Local People

James Bourke

James Bourke

James and Alice Bourke came from Ireland to Brisbane and arrived in Wellington about 1868. For about 45 years they resided at Wellington Road, Kilbirnie, where Mr Bourke bought land from James Coutts Crawford. He ran a wool-scouring business for many years, using water from the Waipapa stream which formed a pond known as Bourke's Pond. Mr Bourke took a keen interest in the development of Wellington and was a member of the first Melrose Borough Council. James and Alice had four sons and six daughters. Their sons were well-known wool buyers in Wellington. Mrs Bourke died in 1912 and James on 7 May 1915. The Bourkes were one of the first catholic families in the eastern suburbs. James arranged to be buried next to his catholic priest at the Mount Street Cemetery. The Bourke family also donated a large stained glass window to St Gerard's church in Mt Victoria.

Sources: Evening Post 11 May 1915; St Patrick's Parish Jubilee booklet 1969.

Jabez BradburyElizabeth Bradbury

Jabez and Elizabeth Bradbury

Jabez Bradbury (ca1840-1894) married Elizabeth Hyde (ca 1837-1913) in Dunedin in 1865. They came to Wellington shortly after their marriage and by 1884 were living in Moxham Avenue. Jabez was a brewer by trade but in the years before his death had managed HD Crawford's dairy in Miramar. He fell out of a vehicle around 1892 and was badly hurt, and a year later fell off a hay cart and was injured again. These events possibly lead to depression, because Jabez began to feel that local people were shunning him and committed suicide in 1894.

Jabez and Elizabeth's son John went to the Boer War and on his return worked on the Crawford Estate. Elizabeth lived there with John for a while and later moved with him and his family to the Mangaroa Valley. Elizabeth died in Upper Hutt in 1913. Three of Jabez' and Elizabeth's children married and lived in Hataitai: William became a carter, Mary married William Walter McKenzie Kennedy and Sarah married Robert Goodin.

Sources: Evening Post 20 and 21 Apr 1894; information and photos from descendant.

Charles Townley Browne (1826-1908)

Charles Browne was born in Dublin and went to Victoria, Australia, in 1852 where he joined the police force and was involved in some notorious cases. In 1866 he came to New Zealand and worked on the West Coast. He was appointed Chief Detective in 1880 and moved to Wellington. In 1890 he was to be transferred to Auckland but retired due to illness and moved to Kilbirnie/Hataitai where he became Mayor of Melrose for several years. He lived at Overtoun Tce but later shifted to his niece's house in Austin St. Browne was married but had no children.

Source: Obituary, Evening Post, 11 Feb 1908

Compton family

John and Jane Compton had 13 children and lived in the Kilbirnie area for many years. John was a timber merchant and later a hotelkeeper, and at least three of his sons went into the woodworking business. Jane owned land between Hamilton Road and Overtoun Terrace, alongside Busaco Road. She died in 1882 and in 1887 John remarried to Lucy Mary Glew. He died in 1898. Some of John and Jane's descendants still live in the area. Two of their grandsons were killed in World War 1 and are listed on the war memorial at Kilbirnie School. Return to top

FJW Fear

Francis James Webber Fear (c1857-1947)

Frank Fear died at his home in Raupo Street in 1947, just short of his 90th birthday. He was one of New Zealand's best-known cycle dealers, with a shop in Willis St for over 70 years.

Mr Fear was born in Barnstaple, Devon, and served his time in the engineering trade. He arrived in New Zealand in 1880 and within a few months set up business under his own name. His first shop was next to the (now demolished) Duke of Edinburgh Hotel. When he retired about 1940 his son Claud took over the business. His eldest daughter Ethel also took an active part.

Mr Fear was a member of the Melrose Town Board, and greatly involved in the Hataitai Methodist Church. He was also a keen gardener, a member of the Wellington Horticultural Society for many years. Mr Fear married Mary Holmes in 1882; she died in 1931. At the time of his death two of Mr Fear's daughters, Mrs Davidson and Mrs Phillips, still lived in Hataitai. Mr Fear's son Francis (aka Bert) died during World War 1.

