when the machine crashed about three-quarters of a mile away in a paddock. 

Examination of Plane John Charles Parker, a fitter at Wigram, said that on the evening before the accident he made his daily examination of the aeroplane in which Maher flew. Everything was in perfect order, and he left the machine ready for flying the next morning. His check would cover the succeeding 24 hours, unless something was found to be wrong. He did not have anything to do with the machine on the morning of the accident. 

Vincent David Gain, a flying officer at Wigram, in evidence additional to that given at an earlier hearing, said that Maher's flight was authorised by the deputy flight commander. Maher had several hours of solo flying to his credit. This was his second crosscountry flight. On the morning of the accident witness had been up in the aeroplane himself with another pilot, and had done a dual circuit, after which the other pilot went on a crosscountry flight and was away about two hours. Witness found the machine in good order, and the other pilot did not report anything wrong with it on his return. Between the time the other pilot used the machine and the time Maher took off it was completely refuelled. Witness saw Maher take off and it appeared to be in good running order. He made a good take-off. 

Flight Rigger's Evidence Alexander Harry Dryland, a flight rigger at Wigram, said that before June 21 he had been carrying out a daily inspection of an Oxford aeroplane, and the last inspection he made of it was on the evening of June 20. On the evening of June 20 he took about half an hour, the usual time, to check it over. He had nothing to do with the machine on the morning of the crash. The coroner returned his verdict without comment. A departmental inquiry had already been held.  -Otago Daily Times, 21/8/1941.


Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.

Norman Kenneth Sligo, 1900-31/8/1942.

Norman Sligo was a river boat captain in Malaya when the Japanese invasion began.  He joined the Royal Naval Reserve and was then transferred to the Royal Australian Naval Reserve - presumably to give him official standing so he could take part in wartime operations.

Made a prisoner of war after the fall of Singapore, he found himself in a camp in Sandakan, on the northern coast of the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo. A large group of prisoners was taken there to be used as forced labour on airfield construction. Prisoners were permitted to grow vegetables for food outside the wire and Sligo, with his command of local languages, was given the job of collecting intelligence from local people.

Norman Sligo was one of the many prisoners who died of dysentery. 

Details of Norman Sligo's life were found in "Sandakan: A Conspiracy of Silence," by Lynette Ramsay Silver.


Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.


Friday, 25 February 2022

Robert Murrell, 1866-3/10/1945.

PROFESSOR MAINWARING BROWN MISSING.

The following particulars concerning the Lake Manapouri exploring expedition, from which Professor Mainwaring Brown is missing, were forwarded in an urgent telegram to the Otago Daily Times by Mr John White (of the firm of Smith, Chapman, Sinclair, and White) from Lumsden, on Friday night, 14th inst: — 

I have just returned from an exploring trip in the country between the south-west arm of Lake Manapouri and Smith Sound, on the West Coast. Major Goring, Professor Mainwaring Brown and self left the lake on the evening of Tuesday, the 4th inst. We camped at the foot of the low saddle leading to Deep Cove, Smith Sound, on Wednesday evening, 5th inst., intending to cross the next day. Thursday morning broke rainy, and it was decided not to leave camp. About noon the rain ceased slightly. Professor Brown left the tent, saying he was going for a stroll up the gorge. As he did not return for some time, and it again began to rain, we became alarmed and turned out and searched for him until evening, without success. We never saw him or heard of him again. 

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were terrible days — rain, hail and snow falling incessantly, and a high wind prevailing. The streams were in high flood in consequence. We made every possible effort to find him or some trace of him, but I regret to say we were entirely unsuccessful. We left the camp on Monday, the provisions being exhausted. At this time there was a foot of snow on the ground. We abandoned the tent, &c, and returned to the lake. A furious gale was blowing on Tuesday and we got down the lake with difficulty on Wednesday. The same terrible weather has prevailed ever since. 

There is a depot of provisions at Deep Cove. It is possible Professor Brown may have crossed the saddle, reached the depot at Deep Cove, but found himself unable to return. 

A search party of four, headed by Mr Ernest Mitchell and Mr Robert Murrell, junior, is now out. Major Goring remains at Manapouri until Monday. I return to-morrow. Both of us are well, but regret exceedingly tbe circumstance which abruptly terminated the expedition.

The Herald's correspondent, telegraphing from Clinton on Saturday, says: — "I cannot add anything to my telegram to the Times. Brown simply walked away from the camp, and though every effort was made to trace him, it was quite unsuccessful. I think it very improbable that he will be again seen alive. If the men now out do not find him, no others need try. Many in the district volunteered to search, but there is no means of reaching the head of the lake except by the boat now there with Mitchell and party." The Herald adds: — "Those who are best able to form an opinion on account of their knowledge of the country seem to be of opinion that there is very little hope indeed of our ever seeing Professor Brown again. Due search having presumably been made by his two friends as promptly and thoroughly as possible, the conclusion is almost inevitable that be must have met with some accident of a serious kind while taking his solitary stroll. The weather itself was enough to kill a strong man, if exposed to it without shelter, and a week has elapsed between the fatal Thursday when he left his companions and our latest news. It is said that Smith's Cove is wrongly placed on the map by some six miles, so that if Professor Brown made for the provision depot he would hardly be likely to find it." 

[By Telegraph.] Dunedin, December 19. Mitchell's party have returned after an unsuccessful search for Professor Brown. They never got over the saddle, as it is still deep in snow. The Daily Times search party met them half way up the Lake, and they decided to continue the search. The Stella left for Smith Sound with Mr White, Mr Begg, and Dr. Roberts, who will search from the deep cone side.  -Kumara Times, 20/12/1888.


LAKES TE ANAU AND MANAPOURI.  (excerpt)

Written by direction of the Commisioners for New Zealand Railways. By James Richardson.

Passing through a pretty bush glads, near the southern end of the lake, we found the original hut, where Mr George Dore made us welcome in the absence of the owner, Mr Robert Murrell, who is engaged in building a first-rate eight-roomed house for the accommodation of tourists. The site selected, on the terrace, commands a magnificent view of the whole of the lake and surrounding mountains. Mr Murrell has two boats for the use of visitors, and as host and guide will be found most pleasant and obliging, and thoroughly conversant with Manapouri and its countless points of beauty.  -Otago Daily Times, 15/10/1891.


Murrell's Accomodation House.  Hocken Library photo.


Mr T. Mackenzie, M.H.R., and a party of three left in the Tarawera with the intention of landing in Dusky Sound. As already stated, Mr Mackenzie will seek to trace the course of the Seaforth river from Loch Maree, having on a previous trip traced it from its source at Pillan's Pass to the loch in question. He will fix his central camp at Loch Maree. The Southland News states that Mr McKay, Government geologist, and his assistant, Mr Fred Linck, who are now at Preservation, will take a route through the country last year explored by Mr R. Carrick and party from Cuttle Cove through the Neck up Chalky, through the new lake system named by the Mines department Cadman series, and thence over the Granite Wall across the intervening country to Loch Maree. On Monday, Mr Chamberlain, of the Customs department, Dunedin, proceeds to Lake Manapouri, where he will be joined by Mr Robert Murrell, a resident of ths district. Landing at the south arm of Manapouri, they intend following Mackenzie's track up the River Spey, crossing Pillan's Pass, and travelling down the Seaforth river to Loch Maree. In that way it is expected that the tbree parties will join at this spot, where Mr Mackenzie's main camp is to be pitched. Having in their travels obtained a complete knowledge of the country from the head of Chalky, trending along the upper reaches of Duaky, and across to the south arm at Manapouri, they will then proceed into the still unexplored territory to the north-west, towards the Matterhorn. Having achieved this, the general features of the wild west, which so long has remained a terra incognita, will be made known to everyone.  -Otago Daily Times, 25/1/1896.


A NEW TRACK TO THE WEST COAST.

