December 1908

Tuesday 1st   It was a fine day.  In the morning I went with Alan to Cheltenham beach where Alan had a bathe.  In the afternoon I bid goodbye to my friends the Wallaces and went across to Auckland with Alan ,  I put my bag on board the “Kawau“, I then went up to Albert Park to look at the flowers, afterwards went across the Cemetery gulley where I saw the concrete bridge which is in course of construction to connect Symonds St with Grafton and Park roads. I then went to Carlton Gore road to Messrs Bennet & Greens Nursery to get some Cactus Dahlias.  Mr Bennet showed me round the Nursery, afterwards walked to Ponsonby to Mrs Simpsons where I staid all night,  Mrs Knaggs and Mr Torkington were staying there.  Len Rollinson & Miss Munro called in the evening and we played 6 handed Euchre.

Wednesday 2nd   It was a fine day.  Mr Torkington & I left the Simpsons after breakfast and took our parcels down to the “Kawau“.  We heard that she was not going to leave until noon so we had plenty of time.  Met lots of Omaha people who were in town.  Heard that Willie Dunning and Annie Harper were married at the Registrars Office yesterday, Archie came up to give his consent as Willie is under age, the young married couple went down with us,
there were a lot of passengers and we had a splendid passage.  Willie met me with a horse & sleigh.

Thursday 3rd   It was a fine day.  I was busy all day planting the flower plants I brought from Auckland.

Friday 4th   It was a fine day.  I was all day working in the flower garden planting the flower plants & Cactus Dahlias that I brought from Auckland.  In the evening Jane went down to Mrs Harpers to ticket the toys for the Christmas Tree.

Saturday 5th   It was a fine day.  In the morning Willie took the horse down to the wharf and hauled 2 ½ Cwt Coils of Barb Wire up to the fence that Willie put up while I was in town  between Mr Savages & our place.  He hauled me a bag of sand home.  In the afternoon Willie was improving the road coming up to our stock yard.
I was putting stakes to the Tomato plants near the front gate and I cut the grass on the paths.  Mr Tom Gennings and daughter came in the afternoon & staid tea.
In the afternoon Jane rode over to Dacres Claim to play a Tennis match against Dacres.  Willie rode over to the Claim in the evening to the dance.

Sunday 6th   It was a fine day.  Willie walked over to Ti Point to spend the day.
Mrs Handby and Jim Dunning came in the afternoon & staid tea, the former brought a beautifull bunch of Roses.  It looked very cloudy in the evening, I hope it comes to rain, as the ground is very dry.

Monday 7th   It rained all day, it will do a wonderful amount of good.  We were not able to do anything outside.  I wrote letters to Noel and Alan Wallace.

Tuesday 8th   The wind has changed to the SW and some part of the day it was blowing very strong, there were also a few showers.
In the morning I was loosening and breaking the ground round the Burbank plum trees in this orchard to keep in the moisture.  Willie went down to the P.O and wharf, the “Kawau” had landed 150 fruit cases for him which he removed further up the wharf and stacked.
In the afternoon I went down to the store to get some wheat for the chickens,  John Greenwood had left a small box of Pansies for me , after I got home I planted them near the front gate.

Wednesday 9th   It looked pretty dull, but it did not rain.  Willie and I went up and put the wire on the fence, our back line next to Mr Savages, we put on 4 barb wires, it took us all day.
In the evening Willie hauled the box of eggs down to the wharf and brought up 12 fruit cases and two empty egg boxes.

Thursday 10th   It was a fine day.  Willie planted some Kumeras plants, also one row Dun Beans.  In the morning I went up the hill and got some pea sticks and finished sticking the row of Peas below the house that Willie started, dug up the ground each side.
In the afternoon I was digging out weeds and breaking the border near the front gate, in the evening I went down for the mail and attended the Library, there was a meeting of the Farmers Association, the subject for consideration was Dairying,  Mr S. E. Sinclair, Secretary of the Matakana Dairy factory attended to give information.

Friday 11th   It was fine in the morning, but there was a very heavy shower late in the pm.  In the morning Willie mended up the fence between our place and Norman Mathesons, I was digging round some of the young trees in the orchard.  In the afternoon Willie was painting the front gate.  I finished weeding and breaking the border near the front gate.