Source: Obituary, Evening Post, 15 Apr 1947; other sources Return to top

William Fielding

William Fielding (ca 1875-1946)

William Fielding was born in Lancashire, England around 1875 and began his architectural career with a firm in Manchester. He later became a junior partner there. In 1900 he married Lily Midgley and their daughter May was born in 1904. About 1908 the family migrated toWellington, and they lived in Matai Rd for many years. A son named Robert was born in 1921.

Mr Fielding was the architect for several prominent buildings in Wellington including the Congregational Church in Cambridge Tce (1916), the Evening Post building in Willis St (1927), and the Methodist Church in Waitoa Rd, Hataitai (1928). He was for a time chairman of the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, and in his private life was a member of the Hataitai Bowling Club and the Hataitai Municipal Electors' Association. William was a member of the choir at the Congregational Church, and fittingly, his funeral took place there in July 1946. Lily died in 1951 and their son Robert died at sea during a yacht race only two weeks after his mother. May married Paul R Coloney of the US Navy and died in Florida in 1990.

Sources: Evening Post, 26 and 29 July 1946; other sources. Return to top

JEP Fogelberg

John Edward Percival (known as Edward or Ned) Fogelberg (ca 1856 - 1929)

Edward Fogelberg was a mariner born in Sweden who arrived in New Zealand about 1879. He married Ellen Mary Moller in 1889 and was naturalised a year later. In Wellington he worked as a labourer and later a clerk. At the end of 1906 Fogelberg applied to the Council for a building permit for a house at 119 Waipapa Rd. This house sold for over $1 million in 2006. The Dominion Post said then that Fogelberg had built the house himself and called it Valhalla. Three of Fogelberg's daughters were teachers, including one who became a teacher at Hataitai School, and his grandson Graeme Fogelberg was a vice-chancellor of Otago University. Return to top

David GageAmiria Gage

David Richmond Gage (1868-1916)

David Gage attended St Joseph's College in Auckland before graduating from Te Aute College. He worked as a native interpreter and for the Wellington City Council, and in 1900 he married Amiria Hakaraia. David and his family lived at 9 Moxham Ave for a couple of years around 1911-1912 before moving to Edge Hill St, and their children attended Roseneath and Kilbirnie Schools.

Gage represented New Zealand in rugby eight times in the precursor to the All Blacks. He was in the Native Team's tour of 1888-89 where he played 68 of the side's 74 matches in Britain. When he died aged 38 in 1916 his Poneke Football Club were pall-bearers at the funeral and raised money for a headstone and to help support his family. Amiria Gage remarried in 1923 and died in 1944.

Sources: Information and photos from descendant; other sources. Return to top

James Grover (ca 1842-1915)

James Grover was one of Wellington's early settlers, arriving on the Cartvale about 1863. He lived in Moxham Avenue for 31 years before his death in 1915. He was a member of the Veteran's Association, having served in the Indian Mutiny as a gunner, Bengal Horse Artillery in the East India Company. A large number of veterans and others attended his funeral. Mr Grover was survived by two sons and a daughter. His wife Eliza died in 1900.

Source: Evening Post obituary 7 May 1915, cemetery records. Return to top

Charles Headland (1862-1937)

Charles Headland was born in 1862 and at 15 began work on one of the New Zealand Shipping Company's ships. He stayed with the company during his whole sea career. He was on the Waitara when it collided with the Hurunui and sank in the English Channel in 1883. He became a master mariner at age 28. When he left the sea Mr Headland joined the civil service and worked in the Land and Income Tax Dept, retiring in 1920. Mr Headland was a very keen yachtsman and was one of those involved in the formation of the Evans Bay Yacht and Motor Boat Club. Mr Headland was living in Overton Terrace when he died.

