Tūhoe prophet, Rua Kēnana Hepetipa, and his temple, 1908.
Tūhoe prophet, Rua Kēnana Hepetipa, and his temple, 1908.
A further story from John Wilson’s ‘Reminiscences of the Early Settlement of Dunedin and South Otago‘. The context suggests this story takes place in the 1860s.
A report of a double murder at Switzers reached Blatch at Clutha. Two brothers, named Tibbetts. had a station at Switzers. which they sold to a man named Switzer, who was a bootmaker in Dunedin. and from whom the place gets its name. Tibbetts Bros, haa another run near the former, and their horses always went back to the old run. The shepherds hunted them home with dogs, and one morning one of the Tibbetts found his favourite mare with her leg. broken. He said the shepherds had done it. and he would shoot the lot. Taking a double- barrelled gun. he walked to Switzers. where he arrived in the evening. He went to the hut, but the men had heard that he was coming, and they all cleared out. A woman with a child walked several miles to another station. The men hid in the scrub, from which they watched Tibbetts go into the hut, where he lit a fire and had his tea. About dark he went outside and called. "Aren't you coming in? You'll have to come some time." He stayed all night, and had his breakfast in the morning. It was a frosty night, and the hidden men had nothing on but shirt and trousers. After breakfast he went away up a gully, and one man. a German, who was cook, saw him going, but. being shortsighted, could not see him far. He thought he had gone, and started for the hut. Tibbetts turned and saw him. When he got near the poor fellow saw him and ran for the scrub, but Tibbetts shot him dead. He then turned away, and had some more breakfast with some men who were making a road near. One asked. "Been shooting?" "Oh. not much," said he: "only shot an old German affair." Some settlers then sent a mounted messenger to Blatch. but he had not gone far when another messenger overtook him and told him that Tibbetts the murderer had been shot by his brother. On- Blatch's arrival, he found that Sergeant Morton, who was on his way from the Lakes, had heard of the murder, and had gone to Tibbetts' house. He found the brother there, and they went to Switzers to look for the murderer, but did not succeed in finding him. They returned home, and in a little while saw him coming across the river. They saw him looking at the horses' tracks, and carefully scan- ning the place. There was a calico door to the hut. so they put the table against it, and cut loopholes to peer through. When he came near, the brother told him to lay down his arms and come into the hut. "Who is with you?" was the reply. "Oh. nobody that will hurt you. Lay down your gun." ''What for?" "Because you have shot one man, and I don't want you to have any more shooting." "Yes, you - . and I'll shoot you. too," was the reply. He fired at the door, but, finding from the sound that there was something solid against it, he aimed his gun again. The sergeant said, "now's our time; fire, or he'll shoot us." The brother fired, and shot him dead. He then tried to shoot himself, but Mor- ton, after a sharp struggle, managed to get his revolver, which went off in the tussle, and he was wounded in the hand. Blatch went for Rich, and an inquest was held, when in the one case a verdict of murder was brought in against the dead Tibbetts, and in the other one of justi- fiable homicide.
Another tale from John Wilson’s ‘Reminiscences of the Early Settlement of Dunedin and South Otago‘.
The Nicols, father and son. took a contract to build a bridge and an accommodation house at the Mataura River. Not having seen the place, they had to trust to the particulars given by the Government Department, and their estimates were made up from the information supplied, a good deal of which was misleading. Mr. Nicol, senr.. engaged men and a bullock driver, and. having secured a pair of first-class bullocks and sledge, set out from Dunedin for Mataura. Walter Nicol had now his first experience as a bullock-puncher, as the others of the party left him in charge. The road was only a track in many places, and in others there was hardly anything to guide the plucky new-chum driver. Nothing daunted, he set off, and after five days reached Caldervale, Kaihiku. then occupied by Alex. McNeil, where the others joined him, and the bullocks were handed over to their proper driver. The first day's trip had been as far as Saddle Hill; the next to Taieri Ferry; the third to Mathieson's. at Toko ; the fourth to Balclutha. and the fifth to Kaihiku. After leaving this place they managed, by taking a long day, to reach Trumble's place at Otaraia, but received a very surly welcome, neither food nor lodging being at first forthcoming. Ultimately they persuaded Trumble to give them food, and they lodged in the stockyard among the calf-pens. The seventh night found them at their destination the Bush about two miles below the present Mataura township, where there was a Maori settle- ment. Work then began. All the timber had to be cut in the bush and taken to the bridge site, a distance of about two miles. Soon a difficulty presented itself. The bridge had one span of fifty-two feet, and they could find only one tree in the bush which would square the size required. They had to go to Steel's bush. Edendale. for the other, and this entailed a great deal of extra labour. The bridge was a foot and horse bridge, six feet wide, and the spans were to rest on two Mat rocks, almost in mid-stream. It was found that the plans were here far astray, the proposed bridge being found to be twenty feet short, and some time was wasted in getting authority from Dunedin for the in- creased length. Provisions ran short, and the bullock team was sent to Invercargill for flour. It was away a fortnight, and then brought only one bag. The men were in a sad plight. Rich, a station-owner near, was away from home, and his foreman refused to sell them any meat, and if it had not been for the Maoris they would have starved. These Maoris gave them a few potatoes, and they managed to get some wild pigs. On Rich's return he soon had a bullock killed, and they were in clover. They then shifted camp to the bridge site, and were ready to start, when a flood came, and showed them that something would have to be done to prevent the bridge when built from being swept away, as the water rose right over the rocks where it was supposed to rest. The authorities were communicated with, and instructions sent to drill holes in the rocks and put in bolts, which were fixed by having melted lead poured in. After the work was completed, the river rose again, and the water flowed over the bottom of the bridge. Some time after- wards the bridge was swept away just when Southland separated from Otago and this accident made the sepa- ration complete. The accommodation-house was soon com- pleted, and the party returned to Dunedin.