Saturday 12th   It was a fine day.  In the morning Willie went to
W. Frearsons to help them get the sheep into their pen, there were 7 of Willies sheep in there which he brought home with ropes a few at a time, there were 2 long tailed ram Lambs which were big and fat, so we killed one and the other he tethered with a rope in the pigs paddock.
I was doing odd jobs, went down to the P.O to post a letter and then went down to the beach and carried up some sand.  In the afternoon I was working in the flower garden.

Sunday 13th   There were a few showers in the morning, but it turned out a very fine day.
Revd  Entrican held service in the Hall in the morning, I was the only one from our house that went.  Willie took the horse round to Joe Wyatts and brought Mrs Joe up to our place, Joe, Mabel & Doss Mills also came for dinner & tea.  Jim was also here for tea, and Edgar Wyatt & Minnie called in the afternoon but would not stay.
Ted Harper called in the evening to tell me that Miss Smith a sister of Mrs Shakespear had died in Auckland and was going to be brought down in the “Kawau” tomorrow night, and to ask me to read the service.

Monday 14th   It was a fine day, but the wind is blowing strong from NE.  Willie was shoeing the sleigh.
I weeded the Onions, loosened the ground round them and tied up the Tomatos.
Mr Shakespear called in the afternoon about the funeral.
I went down to the village in the evening, the Steamer did not arrive until nearly 8 pm which was after dark.  The remains of the late Miss Smith and several friends came from Auckland to attend the funeral. It was a very rough passage,  a good number of settlers attended the funeral, which had to be conducted by lantern light.  I read a short funeral service.
After I got home it commenced to rain and it rained all night.

Tuesday 15th   It thundered & rained heavily early this morning, and up to dinner time, Willie finished shoeing the sleigh, I picked some Evans Early Plums in the afternoon and Willie hauled them (3 cases) down to the wharf and brought up some case lids.  I also went down to the village.  Some passengers were waiting to go up to Auckland, but the Steamer did not come.

Wednesday 16th   It was a very disagreeable day, it rained until about 8.30 am and then cleared up, but the wind was blowing very strong from SW which blew everything about and broke off some of my plants in the flower garden.  I went down to Joe Wyatts to take them some flower plants, when I heard the following news.
There are two surveyors down here surveying for a new wharf and have to report to the Government.  A scow named “Kia Ora” was wrecked on the reef outside Kawau was smashed up and sank and the Captain (Pearce) and two others were drowned, the only one saved was Fred Gossett, this happened last monday night.
The “Kawau” after landing the coffin containing Miss Smith last Monday night proceeded towards Mangawai, but could not sight any land so turned back sighting Point Rodney again, not seeing the entrance to this harbour proceeded to the Kawau where she anchored, until last night when she proceeded to Mangawai, she returned here this afternoon where she took all the passengers & cargo that had been waiting for her.
Willie took down a box of Eggs & Butter which went by her.
Jane and Jim rode to Pakiri in the evening to the Christmas Tree.
Mrs Carr put a horse in the front to graze last night, to date from to day.

Thursday 17th   There was one heavy shower before 8 am, but the remainder of the day was fine.
Willie and Ernest Wyatt started cutting Danthonia seed.
After beakfast I went down to the village to see if the Steamer had come, but she had not, but as I was coming home she whistled as she was coming into the harbour.  I went down again in the afternoon when the “Kawau” was going out.  Willie cut a tree in the evening for the Christmas Tree and he and Ab carried it down to the Hall.  Jane also went down in the evening.

Friday 18th    It was a fine day.  In the morning Willie hauled one sack each of Maize, Sharps & Bran.  I was washing the weather boards on the Store.  In the afternoon Willie dug a lot of Potatoes the upper side of the house as they are getting the blight.  Alma & Agnes walked over in the pm to go to the Christmas Tree with us.  We all went, there were a great number if children and grown ups.

Saturday 19th   It was a fine day.  Jane rode over to Dacres Claim in the morning , there was a Cricket match between Omaha & Matakana, the latter won by 4 runs.  Willie went out fishing, but caught nothing, after milking the cows in the evening he rode over to the dance at the Claim.