Source: Edited from obituary, Evening Post 4 May 1937 Return to top

Joseph Alfred Heginbotham (ca 1860-1953)

Joseph Heginbotham came from Manchester to Wellington in 1874 and lived in Kilbirnie for many years. He was a vegetarian and for more than 60 years did not eat meat or drink alcohol, though he did smoke. He attributed his robust health to regular exercise. At one time Mr Heginbotham owned a tea garden at Kilbirnie (near Henry St) where his excellent collection of bulbs, also hot scones and tea, could be enjoyed for sixpence. He was also a keen photographer, and from photography turned to painting. Heginbotham died in Upper Hutt aged 93 and was survived by his widow and four children.

Source: edited from obituary, Evening Post, 20 Nov 1953 Return to top

Herbert Huggins

Herbert Augustus Robert Huggins (1867-1961)

Herbert Huggins was born in Islington, London in 1867 and arrived at Wellington with his parents in 1874. He was dux of Te Aro school in 1880. In 1881 he joined the accounts branch of the Post and Telegraph Department and eventually became comptroller of the money order and savings bank. When he retired in 1923 he devoted his energies more than ever to public service. He worked for the St John Ambulance Association, the Social Services Board of the Anglican Church, and served on the City Council from 1925 to 1938. He was also a JP.

Mr Huggins lived in Hataitai for 72 years and was a strong advocate of the traffic tunnel. He was interested in astronomy and was a foundation member of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand. This interest is reflected in the badge of the Hataitai Bowling Club which he helped found in 1910. Halley's Comet appeared that year and was chosen as the Bowling Club's emblem. Mr Huggins was a great supporter of all Hataitai activities. School committees of the early days owed much to his enthusiasm and iniative.

Mr Huggins' funeral was held at St Paul's and the Mayor of Wellington (Mr Kitts) was one of the pall bearers.

Source: Evening Post obituary, 11 Jun 1962 Return to top

Robert Jenkins

Robert Jenkins arrived at Wellington from Sydney in December 1839. Shortly after he is said to have bought a barrel of beer and set it up in a hut on the Thorndon beach, creating one of Wellington's first drinking spots. Later on he was the first owner of the New Zealander hotel in Manners St.

Jenkins was one of the aldermen elected to the first Wellington council in 1842. He branched out into transport, stock dealing and farming. In 1841 he leased 100 acres of hill pasture in Hataitai, which he used for horse-breeding. This land became known as Jenkins Estate and was bought for development by the Hataitai Land Co in 1901. Jenkins was a keen supporter of horse racing and was prominent at the first race meeting in Petone in October 1842.

Edward Jerningham Wakefield, writing about 1844, described Jenkins - " Old Jenkins, as he is generally called, is quite a character. He can suit his conversation and manners to any class of society ... although of unknown origin and ignorant even of writing, he has many sterling qualities."

Sources: The City of the Strait, other books. Return to top

Jens Peter Jorgensen (d 1899)

Jens Peter and Annette Henrietta Jorgensen were from Møen, an island in Denmark. They arrived at Wellington with four sons on the ship Halcione in 1872. Shortly after their arrival they moved to land at present-day 148 Moxham Avenue. Although they spoke only halting English at first, the Jorgensens opened a shop and post office which served the sparsely-populated Kilbirnie area. They delivered bread as far as Miramar. They also developed a large market garden, and the children used to help carry the produce on their backs over the Town Belt to the markets.

The Jorgensens had seven sons, said to have been named after Danish kings: Frederick, Emanuel, Carl Oskar, Waldemar, Albert and Victor. The property passed to their son Waldemar, who sold it to Chinese man Harry Howe. It later became Ting's Market Garden and eventually was bought by the Mormon church.

Source:Hataitai, a collection of memories Return to top

Albert George Jorgensen (c1883-1951)

Albert Jorgensen was a son of Jens Peter Jorgensen. He began his legal career in 1888 as an office boy in a law firm and worked his way up until he became a partner in 1919, when the firm became Mssrs Chapman, Skerrett, Tripp and Blair.

