The man who gave Swannanoa its distinctive name was John Evans ‘Yankee’ Brown, who was on the Canterbury Provincial Council, the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board and was a founder of the Canterbury Tramway Company.
Brown was from Pennsylvania and owned a large tract of land between between Springbank and Eyrewell. Perhaps feeling a twinge of homesickness, he gave the broad plains country the Cherokee Indian name, ‘Swannanoa’, a mountain pass along the east coast of the United States. Nearly a hundred years later, long after anyone had stopped caring about the misspelling of the district’s name, Jack started eying up the district for a new farm .
A fellow Robin Chapman had a 285ha farm for auction on Tram Rd, about 7km west of the Swannanoa School. I thought it was time to move from Loburn, so I went along and had a crack at it. But one of Robin’s neighbours, John Matthews, outbid me and I gave the idea away. In 1962, one of my neighbours, Mrs Chapman, rang me and said she’d come to the end of the road and wanted to go to town, so would I be interested in buying her place,’The Ranche”.We met and decided we’d settle the deal later in September, for delivery the following March. That suited me because ”The Ranche” was a much bigger property and it meant I had plenty of time to sell ”Midlothian” and get the money together for the new place. The most memorable part of moving there was driving about 1200 sheep from Loburn across the Ashley River and then through the back of Fernside. It must have been close to the highest number of sheep to ford the Ashley, and we saved quite a few bob by not getting them trucked across, but I was pretty relieved to finally see the end paddock.
The Chapmans and Fultons had been friends for years. Jack’s sister had been at school with Mrs Chapman’s daughters and his father had been friends with Dennis Chapman, who had died about 1937. That history didn’t make the move any easier, however.
When we finally got there, we found the whole garden had been stripped. All the plants had gone, lemon trees, sundials, gates, the lot. Nothing left in the garden, just bare rose beds. Then we got inside the house and found Mrs Chapman had taken most of the light shades, tried to get the door knockers, including the big knocker on the front door, and had lifted the carpet in the main sitting room. The family had a square centrepiece in the dining room that was sewn into the carpet and she’d even got that centrepiece unstitched and taken out. It was just bare boards left under the table. The kitchen was also in a shocking state.
The glass doors on the little shelves beside the fireplace in the sitting room had been removed and you could tell where they’d been because the putty was still soft where the hinges had been. The towel racks had gone, the venetian blinds had gone, everything that was moveable was taken. We couldn’t believe it. I’d have thought being friends like that, it would have been an easy transition, that she’d have been only too pleased to have helped and done what she could, but I think old age had caught up with her. She’d been a widow for 30-odd years, and she was an embittered woman, I think, grabbing the last bit out of it.
I gather she had leased a lot of the land out to a contractor for cropping and nobody had taken much notice of it or put much super on it for 20-odd years. One year she’d cut out the super and taken a trip to England or somewhere.
It was all just bare paddocks – totally run down with hardly a fence to hold the stock. Our neighbour, Gary Frazer, had a lease block of 200 acres at the west end of the place and it took another two years before we got that back, so we didn’t have full use of the farm until then.
She took everything, even ear tags, for sale. I told her we’d renamed the place Larundel, so the ear tags were useless to us. That was another row. So, we left on very sad terms, really.
Jack saw more in Larundel than his children, who were sceptical about their father’s promise they wouldn’t be living in the middle of nowhere forever.
When we got I told there I told the family the district would eventually all be suburbia. They all just laughed their heads off. There was no sign of another house, no trees, no telephone lines, nothing. The Tram Rd to Oxford had just been turned from a grass track into a sealed road. It was a bleak outlook at that stage but today, suburbia has gone past it and there’s a whole raft of houses right up the main road – grapes, olives, and lifestyle blocks of all sorts, shapes and sizes.
