Family remembers a founding father
At Labour Weekend, 150 descendants and family members of early South Otago settler Archibald Anderson gathered near Balclutha at the tiny town of Stirling named after his birthplace in Scotland, to celebrate what would have been his 200th birthday.
One of his descendants, Ruth Richardson, has provided glimpses into his life.
Archibald played a key role in governing a fledgling nation and district.
He was elected onto the Otago Provincial Council in 1853, and served until 1859.
His trip to council meetings included a three day walk to Dunedin, three weeks of meetings and a three day walk home - all at his own expense.
John Shaw of Finegand, also on the council, usually accompanied him.
Ruth’s ode to her ancestor is interspersed with newspaper excerpts, which highlight his contribution to the district, and what it was like in those colonial days, through hardship, fire and flood. destructive fire occurred in the valuable bush the property of Mr. Anderson, Inch Clutha. The fire raged with great fury for about 24 hours, and at one time fears were entertained for the safety of Balmoral House, Mr. Anderson’s beautiful residence. The homestead was saved by family grabbing blankets, sousing them and fighting the blaze ... The damage to standing timber must be extensive, as well as loss sustained by Mr. Anderson’s orchard. Mr. Pollock, contractor for railway sleepers, has had a considerable loss in sleepers and sawn timber. Graeme Anderson of Nelson.
Toasts to Archibald’s memory were made by Kerry Stenhouse of Auckland, absent family by John Boyd of Wellington. The oldest family member present Gladys Nancekivell of Auckland, cut the celebration cake.
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Archibald Anderson’s information sign at Stirling in South Otago.