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"Theresa Ward"

The "Theresa Ward" at Bluff in 1927.
The tug "Theresa Ward", 56 tons, at Bluff in 1927

Otago Witness Wednesday 14 November 1900 page 71

The Bluff Harbour Board's New Tug
Invercargill, November 8.
The Bluff Harbour tug Theresa Ward arrived to-day from South Shields, after a passage of 75 days, including the time in port, at Adelaide, en route. Captain MacIntyre having no detailed chart of the straits, took the precaution to pick up a pilot off Riverton, before approaching the Bluff. The tug will be the most efficiently fitted in the colony, having salvage gear and a powerful pump and steam capstan for handling lines. Her length is 117ft, beam 22ft, and depth 12ft 6in. The engines are triple cylinders, 15 in, 25 in, and 41 in, with 27in stroke. The boiler is fitted with three of Morrison's patent furnaces, and the working pressure is 180lb. On her trail her speed was 14 miles, a fact which will be appreciated by visitors to Stewart Island. The builders were Messrs Rennoldson and Sons, of South Shields.

She served the port until the mid 1920s, nearly thirty years then crossed the Tasman in 1933 to new owners in Sydney. She served them equally well and it was not until 4 January 1960 that her registry was closed when she was broken up.

Grey River Argus, 23 November 1900, Page 4
A Day at Bluff

Invercargill, November 21. At Bluff harbour this afternoon, with some ceremony, Miss Eileen, daughter of the Hon. Mr Ward, christened the new tug. 'Theresa Ward' just arrived from England. In the afternoon the Postmaster- General formally opened the Government Building at the port, which contain Post and Telegraph, Customs and other Department offices and later a procession was formed by the residents and visitors, the bands, volunteers, lodges and marched down the old Point road, now improved and named Ward Parade. After speeches, Mr Ward declared the parade formally open to the public. This evening the Hon. gentlemen is being entertained at a banquet by the residents of Campbell town in honor of the day's doings.

Otago Witness, 9 April 1902, Page 67
Harry's Southern Trip

Next came the trip in the Theresa Ward to Stewart Island. And oh! didn't I enjoy that trip. I can safely recommend the s.s. Theresa Ward to everyone who wishes a lively time, and who likes to be "rocked in the cradle of the deep." Passing Dog Island and Mutton Bird Island, I caught my first glimpse of Stewart Island. We anchored in that superb harbour, Halfmoon Bay, and had such a short time in port The bush looked so tempting that a large number went to collect ferns, and returned to the boat covered with burrs and bid-a-bids. Sailing back to Bluff there was fairly heavy sea on, and more than one wave was shipped. Few of the passengers were not afflicted with mal-de-mer. I sat on the taffrail and laughed till my sides ached. The waves that came over washed two or three persons each time. I enjoyed the fun, and was sorry when we landed at the Bluff.

Otago Witness, 18 January 1905, Page 17
Halfmoon, January 11.

We have had at least two object lessons in practical politics. Both were instructive in a way. The s.s. Theresa Ward arrived here on Thursday freighted with political importance and local government dignitaries fresh from the Bluff. The Colonial Secretary Sir Joseph Ward represented the former, and the Bluff Harbour Board the latter. In view of such a "galaxy of glory" Halfmoon Bay put its best foot forward, and the County Council, the constable, etc., were in attendance, and accorded them "fitting reception." Even the elements appeared awed into respectful submission. Heretofore they had been conducting themselves in a most ungentlemanly manner. Drunk and disorderly is no name for it. They were so aggravating that they could not be conceded the benefit of a first offenders' act. Indeed, they had carried on the same old wassail for months on a stretch. No sooner did Theresa show up than they settled down into a peaceful calm, and weather conditions became as obsequious as if they had been a deputation with designs on the public purse. So impressed were they with their environments that they burst out in song; or sentiment, the refrain being : "
"Wha be ye would cross Loch Gyle,
This dark and stormy water?"
"Oh, I'm the chief of Ullin's Isle,
And this Lord Ullin's daughter."
Recovering from their carols they found themselves en route back to the Bluff, where, you are probably aware, fresh "State functions" awaited them.