Sunday 20th   It was a hot day.  Jane rode to Ti Point to spend the day at Harold Torkingtons.  Willie picked a bucket of peas and took them down to Ab Wyatt.  I staid at home all day and had a good rest and read.

Monday 21st   It was a very hot day.  In the morning I picked 3 Cases of Plums.  In the afternoon I went down to the wharf, the “Kawau” made the Omaha trip today  and arrived while I was down there, I carried up a bag of sand.
Jane rode to Warkworth in the pm intending to return tomorrow.
Willie took the 3 Cases of Plums & the box of Eggs & the Butter down to the wharf in the evening & brought up a box of groceries, bag of Sugar & 6 Fruit Cases.

Tuesday 22nd   It was a very hot day.   Willie was cutting Danthonia all day.  I was digging Potatoes the top side of the house.  Jane returned from Warkworth in the evening.

Wednesday 23rd   It was very hot in the morning, but there was a heavy shower of rain the latter part of the pm.  Grace Simpson arrived from Auckland early this morning, Willie went down to meet her.  Willie was cutting Danthonia all day.
I went down to the P.O in the morning to get the mail.
We killed the Lamb in the evening, we have had it tethered in the pigs paddock since we killed the other one.  Willie took Grace over to Ti Point on horse back in the evening.

Thursday 24th   It was a fine day.  Willie was cutting Danthonia Seed.  In the morning I took a quarter of lamb down to Ab Wyatts, afterwards went down to the Post Office to post some letters.  In the evening I went down to the village, took some peas to Mrs Archie Dunning, also some for old Mrs Dunning.  There was a meeting of the Hall Committee.

Friday 25th   Christmas day.   It was fine in the morning.  Willie was cutting Danthonia in the morning.  Grace returned from Pakiri just before dinner.  We had a good Xmas dinner and in the afternoon Jane went down to Tennis.  It came on to rain very heavily but cleared up in the evening.  We all went down to the Hall in the evening , Mrs Carr had organised a Sacred Concert but on account of the rain many who should have taken part did not put in an appearance and the audience was very small,  Mr G. Knaggs gave some good sacred Phonograph selections.  I was Chairman.  The collection realised £1 . 1 . 11.    12/6 was for the use of the Hall & Piano and 9/5 for the Bible Class,  Joe, Minnie & children were at the Concert and Minnie and children came up to our place to stay all night.

Saturday 26th   It was a fine day.  Willie was cutting Danthonia until about 3.30 pm.  There was a Tennis Match on this court between Leigh and Pakiri Clubs, Leigh won.  There was Tea, Dance & supper in the Hall, we all attended.

Sunday 27th   There were some showers in the morning, also in the evening.  The middle of the day was fine.  Willie & Grace walked over to Ti Point to spend the day.
Revd Jory (Methodist) held a Xmas service in the Hall in the afternoon, it was not numerously attended.  I went.  Mannie Greenwood  were  [sic: was]  here for tea.

Monday 28th   It was a fine day.  Willie was cutting Danthonia.  I picked 2 Cases Wrights Early Plums & 4 Cases Tibbett’s Plums, afterwards dug some Potatoes the top side of the house.  Grace returned from Ti Point in the pm.

Tuesday 29th   It was a fine day.  Willie & Ernest commenced thrashing Danthonia.
In the morning I took Willies new horse down to the wharf with the 6 Cases Plums & 1 Box Eggs & Butter.  In the afternoon I finished digging the Potatoes the top side of the house.  Jane & Grace went to spend the pm with Mrs Dunning Snr.

Wednesday 30th   It was a fine day.  Towards afternoon & evening it was blowing pretty strong from NW.  In the morning I was weeding the Lettices, in the afternoon I planted out 2 Cosmea plants, afterwards went down to meet the Steamer and get the mail.
Willie was thrashing Danthonia.  In the evening there was a Dance in the Hall, Jane, Willie & Grace went.

Thursday 31st   It commence to rain soon after we got up and rained heavily all morning and part of the afternoon, it cleared up later on and was fine in the evening, the wind has changed to the SW.
I went down to the Library and the P.O in the evening.