The farm didn’t have much shelter for many years, however, and what it did have took a battering in early 1975, when a storm lifted off three parts off the wool shed roof. The Met Service recorded the peak wind across the country at 193km/hr, power and telephones were off for about 10 days and the North Canterbury power board sent around generators for deep freezers. At Larundel, the main house and the and cottage were undamaged but about 20 trees went down along the front drive and more down the back drive.
By the time I got up about 6 o’clock that morning it was a nightmare outside. The wind was just unbelievable. Branches were breaking off, trees were falling over and by 7 o’clock it was just a disaster area. It was frightening – just an absolute roar of wind. The roof of the wool shed was coming off and there was iron flying everywhere. Gordon, Wendy and their son, John, who was just a baby, were living in the cottage and Gordon said he’d come over to see us. I said; ‘for God’s sake don’t come near the yard. The roof’s coming off the woolshed.’ It really wasn’t safe, but iron had started to lift in the cottage and Gordon the silly rabbit got out on the roof to try and hammer the nails in. He had an awful job to even stay on the ladder getting up there, and he could only just peer over the edge of the guttering. Eventually, he managed to hold it on, but I’ve never seen rain like it. It was blowing at right angles to the ground so hard that it didn’t really land, there were just blizzards coming across the paddocks. It eventually quietened down a bit but because we were in the middle of lambing we had to get out and check one of the mobs. Every drive was blocked with trees so we had to go out through the paddocks to get there.
At one stage we drove past a water race when a pukeko flew up, trying to make its way into the nor-wester. It was only about a three-quarter strength gale by this stage but all of a sudden the poor bird gave up and the last thing we saw it about a mile away, disappearing behind some trees, still flapping in the wind.
Luckily, the sheep had been sheltered so we just checked the mob and got the hell out of it. It was about three weeks before we could chop these trees up and get back our down the drive.
Larundel is a Victorian aboriginal word that means ‘happy home, or camp’. In 1967, a neighbour, Jim Petrie, rang Jack to say he had two young farm workers coming down from Gisborne, and could employ one of them.
I agreed, so Jim brought the boys around one night to work out who would go where. He pulled up at the front door and out of the vehicle came these two hunks of humanity. We shook hands and I just about ended up with a broken hand. I thought, who on earth are these two? They came into the sitting room and never said a word, but finally Dick and I arranged that Hamish Macdonald would work for Ian McDonald over on North Eyre Rd and that Ian Kirkpatrick would stay with me.
When Ian arrived I didn’t know whether he and Hamish played tiddly winks, softball, bridge or chess, but Jim had told me he thought they were going to play rugby.
Ohoka was really our district but Jim had had a row with the Ohoka committee and refused to allow Ian or Hamish to play for them. They were to play for Rangiora. There was a frightful to-do when that news got out but it was even worse after they started to play.
I went to see Kirky play the first match against Oxford. Ian Doody, who was playing for North Canterbury at this stage, went to tackle him when Kirky broke from the back of the lineout about halfway. He brushed the halfback and the first-five aside, swatted Ian Doody into the dirt and scored under the posts. I couldn’t believe it – the pace and the power of the man. At the end of the day I said he’d be an All Black in a couple of years. One of the North Canterbury selectors rubbished me and said they were just a couple of kids…they would never make it. Well, I said, “I’ll give Hamish five years but Kirky will certainly be an All Black within a couple of years.’ The way he could read the game and get through the defence was incredible. His tackling was not 100%, he was a bit slack going back at times, but his attack was unbelievable. You’ve only got to see the number of tries he scored in a relatively short time as an All Black – he was an extraordinary machine. And, of course, he had enormous pace and massively strong thighs.
Not long after his selection for Canterbury, Kirky was picked as a lock for an All Black trial in Hamilton. Not even lambing was going to stop his rise to the top.
I was in the truck going down Tram Rd when we heard the announcement on the radio. I said to him that if he got picked for one of those teams then he should stay up there. I didn’t want him coming back for lambing.
