Histories of early settlers in Pioneer Cemetery walk
Close to 30 local Dannevirke residents withstood the howling gales recently to hear of the experiences of eight early settlers at the Early Settler Cemetery.
They heard of tragedies and triumphs, achievements and legacies brought to the district and beyond. Sharyn Burling, Nancy Wadsworth, Pat Mills, Glendys Bird and Ann Berry each took it in turn to relate the histories of those buried in the cemetery.
Here are some:
It was not a great start for the Cammock family, Alexander and Esther, having emigrated from Britain to Napier in 1867 only to have their ship the Montmorency burn out at anchor, destroying most of their possessions.
Undaunted, they went on to raise 12 children in New Zealand, most of them born in Hawke’s Bay. Alexander contracted before moving to the Maharahara district to farm in the 1880s.
The Cammock family continues to be a prominent local family in the district.
Glendys Bird, greatgranddaughter of William Pawson told of her ancestor’s life as a butcher in Wanganui, his move to Dannevirke, his two marriages and nine children, one of whom was a young man called Albert who worked for The Advocate from age 13 to his death at 28.
Ann Berry talked about the Bassett family, her great-grand parents Francis and Sarah, who farmed at Weber, and who are buried in the Settler’s Cemetery along with their children, Sarah and Alice.
Son Edward is buried overseas after being killed in 1917, a World War I victim.
Glendys Bird traces the history of William Pawson, her greatgrandfather.
Ann Berry describes the events relating to the Bassett family.
Sharyn Burling relates the story of the Cammock family.