Ireland to Lindisfarne via Lochinvar Station
The grand old stagecoach that has long been housed at the museum in Napier might just get an airing in October.
If logistics permit, the stagecoach will make a journey from the Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery in Napier to Hastings’ Lindisfarne College, to be put on display at the McCutcheon Family Reunion.
For the trip, the stagecoach will travel in luxury, tucked up and trucked in, but in its past life it was piloted by Oliver McCutcheon, who arrived in New Zealand from Ireland with his wife Fanny in 1876 and was known far and wide as “one of the best reinsmen in the district”.
Oliver drove the Taradale stagecoach for George Rymer and drove the first pioneering coach over the treacherous Gentle Annie to Inland Patea, where travellers had been known to plunge to their doom in the Ngaruroro Gorge a hundred metres below.
Oliver also drove the Royal Mail coach to Taupo and back for many years, as well as caretaking at the Napier Park Racecourse, then developing a dairy farm in Greenmeadows which became one of the most successful dairy herds on the plains.
Oliver and Fanny produced a family of 15, eventually moving to a property on Pakowhai Road where they brought up their family of eight sons and seven daughters.
Among Oliver and Fanny’s progeny were the Reverend Eccles Alexander McCutcheon, the first European baby to be born on Lochinvar Station, and Jack McCutcheon, who delivered milk to Napier via a horse and cart for 38 years.
Jack did a milk run from Taradale to Napier every day, getting up at 1am to milk the cows before delivering the fresh milk to back doorsteps and kitchen tables all the way up Bluff Hill and over to the Napier port.
The McCutcheons tended to have long lives. Jack, in his day, was “Taradale’s oldest resident” at age 91 and as such was invited to cut the cake for Taradale’s Early Settlers’ Day. The Reverend Eccles Alexander died at 99 and their sister Clara was 100 when she passed away.
A book titled The McCutcheon Super Fifteen: The Genealogy of Oliver and Fanny McCutcheon and their descendants, will be launched at the reunion, which will be held at Lindisfarne College, where generations of McCutcheons have studied and played sport.
For more information or to register for the reunion, contact Janine McCutcheon, phone 845-1155 or go to the reunion website — [www].mccutcheonfamilyhb.com [NB website link inactive 2017]
McCutcheon family reunion: Lindisfarne College, Pakowhai Road, Hastings. Saturday, October 26 – Morning tea and dinner – Cake cutting, photographs and book launch. Sunday, 27 – Church service and lunch.
Photo caption – FIRST GENERATION: The first generation of McCutcheons to be born in New Zealand -these siblings grew up in Taradale, Greenmeadows and Pakowhai where there was a saying that “under every blade of grass there is a McCutcheon”.