The Climo's of Taranaki - Rata & Havelock (Marlborough).
James and Amelia returned to Inglewood after their marriage but for how much longer they stayed in Taranaki is not known as they eventually made their way back to Marlborough. Amelia had a stabilising effect on the families in Halcombe, where Robert had married Eliza Gibbons in 1883 and Richard, now divorced from Marianne, had re-married to Fanny Ellen Luxford in 1884. In 1890, John and Kate rejoined the family and James took over as the manager of the new mill across the Rangitikei River at Rata.Though Amelia lived at Halcombe, she was able to reunite Richard's first family with their father for a time. Amelia became well-respected and much loved by many of the younger generations of Climo's who often bestowed the name 'Amelia' on their children and grandchildren.
All went well at Rata with the grandchildren – Ada and Maudie in particular enjoyed the rides on the empty logging wagons, drawn by Uncle Bob's bullocks up into the bush along the wooden tramlines. They walked to Sunday School which was held at the home of Miss Arkwright, who taught them the Faith and gave them drinks of lemon juice before their long walk home on the dusty roads. And the men would bring back starry white clematis for the pair for “being good girls” - with wreaths of white on their heads they were brides for a day and slept soundly in their happiness.
There was a great fire during the summer of 1894-95 which swept through the mill and timber yards. It was thought to have been started by a spark from the nearby railway and it continued to spread through miles of standing bush. Unfortunately it brought the end of all milling in the district so once again, James found himsel without any means of support for his sons. But the young Climo men were resilient and set off to try new experiences. John turned to boat-building with high hopes of a career in fishing, but in 1895, a few weeks after arriving in Wanganui, tragedy struck.
At the time, John was in the company of his brother Richard and another gentleman. The men had gone out in a whaleboat to fish, crossing the bar at the Wanganui Heads early in the morning of 21 April 1895. They fished all day until early that evening when a steam fishing launch, which had also been out, came by. The men requested that they be “hitched” onto the steamer so as to be towed into port. This caused the whaleboat to capsize and the crew on board the steamer cut the line as a means to release the boat so that John, Richard and their friend could escape from the submerged boat. The boat rolled three times and John and Richard found themselves drifting some twenty yards away. Their friend, who could not swim, clung to the stricken whaleboat for dear life. John soon became exhausted and had to let go of Richard, who sadly never saw his brother alive again. Richard grabbed the floating mast of the whaleboat until the steamer was able to turn back and come to the surviving mens' aid. Richard was pulled safely aboard along with his friend. It would be two long weeks before John's body was recovered and that same day, 09 May 1895, an inquest was held. The verdict was that John's death was accidental drowning. John left behind his wife Katherine and their five children.
After this latest tragedy, James and Amelia decided to return to Havelock, together with Richard, Fanny and their three daughters and the late John's eldest son James Henry. James, by this time, was approaching the age of eighty years and when he finally retired in 1905, he was still regarded as a sawyer.
James and Amelia lived their last years quietly in Havelock, in a small cottage at the back of a substantial section (later used by the Chinese as a market garden), not far from the home of James' eldest daughter Elizabeth Catherine Pope. The site today is now part of a motel complex. In 1908, when he was 88 years old, James recounted to The Marlborough Express some of his experiences since coming to New Zealand, copies of which were sent to his grandchildren. These accounts are still treasured by the family today and together, with James' obituary published in The Pelorus Guardian at the time of his death in 1911, have formed the basis of research undertaken for this story. Once account of his many experiences was recounted to The Taranaki Herald.
On 10 September 1911, James Climo died in Havelock aged 91 years old. and was laid to rest peacefully in the Havelock Cemetery. His obituary was published in The Pelorus Guardianin the days following his death. James was described as a native of Cornwall, who arrived with his wife on 01 April 1841 and that their first child – who was also the first white child born in that town – was born on 05 November 1841 …
“... Next year he went to Kawhia. On returning to Taranaki, Mr. Climo was shipwrecked at the heads and lost everything. He and his wife had to carry their two children on their backs for ten days living off native food and fording rivers. They settled in Taranaki until the war broke out, when Mr. Climo was called out with the militia for defence purposes. In an engagement with the natives on 28 March 1860, he was wounded and suffered more or less ever since from the effects of it. As soon as he was able to leave the hospital, he was invalided to Nelson. After short sojourns in various parts of New Zealand, Mr. Climo went to the Havelock district and had resided there ever since.”
Three months later, on 22 December 1911 Amelia Climo died and was laid to rest beside him.
on 2010-05-15 22:32:38
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.