At a meeting of the Otago Institute on Tuesday evening last Mr C. W. Chamberlain read a paper in which he gave a description of a new track from Lake Manapouri to the West Coast. The paper was as follows: —

This track has just been cut, and as I was the first "amateur casual" to make iise of it — in fact, I went across before it was quite finished — I .take upon myself the task of giving some description of it. This is, I believe, the shortest and the lowest pass over the main range between the East and West Coasts, and though it has not the magnificent beauty of the Clinton Valley or the George Sound Pass from Lake Te Anau, it takes first place among the known routes for the humbler and mpre useful qualities mentioned. Should a road from the southern sounds to Dunedin and Invercargill ever be required, in all probability the Manapouri Deep Cove Pass will be found one of the easiest. The itinerary Dunedin to West Coast is as follows: — Dunedin to Lumsden by rail, 137 miles, one day; Lumsden to Manapouri Township, 52 miles by coach, one day; thence to the Head of the Lake, 22 miles, steamer, three hours; Head of the Lake to head of Deep Cove, Smith Sound, 10 miles 50 chains, six hours on foot. The distance from the lake to the top of the pass is seven miles 10 chains, and thence down to the sound three miles 40 chains. The height I believe to be less than 2000 ft above the sea. We had not an aneroid with us, but from the character of the vegetation, the absence of snow, and the appearance of the pass itself from Deep Cove, I do not think this estimate is far out. Looking up from the cove, the deep gap in the high mountains is very noticeable, a narrow notch being cut out of the range to half its depth. The whole of the track, from the landing at the mouth of the Spey River to the beach at Deep Cove, runs through dense and heavy bush, with the exception of a few yards of river bed here and there and a scrubby flat or two high up the eastern slope. On this side, where what one of the road party called "a few divarsions," have been made, to avoid some steep pinches, the .route will present no serious difficulties. There is only one creek to cross, and the ascent is gradual; any average walker will be able to "stroll up" comfortably. On the west side the case is different. The whole rise has to be faced in about three miles, and a few hundred feet at the top of the pass will be found very trying. A huge, tumbled heap of rocks, from the size of an ordinary house down to the common boulder no bigger than a dining- table, densely covered with bush and moss, has to be got over or through somehow. This is a very stiff bit, but probably a longer and easier route could be found if necessary. On the other hand, the western valley down which the track runs lies beautifully open to the north, getting plenty of sun and wind; and would probably not be seriously obstructed by snow.

The distances are given from actual measurement; the Height is only guesswork, but as the number of miles travelled does not convey much idea of the work done in the bush, I may say that I walked from lake to sound in seven hours, and back in somewhat less time, the track not having been made all the way. I carried a swag, which weighed about 241b when I started (it must have been at least 2cwt when I took it off), but, being fresh from office work, and no longer just in the first bloom of youth — unless it be second childhood — you will see the excursion cannot be a very difficult one.

This pass has some historical interest, for it was while searching for it late in 1888 that poor Mainwaring Brown lost his life. The gap in the mountains before alluded to had been seen from the west at Deep Cove, its position noted, and Professor Brown, Major Goring, and Mr John White left the head of Lake Manapouri on the 4th December, 1888, to try and reach it from the east side. They travelled up the right bank of the Spey River, leaving it at the Mica Burn, which they followed up until bad weather came on and they camped, high up in the mountains, at Disaster Burn. Mainwaring Brown left the camp one morning saying he was going for a stroll, and never returned. His companions searched for him, as did subsequently several other search parties, in vain, and his fate remains to this day unknown. But no one who knows the Manapouri mountains will be surprised at their failure; no more broken, rough, and ruggedly inhospitable bit of country can well be imagined. The present route was found by Mr Robert Murrell, of Manapouri, who, with a companion named Barber, went in search of Professor Brown as soon as the news of his loss reached them. Murrell and Barber pushed on past Disaster Burn, and after a rough and laborious climb reached the top of the mountains overlooking Smith Sound at a point somewhat to the north of the pass. From this point they saw Deep Cove lying 5000 ft below them, and to the left they looked down on the pass of which poor Brown had been in search. Murrell went down to the sound, finding no trace of the professor, and, as the were short of  provisions and bad weather came on, he and his companion returned the way they came. Although unable on this trip to explore the pass, Murrel reported to the chief surveyor of Southland that he had no doubt the way to it was up the Dashwood Stream, a creek running into the Spey River about three miles higher up than the Mica Burn. Little more was done until January of this year, when Mr Wilmot, the district surveyor, came up, found Murrell's account to be correct, and laid off roughly the line of the present track to Deep Cove. I believe his party did not go down to the sea; but in April a party of bushmen, under Murrell, went up to cut the track through, and a very tough time they had.

Starting from Lake Manapouri, on the north or right bank of the Spey River, the road keeps close to the river, crossing the Mica Burn, until about four miles from the lake, at the junction of the Spey and Dashwood, where it turns to tho right, following up the right bank of the latter creek, which rises close under the saddle. The saddle itself is quite an easy, one, and going down the western side the track, after negotiating the rough rock slides at the top, keeps pretty well on the ridge of a bold spur, until near the foot of the hills, when it drops down something very like a small precipice on to a scrubby flat, and comes out on the sea beach close to the mouth of the Lyvia River. This beach is worthy of notice of a large section of the Otago public. It covers some four or five square miles, is perfectly flat, composed of sand and small shingle, the waters of the cove are always still and calm, there is abundant water power available in the numerous rivers and falls; altogether it seems to embody ones ideal of an electric dredging claim. I have not the slightest idea whether there is any gold in it; but to the earnest and enterprising promoter this should probably be a mere detail.

If I may occupy a few minutes more of your time, I will give some details of my trip, which may possibly be of use or interest.

Early in May last my friend Mr Melland and I went to Manapouri, with the idea of getting some shooting, but the weather was so bad that we had very poor sport, and, finding that Murrell and the road party were up in the ranges, we decided to try and pay them a visit. Twice we went to the head of the lake, and were stopped by bad weather, and at last Mr Melland had to return to Dunedin but my chance came when Murrell had to come down for provisions, and I returned with him. We left the civilisation of Manapouri township — two houses and a stable — early in the forenoon of a fine day, when the sky was clearing after bad weather. The lake under these conditions was a study of beauty and magnificence. I think it is admitted that Manapouri is the most beautiful of our lakes. Anyone seeing it as I saw it that day must own that its claim is just.  -Otago Witness, 19/7/1900.


SOUTHLAND LAND BOARD.

Robert Murrell applied for a lease of 20 acres for accommodation house site at terminus of proposed new track to Lake Hauroko, for a term of 21 years, with valuation for improvements. — It was decided that the board had no jurisdiction, the land being in a national park, but to recommend the application for the favourable consideration of the Minister.   -Otago Witness, 1/1/1908.


Our correspondent at Manapouri wired yesterday that Mr Robert Murrell travelled by motor launch from Lake Manapouri to Tuatapere, by the Waiau River, a distance of 65 miles, in four and a-half hours. He had an exciting time and narrowly averted disaster at one point.  -Mataura Ensign, 31/1/1913.


PERSONAL.

Mr T. E. Y. Seddon, member for Westland, and Mr W. Downie Stewart, member for Dunedin West, have enlisted in the Now Zealand Expeditionary Forces. Both are in Wellington. Mr Robert Murrell, of Manipori, who has eight sons, has no less than five at the front.   -Western Star, 15/6/1915.


DISTRICT APPEALS

SPLENDID FAMILY RECORD. 

John Robert Murrell and Graham Murrell, Manapouri (Mr Poppelwell) only asked for time. Mr Poppelwell said these men were perfectly willing to go and only asked ior a little time. They already had three brothers at the front and the family record was a splendid one. Only two young brothers were now left at home, one of them 18, and the other still at school. They were granted time until May 31. -Mataura Ensign, 23/3/1917.


IN MEMORIAM.

MURRELL. — John Robert Murrell, dearly beloved eldest son of Robert and Margaret Murrell, Manapouri, killed in France, September 8, 1918. For those he loved and his beloved country.  -Southland Times, 8/9/1921.

