An enduring tribute to the Pioneers of the Mackenzie County dominates the hillside.
"The rugged simplicity is intended to symbolise the faith, hope, and courage of the Mackenzie Country pioneers" Vance.
This unusual memorial church sits on top of a knoll is named in honour of the patron saint of shepherds. The tower is forty feet high built of local uncut boulders. The roof is slate supported by wood-pegged rafters. The floor is totara. The pews and ceiling are totara and beech. No nails were used in its construction. Most of the furniture has an association with the early days. The baptismal font, rests into a wheel hub of the Burnett family bullock wagon, is a stone mortar found on the McKay property in Sutherlandshire, Scotland. The font rests on a 400lbs greywacke boulder. On the cobblestone porch covered with bird manure there was hanging a mast lantern from an immigrant ship but now in Nov. 2009 is missing. pdf Crean's Country photo
The porch lantern has been safely placed in storage because it is a huge bird magnet and they make a real mess of the porch floor!!
"This porch is erected to the Glory of God and in memory of the sheepmen, shepherds, bullock drivers, shearers, and station hands who pioneered the back country of this province between the years 1855 and 1895" etched in a greywacke slab on the porch wall. The church was erected in remembrance of Andrew (1838-1927) and Catherine Burnett (1837-1914), who took up Mount Cook run, May 1864, and in the wildness founded a home. The Burnett's came to Lyttelton on the Royal Stuart in 1861 from Scotland. Catherine reared her children in the high country, a beautiful wilderness, in surroundings where help was spiritual, certainly not material. Catherine's last statement to a son on her death bed was "I trusted in Christ." Andrew was a Highland shepherd and he worked for John Hayhurst on Grays Hill, Simons Pass and Blue Cliffs stations before taking up the 30,000 Mount Cook Station with George McRae in 1864.
Site, design, materials and craftsmanship, are sufficiently remarkable to have earned the New Zealand Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1934, for the architect, Herbert H. Hall, (1880-1939) Canterbury born. Hall moved to Sydney, Australia, to begin working as an architect and on his return to New Zealand settled in Timaru. Hall also designed the Fairlie Carnegie Library. Judging was by the Jury of Award of the British Institute of British Architects, London. Hall received the Gold Award (1934) from NZIA for design of the church. The church was the vision of T.D. Burnett (1877-30 Nov.1941) M.P. for Temuka (1919-1941) and he and his wife Agnes [nee Agnes Ellen Little of Annadale, Cave], were the donors. The builders were John McBride and Charles Groves (Timaru born.) The actual builders were all British born and many return servicemen. Built of materials familiar to pioneers, uncut local boulders, with adze-hewn timber framing with the nave forty feet by twenty feet with clay-coloured rough thrown plaster similar to cob homes. Most of the boulders used in the construction of the walls were gathered within some hundreds of yards of the church. the remainder were taken from far-off Tasman Valley, near Mt. Cook, carefully chosen for their size, colour and texture. Only where it was vitally necessary was a tool used to chisel the stones. The preachers chair carved out of an old log is dedicated to early Mackenzie ministers. Hall also designed the Fox Peak ski field hut.
An eloquent Pastoral in stone built without using any nails.
Visitors are welcome. The Church will be open between 8am and 5 pm daily. Note - the Trustees would prefer to leave the church open permanently but desecration & vandalism of the past makes this course inadvisable.
This beautiful stone church on Burnett's Road, Cave, was built as an interdenominational church but is now primarily used by the Presbyterian community. Has great acoustics for singing and is often used for weddings as it is very picturesque. Opened 22 November 1930 and is located over the hill in a sunny valley behind the township of Cave past the local war memorial at the pass and up Burnetts Road, a side road on the right. Turn left at the gate. The cabbage tree in the foreground is a sign of good land but in 2009 it was removed. Now days expect to find the doors locked on both the churches in Cave but St. David's behind Cave is open.
The baptismal font.