Kirky might have been a rising rugby player but thanks to compulsory military service, he couldn’t avoid doing a stint in the Army.
He was absolutely livid about it – he hated the Army. In those days you were called up by your birth date. Hamish Macdonald missed out but Kirky didn’t. Well, he blamed his mother and everyone else for being born on this particular day. His mood didn’t improve once he was recruited. One time with the army he was in the Oxford bush and he’d take some tucker with him, bread and stuff. Anyway, he must have fallen asleep and some possums must have got to it and eaten the lot. He was wild. He wasn’t cut out to be a soldier.
His priority was rugby; not marches, parades and uniforms. And as a talented player, even the army seemed prepared to forgive a few of his indiscretions.
He was playing in the Town versus Country match in Christchurch one Queen’s Birthday when he rang us up and asked us if he could get a lift back afterwards to the barracks at Burnham. Norna and I waited for him in the car outside the ground after the game was over. We sat and we sat and we waited and waited …until finally Kirky came out about 7 o’clock. He only had leave until eight in the evening so was running late, but he changed back into his army clothes in the carpark and we headed off. We were at about Sockburn when Kirky suddenly realised he’d left his army cap in the carpark. So back we went – we broke all speed limits on the way back to barracks but we were still hopelessly late. Kirky went into report into the guardhouse, and again we waited, this time for about 20 minutes.
We thought, hell, he must be locked up. We were just getting really frantic when out he came. We asked him where he’d been and said; ‘Oh, the sergeant comes from Gisborne and he wanted to know all about the match.’
Kirky and Mac experienced the most miserly side of amateur rugby. When they played for Canterbury, they used to travel together in a Holden they’d bought in Gisborne, nicknamed the BZ because of its old number plates. It definitely wasn’t luxury travel.
At one stage we worked out they’d clocked up 3000km just going to practice, so we wrote to the Canterbury Rugby Union asking whether they could help with costs. But they never even had the grace to answer the letter, let alone pay them anything. Here were these boys, slogging their guts out going to Christchurch for rugby four days a week in an old bomb of a car on minimum wages, and not getting a sniff of anything for it. That staggered me. I only hope he got some proper compensation for his football when he was manager on that Cavaliers tour in ’86.
Kirky and Mac did have some fun along the way, though.
Hamish was on the way home after playing near Culverden one time when he got waylaid, horribly drunk, after stopping off at Montrose with my cousin Wig Rutherford. Driving home from Wig’s place he tried to turn off at Saltwater Creek near Leithfield Beach, but missed it and went under a wooden barrier. The BZ had a mudguard but this rail sliced the top off it as if it was a pocket-knife. Mac applied for insurance on his car and finally got paid out with a story about how this had occurred. He really was a laugh a minute.
Kirky and Mac were great mates, but sparred with each other from daybreak till bedtime.
The boys were coming home the night before Good Friday when the car blew up – the engine seized. The two of them stalked each other up our drive, arguing whether it was the water or the oil that had given out. They were as wild at each other for not checking the car. As they were walking, somehow Hamish missed the side of the bridge and went into the water race – right up to his knees – and half-pie fell over. Kirky walked straight past him and didn’t say ‘how are you’ or anything. They were still spitting tacks at each other by the next morning of Good Friday. Norn got them out of bed and said; ’Righto – you’re off to church, you two.’ It was about daylight when they got home but we got them off to church and finally they made up. We had to put a brand new engine in the car, though. When Kirky’s late father Sandy came down later on in the year for one of the tests, he had a look at the car and said; ‘You’ve kept that engine pretty clean, haven’t you?’ They never let on what had happened or who was responsible.
Kirky and Mac’s rugby anecdotes are re-told in a similar vein. In 1969 the pair played for Canterbury in a Ranfurl;y Shiled challenge against Hawke’s Bay in Napier. Canterbury had a tremendous match and won 18 – 11, so Gran and Jack went down to the airport to welcome them home.