John Murrell was working as a mountain guide at The Hermitage, Mt Cook when he joined the Rifle Brigade.  His remains lie in France.


The wonderland of the west is an asset, the value of which has not yet been realised, but as it becomes more widely known its lure will become irresistible. In the Manipouri district, no one has done more to open up its beauties than Mr Robert Murrell, and the fact that his launch Constance left Riverton for Doubtful Sound a few days ago, to be stationed there for tourist punposes, suggests that the time is opportune for us to direct attention to this new pleasure resort. Manapouri Lake, with its many pretty bush-clad islets, and bordered by the magnificent Cathedral Peaks, is well known. This is reached via Lumsden, by rail and motor, the fare for the return journey from Invercargill being £4. At Manapouri the accommodation tariff is fourteen shillings a day, and a return trip to the head of the lake costs £l. Mr Murrell has cut a track from Manipouri to Doubtful Sound. This is twelve miles long, and runs through virgin bush, in which the pigeon, kaka, weka, kiwi, kakapo and other species of native birds abound, while the deer are so numerous as to be no wilder than many domestic animals. Twelve miles through beautiful mountain scenery is a short walk, and can be done quite leisurely, and for the benefit of those who wish to linger long in. the vicinity, there is what is called the 5-mile hut. At the Sound accommodation is provided at the rate of 15/- a day, or £4 10/- per week. To explore the Sound a launch can be hired for £2 a day, and it is possible to traverse one hundred miles in the Sound without going out to sea. The Doubtful Sound track differs very considerably from the Milford track, and both places have beauties and attractions of their own. Distinguished visitors have written graphically about Milford, and when Doubtful becomes as well known, it will be as much visited as its more famous rival.  -Western Star, 3/11/1922.


IS THERE A N.Z. OTTER?

The otter is a genus of quadrupeds of the weasel family differing widely from the rest of the family in their aquatic habits, and, in conformation, adapted to these habits, and in some respects approaching to that of seals.

The body is long and flexible, and is considerably flattened. The head is broad and flat, the eyes and ears are small, the legs short and powerful, the feet, which have each five toes, are completely webbed, the tail is stout and muscular at its base, long, tapering, and horizontally flattened, and the teeth are the same as a weasel's. The fur is very smooth. The common otter is found in almost any part of the British isles. It often attains a weight of twenty-four pounds. Its length is fully two feet, exclusive of the tail, which is about six inches long. Tlie color is a bright rich brown on the upper parts and the outside of the legs. It frequents rivers and lakes, inhabiting some holes in their banks. It also inhabits the sea-shore in many places and swims a considerable distance from the shore in pursuit of its prey. It has long been a subject for discussion whether the otter exists in New Zealand. There are those who hold the belief that it does, but while traces of an otter-like animal have been found and animals resembling otters have been momentarily seen, no one so far, has succeeded in capturing a specimen. Mr Robert Murrell, of Manapouri like Mr W H Y Hall, of Invercafgill has collected a great deal of evidence in support of the existence of a native otter, and recently Mr Murrell contributed a interesting paper to the Otago Naturalists' Club on the subject. Many years ago a resident saw a strange animal dive into the Jacob's River but whether a vole or an otter he could not say. He only saw it on the one occasion. Mr Murrell mentioned that the late Capt. Howell, of Riverton, had stated that the Maoris caught and ate aquatic animals, which they called waitoteke, and that when on an eeling expedition with the Maoris, he had eaten a portion of the waitoteke. Mr Murrell supposes that the animal so named was captured in the vicinity of Riverton so that would support the statement of the resident, mentioned above, who said he had seen an aquatic animal. Mr Murrell cites a number of instances in which a strange animal had been seen and one that approximates to what we know of the other tribe. We mention a few. Capt Cook, in his journal, described an animal seen in Dusky Sound, and his description tallies with that of more recent observers. Mr A R Wallace, in his book 'Island Life' mentions the existence of a small otter-like animal in the South Island, and one of Hoch's letters refers to an animal which the natives called waitoteke but no satisfactory explanation can be given of that name. The animals were seen at Lake Heron, in Canterbury, and the late Mr Garvey who was manager of Glade House, Te Anau, reported having seen a stranger swimming in ths backwater of the Clinton River. His son was with him at the time and both were emphatic that it was not a ferret, being much larger, yet in some way similar. Mr Murrell kept a look out during two summers for this elusive animal but was unsuccessful in his watch. Mr Donald Ross, when guide on the Milford Track, informed Mr Murrell that after a fall of snow at Lake Ada he had seen unusual tracks and claw marks, while a son of Mr Geo Black, of Orepuki, reported thirteen years ago that he had shot at and wounded a strange animal in the West Waiau country, but it had escaped into a swamp. He described it as brown in color with a bushy tail. Mr A E Tapper of Invercargill, about ten years ago, while standing on the bank of the Waikiroi Stream, had an indistinct view of an animal swimming below the surface and, eventually he found a burrow leading into the bank from below water level, but he was unable to dig it out owing to the height of the bank. Two years ago, while walking along the bank of the Eglinton River in the Te Anau District, Mr G T Moffet, of Invercargill saw an animal about the size of a cat and of a dark color. He found in the mud two footmarks one slightly in advance of the other, and two other impresions of claw marks. He took an impression of these on paper, and this showed so he stated, three claws on each foot, and was evidently the hind foot of an animal. The impressions were larger than those of rats. Mr McHardy of Te Anau Downs station, had also seen an animal in the same locality, which he said was about the size of a rabbit and mouse colored. It is evident from all this that there is an otter-like animal in existence. If some accurate description of the animal could be obtained it would probably solve the mystery surrounding the animal which has been seen by many observers from time to time, and which has been called the New Zealand otter.  -Western Star, 3/8/1926.


OBITUARY

MR ROBERT MURRELL. 

Mr Robert Murrell, whose death at the age of 79 occurred on Wednesday last, was a recognised authority on the geography and flora of the Lakes and Fiord districts. Mr Murrell was born at Stag Creek, Dipton, but later lived at the Takitimu Hotel, which his father built, on the Black Mount road, the first road into the Lakes country. In 1891 Mr Murrell built the first accommodation house at Lake Manapouri, and became the first manager of the Milford Track after the Government took it over, and also acquired the Freestone station, disposing of this property in 1937, when he came to live in Dunedin. 

During his long residence at Lake Manapouri, Mr Murrell became an acknowledged authority on the region, and he accompanied many parties, official and unofficial, on exploratory trips into the little-known hinterland of the Sounds. In 1893 he led a search party to look for Professor Mannering Brown, who was lost while endeavouring to find a route to Doubtful Sound. In the course of his search Mr Murrell discovered the Wilmot Pass, over which lies the present route to Doubtful. Two years later, in company with Mr Dick Henry, a well-known naturalist, he discovered the pass which leads from the middle fiord of Lake Te Anau to George Sound. These were but two of the important contributions he made to the knowledge of a previously little-known area.

Mr Murrell was twice married. In 1888 he married Miss Margaret Scott, of Castle Rock, and, after her death, Miss Bertha Vincent, of Timaru. He is survived by his wife, a daughter, and six sons. His eldest son, John, who was a guide at Mount Cook, was killed in the 1914-18 war. During his retired life Mr Murrell was an active member of the St. Clair Bowling Club.  -Evening Star, 6/10/1945.



Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.


Thursday, 24 February 2022

Angus Cameron Robertson, 25/12/1867-11/9/1945.

Angus Cameron Robertson's words first reliably pop up in 1903 and place him as living in Alexandra and versifying about "My Highland Home."  In September of 1904 he is noted as having been made a Presbyterian missionary to the location of Ratanui in the Catlins. He was an active member of the temperance community.


An Explanation.

