Auckland 153 Years Ago


Today is Auckland Anniversary Day and as usual we are having a lovely summer weekend.  And as usual the weather is really hotting up before children go back to school.  I do pity the poor parents, teachers and kids trying to get back into the learning groove while the weather is so hot.  Lauren being a uni student still has another month of holiday, so I am sure she will have a fabulous few weeks.  God knows how she will ever cope when she has to work in the real world

Auckland Anniversary and I quote from Wikipedia is ..

a public holiday observed in the northern half of the North Island of New Zealand. It is observed throughout the historic Auckland Province (not just the present-day Auckland Region) even though the provinces of New Zealand were abolished in 1876. The holiday usually falls on the Monday closest to 29 January, the anniversary of the arrival of William Hobson, later the first Governor of New Zealand, in the Bay of Islands in 1840.[1]

Auckland Anniversary Day was established by Governor Hobson’s direction, over Willoughby Shortland‘s signature, in 1842. The New Zealand Government Gazette of 26 January, 1842 (Volume 2, 4th Edition) carried a notice stating

“Saturday, the 29th instant, being the SECOND ANNIVERSARY of the establishment of the Colony, His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to direct that day to be held a GENERAL HOLIDAY, on which occasion the Public Offices will be closed.”

Anyway the reason I am writing about Auckland Anniversary Day is that 153 years ago, my Great Great Grandfather William Thomson arrived in Auckland on the day of the Anniversary Regatta on board the ship the African.  I have been able to find some papers relating to his journey and the arrival in Auckland.  Which is quite interesting reading,  if you are into that sort of thing.

Details of the Voyage of the African

William Thomson first went to settle in Thames and here here is a letter he wrote to his family back in England.  Which is also fascinating, if you are into that kind of thing.

William Thomson Letter 09:1860

William went on to settle here and died at the ripe old age of 87.  He even managed to be included in the Cyclopedia of New Zealand 1905

William Thomson 1905 Cyclopedia

So I think Great Great Grand Dad you would find Auckland quite different from when you arrived.  But you would still recognise our lovely harbour, everyone wanting to get out on the water and the glorious summer weather.  I don’t know why you decided to come to New Zealand all those years ago, but I am very glad you did.

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