There would have been at least 10,000 people there – the place was absolutely packed. But when the team came off the plane, none of the forwards were on it. I found Fergie McCormick and asked what had happened to Macdonald and Kirkpatrick. He said; ‘Oh, I think they’re stranded in Wellington. I think they’ll be on the next plane’. So we watched this magnificent reception for the players but the captain Ian Penrose was about the only forward who was there. We waited another hour and a half until the next plane came in. And out of the plane – out on the tarmac – came two very odd- looking characters, Wyllie and Kirkpatrick – taking a very wide cast around the airport building. One of two of the other forwards came out through the lounge but we lost sight of Kirky and Macdonald – they’d disappeared. Any rate, when we got home, here they were, wild as anything – savage. Apparently, Alistair Hopkinson had enveigled them for a drink up to the Grand Hotel in Wellington while they were waiting to change planes between Napier and Christchurch. The players had got a few beers into them and they were pretty drunk from the morning’s party at any rate. So, when they arrived back at the Wellington airport they were just walking out on to the tarmac when the air hostess shut the doors on the plane and left them stranded. There was a frightful row – a union inquiry and an allegation that Hoppy had emptied a can of beer over a cab driver’s head, with a censure for all of them later on. And, of course, missing the reception made Kirky and Mac’s mood even worse.
Hamish McDonald wasn’t a dynamo like Kirky, and didn’t make the All Blacks until a few seasons later, but like his mate he had strength by the bundle.
Mac could pick up two decent haybales, one in each hand, and manoeuvre them like dolls. It used to scare the daylights out of me just to see it. But he was a bit touchy and got himself into several scrapes on the football field. It took Hamish much longer to mature – as it does for a lock – and it took him his mid 20s before he hit his hobbles and was a regular player for Canterbury and the All Blacks. He wasn’t very tall and probably wouldn’t make it under today’s standards, but he scored that wonderful try against Scotland when the ground was under water. He launched himself like a torpedo off the deck of a destroyer as he went across in a shower of water. Kirky said: ‘Why the hell did you go so long, you were 10 metres over the line’. Hamish said, ‘I couldn’t see where the line was, it was all under water.’
In 1981, soon after Jack and Norna retired to Christchurch, Gordon and his wife Wendy were asked to host a lunch for Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, who was visiting the Oxford Show.
The farm visit wasn’t made public for security reasons, but it was not an entirely undercover operation.
Gordon and Wendy’s three young children, including the author, were sent to a family friend’s place for the afternoon, while the Prince and his team of armed security men arrived for refreshments. (Princess Diana was not on tour).
After lunch, Prince Charles had initially suggested going for a horse ride but the heavy rain made that impractical for his staff, so he asked Gordon if he would like to go for a run instead.
Gordon had to retrieve his Ohoka rugby gear from the bottom of the stairs, and then set off on a looping run around the property.
The security guards decided it would be safe for Charles to run without an armed escourt, so the men at the main house put their guns away in the dining cupboard, while those at the cottage sipped whisky in front of the fire.
Soon after the prince set off, one of the security staff turned to Jack and said, “If anything happens to him, shoot us first”.
Soon after, a neighbour, Roger Southcott, was having a shower when he noticed two people jogging along the road at the front of their property. He couldn’t make them out in the murk outside, but called to his wife, Margaret: “Who are those two silly buggers, out there jogging in this weather?”
Meanwhile just a couple of hundred metres away at Chapmans Boundary Rd, another neighbour Gary Frazer was noting the registration details for a car which belonged to a plain clothes policeman.
He was even more intrigued to see two men jogging toward him along the road. Once he recognised the pair, Gary nodded and said, “Nice to see you in this locality, Sir”.
Gary then rushed back to the house to pick up his kids, who were back soon after to wave to the prince as he continued his jogging.
