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New Zealand Bound

London to Lyttelton, N.Z. - arrived January 1878

Passenger list transcribed, 294 names, PDF 237k from Family Search browse, Canterbury, 1878, page numbers are image numbers
Posted  February 8th 2013. Passenger list transcribed by Carol McE.
Images online.

Wanganui Chronicle, 5 January 1878, Page 2
Lyttelton, Jan. 4. Arrived Opawa she left Plymouth on September 27th, and had fine weather and light winds throughout the passage. In running down easting, she was driven 50 S., by north-east and easterly winds. The Opawa brings 290 immigrants and 11 saloon passengers, all well. Three deaths of children occurred during the passage.

Press, 4 January 1878, Page 2
This ship was signalled last night. She left Plymouth on September 27th, and has therefore been 98 days on the passage from port to port. The Opawa has aboard ten saloon passengers and 260 immigrants. Her cargo, is a large and valuable one. No farther particulars are to hand. as the ship was not cleared last night; bat a detailed report of the passage will appear in tomorrow's issue.

Press, 5 January 1878, Page 2
Anchored off Diamond Head. The ship, after a rather lengthy examination declared her cleared, and in company with the agent and friends of the passengers our representative proceeded aboard. The ship was found to be in fine order, and in the matter of extreme cleanliness only second to the Waipa. The passage had been fine weather one throughout, and in fact it was the very absence of strong winds that had tended to delay her. There was one birth and there were four deaths aboard—of these latter one was a consumptive member of the crew, two others were tiny infants who suffered from tubercular meningitis, and the fourth was an unfortunate child who came to her death by accident under the following circumstances:—On the 30th of Nov., the ship rolling heavily, there being a terrible cross sea from S.W., Eleanor Ann Lewis, a child aged five years, was playing about the deck-with some other children, ship gave a heavy lurch, and the wash-deck tub rolled against the bitts, cross sea her head against them. Her skull was fractured, and she died instantly. Captain Young is in command. He is a stranger here but was formerly master of the Asia, trading to Calcutta, which ship, it will be remembered, was burnt in the Hooghly. Capt. Young appears to have been very popular aboard, and the saloon passengers presented him with a very nice testimonial for his Kindness during the passage. As to Dr. Ross, formerly of the Rakaia and Rangitikei he still retains that most excellent reputation which he bore in the former ships. It is very slow work travelling with him through the 'tween decks, for children catch hold of him and women consult him in a manner which shows how kind he must have been. A testimonial was presented to him signed by all the immigrants, and if ever a presentation is genuine this one is. As before stated, the Opawa's long passage is due to the wind having been light, more particularly when the ship was running down her easting, and the long tack to the southward that she had to take after passing Tasmania. Amusements were plentiful aboard, and a choir, under the superintendence of one of the lady saloon passengers, was really deserving of notice. The men were after a little training very smart at the fire drill, and the Doctor wishes us specially to mention that, in his experience of single men as immigrants, be never met such a thoroughly respectable an orderly assemblage as that on board the Opawa. Divine service was performed regularly, being only omitted on two .Sundays, and then not from bad weather but from excessive cold. There were 290 immigrants altogether, 210 of whom were for Christchurch and 80 for Ashburton and Timaru. The Christchurch portion were all landed yesterday in the p.s. Titan, and sent through the tunnel by the 4.50 p.m. train. Those for Timaru and Ashburton be sent by mid-day train to-morrow. The after department was as usual, occupied by the single girls, of whom there were sixty-four, under the charge of Mrs Roberts; the assistant matron, Miss Williams, having also rendered good service. The bath-room and offices were in splendid order and very convenient, and there was plenty of light and good ventilation. The girls are nearly all domestic servants, but a large proportion come out to friends already residing here. The married people were amidships, entrance being gained to this department both by the main and after hatchways. There were 86 couples, with 64 children, located here. The department was beautifully clean, and the people seemed very happy, and spoke highly of the provisions and also of the treatment they had received. Most of the people were agricultural and mining labourers from the west of England. The children looked very healthy, one little girl in particular, Cissy Harrison, named "the beauty of the Opawa," being a perfect picture of robust health. The berths in this department were so arranged that their occupants lay facing each in an opposite direction to his immediate neighbour. It is supposed to secure more privacy, but the Surgeon- Superintendent does not approve of it, as he thinks it tends to check ventilation. The surgery was well fitted and situated and beautifully kept, the doctor speaking in the highest terms of his assistant, Mr Richards, from whom he has received very great help. The single men were 86 in number, about half being English and half Irish. Nearly all are agricultural labourers, and seem to be an orderly set of men, well suited to Canterbury's requirements. Their division was certainly beautifully clean, and, taken as a whole, was certainly the best single men's compartment we have seen. The ship brings a large cargo, consigned to the Company. The following is the captain's report:—Left Plymouth on September 27th, and took final departure from the Lizard on the 28th. Had light variable winds till the N.E. trades were caught on October 15th in 23 N. and 23.51 W. They were very light, and were lost on October 2lst in lot 9.48 N. and 25.47 W. Light variable winds and calms thence till the 28th. when the S.E. trades were caught in 4.3 N. and 23.26 W. Crossed the Equator on Oct. 31st, thirty-four days out, in 28 4. W. The S E. trades were fair, and were lost on November 9th in 23 S. The Island of Trinidad was passed on the previous day within sight. Then to meridian of Cape light variable winds, passing that point on November 27th. Ran down easting between 48 and 50 degrees south, the westerlies being unusually poor. The Crozets were sighted on December 2nd, and on the 13th, in lat. 43.10 S, long. 108.38E. passed eight large icebergs, and next day two more. Passed longitude of Tasmania, on December 20th, and thence to the Snares a succession of N.E. end E. winds prevailed forcing the ship from her course to 53.30 S., and rendering this part of the trip unusually long. Sighted the Snares on Saturday, 29th, at 4 a.m. and had N.E. winds up the coast till January 3rd, at noon, when the ship, being off Akaroa, a S.W. breeze sprang up, lasting to arrival in harbor at 9 p.m. same day. The passage has been characterised by remarkbly light winds and fine weather, no heavy gale having been experienced. The Auckland, ship, as already reported, was spoken to north of the Equator, and the French barque Valentine from Liverpool to Coquimbo, on October 23th. in 3.27 N. The passage has been a fine-weather one throughout.

