the PILGRIM MOTHERS of HUTT VALLEY New Zealand
I have taken some extracts from the Hutt City Library site from the page
Lower Hutt Past and Present (1941)
I highly recommend a visit to their site for some wonderful info and photos of that district and the early settlers.
I am doing some short overviews from their database:
journal 1 - settlers of LOWER HUTT 1839 - 1941
journal 2 - PILGRIM MOTHERS of the Hutt Valley
journal 3 - PETONE's first 100 years, - list of names
journal 4 - PETONE men who fell WWI - list of names
journal 5 - FREEMASONRY - Ulster Lodge No. 62
journal 6 - LOYAL PETONE LODGE - No, 6542
journal 7 - Ancient Order Of Foresters - COURT EPUNI, 7314
journal 8 - INDEPENANT ORDER OF RECHABITES
journal 9 - PETONE Branch - Hibernian Australasian Society 1910
journal 10 - PETONE PIONEER BRANCH - Oddfellows
journal 11 - HERETAUNGA LODGE & STAR of PETONE LODGE
journal 12 - PONEKE LODGE - Ancient Order of DRUIDS
journal 13 - PETONE Town Board - formed 1881
journal 14 - HUTT RIVER BOARD - formed 1879
(additions in italics or capitals are mine)
- (remember the article was written in 1941)
... A tribute to the "pilgrim mothers" who accompanied their husbands to a far country, and shared all the hazards and heart-breaks as well as the joys and triumphs inseparable from life in a new land, would be incomplete without a brief review of the difficulties of life on shipboard during the long months of the voyage from the Old Land.
A passenger who left with one of the first ships describes the confusion of the scene when the ship was about to leave Gravesend. Emigrants, their personal effects, furniture of every description, squealing pigs and distracted hens, presented a picture of wild disorder. Some of the passengers were obviously eagerly anticipating the great adventure, others sorrowfully taking leave of their loved ones. In the cramped quarters of the ship, often encountering terrible storms, the intrepid adventurers suffered conditions inconceivably wretched, till they finally disembarked on the shores of Aotearoa, only to be confronted with hardships calling for even greater endurance.
The first arrivals met a friendly reception from the Maori. Great tribute has been paid to the chiefs and the part they played during the early colonisation, but there has been little reference to their womenfolk. It is recorded that when the grand old chief Te PUNI welcomed the first immigrants on the shores of Petone, his beautiful wife Victoria, and his lovely daughter Aene, the princess, were the cynosure of all eyes.
Many of those Englishmen married women of the Maori race, who proved faithful and devoted helpmates of their husbands.
A grand-daughter of the old chief Te Puni, and a well-known identity of the district, Mrs. Mann MATAKA, passed away in September 1940 at her home just a few hundred yards south of Te Tatau o te Po, the Maori meeting place erected on the Hutt Road a few years ago. According to Mrs. LOVE, her cousin, she was the "elder" of the Maori community and she it was who always welcomed the guests at Te Tatau o te Po, whether the occasion was a tangi or a social event. In collaboration with Mrs. Love during the Great War, her efforts for "the boys" overseas were indefatigable, for she was a past mistress at taniko (weaving) work, which sold readily for patriotic purposes. Efforts during this war also commanded her sympathy and practical assistance.
For these English women, migrating to a new land, many of them delicately nurtured and totally unused to a life of hardship, the Maoris were at first a source of terror.
A young mother, whose babe was born on the voyage, after leaving the Cape of Good Hope, confessed to very mixed emotions and not a little inward trepidation when she disembarked on the Petone beach with her tiny infant before an interested and impressive audience of swarthy warriors attired in mats. The mother was Mrs. Daniel RIDDIFORD and her daughter afterwards became Mrs. GEORGE COOPER.
when you visit the site at top there are stories and reminiscences of the following settlers:
(remember it was written in 1841)
* Mr & Mrs THOMAS FRETHEY who came to New Zealand in the French ship "Justine" in 1840. One of a family of ten, Mrs. TREVETHICK (nee Elizabeth Frethey) lives in a picturesque shingle-roofed home built by her parents in 1875 at White's Line West, near the ramp. Her former two-storied home, situated near the Awamutu Stream, was then quite a "residence," boasting ten rooms, and surrounded by a charming flower garden and orchard
* Another old resident is Mrs. HOLLARD. As a girl she lived with her aunt, Mrs. Nat VALENTNE, whose husband was the proprietor of the Aglionby Arms. Her day's routine, she recalls, included milking fifteen cows night and morning, and, of course, the making of butter and cheese. This necessitated rising at 3.30 a.m., and during the strawberry season fruit picking made further demands on time and energy
* Mrs. WOOD, a sister of the late John PROUSE, who earned wide distinction in the Old Land as well as in the land of his birth as an oratorio singer, has happy memories of such occasions. The family, she says, sang, and their home was the musical mecca of the Valley. It was a matter for great rejoicing in the Prouse family when their father arrived home in Wainui with a piano, which was conveyed from Wellington in a dray.
One of Mrs. Wood's brothers, Richard Prouse, enjoyed rather a novel entry into the world, for he was born in the calf house, in which the family had sought refuge during an earthquake, and he was rather fittingly baptised by the river.
* Mr. and Mrs. GEORGE BUCK, who arrived in 1842, were very well known identities of Taita, and Mrs. DOUGLAS BUCK now lives where the old home, a hotel which rejoiced in the name of "Honeymoon Cottage," once stood. The timber for this home was pit-sawn and came from the virgin bush. The Buck family lived at "The Oaks," nearby, a two-storey house with a balcony on three sides, which is still standing
* The parents of a well-known Taita resident, Mr. JOB MABEY, arrived in 1841
* Mrs. Elizabeth MINOGUE was born at the Hutt in 1855 and lived near Naenae Lane. She was the youngest of a family of fourteen, and her sister and her brother each had families of the same size. She recalls how her mother, Mrs. Daniel PECK (nee GASKIN), anticipating a Maori raid, packed her precious crockery in a box and buried it for safe keeping; and how, on another occasion, her mother, perched on a bed, nursed her during an "old man" flood
* One of the oldest residents of the Valley is Mrs. LEE, widow of Mr. ROBERT LEE, the first school inspector in the Wellington district. Born in 1848, she still retains her faculties and enjoys excellent health. A valued possession is a beautiful painting of the Hutt Valley from her old home on the Western Hills, executed by her father, the distinguished artist, JOHN GULLY, in 1878.
- (a look at the wonderful paintings by John Gully)