Samuel Samson CLIMO and Johanna GALLAGHER
Samuel Samson CLIMO was born at New Plymouth on 31 March 1854, the seventh child of James and Jane CLIMO. His early years were spent at the family farm at Tataraimaka but in 1860 the family were evacuated from Taranaki to Marlborough when war broke out. It was here that Sam grew into a young man. He migrated again with the family to Ormond in 1876.
Sam had a great sense of fun and love of mischief, as well as considerable initiative. On one occasion Sam took part in a night-time escapade with the Ormond constable’s cow, which he turned out of its enclosure on to the road. The constable managed to trace both the cow and the culprit and he had Sam up before the magistrate. Sam was sentenced to 2 week’s imprisonment and it was here that Sam’s initiative came to the fore. He 'suddenly' developed a strained back and couldn't dig or use a shovel; he could not chop wood or scrub out his cell so he sewed sacks until the end of his first week’s imprisonment and then was unexpectedly released – to the obvious relief of all parties!
Another episode involving Sam concerned a man named Mr. Cooper, who had started a coach service between Ormond and Gisborne, at a fare of 2/6. After some years of struggling with bad roads and Poverty Bay mud, Mr. Cooper seized the chance of an exchange when he met Sam CLIMO, who had a dray with a team of draught horses. It took one flood and according to sources Sam did not last long as a coach proprietor. Coming out of town Sam reached a spot a few chains north of the Makaraka store where the coach stuck fast in the mud and the horses were unable to move it, or themselves. Sam got a man to bring a team of bullocks into the paddock – they let down the fences and hauled out the horses one by one – but it was impossible to move the coach so it was left in the mud until the end of winter. To add insult to injury poor Sam was taken to court and fined 28/- on a charge of ‘obstructing the thoroughfare’. But good friends came to the rescue and paid the fine for him.
Brighter days lay ahead for good-humoured Sam – a new-comer to Ormond, Miss Johanna GALLAGHER from Tullogh, County Clare in Ireland, arrived to take up domestic duties in the town. She and Sam met, fell in love and in time were married at the Gisborne Registry Office on 06 January 1879 – shortly before the mill was closed and the CLIMO family scattered. Sam took Johanna back to Havelock and this was where they settled and worked until the end of Sam’s life. Their eight children were born here: Mary Jane in 1879; Samuel in 1881; James Patrick in 1882; Anne Emily in 1884; Alena Elizabeth Clare in 1886; Roger Jesper in 1888; John William Francis in 1890 and Margaret Amelia in 1892. A feeling of homesickness can be detected in the names Johanna chose for some of her children and Sam honoured his step-mother Amelia by naming his youngest daughter after her. Johanna could not read or write so saw to it that her children went to school regularly. Only a proud mother would have kept William’s Pass Certificates from Standard 3 at Manaroa School right through to Standard 5 at Grove School in 1903.
Following the closure of the sawmills in the early 1900’s, Sam tried his luck for a while on the Mahakipawa goldfields but years before he had had the misfortune to get caught in a log-roll and suffered a crushed leg which was amputated below the knee. Undaunted by his injury, Sam had whittled and fitted himself with a ‘Peg Leg’ which he wore sailor fashion and soon became an source of laughter and wonder as Sam was both agile and versatile with its uses! Both Sam and Johanna loved to dance, especially the square dances that became popular at the turn of the century. One of their grandsons recalled the smooth beauty of a waltz which Johanna danced on her 80th birthday. The couple were declared ‘characters’ and are remembered with much love and admiration.
Sam and Johanna’s final venture was farming at Moutapu Bay before Sam died in Blenheim on 19 November 1914. Johanna lived to be 93 years old, dying on 25 September 1946. They are buried together in the Havelock Cemetery.
on 2010-05-16 01:23:35
I have been researching my family tree for over a year now & have a lot of information regarding the Climo's. So I am hoping to connect with any descendants of James and Jane as well as descendants of my 3rd-great-grandfather's family, the Popes. His name was George Whiting Pope. And lastly, I am trying to find information on my 2nd-great-grandmother's family, the Cotton's, who lived in Nelson. I have found some information which I am happy to share here and am ever hopeful that I may connect with descendants of this family also.