The following is the report of the Surgeon Superintendent —The immigrants were embarked on September 36th, at l0:30 a.m. All were in perfect health. During the first port of the voyage all enjoyed good health, with the exception of two infants of naturally weak constitution. On Thursday, October 11th, one of these, Elizabeth Phillips, aged for months, died of tubercular meningitis; and on the 23rd Margaret Bee-Stevens, aged three -months, died of the same disease. During hot weather the general health remained good, the ventilation, except in the for part of the married people's compartment, being very good. Throughout the whole of the passage the conduct of the immigrants was exceptionally worthy of praise, the single men being very remarkable for the way in which they obliged orders. The saloon passengers, many of whom were old voyagers remarked that they had never seen so thoroughly orderly and respectable a lot of immigrants. On December 1st one of the single men fell forward, striking his head against the forecastle door. He remained insensible for the night, and afterwards suffered from symptoms of concussion of the brain, but is now thoroughly recovered. A child, five years old, sustained a fracture of the skull. The skull was trephined, but without success, death being almost immediate. The temperature of department was daily recorded, and every possible precaution taken against disease.

The New Zealand's Company's ship Opawa, ship 1100 tons.
The beautiful ship Opawa. She made 22 passages from the UK to NZ. and she was a fast sailer. b/w

Star 12 January 1878, Page 2 Lyttelton
(Before W. Donald, Esq., R.M.) Absent without Leave. — Joseph Japp, book on board the ship Opawa, was charged with the above offence and sentenced to three days' hard labour.

Hawke's Bay Herald
, 26 January 1878, Page 2
A change is to take place in the commands of the New Zealand Shipping Company's ships Rakaia and Opawa, at present at Lyttelton. Captain Friston (Triston), of the Rakaia, will assume charge of the Opawa, Captain Young being posted to the Rakaia.

North Otago Times, 11 February 1878, Page 2
Sailed — Opawa, for London, with 40 passengers and a cargo of wool, wheat, and tallow, of the value of L85,200.

Comber Index
OPAWA - Capt Young (out)
Capt Friston (home)
Sept 22 1877 - Sailed London
27- Sailed Plymouth
Oct 31 - Equator 28.42 degrees W 43 d light & variable
Nov 8 - Trinidad - Easting 48/50
Dec 2 - Crozets 13th 49.106 108.38 E 8 large bergs, 2 more next day
20 - Tasmania
29 - Snares - driven to 53.30 S
Jan 3 1878 - Arr Lyttelton. Long passage light winds 11 + 260 p
Feb 8 - Cld Lyttelton for London
9 - Sld for London
Apr 28 - SPK 40N 27W
May 9 - Arrived Gsend.

New Zealand Shipping Company Ltd Share register and passenger book  1872-1877
Reference Number : MSY-6490  Unrestricted Alexander Turnbull Library
Combined share register and passenger book. Share register section comprises information on shareholders: includes name, shareholding, address, occupation, financial details and date. Passenger book section comprises ship's list of passengers in saloon, second, third class and steerage. Includes financial details for individual passengers, age, occupation and nationality. Names of ships are indexed but the register does not always indicate date of voyage includes the Opawa.