To the Editor, Sir, — In reference to the Rev. Wm. Thomson's Lecture, delivered at Stirling on the 24th inst., the 27th inst. issue of your paper stales that. Mr A. C. Robertson put a question, which the Chairman ruled as vulgar, offensive, and impertinent. The question in point is as follows: Is Mr Thomson a regenerated man, and if so, has he fallen away from grace?" I leave the community to form their own conclusions. — I am, etc., A C Robertson, Balclutha.   -Clutha Leader 31/10/1905.


He was also a keen player of the bagpipes, the 1905 Owaka Christmas sports day being enlivened by the playing of his, the only set of pipes present.


AN APPEAL TO THE CHARITABLE.

We have received a letter from Mr A. C. Robertson, of Balclutha, in which he sets forth the necessitous circumstances of the widow of a bush settler at Ratanui, Catlin's River, and appeals to the public to assist her and her family of six little ones in their sore distress. The late Mr Hugh McMaster, Mr Robertson informs us, was a struggling settler, and the little farm is not their own. "The district is extremely poor." says Mr Robertson, "the roads primitive, the little farm roughly hewn out of the heart of a wilderness of trees that lie and stand in all directions in the poor soil and swampy ground." Locally, the neighbours have collected what they can to help the sorrowing widow. "Her little boy Hughie, the only one of the family to whom she might have looked for help in the course of time — poor child, —had one of his legs amputated a few years back. He was, when I last saw him, "continues Mr Robertson, "suffering from swelling of the joints, languid, weak, pining away." Our correspondent appeals on behalf of the widow and her young family for help in their distress, and sends us his contribution towards the fund, which he hopes will quickly be raised. We gladly accede to his request that we should consent to receive subscriptions, which will be duly acknowledged. 

THE McMASTER FUND. 

A: C. Robertson, Balclutha, £1 13s.  -Otago Daily Times, 3/5/1906.


GAELIC SOCIETY.

The monthly meeting of the Gaelic Society was held at the Oddfellows’ Hall, Stuart street, last evening. The chief of the society (Mr D. McPherson) presided. 

The Chief announced that the society’s annual gathering would this year be held on October 5 — a little later than usual. He hoped that members would assist in making it a success, and endeavor to have as many friends and sympathisers present as possible. It was hoped that the arrangements which were being made this year would prove more enjoyable and draw members closer together than the huge concerts which they used to hold in the Garrison Hall. After referring to certain matters connected with membership tickets, the speaker went on to say that many of those present would remember that a number of years ago he gave a Scottish recitation; — the pathetic ballad of Flory Loynachan. It had proved a puzzle to many members, and after the meeting the secretary and others had asked him as to its meaning. He had promised to give a translation of it at some future time, and he was now able to announce that he had received a copy of the ballad and a glossary giving the meanings of words from Campbelltown, his native place. Gaelic place names were rather difficult to translate into English, but a few years ago a book on the Gaelic place names of Argyllshire, written by Dr Cameron Gillies, of London, had been presented to him by the writer’s brother, a resident of Dunedin. With these sources of information he hoped to he able to complete the translation of the ballad before next meeting and give it to members then. 

Mr A. C. Robertson, at the invitation of the chief, then gave a number of anecdotes illustrative of Gaelic folk-lore and the Gaelic sense of humor. Speaking of the Gaelic tongue itself, Mr Robertson remarked that it was a saying that the heart warmed to the tartan. More so was that the case regarding the Gaelic. It brought back to them memories of the happy days of childhood, when they lisped the Lord’s Prayer in their mother tongue. It was a remarkable fact that what were called “swear words’’ did not exist in Gaelic. In that tongue in its original form it was not possible to use lewd, blasphemous, or even profane expressions. If any such terms existed now, they must have been introduced by the Anglo-Saxon race. As to its duration, their ancestors held that it was the language which had been spoken in the Garden of Eden, and generally it was a language full of poetry, the language of a people who were the salt of the industrial world, and who were and always had been unconquerable. Even Caesar and his legions had been obliged to turn back before the Highlanders, of whom history said: “They were too fleet of foot and too strong and warlike to conquer." Mr D. Matheson, jun., sang ‘Eilean an fhraoich’; Mr Duncan McDonald (s.s. Monowai), ‘Tha na ghradh gach ciobair’; Miss McCallum. ‘Molladh an Larmdaidh’; Mr A. G. Robertson, ‘Mo nighean dubhdhfhas boidbeach dubh.’ The choir (Mr J. Davidson, conductor) sang ‘Dhealaich mi’ nochd ri in’ leannan,’ and Mrs Cross sang ‘We better bide a wee.’ Miss Reeve played the accompaniments, and Mr John McKechnie, jun., gave a number of bagpipe selections during the evening.   -Evening Star, 2/8/1906.


A point beyond the pale of the higher criticism was settled at a meeting held last evening in the Oddfellows’ Hall. Said a speaker; “Our ancestors held the belief strongly that Gaelic was the language of the Garden of Eden. When Adam first saw Eve he walked up to her, like the gentleman he was, and said: ‘Cia mar tha thu mo mhoimneach chor?’” This was the story of the first proposal of marriage as Mr A. C. Robertson told it to the Gaelic Society. It is understood that the words mean: “How do you do, my fair woman?” but beside the majesty of the original mere English seems nowhere.  -Evening Star, 2/8/1906.


CORRESPONDENCE CONDENSED.

A. C. Robertson writes in a lurid way of the drink traffic, and sums up as follows: — "Do the fair sons and.daughters of New Zealand value chastity and purity as the apples of their eyes and the life's blood of the nation? Do we look forward to a holy, strong nation, pure, good, and noble, whose strong stamp, tramp, we may hear in the van of nations in the cause of strength, purity, God, and humanity? If so, blow the mists of mockery away, and rip the blanket of mock modesty to shreds, and let every man, woman, and child, who wishes to breathe the sweet, health-giving atmosphere of God, rush to the fray, and drive the monster devil drink from whence it came."  -Otago Daily Times, 29/11/1906.


CORRESPONDENCE CONDENSED

A. C. Robertson, writing on "The Future of the Drink Traffic," says it is very refreshing to note the manner in which women, practically throughout the world, are at length asserting their rights. Long has the suffering mother of a hunger-pinched, crying, neglected fledgling listened mournfully for the late, staggering footsteps denoting the home-coming of a drunken husband, and long has the husband, brutalised by strong drink, converted home, that should be a hallowed spot, into a miniature hell. The writer describes how in America a band of married women called the  "Nightcaps" sometimes deal with the drunken wifebeater by binding him to a tree and whipping him, and he thinks that New Zealand ladies should take the initiative, use less oral and moral suasion and a little more hemp.  There is no reason why they should not, as the Liquor party strongly advocates retrogression, and bases its arguments on historical precedent. However, it must only be a matter of time, and a comparatively short time at that, when this social curse is wiped off the national slate. The problem arises, What are brewers and publicans and their employees to do then? The solution is not difficult, and the writer would suggest (a) That the Legislature should pass a land law suitable for retiring brewers, publicans, and employees; (b) such law to embody cheap grants of land to these people on the lease-in-perpetuity system until the arrival of the third or fourth generation, when the people could go in for the freehold. Theirs would be an enviable future, and theirs the song of the murmuring brook instead of the drip of the beer-tap. He would, as their friend, lead these deluded people out of bondage.  -Otago Daily Times, 21/2/1907.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

MR ANGUS CAMERON ROBERTSON. 

Sir, — I exceedingly regret that Mr A. C. Robertson has permitted himself to use the offensive language which appeared in his last two letters in your columns. I do not propose to reply to them — at least in the meantime. Mr Robertson is well known to me, and what I fear most is that by the use of such language he is compounding with his conscience in a way that is not good. I do not wish to hurt Mr Robertson's feelings in the slightest, but if he will call here, or let me know when he conveniently can come, I shall be glad to talk with him on a matter which, in the kindest sense, will be for his own moral welfare. — I am, etc., Wm. Thomson. 23 Crawford street, Dunedin, February 18, 1907.  -Otago Daily Times, 21/2/1907.


THE REV. WILLIAM THOMSON.