For many years Mr Jorgensen took an active part in civic affairs, being a member of the Melrose Borough Council from 1900 to March 1903 when Melrose was amalgamated with the city. He served on the Wellington City Council and his name appears on a copper plaque in the Wellington Town Hall commemorating the erection of the hall (1902-1904).

Among other public activities Mr Jorgensen took a prominent part in school committee affairs at Kilbirnie School for 30 years. He and his family were particularly well-known in the district. Albert married Catherine Kirk in 1899. She died in 1907 and he remarried in 1923 to Edith Heywood, who died in 1938. Albert died in Sydney in 1951 aged 78.

Sources: Evening Post obituary 14 Jun 1951, cemetery records Return to top

Carl Owen Jorgensen (1889-1970)

Carl Jorgensen was a grandson of Jens Peter Jorgensen. His parents were among the foundation members of the Hataitai Methodist Church. Carl served in the First World War in the NZ Army Medical Corps and was at Gallipoli at the time of the evacuation. He then served in France and later the Hornchurch Military Hospital, England.

After qualifying as a masseur in London he returned to New Zealand and worked in Rotorua before going into private practice in Wellington. He was also visiting chiropodist at Wellington and Silverstream Hospitals, where he was well-known for about 30 years.

He was prominent in the Order of Oddfellows, having joined Loyal Kilbirnie Lodge when he was 18, and served in other community groups. He was a member of the NZ Society of Physiotherapists and the NZ Society of Chiropodists Inc. In 1958 ill-health forced Mr Jorgensen to give up many of his activities. He died in hospital after living all his life in the home in which he was born at Moxham Avenue. Carl was married to Evelyn, who died in 1984 aged 86.

Sources: Evening Post obituary 29 Jul 1970, cemetery records Return to top

Jourdain House, Moxham Ave

Jourdain House in Moxham Avenue.

William Robert Jourdain (1868 -1944)

Mr Jourdain joined the Lands and Survey Dept in 1887 and was stationed at Naper until 1900, when he was transferred to the head office in Wellington. He was appointed chief clerk in 1912 and retained the position until his retirement in 1924. He was secretary of the Scenery Preservation Board, the Tongariro National Park Board and the 1909 Royal Commission on the timber industry. In 1911 he was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court, and he wrote two books on land legislation published in the 1920s.

Mr Jourdain was regarded as an extremely capable officer and was particularly interested in the preservation of scenery. In his younger days he was very keen on walking, swimming and cycling, and in later years took up bowls. He was secretary and organiser of the annual Public Service Bowling tournament. Mr Jourdain was a freemason, Master of Hataitai Lodge in 1934-35. He was married twice - to Crawford Robina (or Rubina?) Murray in 1900, and then to Mary Elizabeth Barnett in 1914.

Sources: Edited from obituary, Evening Post 9 May 1944; other sources. Return to top

William Kershaw (ca1848-1940)

William Kershaw

William Kershaw was born in Lancashire about 1848. He married Sarah J Dawson and emigrated to Wellington with her and two children on the Rodney in 1875. They settled in Wellington. The Evening Post said that William was one of the first residents of Kilbirnie, moving there about 1879. He was a member of the Melrose Borough Council and worked as a dairyman. William's wife Sarah died in 1880 and in 1892 William remarried to Annie Ream Boielle née Woodward. They moved to Dannevirke at the end of 1892 to farm, later came back to Wellington and then returned to the Wairarapa where William worked at various occupations including keeping a billiard saloon in Dannevirke around 1914. He died in the Wairarapa in 1940, aged 92. In 1889 William's son John was the first pupil of Kilbirnie School to gain a scholarship to go to university, worth £15.

Sources: Obituary in Evening Post 1 May 1940, Kilbirnie School records, other sources. Return to top

James Watkin Kinniburgh (1858-1941)

James Kinniburgh was one of 11 children of David Kinniburgh, who arrived in Wellington by the ship George Fife in 1842. A large part of his life Mr Kinniburgh spent in the services of the Government Life Insurance Department. He was the first president of the Hataitai Bowling Club, and was active both as a player and administrator. During World War II he was a member of several patriotic organisations in Wellington, and was a tireless worker in the epidemic of 1918. When he retired Mr Kinniburgh went to live in Auckland, where his four sons lived. He was for a time mayor of Avondale. He died in Auckland in 1941 aged 83. Mr Kinniburgh was married to Naomi Colebrook.