A recollection from John Wilson’s ‘Reminiscences of the Early Settlement of Dunedin and South Otago‘.
The following account is given by Mr. Matthew Marshall, a passenger by the "Philip Laing" in 1848, and relates to the time 1852) when he was shepherding for Edwin Meredith on the Popotunoa Run. In those early days there were, in the Popotunoa Bush, a few wild dogs, which were a source of never- ending trouble to the shepherds., who had to gather the sheep together every night, and tie their dogs at suitable places round them, not only to keep them together, but to give the alarm when the wild dogs attacked. One night the wild dogs got in before being seen. and. while some attacked the sheep dogs, others went after the sheep. Hearing the noise, the shepherds rushed out, but had great difficulty in driving off the wild dogs. Meanwhile the sheep had scattered in all directions. For many hours the work of collecting them proceeded, and. although ulti- mately successful, it was found that many had been killed, while others were so badly maimed that they soon died. It was a strange thing that, if a sheep were bitten by a wild dog, it never recovered. No matter how small the mark made by the teeth, blood poisoning set in. and the animal was sure to die. It was also a strange thing that the dogs would never make a meal of a sheep, and the shepherds never saw the remains of one that had been eaten. They seemed to be content with worrying the poor brutes to death. In the following year the sheep were taken to Fuller's place at Hilly Park for the shearing, the whole flock being shorn in the stockyard, and the wool taken to Port Moly- neux, where it was shipped to Dunedin. After shearing, the sheep, which were divided into two flocks, were camped in two separate places, one being in the valley between the Awakiki Bush and the hill, the other on the Clinton side of the bush. Dent's time being now up, and he refusing to re- engage, Hobbs went to Dunedin for another man. while Marshall was left in charge of the sheep. In about a week Hobbs returned, bringing a tall, strapping man. in the prime of life, named Sandy Gordon. The sheep were then taken to Popotunoa. Some time afterwards Meredith arrived from Tasmania, but was greatly disgusted with the small returns. He ordered the mob to be divided into two flocks again, and Marshall was sent with the ewes and lambs to Moa Hill, Kaihiku, while Gordon remained at Bedding Hill with the wethers and dry sheep. Sandy Gordon was a very conscientious man and exceedingly careful with the sheep, but was terribly harassed by the wild dogs, often having hardly a night's rest for weeks at a time. One day Hobbs. on his. return to Moa Hill, after a visit to him, told Marshall that Gordon was in a terrible rage, and that his ultimatum was: "Just you look here. now. Mr. Hobbs. if you will not send me up another man, I shall just leave the sheep, and vou can do whatever vou like with them." It was then decided to shift the sheep to Wharepa to try to get rid of the dogs, so they were all mustered, and the trip started. However, the dogs seemed to think something was up. and actually followed them for some distance. The first night they reached Albert's Cap, where they camped on the banks of the Piawhata Creek. Hobbs and Gordon then came on to Marshall's hut at Moa Hill, where they stayed the night. On their return next morning what was their disgust and rage to find that the wild dogs had been among the sheep, which were scattered in all directions, some fifty being either dead or badly damaged. The remainder were collected and arrived safely at the Wharepa Bush, where Gordon built the first white man's hut in the district. It was built on the site of the present house, in front of which is still to be seen the stump of the first tree cut in the bush by a White man. It may here be said that Gordon afterwards purchased the section, and lived for many years in the original hut. For some time both flocks of sheep were not troubled by the dogs, and the shepherds thought they had now got rid of them. However, one clear frosty night in the winter time, when Hobbs and Marshall were in bed at Moa Hill, they heard the sheep running about. There was no barking of dogs or any other noise, so they did not suspect wild dogs. Getting up. they had a look round, when, to their amazement, they saw some dogs rounding up the sheep. The leader of the mob was a white bitch -a perfect devil and there were three other dogs, a black one and two reddish-coloured ones. This mob had originally consisted of seven dogs, but three had been killed at Bedding Hill. Hobbs had a grand collie bitch which had already accounted for two of the mob, and this night she led the chase. She managed to bail them up on the banks of the Kaihiku. and when the men reached her the white bitch was sitting on the ground, fighting viciously. On seeing them she dashed into the water, but the men were deter- mined she should not escape. Whenever she came out of the water their dogs tackled her and drove her in again. Hobbs' dog followed her, while Hobbs himself took one side of the stream and Marshall the other. Up and down the bank she dashed, but every time she was checkmated in her attempts to escape. At last she was played out and caught in the water. Marshall had a pocket knife with which Hobbs stabbed her to the heart, both men with grim satisfaction then watching her bleed to death. Owing to the excitement of the chase they had not felt the intense cold, but on returning to the hut. when they took off their trousers they found them so frozen that they stood up by themselves in the middle of the floor. Next morning being Sunday. Marshall went to pay Gordon a visit. When he told him the story, Sandy replied : "I'll not believe a word till I see her," so both set off for the Kaihiku. On reaching the spot where the body lay. Sandy stood looking at it for a few minutes with a grim look on his weather-beaten countenance. Then he jumped on the body, dancing about till there was not a whole bone left in it. He then skinned it and took the skin to his hut. where he cured it, keeping it for several years as a relic of the early days of shep- herding in the Clutha.
