A mat­ter of life and death

Waitara his­to­rian Graeme Duck­ett tours ceme­ter­ies look­ing at the people who set­tled our re­gion. Ge­orge Ber­trand

Taranaki Daily News - - Leisure -

Ge­orge was born in Lon­don and was ed­u­cated in Lon­don and Paris in pri­vate schools. He was 16 when he left Eng­land bound on the ship Sand­ford for New Zealand.

He worked for his un­cle on a farm in Bell Block, and later, when the farm was sold, he joined the Taranaki Vol­un­teers. He fought dur­ing the land wars at the Bat­tles of Ma­hoetahi and at Waireka.

Later join­ing the Bush Rangers, he was in­volved in the pur­suit of Te Kooti on the East Coast.

At the end of hos­til­i­ties, Ge­orge re­ceived a sol­dier’s grant of land at Tiko­rangi. Ber­trand Rd was named af­ter Ge­orge. He soon af­ter­wards shifted to Urenui where he worked a small dairy farm for around 60 years.

To sup­ple­ment his in­come, he was a store­man and of­fice clerk, and later a part­ner in Char­lie Rowe’s gen­eral store in Urenui. He was also a car­rier in the district.

At the first meet­ing of the Clifton County Coun­cil, con­sti­tuted in 1885, he be­came their of­fice clerk un­til 1894.

Ge­orge pre­sented the town­ship of Urenui with land for a town hall, and was hon­orary trustee of the hall, and acted as their sec­re­tary for 34 years.

Prior to a post of­fice be­ing erected in Urenui, Ge­orge was post­mas­ter at the store. In 1886 he mar­ried Toroa Iki Wairangi and they had seven chil­dren. He died in 1926, and is buried in Urenui ceme­tery.

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