Sir, — I am more than surprised to see a letter in to-day's issue signed by the rev. gentleman accusing me of giving offence. How on earth my friend can infer and take umbrage from my letters on the drink traffic is beyond me, especially when he and others must well know and feel that I wrote the truth, and nothing but the truth. Surely this is a huge misunderstanding. I must thank the rev. gentleman for his kind remarks in respect to my conscience, while I deeply fear and regret, that his own is in a dangerous state of flexibility. Moreover, I am sorry I must on principle decline with thanks his kind invitation to call on him, for the simple reason that, were I to do so his wise and beneficent benediction for the guidance and in the interest of my moral welfare would be imparted in solemn privacy. Why should the rev. gentleman thus place his light undcr a bushel? What is good for me must surely be good for the masses. I can only accept it through the columns of your paper. — I am, etc., A. C. Robertson, February 21.  -Otago Daily Times, 23/2/1907.


CORRESPONDENCE CONDENSED.

A. C. Robertson writes with reference to "Tortured's" query in Passing Notes as to who "perpetrated the bagpipes." He is greatly surprised at "Civis's" remarks concerning "'this beautiful and mellifluous instrument." He thoroughly believes, however, that "Civis" is in fun. As to "Tortured," he is sorry for that gentleman, who has evidently no ear for music. The writer proceeds at length to enlighten "Tortured" as to the history of the bagpipes with detailed reference to mythology and recapitulating the story of the pipes of Pan, besides giving other versions of the origin of the pipes for the authenticity of which he is not prepared to vouch. He concludes: "Whenever I imagine heavenly rapture I have a band of pipers with well-tuned pipes in my mind's eye."   -Otago Daily Times, 15/3/1907.


CORRESPONDENCE CONDENSED.

A. C. Robertson addresses "a kind word to Mr Thomson" and advises him to at once leave the trade and slip the mooring cables of certain correspondents who back him up. Concluding, our correspondent says, "Personally I like Mr Thomson, as he knows. I sincerely hope that he will take this word in the true spirit of brotherly friendliness in which it is written."  -Otago Daily Times, 16/3/1907.


CORRESPONDENCE CONDENSED

A. C. Robertson discusses the Chinese question at considerable length. He argues (1) that there always have been, and always will be, races of peoples that are superior to others: (2) that, judging from the slow progress Christianity has made, we are an infinitely long way from the arrival of the millennial era: (3) that the Divine command to preach the Gospel to every creature does not imply that we are to commingle, marry, and inter-marry alien and inferior races; this would be equally disastrous to both. If we are at all to come in contact with these races we must uplift them, or they, being numerically stronger, will inevitably pull us down to their own level: (4) that the blessed age of tranquillity and peace will come to pass, sooner or later, only at a period determined by the amount of good every individual will accomplish during a lifetime: (5) that no racial hatred should be countenanced or fostered, yet we have a perfect right to preserve the purity of our race, of which we are justly proud: (6) that every inferior and uncouth race will only be fit to commingle with us when we have brought them up as a whole to our own standard of refinement and civilisation. John Ruskin says: "I wish to plead for your several and future consideration of this one truth, that the notion of discipline and interference lies at the very root of all human progress or power; that the 'let-alone' principle is, in all things which man has to do with, the principle of death; that it is ruin to him, certain and total, if he lets his land alone, if he lets his fellow men alone, if he lets his own soul alone. His whole life, on the contrary, must, if it is a healthy life, be continually one of ploughing and pruning, rebuking and helping, governing and punishing; and therefore it is only in the concession of some great principle of restraint and interference in national action that he can ever hope to find the secret of protection against national degradation."  -Otago Daily Times, 15/8/1907.


CORRESPONDENCE CONDENSED

A. C. Robertson, referring to the fact that, a short time ago he had occasion to direct attention to the presence in the public streets of a ferocious dog, says that evil as this scourge is, there is another far more so in the drink hound. He writes of this: — "It sorely bit a large number of young and old of both sexes last Saturday night, who, yelping and staggering, dragged each other along our streets. Some of these — a pitiful-looking, distorted-faced, winking-eyed, vacant-staring, maudlin, hapless crew — stood, and reeled, and asked foolish questions around our open air meeting in the Octagon while the rev. Messrs Slade and Laws delivered stirring and eloquent messages of hope and deliverance and life and peace. The contrast was harrowing in the extreme — the more so, as I thought of the very possible misery and sorrow in these poor drunken ones' homes. Yesterday afternoon another poor victim had been bitten so severely that he bore marks of having been rolling in the gutter. He was dragged past us by another man in Princes street, and ultimately dumped on a doorstep. According to 'Sandy McTogg's' harrowing monthly list, not less than the astounding number of 114 souls have been wounded, some fatally, some irrecoverably, and all severely. What about the misery, the sorrow, and the shame of the myriads of cases not recorded?"  -Otago Daily Times, 9/11/1907.


RATTY ROBERTSON.

A No-License Crank.

As election time is getting nearer the daily press are inundated with letters from all sorts of the silly Prohibitionist ass, who seldom write anything new or worth remembering, and as often as not fill several inches with puerile rubbish. Why the papers print such piffle is an old hoary mystery, probably having a solution in the ancient hungry cry after subscribers: if a man's letter is not printed, he stops his paper, and patronises the rival rag. One of the most regular contributors of unsophisticated rot to the Dunedin papers is A. C. Robertson. He writes poetry. To anyone who knows anything about the rules of the game, A. C. Robertson's poetry is a source of unceasing joy. He writes letters supporting No-License, which contain neither reason nor sense. Here is a fair sample of his dogmatism, cut from the "Otago Daily Times," on the "Drink Question": — "Sir, — The drink question is like every other evil question that has been handed down to us across the centuries." He does not say in what way but goes right on: "That the traffic is an evil is well known by every rational creature in the world." Therefore, a big percentage of the people in this bad country are mad, according to the clever Robertson. "At the same time we respect the feelings of the men and women in the trade knowing that they are placed there by public demand." 

HOW AWFULLY GOOD OF ROBERTSON! The brewers and publicans of Dunedin must feel grateful to this amiable man for the little bit of consideration shown them. "Therefore, as a community, let us remove the demand for the marketable evil article, and the immediate result will be that the article will become a drug in the market." Then he goes on in his maudlin way to quote what he calls a noble speech by the late Archbishop Temple and observes that the late-lamented Archbishop's remarks are equally applicable on board ship and ends up with the gratuitous information that he was a ship's officer for 17 years, during which time he never ill-treated his men. This paper is curious to know what possible connection there is between the drink traffic and the sea experience of the asinine Robertson, what the sayings of the defunct Archbishop have to do with the No-License arguments of the hysterical Robertson, and what advantages the editors of the dull Dunedin dailies see in printing his silly vaporings. This letter is a fair sample of the effusions published regularly by the balmy boot-maker poet Robertson, and yet it is about on a par with the flow of rubbish from No-License pens that is commencing to be observable in the dead "Star", and the prosy "Times":  as if anything exuding from the intellects of such literary lunatics would influence a vote one way or the other when the time comes for people to cast their opinions into the polling boxes. 

A Christchurch person named Alex. Wilson lived in sin with a woman, who subsequently died, and then gave her a gaudy funeral worth £l0 19s. He failed to settle with corpseplanter Langford, and when that individual sued for the cash, Wilson claimed haughtily that his late mistress's husband ought to pay for the obsequies. An astonished magistrate ordered the payment of ten bob a week until the debt is liquidated, if the husband doesn't kill Wilson in the meantime.  -NZ Truth, 4/4/1908.


CORRESPONDENCE CONDENSED.

A. C. Robertson, having been asked by a number of people what he thought of the Rev. Mr Gibson-Smith's book, expresses the opinion that the rev. gentleman's mental and physical condition, whilst he was writing the book, should be carefully taken into consideration in a calm and dispassionate manner, as he understands that much writing is very trying on the nervous system. Then, the whole affair should be made a matter of fervent prayer, and the light will doubtless dawn in accordance with the promptings of the spirit.   -Otago Daily Times, 17/10/1908.


