THE LATE MR. CHARLES GORDON.
The many friends of Mr. Charles Gordon who saw the announcement of his death at Havelock, New Zealand, in the last issue of the “Gazette” mourn his death at the comparatively early age of 69.
It is unnecessary for me to enter into details of the Gordon family for they were well known residents of Northam – the father, Captain Gordon, the veteran golfer, and the two sons and daughters.
I ﬁrst met the Charles Gordons during the war when they came back from New Zealand with their sons, the elder of whom was in the Royal Flying Corps and the younger at the Junior School, Westward Ho! where Chas. Gordon had himself commenced his education before going on to the United Services College. Their Northam friends may, I think, like to hear some recent news of them. A year ago on our visit to New Zealand my wife and I stayed with the Charles Gordons at Havelock a few miles from the family estate, their great sheep run on Hawke’s Bay. They had just handed over this property to their two sons, now both married, and were feeling rather sad at leaving the beautiful old homestead of Tawrapa [Taurapa] which they had built and where they had lived for 30 years. Their lives, too, were overshadowed by the tragic death of their only grandson who some two years ago had been run over by a lorry in his grandfather’s garden. Charles Gordon also had never completely recovered from the strain undergone in giving devoted help to the sufferers in the earthquake which destroyed the neighbouring town of Napier three years previously. He and Mrs. Gordon had much to say of their experiences and showed us photographs of the ruined town. The immense sheep run of which Tawrapa [Taurapa] is the homestead covers the lofty promontory of kidnappers, the southern horn of Hawkes Bay, and they told us how on the day of the earthquake their old Scotch shepherd rushed in to say that while on the hills he had seen the town of Napier across the Bay collapse in a cloud of dust.
In spite of these troubles the Charles Gordons were their old cheery selves and we shall never forget the kindly reception they gave us on our arrival and the eagerness with which they received all our news about their old Northam friends who will we are sure join with us in deep sympathy for Mrs. Gordon and all her family in this sad bereavement.
H. M. S. MATHEWS.
Clover Bank, Northam.
6th April, 1935.