In late 2000, Jack’s son Gordon and wife Wendy decided to sell Larundel into a dairy equity partnership, but retain the house and a small parcel of their own land in their own right. A journalist from The Press, Howard Keene, visted the farm as it was being converted in mid-2001.
“Beyond the new subdivisions north of Christchurch, and the olive groves at Mandeville,
a big plot of land has been cleared bare on Gordon and Wendy Fulton’s former property Larundel.
On the long drive up to their 1880s two-storey house the place is dominated by heavy machinery. A sign along the drive warns “trucks crossing”.
The Fultons have sold most of their 400ha to a partnership led by Nelson man Graeme Sutton and his brother Colin.
They have retained the house and 38ha, but importantly have joined the partnership which is converting the balance of the land into a dairy unit of up to 1500 cows.
The total cost of the conversion, including buying the land and the purchase of dairy company shares, will be about $9 million.
Mr Sutton is a pioneer in developing farms, and says developing new properties gives him a buzz.
Formerly a sheep and beef farmer in Nelson, he and brother Colin, together with a retired North Island dairy farmer, bought 700ha in the Culverden area in 1992 to convert into three dairy units. Those units, Inniskillen, now milks about 2000 cows.
Another Culverden property, Braeside (340ha) was bought later, and converted into two units, milking about 1000 cows.
The Culverden dairy farms are managed by 50 per cent sharemilkers.
Mr Sutton continues living on his Nelson smallholding, and commutes back and forth weekly to the former sheep and cropping farm.
Because it was roughly rectangular in shape the farm was able to, which proved excellent for conversion, allowing the efficient use of three central pivot irrigators. The longest irrigator is 700m long. A 70-bale rotary cowshed at the centre of the farm is nearly complete.
Graeme Sutton says a lot of planning went into the new unit ahead of the New Zealand Dairy Group lifting its moratorium on new conversions.
The deal for the farm was done before the moratorium was lifted on December 15, and contractors were booked in on the basis that the moratorium would be lifted.
Since January most of the trees, fences, and hedges have come out, and the farm has been ploughed and sown in new grass.
He says it was hard cutting out the mature shelter belts, but there was no other way to accommodate the massive irrigators. However, shelter around the perimeter has been kept, and some through the middle of the farm.
“Conversions in Canterbury and Southland this year have been pushed into a much tighter time-frame than usual,” Mr Sutton said.
“The drought on top of that has made it quite tight in terms of wintering cows, and it could be quite tight in spring.”
With cows arriving daily, and a shortage of local grazing they have been forced to rethink their winter feed. Cows will not be brought on to the property until calving in August. They are being kept on neighbouring leased land and hard fed. There are enough silos close to the property to store 290 tonnes of barley, and they have bought oat and barley silage, hay, and straw.
The farm manager Earl Robinson and his wife Junelle, formerly sharemilkers in Otago, have sold their 500 cows to the partnership. Another 600 cows have come from Oamaru, and 200 are coming from the North Island, but their arrival has been deliberately delayed a few weeks.
The Robinsons have joined the partnership, and live in one of the three new brick houses on the property. As well, three other full time workers are employed, and Mr Fulton will probably work on the property too.
Irrigation water for the new property comes from the Waimakariri Irrigation scheme. Running costs for the three irrigators is a surprisingly low $9 an hour. The property also has three wells, and another will be dug giving backup in case the scheme fails to deliver as it did this year.
Cows will be grazed using electric fences. The huge irrigators will simply roll over the fences on their three-day rotation.
Mr Sutton said there was huge potential for dairying in Canterbury because of the availability of water, but the resource was finite and has to be managed properly.
“Clearly we’ve got to get into storage, but this is a provincial, if not a national issue.”
He says the industry has to find better and more efficient ways of spreading effluent, and if necessary bridging and fencing off streams.
“It’s not just environmental, but also a market issue.”
