THE CLIMO'S OF NZ - Marlborough's Family of Five Generations.
(from the Marlborough Express, 1908):
Living in 1908 in our cities and towns – the cities with their palatial buildings, supplied with telephones, busy with the hum of commercial activity and with every modern convenience near at hand; their electric cars and their residences in the quiet suburbs or country; their theatres and amusementsl their drillsheds, yacht and rowin club; their main trunk and other railway lines; their motors and their launches and bicycles, possibly all these modern conveniences make us forget this question: Who were the pioneers and who did the hard graft of cleaning the land and making our modern civilisation possible? Keenly our modern business is transacted with its accompaniment of modern liners from all parts of the world; keenly we pursue new markets for our produce and ship accordingly and “lest we forget” how all this originated and became possible. Let us take a look back to the days of 1841 and at a typical pioneer.
James CLIMO was the son of a Cornish farmer and was born at Bodmin on 28 January 1822, married a Cornish girl in the neighbouring county of Devon in 1840 and he and his bride shortly after set sail for New Zealand in the William Bryan, which arrived off the coast of New Plymouth on 01 April 1841. They settled there for a time and his first child – Elizabeth Catherine – was born at what is now New Plymouth on 05 November 1841 and was unquestionably the first European born at New Plymouth.
It may be as well to state here that in those days there was no circular saw. The pioneer sawing was pit sawing and the first circular saw in Marlborough was built by Captain DALTON at Mount Pleasant and James CLIMO and his son-in-law, George POPE (who married Elizabeth Catherine) were the first to work for Captain DALTON. As time went on James CLIMO was engaged in many parts of New Zealand, following what had become his colonial occupation – pioneering – engaged with survey parties cutting a track through the pathless bush, pit-sawing and generally paving the way for clearances of the bush and the advance of civilisation. James CLIMO was at Mount Pleasant in 1862 when the circular saw first came into use and since that time he has been “with the saw” in its progress through many dense forests until some 10 years ago he finally settled at Havelock being then 76 years of age. He is now 86.
At the outbreak of the Maori war in 1860, CLIMO was, like most early settlers in the North Island, engaged in it until severely wounded at Waireka and was then invalided to Nelson.
William POPE was born in New Plymouth in 1859. For over 20 years he has been working for Brownlee & Co. at the sawmilling industry although now living at Wellington. Agnes POPE is the daughter of William POPE and about three and a half years ago was married to Mr. PICKARD and lives in a township near Palmerston North – Shannon – their infant son being twelve months old. Five generations of New Zealand CLIMO's are living. James CLIMO has living five sons and four daughters and it would be to particularise the extensive ramifications of the family of the 'Old Chief'. Suffice to say that his descendants now number 250 and with unlimited possibilities.
Mrs. George POPE came to Marlborough in 1860 and has lived in Havelock almost ever since and quite recently went to live at one of her married daughter's (Mrs Harriet TWIDLE), near Havelock. (Mr George POPE died about 8 months ago at Nelson).
The hardships incidental to his calling do not appear to have detrimentally affected James CLIMO, as he retains all his faculties almost unimpaired. James CLIMO was not one of those early pioneers who feathered his own nest. The “moving on” nature of his occupation was against that, though many far less deserving early colonists are rolling comfortably in the wealth of the “unearned increment” but he does not share it, which reads rather like the irony of fate and an old-age pension for himself and present wife does no seem an over-extravagant compensation for one who has been such a mighty factor in the success of what we now take pride in calling a Dominion.
As well as himself, many of his numerous descendants live in Marlborough and have richly become entitled to the respect and esteem of the whole community, which they, one and all, enjoy and perhaps he himself, to those that know him can hardly be said to regret that more of the cakes and plums have not come in his way and if, in his unassuming way, he is satisfied and he is more than entitled to be, with the role he has played in the drama of life, yet other people know that he was of that stuff which makes mighty nations and without which they can neither begin, enlarge or continue. The experiences and the hardships of those days would fill a volume. Many of them are unknown and incredible to the present generation.
One was a journey from the Waikato to Taranaki on foot, a journey of 150 miles in which husband and wife forded all the rivers, each with a child on their shoulders and when they got to the Mission Station, were not even regaled with a cup of tea. The experiences of those days are different from those of today; and the “stuff” of those days is a vanishing quantity now. Not, we are glad to see, in Mr James CLIMO's case, as his 250 descendants testify.
on 2010-07-10 01:01:14
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.