THE GAELIC SOCIETY.  (abridged)

The monthly meeting of this society was held last night in the Oddfellows' Hall, Stuart Street. There was a large attendance, and the Chief (Mr Dugald McPherson) presided. In his introductory remarks he mentioned that the New Year ceilidh had been a pronounced success, and a substantial amount would be added to the Widow McDonald Fund. He was happy to say that the call for subscriptions to this fund had been warmly responded to. He had received from Mr A. C. Robertson a fine poem, which that gentleman had composed in view of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Burns. The society had reason to be proud to have as one of its number a bard of such merit as Mr Robortson. He then read the poem, which was much appreciated, and added that it was a happy coincidence that there was present in the meeting Mr John Davidson, of Lawrence, a great grandson of no less a personage than "Souter Johnnie," immortalised by Burns in "Tam o' Shanter."   -Otago Daily Times, 4/2/1909.


The inter-island steamer SS Penguin struck a rock off the Wellington coast in a storm and sank on February 12, 1909, the ship being finally shattered when seawater reached the boiler which exploded. Seventy five people died.  Angus Robertson saw an excellent opportunity to poetise, describe the tragic scene as he imagined it, and offer spiritual comfort to the bereft.  His poem has all the attributes of one written by a great poet - except greatness.


THE WRECK OF THE PENGUIN.

The night is wild and stormy seas, Come swirling on the misty breeze. 

Abnormal currents here prevail, Which add a terror to the gale, 

And thro' the hedge-like, fog they dash, Till ho! Alas, a tearing crash 

Is heard above the roaring tide, As from the tragic rock they glide. 

"All hands on deck!" the orders ring, As helpless hands to mothers cling

"All hands on deck, the boats get ready" "Now seamen all keep cool and steady!" 

The boats are filled with precious freight, Amid the darkness of the night. 

The moaning winds and waves are sighing, For mothers fond and children crying. 

The boats are lower'd but sad to say, Engulphed amid the briny spray 

Leave all their occupants to lave, And welter in the angry wave 

By this the gallant ship goes down, While o'er her sweeping billows frown, 

Some now are swimming for the shore, Some sink alas! to rise no more. 

Along the beach ah! what a sight, That greets the dawn and morning light; 

Poor lifeless hands lie stark and cold, Poor rosy checks and locks of gold; 

I will not dwell upon this scene, It gives me pain too strong and keen, 

But trust a kindly word may cheer, Those left to mourn their loved ones dear. 

There's consolation in the thought, Tho' o'er and o'er most dearly bought 

That those poor lambs who fled away, Are happy now in endless day; 

And there will welcome dear ones home, The stormy seas no more to roam, 

Now mothers think — what gift you've given, To swell the melody of Heaven? 

A. C. Robertson, Belleknowes. Dunedin.  -Clutha Leader, 19/2/1909.


LATE ADVERTISEMENTS

STOP!  STOP!  STOP!

LOOK!  LOOK!  LOOK! 

A. C. ROBERTSON, Bard of the Gaelic Society of N.Z., Mariner, and Author, etc., has now Published a Small Book of English Poems, interesting, humorous, and pathetic. They are going like hot pies. If you want one posted to you, write at once, and enclose 2s 7 1/2d: outside the Dominion, 2s 8 1/2d. Address, Roseberry street, Belleknowes, N.Z. 

Yes! even the men in the street, Declare it is really a treat 

To purchase my book, And sit in a nook, 

To read my poetical screed.   -Otago Daily Times, 19/7/1910.


PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED

Mr A. C. Robertson, of this city, has just published a small book containing a number of poems, prefaced by a laudatory sketch by a number of friends of a life which has been full of adventure, and illuminated by many kindly traits. Mr Robertson is a bard of the Gaelic Society, a member of the Burns Club, and naturally finds himself in his element in these bodies, as he hails from Skye, and is, as the preface says, descendant of a line of bards and pipers. The principal pieoe is entitled "Bygone Days in the Highlands," a dream of a Highland winter, in which this hardy Crofter's lot is depicted with a fidelity reminiscent of Burns's "Cottar's Saturday Night." There are other poems evoked by passing events, such as the visit of Mr J. Foster Fraser to Dunedin, the wreck of the Penguin, etc., but these have not the imagery of those dealing with the Highlands, where mysticism reigns supreme, and stories of witches and elves are traditional. A kindly spirit pervades the little book, showing that though the author has been buffeted by sea and land, he has not been soured in the process. The work will have not a little charm for Mr Robertson's compatriots, while the sassenach reader will see much in it to admire.  -Otago Daily Times, 23/7/1910.


Mr A. C. Robertson, of Dunedin, has received from Queen Alexandra's private secretary (the Hon. Sidney Greville) a letter in which, at the express desire of her Majesty, he conveys to Mr Robertson her acceptance of his poem on the death of King Edward and her appreciation of the sympathy extended her by Mr Robertson and his wife. Mr Robertson wrote his poem as bard of the Gaelic Society of New Zealand. He naturally regards the letter from Buckingham Palace with pride, and intends to have it framed and to hand it down as an heirloom to those that come after him.  -Otago Daily Times, 30/8/1910.


Mr A. C. Robertson, whose facile pen is well known, is at present looking up old friends and others in this district in the interests of a book he has recently published. The book contains an interesting biographical sketch of Mr Robertson himself, and quite a number of verses from his pen. He has apparently the faculty of dropping into poetry on a wide variety of subjects, though the view point of the Doric is evidently the most congenial. Many of his writings attain considerable merit — all are interesting — and have received commendation in high places. He holds letters from Queen Alexandra, the Duke of Argyll, Lady McDonald of the Isles, Lord Plunket, Lord Ranfurly, Lord and Lady Islington, and others.   -Clutha Leader, 13/12/1910.

By "and others," it is possible that the Clutha Leader means "or the private secretaries thereof."


GAELIC SOCIETY

One of those happy meetings which bring Highland folk together for the purpose of keepng green the memory of yon hills far away was held by the Gaelic Society last night in the Oddfellows’ Hall, Stuart street. The Chief (Mr Dugald McPherson) was in the chair. In the course of his remarks he made reference to the recent New Year ceilidh, which was one of the best ever held by the Society. He read the following autograph letter from His Grace the Duke or Argyll to Mr A. C. Robertson, the society's bard: — "Accept my thanks for your kind thought in sending me your poem, May you have many years before you to keep alive in the new land the memories of the old.”   -Evening Star, 2/2/1911.


Mr A. C. Robertson, our fellow townsman, submitted for acceptances by their Excellencies Lord and Lady Islington copies of his poem, "Coronation Souvenir from New Zealand" and received the following reply from his Excellency's private secretary "I am directed by the Governor to convey to you his thanks for your letter and for the poems which you were kind enough to send to Lady Islington and himself. His Excellency will be pleased to submit for the gracious acceptance of their Majesties the King and Queen and Queen Alexandra copies of the poems mentioned in your letter."  -Otago Daily Times, 11/3/1911.


PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED

Under the title of "Crown and Empire," Mr A. C. Robertson has collected a number of his patriotic pieces and presents them to the public. He dedicates the work to the little folk of the Empire in affectionate terms, adjuring them at the close to "Nail the British flag to the masthead, and guard it nobly through sunshine and storm alike and pass it down unsullied to-posterity." The poems include a letter to Queen Alexandra, a Lament to King Edward VII (in English and Gaelic), a "welcome" to Lord Islington, also one to Lady Islington, and facsimile letters of acknowledgments of these, as well as one from the Duke of Argyll, dated last October. The literal translation from the Gaelic is interesting inasmuch as it gives an insight into the structure of Celtic verse. As for example: 

The wind rushed at a gallop, 

Accompanied by the echo of the hills, 

Faintly sighing and sobbing to each other.  -Otago Daily Times, 11/4/1911.