Forget Islamic extremists or anything to do with the Middle East, the world’s first strapped-on suicide bombing happened in Murchison.
Joseph Sewell was a 57-year-old farmer from Longford when he strapped himself with sticks of gelignite and blew himself up outside the Murchison Courthouse on Friday 14 July 1905. It was an event that got reported worldwide as “The Murchison Tragedy”….
Whatever his mindset at the time, Joseph Sewell had developed an unshakeable belief in the efficacy of explosives to settle virtually any dispute. Some years before he had unsuccessfully sued the Buller County Council for damages to his property sustained by a careless cart driver along its road. After Westport solicitor Edward Harden sent Sewell three accounts with a final demand for payment for having represented him in the case, Sewell marched into his office.
“Do you intend to actually get this money?” asked Sewell.
“Certainly, people in my line of business do not usually go to the trouble or expense for nothing,” replied the solicitor.
“Then we shall go to hell together!” expounded Sewell, who then produced from under his coat a package of dynamite with a detonator attached. The solicitor jumped up saying actually there was no hurry for the money, in fact he wouldn’t bother if it was never paid, but it still took some persuading for Sewell to finally settle down and leave.
With thanks to the National Library of New Zealand
Unconscious/semi-conscious curse working on Germany from the pages of the
Taranaki Daily News.
Some Great sympathetic magic here; when will they fall? when the clock strikes. How will they fall? like over ripe fruit. Through narrative causality their strength is the sign of their imminent undoing. The fruits of their civilisation are a lie, obliquely mirrored in two leaders, Bismark the inescapable manifestation of the ur German, the guiding hand of national destiny despite the efforts of poets, artists and thinkers, and William, embodying simultaneous paradoxes, with the worse always victorious.
half an athlete, half a cripple, half a genuis, half a homicidal maniac. A diseased sepulchre for a soul, a monster spewed from the dark ages to curse the twentieth century
Peppered throughout are some nice flourishes that demonstrate the will behind the working. The alliteration of:
foul feeders, deep drinkers, dull of brain, heavy of hand, coarse, common and cruel
The marking of Germany as “the Master Devil” a title befitting a villain so single mindedly evil that its downfall is all but ordained, something conjured up to be a wrestling heel or enemy of Godzilla, and this appellation is backed up by tales of turpitude demonstrating their validity.
he would go to royal kinsman’s death chamber and steal from dying lips the secrets of the great
It ends with both the case for the war and the implication the curse is already in effect and its fulfilment is at hand
Germany became the colossus of the world, and might have been its master ere the sands ran out had honesty and righteousness been the national watchwords instead of trickery and brute force. The whole Germanic life has been a hideous lie for two generations. They were within an ace of world mastery by virtue of their industry, organisation, and will power and brain force. They have thrown it all to the dogs. The Gods have cursed them. They will fall when the clock strikes.
TARANAKI DAILY NEWS, 21 JUNE 1916
With thanks to the National Library of New Zealand
Vera Wyse Munro (1897-1966) was a pioneering New Zealand ham radio broadcaster, improviser, and sonic experimenter. Her primary media were amateur radio broadcasts, Morse poetry, and sono-topographical scores. Via her broadcasts, which were frequently received by amateur radio operators as far afield as the United States and Europe, Munro initiated some of the earliest telematic performances, in which she would perform prepared violin in structured improvisations with other musicians broadcasting from elsewhere in the world. Munro’s work was often necessarily clandestine, as a result of legislation curbing amateur radio activity in New Zealand. As a result of this, as well as the absence of extant documentation about her life and her ephemeral practice, Munro’s work is only now starting to be regarded amidst New Zealand’s cultural history.
reconstructed score excerpt of the Skywave Symphony (1940)
With thanks to Celeste Oram. Information from http://celesteoram.com/Vera-Wyse-Munro-1897-1966 (also check out the radio documentary on her page)
An expanded biography on Monro is available at http://verawysemunro.nz/Biography