THE MAN BEHIND SWANNANOA
John Evans Brown married Theresa Australia Peacock, sister of the Hon. John Thomas Peacock who left money for the Peacock Fountain in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
Brown married well but for many years was plagued by misfortune. An obituary of the time says he ‘lacked judgement … although he was clearly a man of vigour and enterprise, whenever he attempted anything on a large scale, he got out of his depth’.
In 1875 J. T. Peacock bought ‘Chippenham, described as ‘a ten roomed brick house with
25 acres of excellent land … securely fenced’.
The house in Merivale was built in 1862 from bricks originally imported to line
The Lyttelton Railway Tunnel, which was at that time under construction.
However, the Canterbury Provincial Council had insufficient funds to pay for these
bricks and they were sold on, ending up in this house.
John Evans Brown lived at Chippenham Lodge but was to have unhappy memories of it.
His son, John Peacock, 16 years and three months, died there on 6 February 1877.
Another son, John Evans, aged three months, died there four days later. Theresa
Australia Brown, 41, died at ‘Chippenham’ on 11 February 1880.
John Evans Brown senior remarried and went back to Ashville, North Carolina, where
he made money out of mica which was discovered on his father’s supposedly valueless
The original owner of the property which is now Larundel was Robert Chapman, who came from the village of Ilkley, near Grassington in Yorkshire. Like other Yorkshiremen of his time, he decided to come to Australia, but then headed to New Zealand.
In 1851, William Kaye of Australia took up a run of 23,000 acres, near Cust.
Kaye sent Chapman as his manager to New Zealand to take possession of the property and stock it with sheep. Chapman, who had married Sarah Brough, of Lancashire, established his headquarters at the eastern end of the Cust downs, building a home and woolshed there.
There was an ample supply of water from a permanent spring on the downs, and this is most likely why the property was called “Springbank”.
The Cust river ran along the northern side of the property, and the Eyre river bordered the upper part on the southern side. Later, a road was formed along the western side of the run and this was given the title, Chapmans Boundary Road.
In 1853, after Chapman had been at “Springbank” for two years, he brought out Kaye and took over the stock. Kaye later left Australia and returned to England a well-to-do man. Chapman was a successful sheep man, and in the early days of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association took many prizes for his merino sheep.
In 1882, he travelled to Australia intending to buy merino rams but died there at the age of 66.
When the old St Leonards Station in the Amuri was cut up and sold, Chapman had bought 13,000 acres and named the new property “Mt Palm”. He had settled his eldest son Thomas there – first as managing partner, and then as sole owner. This was the reason why Edward, the second son, inherited the homestead block when “Springbank” was divided up among the family after the death of their father. Edward died at a fairly early age, having been accidentally shot by a stray bullet while shooting wild cattle in the back of “Esk Head” station.
Edward left a widow, Lily, and three young children, and his “Springbank” property was administered by trustees until, in later years, it was sold to George Rutherford, formerly of “Dalethorp”. The property later passed into other hands, however, a son of Robert and Sarah Chapman, Walter, ran “The Ranche”, which has is nowadays known as “Larundel”.
Walter was educated at Christ’s College, and after leaving, took up a position as a teller in a Timaru bank. Upon the death of his father, when “Springbank” was divided up, he took over his portion of the estate. This part of the original station was bounded on the west by Chapman’s Boundary Rd and on the south by the Eyre River. He also farmed some of the land which had been inherited by his two sisters, Annie and Alice.
Walter married Norah Cecelia Cooper of Timaru and they had five children: Kathleen Cooper, Denis, Doris Lesley, Margaret Ethel and Robert Charles.
After Walter retired, for a time he leased his property to a partnership consisting of his son Denis, and his nephew Harry – and later to Denis alone.
Following Walter’s death, the property was divided up amongst his family, Denis taking the homestead block besides leasing his land to his sisters, Doris and Margery. Robin took the southern “Te Mara” block, farmed by the Matthews family, and leased his siter Kathleen’s land.
