Poem by John Collie (1834-1893),
from his book Poems and Lyrics in the English and Scotch Dialects, published in Scotland in 1856
John Collie emigrated to New Zealand in 1858. This poem seems to anticipate his leaving Scotland forever, to start a new life in a new country on the opposite side of the world.
This Sunday is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Le Quesnoy, in France, a week before the end of WW1.
New Zealand soldiers recaptured the town from German occupation, climbing the walls with a ladder to avoid civilian casualties.
My great granduncle Victor Bernard was one of over 100 New Zealanders killed there that day, so I’ve been reminded of him.
I was born in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. My earliest NZ ancestors are my great great great grandparents Abraham and Sophia Harris, from Essex, England. They arrived in Wellington in 1840 aboard the sailing ship Bolton.
1861 revisited – my first pakeha (European) Edwards ancestors, Totara Jack and Mary, arrived in the South Island of New Zealand on board the Olympus and settled in Nelson.
When I lived nearby a century and a half later,
I found the address where they’d lived, just below a spot on a hill that marks the geographical centre of NZ. To the north is Tasman Bay, and south are the foothills of the Southern Alps.
I jammed with South Island musicians; studied at the Nelson School of Music; played in Hokitika, Greymouth, Westport, Nelson, Blenheim, Lyttelton and Dunedin (as well as Brisbane, Australia); and recorded the sound of tui and makomako (native birds) in Nelson Lakes National Park.
Dave Black – acoustic guitar, banjo, drums, harmonica, laptop, field recordings, tenor sax, and vocals
Cylvi M – vocals & phat beatz
Hayden Gifkins / Matt Thornicroft – electric guitars
Frey – no-input mixing desk
Haz / Cookie – drums