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ARRIVAL OF THE RAKAIA
The Press September 4th 1882

The spell which appeared to have settled on the shipping trade particularly with respect to the arrivals from London was broken on Saturday night by the arrival of the New Zealand Shipping Company's ship Rakaia, that ship coming in ahead of several that left the old country long before her. As she had had the misfortune to be quarantined at Plymouth, small pox having made its appearance, imperative instructions had been given by the government that upon her arrival in Port, no person excepting the Health Officer and the Immigration Officer were to be permitted to communicate with her until the nominated immigrants and passengers, some hundred and eighty eight of whom were on board, having passed the trying ordeal of a trial for small pox in his or her possession, and been found innocent of the charge by the medical judge.

These instructions were duly observed and the ship cleared by about noon yesterday. Nobody on board was found sick from small pox nor any other complaint, nor had anybody been attacked by small pox during the voyage. A case of heart disease and dropsy terminated fatally on June 2nd, after which the remains, those of a young man named Walter Bell, aged nineteen years, were committed to the deep. There were two births on the voyage.

When the ship first left Plymouth she had as ship surgeon a gentleman named Crawford. After the vessel had put to sea and one of the crew took with small pox, then another and then a passenger Barry Brown, Dr Crawford himself a consumptive person advised the master to return to Plymouth, and there Dr Crawford left, his place being taken by Dr Husband, an old acquaintance as Surgeon superintendent of emigrant ships. At Plymouth a decidedly intense application of soap and sulphur was served out to both crew and passengers, every one of whom was not only lathered with carbolic soap and scrubbed but also afterwards enveloped in a sack up to the chin and sulphur dried.

This process over they were taken from the ship to a steamer, and by the latter taken down the Sound to get the sea air. The three sick men were removed to a hulk used for a hospital, and after the Rakaia had put in a month at Plymouth, and undergone the regulation fumigation and white washing, she was permitted to resume her voyage on the 28th of May.

From Plymouth to the Cape of Good Hope the winds were so light and the weather so fine that the small sails of the ship were kept steadily set. The Equator was crossed on the 2nd of June in 23'W, and the Cape of Good Hope was passed a month later. Good westerlies prevailed for the first week of August, but grew poor as the easting was made.

The Leuwin meridian was made on August 12th and that of Tasmania week after and the Snares sighted on Monday last. On board the Rakaia the assisted immigrants numbered 151 made up as follows: Families and children 45. Single women 75. And single men 31.

Their trades and occupations were given as follows: Females: general servants 20 housemaids 2. Cloth finishers 1. Nurses 8. Housekeepers 1. Matrons 1. Dressmakers 1. Factory hands 3. Males: Ironmoulders 2. Clay worker 1. factory hand 1. Joiners 2. Labourers 14. Iron workers 1. Policeman 1. Farm labourers 14. Gardeners 1. Smiths 3. Bootmakers 2. Farriers 1. Grooms 1. Shepherds 1. Butchers 1. Painters 1. Miners 2. Jewellers 1. Their Nationality: 63 Irish. 54 English. 29 Scotch. 3 Welsh. 2 Germans.

Besides these there was a number of settlers for Grant and Fosters Settlement up North, and a few steerage passengers who have come out without any previous arrangement.

The tween decks of the ship were devoted to the use of the passengers, who undoubtedly may claim to have been liberally served by the company with accommodation. The berths and the cabins on the arrival of the ship were beautifully clean, and the appearance of regularity and order throughout the whole of the immigrants quarters was prominently noticeable. The Surgeon Superintendent, the master of the ship Captain Bone, and his officers, Messrs. Scruby, Hammon, and Clarke, deserve a word of praise in that connection.

A full list of passengers is printed below. Their friends are informed that the ship will be brought to the pier early this morning, when every facility will be afforded them by the Company for getting the new arrivals ashore with their luggage. Consignees are reminded that the entry of the ship will be made today at the Customs.

The ship sailed on the 28th of April 1882. After the vessel had put to sea one of the crew took with the dreaded small pox, then another and then a passenger Barry Brown. One can only imagine the terror and worry that gripped the families with this news. Dr Crawford the Ships Doctor, himself a consumptive person advised the Master, Captain Bone to return to Plymouth, and there Dr Crawford left.

His place being taken by Dr Husband, an old acquaintance as Surgeon Superintendent of emigrant ships. At Plymouth a decidedly intense application of soap and sulphur was served out to both crew and passengers, every one of whom was not only lathered with carbolic soap and scrubbed but also afterwards enveloped in a sack up to the chin and sulphur dried.This process over they were taken from the ship to a steamer, and by the latter taken down the Sound to get the sea air. The three sick men were removed to a hulk used for a hospital, and after the Rakaia had put in a month at Plymouth, and undergone the regulation fumigation and white washing, she was permitted to resume her voyage on the 28th of May.

From Plymouth to the Cape of Good Hope the winds were so light and the weather so fine that the small sails of the ship were kept steadily set. The Equator was crossed on the 2nd of June in 23'W, and the Cape of Good Hope was passed a month later. Good westerlies prevailed for the first week of August, but grew poor as the easting was made. The Leuwin meridian was made on August 12th and that of Tasmania week after and the Snares sighted on Monday last. The RAKAIA arrived at Lyttleton on the 2nd of September 1882.