The president of the Overseas Club (Mr C. S. Wood) has presented us with a copy of a patriotic poem by Mr Angus Cameron Robertson, of Dundee, called, "Welcome! H.M.S. New Zealand." Several copies of the poem are being distributed amongst the Campbell street school children who so kindly helped in the patriotic demonstrations given by the Overseas Club.   -Manawatu Standard, 21/10/1913.


SUPREME COURT

IN BANCO. (Before His Honor Mr Justice Sim.) 

DIVORCE DECREES. 

Martha Maria Robertson v. Angus Cameron Robertson; motion to make decree nisi absolute. Mr Irwin in support. — Mr Hanlon said that the respondent had communicated with him, saying: “I have not the slightest objection whatever. Therefore, kindly proceed with the good work and oblige.” — His Honor: He objected in the first instance. — Mr Hanlon: Yes. but he has got over that. — His Honor made the decree absolute.  -Evening Star, 16/12/1921.


Books and Bookmen

‘SALT SEA TANG’ 

(By Angus Cameron Robertson. Extra Master Mariner and Hon. Bard of Gaelic Society of New Zealand, 1 Lonsdale terrace, Mornington, Dunedin.) 

— An Appreciation, by D. McNeil, B.A., Invercargill. — ‘Salt Sea Tang’ is a unique compilation offering an astonishing variety of literary fare, prose and verse, selected from the prolific output of one versatile pen. Of the author’s gift of poetic expression there is cumulative evidence in the book. The chosen bard of the Gaelic Society of New Zealand reveals the bardic temperament in his sensitive response to the appeals of Nature and of humanity. From both these realms his themes are drawn and his inspiration kindled. With wealth of rhyme, double rhyme and assonance, he weaves festal and funeral wreaths; depicts notable events in the passing pageant of history; pays homage to worthy souls of high rank or low rank; and for once, changing his key, gives blistering castigation to an unworthy type of critic. Rounded fullness of treatment is the rule, but more wafts of sentiment, glimpses of thought, take form in scattered couplets or four-line fragments, as though the minstrel improvised a stray chord while feeling his way to a sustained theme. Not least fervid are the strains which give utterance to the Highlander’s love for his racial heritages, for the kilt, the tartan, the national dances, and especially the bagpipes. Often, as the bard turns from praise of New Zealand scenes to recall the glens and bens that were the ancient home of expatriated Gaels, one is reminded of the passionate outcry of the exiled Jew:

If thee, Jerusalem, I forget, 

Skill part from my right hand. 

My tongue to my mouth’s roof let cleave

If 1 do thee forget. 

Not one whit less loved than Zion are Lochabce and the sea-smitten Hebrides. As for the mother tongue of the Scottish Celt, it may be slowly dying, but with our author it lives, and its pulses throb again in the few Gaelic poems included in the collection. For the diverse prose pieces interspersed throughout the volume, material and atmosphere are largely derived from the author’s seafaring, from his experiences in different quarters of the globe, and from his many-sided activities. There is, however, a good deal that lies beyond these limits: not only the scenes of the visible world, but also the fruits of reflection and speculative thought take shape — sometimes untrammelled aud unexpected shape — in these writings. Behind all that the book contains there rises to mind the figure of the author as one conceives it from the few glimpses and incidental suggestions which the text affords; an unyielding battler with adversity from childhood, and always a learner in its uncompromising school; a rover who by sea and land has observed and mingled with cosmopolitan life; a hungry seeker after knowledge and enlightenment; an aspirant to whom self-expression in some form is a perpetual urge. And, as a reflex from a life thus conditioned and shaped, ‘Salt Sea Tang’ takes on a new interest.   -Evening Star, 20/8/1927.


Public Notices

“SALT SEA TANG,” 

A FINE CHRISTMAS GIFT BOOK. 

The biggest and most interesting book of its kind ever published in New Zealand. It consists of 164 subjects, well written in prose and in verse. One of the subjects is on “Infantile Paralysis: Its Cause and Prevention.” The volume is strongly bound, in good clear type, on the best of paper. This valuable book should be in every home in New Zealand. Encourage local industry! Order the book to-day! The price is only 36s, post free within New Zealand. 

Address your letter to the Author: ANGUS CAMERON ROBERTSON, Extra Master Mariner, C.P.O., Dunedin. ALL ORDERS PROMPTLY ATTENDED TO.   -Otago Daily Times, 20/12/1927.


Public Notices

“SALT SEA TANG.” 

A book of universal interest. Infants love it. The wise prize it. Old age cherishes it. Lovers memorise it. Inspiration of Elocutionists. One hundred and sixty-four different subjects in one book. Nervous maladies; their causes. Infantile Paralysis; Cause and Prevention. Save the children, our dearest jewels. Order book to-day. Price 36s. ANGUS CAMERON ROBERTSON, Extra Master Mariner, C.P.O., Dunedin.   -Otago Daily Times, 22/12/1927.


 “SALT SEA TANG” 

SELLS ITSELF. A Book that will Stand the Test of Time. Containing Postulates and Truisims, founded on the Immutable Functioning of Natural Laws. 

SELLING LIKE “HEY-MA-NANNIE.” 

Still Some Left. PRICE: 36s, Post Free. Apply to the Author direct for this big and valuable volume; ANGUS CAMERON ROBERTSON, Extra Master Mariner, C.P.O., DUNEDIN.  -Otagio Daily Times, 24/12/1927.


Public Notices

"SALT SEA TANG.” This big and valuable Volume is only procurable from the Author direct, at the comparatively reasonable price of 36s, post free. Cordial thanks and hearty greetings to the Author’s numerous patrons, who during the last 28 years cheerfully bought not than 36,000 copies of his variegated publications. 

ANGUS CAMERON ROBERTSON, Extra Master Mariner, C.P.O., Dunedin.  -Otago Daily Times, 24/12/1927.


Some Minor Poetry

Angus Cameron Robertson and his books of verse are well known to residents of Otago. He is possessed of a poetic fluency and a business pertinacity which, combined, have given his verses a very large circulation. With an ambition worthy of all praise he has now collected his writings in a substantial volume entitled “Salt Sea Tang,” which, to quote the author’s preface, is “full of variety and adventures on sea and land,” and which has been “picked from sufficient MS.S. to make five big volumes.” Mr Robertson has been wise in restricting himself to a single volume, and his well-wishers will doubtless come to his aid as he solicits orders for his now book.  -Otago Daily Times, 7/1/1928.


The Tasman Conquerors.

(By Angus Cameron Robertson, Dunedin). 

Aviation may be said to be still in its infancy, compared with what it will be in future ages. Like every other branch of knowledge, it is sure to advance with the years, it will be perfected and largely used in future, not only as a quick means of transport but likewise as a means of opening up the comparatively unknown and uncultivated empty spaces of the earth. The pioneers of this province are worthy of all praise and encouragement for they take their lives in their hands in their heroic ventures, and in consequence the toll taken of their numbers from time to time is a large one. When Squadron Leader Kingsford Smith and his heroic companions of the now world-famous Southern Cross crossed the Pacific from California to Australia, thence to New Zealand, they performed a feat that will always be remembered in historic pages. On that occasion, I had the honour and the privilege of writing the following lines to commemorate the event: 

THE TASMAN FLYERS. 

Hail! hail! to the heroes of infinite space. Who conquered the Tasman thro’ storm, snow, and hail. 

Extol and applaud them in every place — New Zealand united echoes “All hail.”

See! see! them in darkness with lightning flashing, Like gods or like seraphim soaring on high —

Now blindly steering while thunders are crashing, And tempests terrific are rending the sky. 

Ascending and dodging the tumult and rattle. They feel for an altitude out of the gale 

With nerves all a-quiver and tuned to the battle. They fly like an eagle thro’ thunder and hail. 

Amazing achievement — in song and in story — To record with pride in the annals of fame, 

Appealing to ages to be in its glory, And setting all air-minded hearts in a flame.