Otago Witness, 10 May 1905, Page 73
Dear Dot

I am going to tell you about a trip I had to Stewart Island on Easter Monday. We left Woodend at a quarter to 10, and in half an hour we reached the Bluff, where we boarded the s.s. Theresa Ward, and were soon sailing over the briny ocean. We were not long in losing sight of the Bluff, when Dog Island (upon which is erected the lighthouse, which has been blown down and rebuilt again) came into view. The sea was very rough, and most of the people on board were sick, but I, fortunately, was not. It was not very pleasant to look up and see the waves like hills around the ship. The ship rocked something terrible, and, when I think of it, it reminds me of the song, "Rocked in the cradle of the deep." However, we reached Stewart Island safely, but not without getting wet through. After leaving the boat we went for a walk around the beach. We then went up the road, and found a dry place, in which we had our lunch. After lunch we packed up our basket, and then gathered some pretty geraniums, which are growing by the roadside in Stewart Island. We went up some white steps and through a white gate, which we thought was the way to the cemetery, but when we got halfway up we saw to our great surprise, a house, and you may be sure, Dot, that we came back quicker than we went up. When we had had a good look round we returned to the wharf and boarded the same old boat for another rough time coming home. It was much rougher coming back than it was going over. We reached home at 8 o'clock, very tired and well salted, after spending a most enjoyable day.
Yours tru

Otago Witness, 22 May 1907, Page 75
A Trip to Stewart Island By Bride's Blossom.

We boarded the tug Theresa Ward at 10.30 with about 30 others, and were soon off on the briny deep. It was superb as we steamed along in the lee of the Bluff, with a most delightful heave caused by the slight swell; but were pretty sure that there was something else out beyond the point. And we were not disappointed. She soon began to perform, and you had to hang on to stand at all. The weather side of the main deck got a good washing, and even the upper deck got a share. It looked dangerous at first, but when we got clear of the bar it was not quite so bad. I found myself a fairly good sailor, but about half of the passengers were sea-sick. But in two hours we were in Half Moon Bay, and all were well again....

Wanganui Herald, 10 February 1908, Page 7

Invercargill, February 10. An inquiry into the mishap to the tug Theresa Ward, which stripped her propellor through striking a rock while entering Half Moon Bay, will be held at the Bluff, and the evidence will be forwarded to Wellington.

Poverty Bay Herald, 7 December 1911, Page 5

Dunedin, this day. Sir Joseph Ward made a valiant endeavor to reach Stewart Island on Tuesday night, with the object of addressing his constituents there, and essayed the trip across the Strait in the tug Theresa Ward., The vessel got to the entrance of the harbor, but found it impossible to negotiate the mountainous seas in the Strait. The tug had. therefore, to turn about, and make for the Bluff, which she reached yesterday morning. It is said that if Sir Joseph had persisted in crossing the Strait the boat would never have weathered the storm.

The Painting

 An oil on canvas on board, JW 45 x 68cm, was painted by Sir Joseph Ward (1856-1931). He was known to have painted some other paintings in the same naive style. Joseph Ward was chairman of the Bluff Harbour Board from 1883-1888 and briefly again in 1893.  He remained a member until 1917. Mayor of Bluff 1881 - 1886 and again 1897-98. Former Prime Minister, of New Zealand (190612, 192830).  In 1883, 27 year old, Joseph married, 17 year old, Theresa Dorothea De Smidt, who was known for her beauty, elegance and huge extravagant hats. Theresa is probably one of the figures depicted on the stern of the boat. The tug proved her worth following the grounding of the whale factory ship C. A. Larsen near Stewart Island in 1928. She was briefly in the in Bluff to Halfmoon Bay, Stewart Island ferry service.

The tug boat S.S. "Theresa Ward" near the Dog Island lighthouse,
outside the entrance to the Bluff Harbour, New Zealand.

She's a cunning little craft
is our cutter, called the "Nun,"
She's a darling fore and aft,
She's all folic and all fun;
And she loves the choppy straits-
Foveaux Straits. Oh, dear me!
I dote on pretty vessels,
And I like a choppy sea!

