Sometimes when the road’s choked it can take 2 or 3 hours to drive between Waikawa Beach and Wellington, and we feel entitled to complain. With any luck, all the expressways will eventually shorten a standard trip to maybe less than an hour.
But next time you’re stuck grinding along at 5 Kph you might like to think of the trip Thomas Bevan Senior took as a child, back in 1845. [These are merely very small extracts from the full text. It’s still a long read, so settle in. I also recommend you actually read the whole text — there’s a huge amount of very interesting detail in the orginal story that has been omitted here.]
Thanks to Lesley-Anne Walker for suggesting this story.
Reminiscences of an old colonist 1908
My Arrival In New Zealand – How Four Pakeha Children Travelled From Port Nicholson To Waikawa In 1845.
[A false start]
My father … made arrangements for us to come to him [from Wellington to Waikawa Beach] … It was in May, 1845, that the captain of the schooner called at our house to take us four children on board. We were put below in a small cabin, the air in which soon became stifling. We sailed about 9 o’clock in the evening, and very soon after our departure the wind rose to a hurricane. Continue reading “The wonderful journey of Thomas Bevan in 1845”
In 2018 Gary Drake, from his front porch, looks directly across to part of the 3,000 acres that his grandfather, Arthur Drake farmed. Along with Thomas Bevan, another farmer in the district, they were the early settlers and run-holders that worked the land over 143 years up until the present day. They were the first large European-run farms in the wider Manakau/Waikawa district.
In 1875 Arthur and Thomas Drake settled in the area — Thomas at Ohau and Arthur in Waikawa. Arthur took up 3,000 acres of land. In 1881 a meeting was held in Otaki to consider the establishment of a small farmers’ association in the district. Some 5,000 acres was in the proposal. Some farming statistics printed in the Onslow Historian Journal, Vol. 3 (pp. 90-92) revealed the following numbers of sheep owned by people living in Waikawa:
This is the first social commentary in a series of Gary Drake’s memories.
It may be the South African flag that adorns Gary Drake’s residence at Waikawa Beach that captures ones attention; hung at a time of New Zealand rugby test matches, you get the feeling that this individual is happy to go against the trend and normal support of the NZ rugby supporters in the area.