Denis married Margaret Cecilia Cunningham. Denis died at a fairly early age and “The Ranche” was carried on for many years by his widow. She, at times, recieved help from her father, who had been a successful farmer himself. In this mid 1960s, as this book has related, Jack bought the farm and renamed it “Larundel”.
KIRKY AND MAC PROFILES:
Ian Kirkpatrick, from the time he was starring in the mid 1960s as a first XV loose forward at Auckland’s Kings College, was always a player who instantly left an impression that he had been born, in the phrase of Terry McLean, to the rugby purple.
Tall at 1.90m and naturally athletic, Kirkpatrick quickly made the transition from schoolboy star and by 1966, having just turned 20, he entered first class rugby with Poverty Bay. He made his first international appearance that year along with his close friend Hamish Macdonald in the combined Poverty Bay-East Coast side against the touring British Lions.
By 1967 both Kirkpatrick and Macdonald had moved to Canterbury to further their farming careers and while Macdonald took longer to emerge, Kirkpatrick’s star was already in ascendancy.
After appearing in the New Zealand under 23-side Kirkpatrick was plucked from relative obscurity by coach Fred Allen for the All Black side to tour Britain and France.
Kirkpatrick was only 21 but already was playing with skill and maturity and a measure of his progress was reflected in the fact that for the international against France he was given his test debut in preference to the great Kel Tremain.
At that time the specialist role of a blindside flanker was not as defined as it has become in modern times and often flankers were used on the right and left side. But Kirkpatrick and Tremain were the forerunners of the way the number six position has evolved.
In 1968 against Australia in Sydney Kirkpatrick was only a reserve. But Brian Lochore broke a thumb and with the International Board having just released its rule forbidding replacements Kirkpatrick came from the bench to score a hat-trick of tries.
From then on Kirkpatrick remained an automatic test selection and by the time he was inexplicably dropped from the tour of France in 1977 he had amassed 38 caps, a large number in an era when there were considerably fewer tests played.
He scored, too, 16 test tries, which was the New Zealand record until eclipsed by Stu Wilson in 1983. And in 1972, with Colin Meads affected by injuries and others such as Brian Lochore retired, he became the All Black captain.
He held the post for two seasons, including the stormy tour of Britain and France in 1972-73, and there was a perception despite his considerable dignity that the captaincy did not sit easily with him. He was thus displaced in the role in 1974 by Andy Leslie, but continued to be one of the All Blacks’ foremost players.
He was in colossal form on the 1974 tour of Australia and again later that year in Ireland, Wales and against the Barbarains. In the win against Wales he scored the winning try but in a curious decision that match was not given official test status.
There were numerous other distinctions for Kirkpatrick. He scored 115 tries in his 289 first class games, becoming one of the few forwards to reach the century. He was also the only man to have captained both islands: the South in 1969 in his last season with the Canterbury and then the North (in 1972-73) when he had returned home to Poverty Bay. And in the last of 33 appeances for Canterbury against Hawke’s Bay he was in a winning Ranfurly Shield side.
Kirkpatrick suffered two public indignities which he did not deserve. He had no official warning he was being replaced as All Black captain and was told of the change along with everyone else under the Athletic Park grandstand after the 1974 trials. And he was told of his omission from the tour of France in 1977 by his brother Colin on the Poverty Bay team bus. Ironically, there is a feeling that Kirkpatrick in the latter stages of his career was better qualified to captain the All Blacks than when he had the position, and been handicapped by poor management.
Kirkpatrick retired from all rugby early in the 1979 season. In latter years Kirkpatrick has remained close to rugby, often being consulted by the media for comments. He has also led many supporter groups on tour and was manager of the Cavaliers when they made their unauthorised tour of South Africa in 1986. In recent years he has been used, too, as a mentor to All Black sides.
