Book Excerpt

Page 299

From 1912 Sunday School was conducted in a small cottage on Section 18, Miss A Olsen in charge, ending in 1920 when a building on Section 20 was being utilised.

Tennis and Croquet Club
Formed January 1904

Map 53.

[Map] Area to become known as Garfield

Sam Brabazon

Prominent resident and Diarist.

An Englishman, Sam Brabazon arrived in New Zealand from Australia by the SS ‘Wellington’ 3 October 1873.

He worked in Taranaki then Southland before going to JD Ormond’s Station, ‘Wallingford’ in 1880.

In 1890 he purchased his first property of some 149 acres, Section 9A reached by a paper road from Garfield, for the sum of five pounds per acre, and erected his first home, a slab whare.

(Map A)

Map 54.

[Map] Garfield Second Survey

Page 13

Subsequent purchases saw his holding increase to over 300 acres, including Sections 148, 149, 150; 83 and 83A on the Ormondville Road.

In June 1891 he sold his first six pounds of butter to Wilson’s Ormondville Store.

The same month he engaged carpenters at eleven shillings per day to dismantle the defunct Joseph Kuhtze Brewery which he had bought for timber in order to build his new home ‘Oakleigh’ on Section 148. First smoke from the chimneys was on 23 July.

Plantings of acorns brought back from a trip to England were made on the section and around the Village.

The cottage and grounds were to play a notable part in the social life of the district. The first Golf Course was situated on the property, part 148, while cricket and tennis activities also featured.

Photo captions –

From the left, Sam Brabazon, Wm Torkelsen, John Brabazon, Eva Brabazon, Grace Brabazon, M Grant, Mrs Sam Brabazon, in front of ‘Oakleigh’, (Eva wearing a Norsewood Rugby Club Jersey)

Top of the Course.
Garfield Road in the distant background.

Cricket on the Lawn
From the left, E Parsons, Ella Grant, Wm Torkelsen, Grace Brabazon, John Brabazon.

All land was freehold by 1906, converted from dairying to sheep running by 1909, and on his death in 1932 the holding passed to his daughter Eva.

Sam Brabazon took a vital interest in district affairs and his diaries provide an unequalled historical record of early events and his participation in them.

Photo caption – Sam Brabazon and his Grandson Arthur 1916

Campaign for a School

From early 1900 residents of Garfield had felt that their district could be well served by a school, easier access for the children, as well as a centrepoint for the area.  However, debate was to continue.

“At a meeting of householders of Garfield, South Norsewood, held at Mr. A. Olsen’s residence on January 26th, to consider the position re side-school, the following resolution was ordered to be sent to the Education Board, through the School Committee.  Moved by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Alf. Baines –

“That this meeting views with regret the attitude taken up by the headmaster of Norsewood School towards the proposed side-school at Garfield.  While telling the Committee and individuals that it did not matter a snap of a finger to him one way or the other, we are informed that he has done, and is still doing, all in his power against it.  He was told in a meeting of the School Committee that if he could show any valid reason against the establishment of the side-school it would not be pressed.  He was also aware that the principle was laid down that the present staff of Norsewood School must not be interfered with. The Board were informed by the Committee that they would be expected to find a teacher if the side-school was granted.  In the face of these facts we think Mr Watson’s bitter hostility is, to say the least, ill-advised, and it has created considerable feeling against him in the district. We were informed some time ago that the Rev. Mr. Grant had been deputed by the Education Board to visit us. We should have been pleased to see him and give him every opportunity of verifying the particulars which were placed before the Board, but so far the Rev. gentleman has evidently been unable to fulfil his mission, for we have not been favoured with the promised visit.

We, the householders in Garfield, respectfully request the Hawkes Bay Education Board to re-consider their decision not to grant a side-school at Garfield for the following reasons, viz:-

1.   We will provide a suitable building if the Board supplies a teacher and the necessary furniture.
2.   We recognise the fact that we are not far enough away from Norsewood to have a main school. But we plead for the little ones who are too young to travel the distance. Children have more that two miles to walk cannot be sent to school until they are seven or eight years old, which means that [rest of excerpt not available]

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Samuel Brabazon first came to Hawke’s Bay in 1874

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