Sunday, 10 June 2012

St Matthew's Courtenay

Here is a photo of St Matthew's Anglican Church, Courtenay, Canterbury, New Zealand for the 50 year jubilee in 1922.  This is the old church.  My ancestor Jabez Lord donated the land for the church in about 1871.  It was designed by Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort in 1872 and consecrated in May 1875. It was demolished in 1937. 

An ad was placed in the Press on 14 November 1872 inviting Carpenters to place tenders for the building of the church. Tenders were to be addressed to Mr T.H. Anson, Esq., Courtenay who was a local farmer and the advertisement was place by J. Potts (James Potts), who was a local civil engineer who worked on the Waimakariri River.  Specifications, which would have been designed by Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort, were available to be viewed at Mr Makeig's office on Hereford Street, Christchurch. This is probably the office of George A. Makeig who was a house and land agent based on Hereford Street.

Tenders for St Matthew's Church
The church was opened in May 1873, the contractors being Messrs Painter and Thompson.  An article in papers past outlines the first services.  Click here

The new church is a bit different with (if I remember rightly) a rough cast exterior. 

I found a blog which has photos of the gravestones if anyone is interested.  You can see the full pictures for a small fee.  Click here.  As well as a small  picture of the current church.

34_St Mattews Church Courtney_1922

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Canterbury Militia Photo

This photo is in our family photo collection.  It is a man in the Canterbury Militia Uniform, c 1860s as confirmed by a man who knew about military history in New Zealand.  A very old photo!  I am not sure if it is a family member or a family friend.  No one has written on the back of it which upsets me slightly.  The guy in the photo looks very proud to be in the Militia.  He has a 'C' on his cap for Canterbury and a good sturdy rifle next to him. 

The Canterbury Militia is mentioned in the Cyclopedia of New Zealand if you click  here 

And there is also a list of men from 1860 on the Christchurch City Libraries website which is useful for seeing if any members of your family were in the militia around that date.

The library website says that it was compulsory at first to be in the militia from about 1845.  The militia was mostly gone by 1869, hence why I think this photo is from around 1860s.  None of my family where in New Zealand before 1860.  Also the back of the photo has a very simple stamp on it, which was common in the 1860s.
I have wanted to get hold of records for later than 1860 but I don't think they exist, or if they do I haven't found them.  If anyone knows I would appreciate help on this. 

Canterbury Militia member from c1860s name unknow