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Clutha Pioneers
New Zealand Bound

A PLEASANT PICNIC

Otago Witness 20 January 1909, Page 12
A successful picnic was held at the Warepa School on the 13th inst under the Auspices of the Clutha Pioneers' Association. Though threatening weather in the morning prevented the attendance from being as large as it would otherwise have been, there were about 200 present, and the sun shining out in the afternoon, the proceedings generally were of a most enjoyable and cordial nature. Among the oldest of the early settlers present were the
Hon. T. Mackenzie (ship Robenderson, arrived in 1858)
Mr L. Langlands, secretary of the Early Settlers' Association (Victory, 1848)
Mr Matthew Marshall (Philip Laing, 1848)
Mr and Mrs Charles Dabinett (Isabella Hercus, 1856)
David Hudson (Creswell, 1857)
Mr and Mrs Patrick Fahey (Harold, 1862)
Mr S. Young (Mary, 1849)
Mr J. Macfarlane, Mayor of Tapanui (Lady Egidia, 1848)
Mr Collins (Oliver Cromwell, 1862)
Mr J. Dunne, Mayor of Balclutha
Mr J. Waters (Caribou, 1865)
Mr James Christie (Nourmahal, 1858)
Mrs Crawford (Palmyra, 1858 
Mrs Gunn (Peter Denny, 1865)
Mrs P. Robertson (Gothenburg, 1863)
Mrs J. Grant (Storm Cloud, 1861)
Mr Robert Ayson (Royal Albert, 1853)
Mr James Robertson (Southern Cross)
Messrs G. B. Somerville, J. A. Somerville, and R. Somerville (Blundell, 1848)
Mr John Gordon (General Wyndham, 1856)
Mrs T. Gunyatt (Blundell, 1848)
Mrs Newson (Clontarf, 1860)
Mr W. Murdoch (Eden, 1850)
Mr W. Marshall (Aconcagua, 1880)
Mrs H. Robinson (Southern Cross, 1856)
Mrs Matthew Marshall (Larkins, 1849)
Mrs J. B. Yaters (Silistria, 1861)
Mrs T. Latta (Mary, 1849)
Mrs J. Crawford (1862)
Mrs J. A. Somerville (Philip Laing, 1848)
Mrs R. Somerville (May Queen, 1870)
Mire G. B. Somerville ((Nourmahal; 1858)
Mrs Smith, sen and Mrs H. Hogg (Henrietta, 1860)
The Pioneers Association was inaugurated for the purpose of collecting records of the early settlers. Accounts of their experiences have already been received from Mr John Dalzell (Balclutha), who arrived in Australia in 1853 by the Benares, and came on to Wellington in the Thomas and Henry the following year
John Crawford (Toiro), who landed in 1858
Edmond Couston (Strathallan, 1858).
Mr and Mrs Stoddart (Toiro) 1863)
Mr Robert Christie (Owaka, 1853)
Mr Robert Grigor (Balclutha, 1858)
Mr John Johnston (Kaihiku, 1852)
Mr Wm. Hay (Romahapa, 1849)
Mr Archibald Anderson (Stirling, 1839)
Mr James Somerville (Woronui) 1849)
Mr Matthews Marshall (Balclutha, 1848)

Records of pioneers deceased have been collected concerning James Ayson (1853), Robert Sutherland (1853), Peter Ayson (1853), and John Somerville (1848).

Present at the picnic were the only two survivors of the original settlers along the Warepa, Mrs John Somerville and Mrs Robert Sutherland. Mr A. S. Malcolm, M.P., and Mrs Malcolm were among the visitors. The Pioneers and their conversation were alike interesting. There was the youth of 84, who when asked how be did, briskly replied, " Bright and hearty, thank ye ; free from rheumatics, and ready for meals at the first clack o' the clock " Age, evidently, does not impair the conversational powers, and the spectacle presented was that of a number of hale old gentlemen, talking and listening at the same time. The past was dragged forth to bear witness to the fact of so-and-so having one day spent two hours in stalking a pig in the bush, how he took steady aim and slew the savage animal, and how the wild pig turned out to be a tame belonging to an irascible settler. Then there was the first white man to climb Mount Benger. The first manager of the Moa Flat Estate, under Mr Chalmers. Another living in the wilds in the long ago hasl not set eyes on a white man for three months. At last one (Mr J. Barr) came from Dunedin to see him,  but the visitor "cooeed" from a distance, and the solitary settler, thinking it was the Maoris, fled to the bush, so not see his visitor after all.

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