[When Mr Robertson wrote the above lines he forwarded them to Squadron-Leader Kingsford Smith, and in due course received the following acknowledgment. "Thank you very much for your kind letter of 23rd Sept, and for the kind thoughts expressed in same. The Tasman sea is certainly a rough stretch of water, and we had a pretty tough trip back to Sydney. My companions and myself appreciate the lines “The Tasman Flyers” very much indeed. Again thanking you and reciprocating your kind wishes. (Signed) G. P. Ulm, Co-Commander, “Southern Cross.”] 

As we all so well know, since that event these heroic men almost met their doom in the Northwest territory of Australia — the coast of which the writer knows well. We heartily and sincerely rejoice that these brave men were discovered, and may long life be theirs and may every good fortune attend them.  -Lake Wakatip Mail, 30/4/1929.


 "THE BAGPIPES! HISTORY AND A TRADITIONS!” 

A thnllingly interesting little Book by well-known author, tracing pipe history from the mists of antiquity down to present day. In book, Celtic is defended and upheld. On receipt of 2s 6d Book shall be forwarded, post free, to any address in Dominion. All orders promptly attended. — Apply to ANGUS CAMERON ROBERTSON. 34 Hope street, Dunedin.  -Otago Daily Times, 10/7/1930.


"THE BAGPIPES! HISTORY AND TRADITIONS!” 

Delightful pipe of moor and ben. Oh! Who can tell how old thou art? 

Majestic music of the glen, And. inspiration of the heart! 

Best Pipe Book written, containing the best defence of Gaelic in English literature. Thril;ingly interesting. By wellknown author. Great value. 2s 6d, ANGUS CAMERON ROBERTSON, 34 Hope street, Dunedin.  -Otago Daily Times, 16/7/1930.


Our "Marsyas” has been engaged, of late, in poetic peregrinations into the abdominal, and events other than gustatory have passed him by unobserved. Likewise our Angus Cameron Robertson, preoccupied finding what Celt first, took out a policy against expenditure and equally intent upon discovering a word to rhyme with insurance, is not concerned with songs in honour of salvaged seamen. The epic of the Tahiti deserves, however, some worthy monument of phrase and metre, Mr Masefield, having joined the King's apiary, will sing no more, but Mr J. C. Squire has written an emotional poem of shipwreck that may do, though his actual purpose was to give the Poet Laureate a lead in retelling. “Casabianca.”

"You dirty dog," "You snouty snipe," 

"You lump of muck,” "You bag of tripe," 

Such as their latest breaths, they drew, The objurgations of the crew. 

" —————— ” they roared. As they went tumbling overboard. 

Or frizzled like so many suppers All along the halyard scuppers. 

“You ——" . . .the last was gone. And Gassy yelled there all alone. 

(He thought the old man was on the ship.) “Father, this gives me the. fair pip!" 

Dogs barked, owls hooted, cockerels crew. As in my works they often do

When, flagging with my main design, I pad with a descriptive line,

Young Gassy cried again, "Oh damn! What an unhappy put I am!

Will nobody go out and search for dad, who’s left me in the lurch. 

For dad, who's left me on the poop, For dad, who’s left me in the soup. 

For dad, who’s left me on.the deck? Perhaps it’s what I should expeck, 

Considerin’ ’ow he treated me Before I came away to sea." -Otago Daily Times, 27/8/1930.


“ADVANCE NEW ZEALAND!”

" Advance New Zealand! " By Angus Cameron Robertson. Dunedin: David M. Lister.

The latest work from the pen of Mr Angus Cameron Robertson, of Dunedin, is part inspirational, part economic. Mr Robertson in “Advance New Zealand!" identifies himself with those many New Zealanders who have an earnest belief in the high destiny of this Dominion and a profound distrust of the politicians in whose hands, they aver, it is presently held. “Had we been governed by good, sincere and honest men,” he states, “possessing a true knowledge of the fundamentals of nationhood, there certainly would be little or no depression in this young and beautiful country; favoured, as it is, by Nature. But, alas, we have fallen on evil days by wrong government. . . .” 

Mr Robertson traces the cause of the present depression to the Great War, and repeats the warning so often heard that in another conflict “our poor civilisation shall be buried in the dust like former civilisations, and Nature will hurl us each into the savage state of cave men.” The hope for the future lies “in having faith and trust in each other and in cultivating the arts of industry and universal peace and brotherhood — rather than suspicious fear, enmity and warfare.” After warning the public against being “bull-dosed and gulled by political candidates and the press,” the author outlines a programme which he considers can create a Utopia in New Zealand. Among his proposals may be mentioned prison reform and the abolition of capital punishment; the extension of the old-age pension system; the abolition of legal and medical fees and of land agents in favour of State institutions; the abolition of alcohol as a beverage; the acclimatisation of British herring in our waters; and "the best to be taken out of every creed and sect, and merged into one, thus forming one National Church, whose ministers shall be paid by Government.” 

This book, which has been well-pro-duced, is embellished with quotations from the poets and philosophers and with several poems by the author, including “ The National Prayer of New Zealand,” in the manner of Burns. J. M.  -Otago Daily Times, 30/7/1932.


The Pilgrims Progress

(By Angus Cameron Robertson, Author and Pilgrim.)  (excerpt)

As already indicated, if such a small body of water as the Teviot River is capable of generating such power as it certainly does, can the imagination of the reader portray what shall happen when the river Molyneux is harnessed up on the American principle. From Cromwell to Port Molyneux powerful pumps shall be worked by power generated from the river. Elevated dams shall be filled with millions of tons of water. The mountain side as well as the plain shall be worked. The Molyneux shall become the garden of New Zealand, powerful spray force pumps shall have jets of sparkling waters right over the summits of the mountains. Every foot of land shall be cultivated; waste lands shall be planted in trees. Tramways shall run to the summit of Mt. Benger, and the people in the coming city of Roxburgh shall have their summer lodges in the summit of Mt. Benger. The river shall be full of salmon and trout: deer and other game shall abound in the mountain forest. Roxburgh shall become a great seat of culture and learning. In other parts of the world it shall be said of refined and cultured Roxburgh young men and young women: — “ That refined, and scholarly person is a graduate of Roxburgh Universitv.” As a natural sanatorium, Roxburgh shall assuredly become world-wide famous. Its young men and women shall become distinguished abroad on account of their good physique, their manly qualities, the women by their womanly charm and beauty — they shall he known as the Roxburgh “peaches” and Dumbarton “apricots”; and women from Coal Creek shall he referred to as the Coal Creek “roses.” In the midst of this gloomy depression we have great reason to be thankful to God, refrain from grousing, and feel truly grateful for the charm of our surroundings. Our pilgrimage in this charming district has been made exceeding pleasant on account of us being the honoured guests of the Misses Haughton in “Avoca House.” We have in our day jostled in royal Oriental courts and camps: we have lived with saints of great sanctity; we have circumnavigated the globe some twenty-seven times, but the kindly homeliness and genuine comforts of “Avoca House” shall always recall kind and happy memories.  -Mt Benger Mail, 1/3/1933.


Deaths

ROBERTSON. — On September 11, 1945, at Dunedin, Angus Cameron Robertson (native of Skye); aged 77 years. "At rest.” Private interment. — R. McLean and Son, funeral directors.  -Evening star, 14/9/1945.


GAELIC SOCIETY CONCERT   (excerpt)

Members of the Gaelic Society assembled last evening in the R.S.A. Social Hall. Chief Thomas Stuart presided and was supported by Chieftains W. R. McKenzie, W. H. McLeod. A. Matheson, and D. McInnes. The chief, in opening the meeting, welcomed members and a visitor, Miss Baird, and also Mr Cattanach, of the Burns Club, Wellington. Two old and honoured members of the society, Bard Angus Cameron Robertson, and Treasurer James D. Cameron, died recently, and the chief called on Pipe-major Neil Munro to play a lament as a tribute to their memory.   -Evening Star, 6/10/1945.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.