Tuapeka Goldfields Museum moment
Recently, the Tuapeka Goldfields Museum in Lawrence was gifted a large tray with a silver tea service.
Upon the tray was inscribed: Presented to Horace Bastings Esq. JP, by the citizens of Lawrence, Otago, on his retirement from the Mayoral Chair, having occupied that position for six consecutive years. It was dated September 26, 1872.
Horace Bastings was the third son of Charlotte Percival and William Bastings, of Islington, London, where he was born January 4, 1832.
In 1849, the family emigrated to Melbourne, Australia aboard the ship Medway.
In 1850, Horace married Emma (born March 6, 1828), third daughter of Mr. Samuel Aldred, of Bungay, Suffolk.
During the next 10 years, they would have seven children, only four of whom would survive their first year.
In 1862, he and his wife and four children sailed for Dunedin aboard the ship City of Hobart. They settled at Lawrence where they had two more children; the first Arthur, died at 20 months, and Emma died aged 10 years.
He was a man of strong personality, able and energetic who became deeply involved in the community.
In July 1866, Lawrence was designated a municipality. Elections held the following month resulted in Horace Bastings being elected Lawrence’s first mayor, a position he held until July 1872.
In September 1867, the Tuapeka District Jockey Club was formed in Lawrence. Horace was elected as the first president. He raced a trotter named Tommy.
In 1878, a township site was surveyed at Rae’s Junction, named Bastings in his honour. But the township site was not developed and still remains a ‘paper town’.
By 1866, Lawrence identity Coverlid had erected the Black Horse Brewery, which he controlled until 1870, when he sold it to Bastings and another identity, Kofoed. In 1874, Horace sold his interest in the brewery to William Hayes.
Horace also had a financial interest in the Cobb & Co coach lines, Commercial Hotel, as well as being a senior partner in Bastings, Leary and Company, a firm of auctioneers and financial agents.
He was on a committee to establish an Anglican church in Lawrence.
For the railway to Lawrence, Horace headed the fighting fund with a subscription of twenty guineas. On November 28, 1870, a petition for a railway to Lawrence was presented to the Otago Provincial Council. Construction of the railway from Tokomairiro to Tuapeka was authorised and contracts tendered in March 1873. The Railway was completed and officially opened at Lawrence on March 16, 1877.
Horace was a Member of the House of Representatives for Waikaia as well as being a Provincial Councillor.
During 1896, he revisited England after an absence of 47 years. On his return, they moved to Invercargill where he was the proprietor of Deschler’s Hotel.
Their final move was to Auckland where Horace died 28 June, 1909, aged 78. His wife Emma died August 25, 1917. Both are buried at Purewa, Auckland
Tuapeka Goldfields Museum
Former Lawrence Mayor Horace Bastings’ tea set.