And she is a pretty vessel!
When the straits are all asmile
You'd think they had no temper,
And you'd reckon they'd no guile!
But if our cutter's pretty
She's clever, oh, dear me!-
And when Foveaux gets angry
She checks him back, does she.

For an impish little craft
Our "Nunumikino" you
Be the sweetest thing afloat-
Ne'er a doubt, it's true, quite true!
From the captain to the kid
Cook and seaman-oh, dear me!-
Reckon so- they're honest chaps,
Indeed, in truth, they're we!

And the boys who wish to plunder
The treasures of the deep,
Must get a berth aboard her-
Four hours of work and sleep.
They'll feel the straits arocking
The good "Nun" -oh, dear me!-
They'll think things fairly novel
When they take a spell at sea.

They'll need to wear their badges,
They'll need to spread their smiles,
They'll have to keep their foothold
When they face the ocean's wiles.
They'll hear the ropes sainging
A wild song -oh, dear me!-
They'll thank their lucky comets
When old Halfmoon Bay they see!

They'll wake the straits with laughter,
Tho' the ocean howls them deaf;
They'll prove to all the craft they speak
That they're lively D.L.F? or D.L.P?
The s.s. Theresa Ward
Will be worried- oh, dear me!-
When our "Nun" puts up a record,
But we'll be proud - won't we?

                                                                - Lavengro

Tugs of the Past
The accident to the "Antiope" in Bluff Harbour occurred on 14 September 1916. A strong gale was blowing when the "Antiope" was sighted from the lookout atop Bluff Hill, coming from the west in Foveaux Strait with all canvas blown away. The harbour master put out in the tug "Theresa Ward" and got a line aboard the "Antiope" and proceeded to tow her into port. Just clear of the channel the towline parted and she was carried onto rocks which penetrated her hull. The "Antiope" heeled over to port with her port rail awash. She was refloated 20 December and later repaired.

Evening Post, 21 October 1908, Page 7
Captains J. T. Wills and W. P. Collins (vice-presidents), and Captain Croncher Messrs. Peter McKenzie and W. Gordon Bell, a native of Nelson, who have just been appointed to the staff of the Inspection of Machinery Department, each holds a first class certificate of competency from the Board of Trade, while Mr. Bell is the holder of a certificate of the same grade in the Mexican Mercantile Marine. Mr. M'Kenzie holds certificates of competency from the South Kensington Science and Arts Department for a number of subjects connected with engineering. Mr. M'Kenzie served his apprenticeship at Glasgow in the shipbuilding yards of Messrs. p. and W. Henderson. For the following eight years he was employed) as engineer in the Clan Line of Glasgow steamers, afterwards gaining further experience in various shipbuilding yards at Glasgow and Renfrew. Coming to New Zealand in 1904 as a guarantee engineer of the dredge "Rubi Seddon," he was employed for some time at Messrs. J. J. Niven's engineering works at Napier. Entering the services of the Bluff Harbour Board in 1906 he has been engaged during the last three years as chief engineer of the dredge Murihiku and the s.s. Theresa Ward.

D.L.F. - Dot 's Little Folk

1933 departure from Bluff to Sydney.

The Sydney Morning Herald Thursday 3 August 1933 page 14
This afternoon Captain E Cartler and a crew of 12 men will leave Sydney by the RMS Makura to take delivery of the tug Theresa Ward which James Wallace and Sons, Ltd has purchased from the Bluff Harbour Board New Zealand, to replace the James Wallace recently sold to the Launceston Harbour Board. The Theresa Ward a steel tug of 195 tons gross with a 95 horse-power engine was built at South Shields in 1900 and is slightly larger and of greater power than the James Wallace. Captain Cartler's crew comprises Messrs J Archer (chief officer), A C Cartler (second officer), A R Grant, A S Addie and S Evans (engineers, a cook, four firemen, and two deck-hands. When the James Wallace goes to Launceston the tug Mybla will leave that port for Sydney, to enter the service of James Wallace and Sons, Ltd.