A gathering of 200 Highlanders or their descendants assembled at Cave, in the South Island, at the invitation of Mr T. D. Burnett, MP, Mrs Burnett and the Burnett family on the occasion of the dedication of St David's Church. The occasion was memorable in the history of New Zealand. The "Timaru Herald" reports that "descendants of some of the best known and noblest clans of the Highlands were stirred to a high pitch of enthusiasm by the nature of the gathering which was arranged to create an atmosphere of the Motherland which is so dear to every Scottish heart." That the gathering was a real Highland one the names of those attending clearly prove. They include Alexander Macdonald of Orari, aged 93, with Sutherlands, Mackinnons, MacMasters, Mackintoshes, Gunns, Frasers, Rosses, Macleods, Mackays, Dunnetts, Campbells, Mackenzies, Macleans, MacNabs, etc. It is interesting to note that both the Gaelic and English languages were used in the dedication service which was of a most impressive nature. The Rev Angus MacDonald (he is fluent in Gaelic), formerly of Stornoway and senior Presbyterian Chaplain with the New Zealand troops, who officiated, said that they had met that day first to dedicate that church to the glory and worship of Almighty God, and secondly to conduct a memorial service to those men and women who settled in the back country of South Canterbury 1855-1895. Excellent photographs show that the new church has been built and furnished on artistic lines. Named St David's because David is the patron saint of all shepherds, and for this and other reasons, the church has been built in memory of the shepherds who made the Mackenzie country a name-word in the South Island of New Zealand. It is also recorded that Mr Burnett, MP, built the church "in loving remembrance of his parents Andrew and Catherine who took up the Mount Cook Sheep Run, May 1864, and in the Wilderness founded a Home." The Gaelic words follow: Daoine onarach an obair as uasaile a rinn Dia AD 1929. It is interesting to note that relatives of Mr and Mrs Burnett live in Sutherland today.
Catherine and Andrew Burnett had eight children.
1862 Burnett Catherine McKay
1863 Burnett Donald
1866 Burnett Mary Jane
1871 Burnett Andrew
1874 Burnett Jessie Agnes
1877 Burnett Thomas David
Burnett Johan Mackay
Burnett Betsy of Timaru nurse in 1914
Later on the family moved to Perth St, Timaru so the children could obtain an education. The site was bequeathed to Timaru for a Pioneer Hall, the museum by their son, T.D. Burnett.
The Burnett Family Cemetery up the hill opposite the Cave War Memorial, about five minutes walk from the road. The inscription on the cross reads: 'In memory of Andrew Burnett of Mount Cook, who to found a home below the snow line freeholded the valley to the south of this cross in 1872. An honest man is the noblest work of God.' Three generation of the Burnett'a farmed at Strathnaver and the monument mainly commemorates four of the second generation's five daughters. Andrew Burnett and Catherine Burnett were from the Scottish Highlands. Strathnaver or Strath Naver is the fertile strath (valley) of the River Naver once controlled by the Clan Mackay and extending over most of northwest Sutherland. There are four flat grey granite headstones around the base of the cross:
Catherine Mackay Burnett ('Miss Kitty'), died in 1938.
Mary Jane Burnett, died in 1953.
Johanna Mackay Burnett, died in 1953.
Jessie Agnes Burnett, died in 1957.
Tom Burnett is buried at Albury
They're a family that lived through the history of the region, and all its changes.
Catherine is buried at the Timaru Cemetery, died 8th July 1914. Also buried at Timaru is their daughter Bessie, age 42, who died at Aorangi 18th September 1919 and Andrew, jun., the second son of Catherine and Andrew Burnett who died at age 13, on 2nd October 1884. Here lies also ANDREW BURNETT born at Strathnaver, Scotland Feb. 5th 1839, who with his wife, Catherine, took up the Mount Cook sheep run in May 1864. Died at Aorangi, Cave, Sept. 21st 1927, in his 90th year, Clergy Rev. Stinson. A man, who, simply and nobly served God and his adopted country according to his _ights, and heed that honour and a man's word were the main things in life.
Press, 23 September 1927, Page 6 MR ANDREW BURNETT.
The death is announced of another pioneer of South Canterbury, Mr Andrew Burnett, the well-known runholder. The late Mr Burnett, who was in his 90th year, was born at Strathnaver, Sutherlandshire, Scotland, in 1838, and received his training in agriculture during his early years in his native country. He arrived in New Zealand in 1861, but before leaving Scotland he married Miss Catherine McKay who died thirteen years ago. Owner of the Mt. Cook station for 63 years, Mr Burnett leaves a monument to his untiring work in the attractive estate reaching to the slopes of the Southern Alps. It was in 1864 that Mr Burnett, in partnership with Mr George McRae, acquired the original holding then overgrown with scrub, and proceeded to cultivate it. After four years Mr Burnett bought out his partner, and the property remained in the possession of the Burnett family from then on. When Messrs McRae, and Burnett acquired their original holding the area was 5000 acres, but since it passed into the hands of Mr Burnett it has been increased to 25,000 acres. Mr Burnett is survived by two sons and four daughters, one son Mr T. D. