Friday, 31 March 2017

2017 03 21-23 Invercargill

In the morning (21st) I had a flight from Christchurch to Invercargill to stay with friends there. Invercargill is averages about 10 degrees in March, Christchurch 15 degrees, so it was a noticeable difference. Nights in a living room with a fireplace was a nice experience. Invercargill makes you appreciate the sun and warmth, which is something I spend most of my time in Brisbane staying away from.

Here’s a couple of shots, this first one I think of as iconic South Island.

The photo above is at Southland Museum, it is a skeleton of a Moa. The leg on the left is of a fully grown Moa and the right is a full skeleton of a younger one or possibly a different species. If you know about animals on NZ, nearly all the native ones are birds. Moa’s were the largest bird ever. There were four species of them. If you imagine the meat that would have been on that leg, you can understand why Maori’s hunted them to extinction.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

2017 03 20 Christchurch

Not much happened on this day, I did washing and a bunch of other stuff in the morning like talk to the bank to unlock my travel credit card due to my excessive use of the wrong pin.

In the afternoon I went for a long walk to New Brighton Pier from where i'm staying in Parklands, which is a good 45 minute walk. When we lived in Christchurch from 1995 to 2000 we used to drive 30 minutes to New Brighton beach, which we considered a long drive at the time. There are allot of memories there.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

2017 03 17-19 Hanmer Springs

Friday (17th) was an early and busy morning, later that day we drove to Hanmer Springs and managed to get in the pools at around 7:30 to closing at 9pm. I felt so good after.

In the morning (18th) we slept in and took it easy and prepared such a great Watchtower article for this week about modesty and humility. “Wisdom is with the modest ones.” - Proverbs 11:2 (

Later went to the pools for a little over 3 hours, it was raining and much cooler outside which makes the heat of the pools even better.

On Friday night I stayed up a took this time lapse of the stars.

Monday, 20 March 2017

2017 03 16 Christchurch

I arrived in Christchurch yesterday, the weather was really warm and sunny; a nice side effect of global warming. Today was expected to be the same.

Herbert Bygrove Owen
A while back I did some research in to my family tree, I knew there were some things to check out in Christchurch. The main goal of my research was to find out who originally immigrated to New Zealand. It probably sounds weird to be going to cemeteries on a holiday, but if you’re interested in history; cemeteries have a whole lot of local history. I figured I’d try find the headstones of some of my 2nd great grandparents Herbert Bygrove Owen and Elsie Amelia Kingsley. Herbert was born in Hobart Tasmania in 1883 and emigrated to New Zealand in 1903. Elsie was also born in Tasmania and emigrated in 1908, they were married the same year in Wellington. Herbert was a book binder and they moved to Christchurch at some point after their marriage, there are also records of them being in Invercargill too.

Elsie Amelia Kingsley
We found Elsie’s headstone and then in another cemetery went to find Herbert, he died in 1923 at the age of 39. We couldn’t find it where it was supposed to be, the block he was listed as being in was mostly empty. I assume the earthquake destroyed allot of the headstones and they might have been cleared out.

The following is further information on Herbert's ancestors and the reason i'm interested in this line of my family tree. I research these things purely out of interest and curiosity and not out of self interest or pride.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen is Herbert’s grandfather on his fathers side. You may already know a bit about the history of Frasier Island in Queensland Australia; Fraser island is named after Eliza Fraser, who was the wife of Captain James Fraser, his ship Stirling Castle, ship wrecked on Fraser island, Eliza Fraser was the only survivor. She was either held captive by an aboriginal tribe or she simply stayed with them and later ‘escaped’ and was taken in by Stephen Owen and his family who corresponded by letter with the Scottish govt to work out a way to help Eliza get back to Scotland, he also did some of his own fund raising to help her. These letters are on record, he also wrote an memoir. Memoir of Stephen Owen:

Rev Dr John Owen
Rev Dr John Owen (1765-1822)
Stephen Owen's father / Herbert’s great grandfather was instrumental in founding the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1804. He wrote about its first ten years.

History of the Origin and the first ten years of the British and Foreign Bible Society -

John Owen's daughter Mary Frances Owen married William Wilberforce (1798-1879), his fathers name was exactly the same; William Wilberforce (1759-1853). Who is famously known as “a leader of the movement to eradicate the slave trade”. A great movie about how they did it is called 'Amazing Grace'.

William Pascoe Crook
William Pascoe Crook (1775-1846)
Herbert's other great grandfather on his fathers side. William Crook was of the first missionaries to travel to the cook islands where he raised a family. He translated the bible in to a Polynesian language, in a book about the voyage to the islands it mentioned that on the island where he ended up staying the natives looked up to him as a god because he was a white man who spoke their language. He received so many gifts and farm land from them that he could comfortably live there. Eventually later on in his life he ended up in Melbourne living with his son and was buried there. The last time I was in Melbourne I went and found his headstone and it had the most writing of all the headstones i'd seen, listing all the things he did.

Australian Dictionary of Biography:

Journal of a voyage in the Missionary ship Duff to the Pacific Ocean in the years 1796 - Page 205:

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

2017 03 New Zealand

So about this time next week i'm going to New Zealand to visit family and friends. I'm looking forward to exploring some more of Southland which i will probably write a few posts about.