with him and his wife for three nights, but now I cannot remember his name – I fancy it was Overton, an old Canterbury family. He brought the dual gates for drafting sheep, and I saw it in use in his new yards put up at the foot of the Big Hill now owned, I believe, by Jack Hewitt. When I got home, I put two gates in the Olrig yards, and A. McLean, Manager of Maraekakaho, on seeing it used, put them in.
At that time, about 1875 or beginning of 1876, John Joshua came over from Australia looking for a run. He had a letter of credit for £100,000, and M.K. Miller got him to offer Mr. H.W.P. Smith that sum for the back half of his run, Mrs. Smith was very anxious for Mr. Smith to sell, but he would not, so M.K. Miller sold Joshua the Kereru and Whana Whana, and in less than two years M.K. Miller sold the Kereru to Arthur Harding, and Whana Whana to N.E. Beamish and G.E.G. Richardson. That ends Kereru.
You ask me about the Smith family. Well, I came out with Mr. Hector William Pope Smith in the “City of Auckland” in 1871, leaving Gravesend on 11th September, and reaching Auckland on 16th December. Stayed there nearly a fortnight, and left Auckland for Napier, arriving there on New Year’s Eve. Mr. & Mrs. Smith had three boys then, James Hector, about 5 years; Charles Barron, 3 years; called after Mrs. Smith’s brother; and Hector J., a baby in arms, about a year old. They had two boys and one girl born in Napier. One of the boys, George, died as a baby, and the girl, Wilhelmina is still alive; and Frank, the youngest is a lawyer. After Mr & Mrs. Smith died, all the children were sent home under the charge of the same nurse who came out with them, your father going home with them to look after them. James, Charlie & Hector returned to New Zealand after their education was finished; James first, and he went to Col. Herrick as a cadet, and when Charlie and Hector came out, the three of them went as cadets to Mr. Busby. On finishing their cadetship, James went home again and changed his name to Brookes-Smith as he married a Miss Brooke. He has never returned. Charlie and Hector went to Olrig, the lease of Messrs. James Watt and Robert Farmer having run out. They had a good manager, a Mr. Clark, who left to go to S. Africa [South Africa]. They then had two or three managers till the Government took about half the run for Settlement, and Charlie and Hector divided the remainder.
After living in Napier for three months, Mr. Smith came up to Olrig, and as his new house was ready for occupation, we were to spend a week at Aorangi (where Henry Simmons lives). The new house was burnt, and we stayed on at Aorangi for over six months. The timber for the new house was cut in the new saw-mills at Hampden, as it would have taken too long to get new timber sawn in a pit in the Kereru bush. The Smiths did not enjoy their new house very long. Mrs. Smith died in September 1876, and Mr. Smith in March 1877.
H.W.P. Smith was first cousin to the Duffs, and Hector Duff was Manager for Mr. Smith up to 1873, when he and Mr. Smith had a bit of trouble over a Mr. Neale, who came out in the “City of Auckland” with us. He went to the Bay of Islands as a cadet to a Nick Hunt, with whom he could not get on. He wrote to me, telling me, and I showed the letter to Mr. Smith, and he wrote to him, telling him to come to Olrig, and without consulting Hector Duff, Neale was sent to Olrig. Hector Duff, of course, got his back up, and left straight away, and joined Alick Duff in Wairoa.