Source: Evening Post obituary 31 July 1941, with corrections from family member. Return to top

Harry Shepherd (c1865-1941)

Harry Arthur Shepherd came from Oxford, England and settled in Hataitai in the 1890s. He lived in Moxham Avenue for 40 years. He was secretary to the Hataitai Land Company for 35 years and one of its directors for two years, and was well known in business circles. As a member of the former Melrose Borough Council he worked well and aided the progress of the district. It was largely due to his instrumentality and practical help that the Hataitai Bowling Club was founded in 1910. He was a foundation and life member of the club, and as its president, sole selector and pennant skip he had a fine record of service. He was also a member for many years of the Savage Club, where his genial and social qualities were much appreciated.

Source: Abbreviated from obituary in Evening Post, 7 May 1941. Return to top

Mrs Louisa Smith, 100 Moxham Ave

Mrs Louisa Smith

Mrs Smith of 100 Moxham Ave, in the late 1920s. Photograph courtesy of J Peka.

Edwin and Emma Taylor

Edwin Taylor

Edwin Thomas Taylor (1858-1945) was born in London, and at an early age went to sea. After an adventurous three years in South American waters he returned to England. Joining the New Zealand Shipping Company's sailing ship Rakaia he came to New Zealand, arriving at Wellington in 1879, and decided to make it his future home. He started in business on his own account in 1891, founding the Beehive Bottling Stores. He was chairman of directors of the company at the time of his death.

In his early years Mr Taylor was a well-known rugby player with the old Melrose Football club. He also took a keen interest in boxing and wrestling. For many years he served with the Wellington Naval Volunteers and later when the navals were reformed into a rowing club he was elected a patron of the club. He was a member of the Leinster Lodge for more than 50 years, a member of the Wellington Racing Club, The Wellington Trotting Club and the Savage Club. Mr Taylor died at his residence at 67 Moxham Avenue in June 1945.

Emma Taylor (nee Watson) (1864-1953) came from pioneer stock, her mother and father arriving in Wellington in 1849. Married in 1882, she and Edwin went to live in Hataitai soon afterwards and she lived there until her death. Mrs Taylor was very active in local church circles, as a member of the Mothers' Union, and president of All Saints' Church Mission. She was also a member and past president of the Women's National Reserve for a number of years. Edwin and Emma were survived by five sons and three daughters and numerous grandchildren.

Source: Obituaries in Evening Post, 11 Jun 1945 and 8 Jul 1953. Return to top

Charles W Taylor

Charlie Taylor (1891-1984) was one of Edwin and Emma's children. In 1964 he wrote an account of his childhood in Moxham Ave for his granddaughter. Tales of Old Kilbirnie is available from Wellington Public Library.

Joseph Harrison Worboys

Joseph H Worboys

Joseph Worboys (1866-1941) was the son of a preacher named John Wesley Worboys and his wife Mary Curtis. He emigrated from England to New Zealand in 1871 with his father and John's second wife and spent time in various areas as John was minister at different churches. When Joseph was 12 his father thought he should go to work and he began teaching at a country school, the start of a career lasting over 40 years. Joseph married Clara Denby in 1889 at Otaio. In 1893 he was teaching at Mauriceville, and then in 1896 they moved to Wellington and Joseph became headmaster at Kilbirnie School, remaining there until 1921.

He seems to have been the epitome of a Victorian schoolmaster - very strict, patriotic, dedicated to his work. Joseph and Clara had three children: Doris, who died in infancy, Gladys and Harold. During World War 1 Gladys served overseas as a nurse. Clara died in 1939 and Joseph went to live with Gladys in Western Australia. He died there in 1941 but his ashes were returned to Wellington for burial at Karori cemetery.

Source: Letter from descendant

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