Grigg, Robert, Farmer, Pareora. Mr. Grigg was born at St. Columb Major, Cornwall, England, on the 26th of May, 1837. In the early part of 1877, in the latter part of which he left Plymouth for Timaru, in the s.s. “Opawa,” accompanied by his wife and two children. Lyttelton was reached on the 3rd of January, 1878, and the family proceeded to Timaru, where Mr. Grigg was employed on the breakwater for several years. In 1890 he took up land in Pareora, and has since then been engaged in farming.

Prentice family

Press, 7 January 1878, Page 2
January 5. Laju, ship, 555 tons, McWhirter, from London. New Zealand Shipping Company, agents.
Circe, brigantine, 145 tons, Alexander, from Foo Chow. C. W. Turner, agent.
This ship was signalled early on Saturday morning, and came to an anchorage off Ripa Island at 9 a.m. Powder being aboard she was not allowed to come further up the harbor. She was speedily cleared by the health officers, and was then visited by our reporter. The Laju is a nice little ship of 556 tons, and is commanded by Captain McWhirter. The passage like that of the Opawa, has been a fine weather one, and, in fact, studding sails, which are still the order aboard the Laju, have been carried nearly daily. Though not remarkable for speed the ship is a splendid sea boat, "and as dry as a bone and tight as a bottle." The trip has occupied 105 days from the dock to anchorage, and 100 from Portland to the Snares. She is rather a pretty model, and has a email but very comfortable saloon, which, like all other parts of the ship, is most beautifully clean and tidy. The Laju is owned by Mr W. Taylor, of Dundee, and is a composite vessel, eight years old, having been formerly in the China trade. She is under charter to the New Zealand Shipping Company, and brings a large and valuable cargo, but no passengers. The following is the report of the trip:— The ship Laju, Captain McWhirter, 556 tons, left the docks on September 22nd, and had fine weather down channel, taking final departure from Portland on the 24th. Had westerly weather across the Bay, and caught N.E. trades in 18 N. on October 17th. They were very moderate, and were lost in 6 N. on October 23rd. Caught S.E. trades on October 29th in 1.30 N., crossed the Equator next day.

Press, 7 January 1878, Page 2
Nothing be tends to benefit our port as direct communication with other countries whose commodities we require, and therefore the arrival of Mr C. W. Turner's brigantine Circe, from China, with tea, is worthy of special notice. Direct importation must be a great benefit to the consumer, and no article passes through a number of hands without increasing in price, and as a consequence the enterprise of Messrs C. W. Turner and Co. in establishing a trade between this port and India and China should, be a subject of congratulation. Besides the direct benefits, the fact of vessels owned here visiting foreign countries for trade purposes must increase the prestige of Lyttelton by making it a place known in distant parts of the world. The Circe has been six months and twenty days absent from our port, and during that space of time has visited Newcastle, Hong Kong, and Foochow. She left here with a cargo of produce on June 18th, 1877, and reached Newcastle on July 3rd, where her present commander, Capt. Alexander, joined her. After she loaded coals for Hong Kong, leaving for that port on July 20th, and arriving on August 31st. After discharging and loading a considerable quantity of Chinese produce, she proceeded to Foo Chow for tea on September 14th. Owing to prevailing monsoon the passage to that port was peculiarly tedious, being a continual beat. She arrived there on October 6th, and having taken aboard some 4000 packages of tea took her final departure for this port on October 20th. The N.E. monsoon held till 2 N., from which latitude light variable winds and calms prevailed till passing Straits of Sunda on Nov. 16th. The same day a departure was taken from Princess Island, and the S.E. trades were first experienced, they were moderate and carried her to 30S., leaving her on Nov. 29th. Variables prevailed to 38 S. s when the westerlies caught her and carried her along merrily, the parallel of Cape Leuwin being passed on Dec. 11th, and that of the South Cape of Tasmania in 4E 49 S. on Dec. 19th. When within 250 miles of the Snares, the westerlies failed, and strong easterly weather set in. It was Dec. 30th when the Snares were passed, the breeze being then light and shifty, but it soon settled into a steady north-easter, which held till the land was made near the mouth of the Molyneaux on the evening of January 2nd. The wind then hauled to the southward. Cape Saunders being passed at noon next day, and Banks's Peninsula, being sighted on Friday evening. Early on Saturday morning, the Heads were passed, and she finally came to an anchorage off the Breakwater at 9 p.m. that day. The passage has been a pleasant one on the whole, winds and fine weather prevailing during the greater part of the voyage. We are obliged to Captain Alexander for the particulars of the trip. 

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