*Born in Rawene, Hamish Macdonald attended King’s College in Auckland where he played in the 1st XV in 1963, 64 and Auckland Secondary Schools in 1964. Along with King’s team mate Ian Kirkpatrick he broke into representative rugby for Poverty Bay in 1966, playing against the touring Lions that year.
Moving to Canterbury the following season Macdonald, playing for Rangiora, then Lincoln College and finally the Oxford club, represented Canterbury each year until 1974.
He came to national prominence as a member of the Canterbury team that lifted the Ranfurly Shield from Hawkes Bay in 1969 and held it until 1971. He made his All Black debut on the internal tour in 1972 but missed selection against Australia later that season.
He was however included in the All Black side, captained by Ian Kirkpatrick, that toured Great Britain and France in 1972/3. Macdonald was one of the tour successes, playing in all five tests and forming a very effective locking partnership with Peter Whiting.
After playing the home test against England in 1973 Hamish Macdonald was a surprise omission from the 1974 tour to Australia. He did however regain his place for the Irish Centenary tour later that season where he appeared in seven of the eight matches.
Back in North Auckland and turning out for the Kaikohe club he played home tests against Scotland and Ireland during the next two seasons before making his final All Black tour, to South Africa, in 1976. He appeared in 14 of the 24 games, including the first three tests. He continued to represent North Auckland for another two seasons.
Standing 6’3″ (1.90m) and weighing 16 stone (102kg) Hamish Macdonald was a particularly hardworking and conscientious lock, a strong scrummager and effective front of the lineout jumper. He scored two tries in 48 matches (12 tests) for the All Blacks.
His father H J Macdonald (1932-35) and brother Rod (1975-76) also represented North Auckland. His son Angus has represented Auckland, and the Blues in the Super 12 competition.
The historic homestead one of three properties that for many years were owned and operated by community housing charity Community Assistance Inc.
(CAI) since the early 1970s. CAI had been formed in 1972 following an inspirational public speech by poet James K Baxter in Christchurch that year about his commune at Jerusalem. Their first significant act was to raise funds to purchase the once grand but somewhat neglected “Chippenham”.
Rapidly growing interest and involvement in this community soon saw the purchase of a nearby property and a 30 acre farm at Oxford.
Following its establishment the community became a centre of considerable activity and an initiating force for alternative social and political activity that would have impacts not only in Christchurch but throughout NZ.
The establishment of a co-operatively owned wholegrain bread company, Vital Foods, soon followed in 1973 and members of the community were significantly involved in the anti-Vietnam war movement, anti-apartheid campaign and environmental and education issues. It was a meeting at Chippenham that led to the establishment of Greenpeace in NZ.
In something of a reflection of the times, members saw an erosion of the sense of community and progressive alternative culture through the eighties and early nineties.
This contributed to a loss of energy and commitment, a fading of community ideals and a failure to ensure the necessary maintenance of these properties. This decline reached a crisis by the mid 90’s which culminated in the decision to liquidate CAI.
With the involvement of earlier members of the community and a consequent rebirth of a sense of purpose and activism, Heartwood was formed to continue the co-operative management and operation of these properties.
There are now 30 people, covering a wide range of ages, residing on the three properties. The community extends out to a wider membership of non-residents who benefit from and are involved in this initiative.
Heartwood aims to create a community where members are valued for their abilities and contribution, supported and encouraged to develop their skills and enjoy the social benefits and warmth that can come from a healthy community.
In the new constitution Heartwood’s goals also include supporting the development of further communal housing, co-operative enterprises and social facilities.
Robert and Sarah Chapman’s eight children:
Thomas did not marry;
Edward married Harriet Barbara Mary Grey;
Robert William, married Emma Rachel Johnston.
Annie Elizabeth, who married George Dean Greenwood.
Walter married Norha Cecelia Cooper.
Alice married Charles Tazewell Newton.
Arthur Truman married Mary Joynt
Charles Henry, who died at 12 years old.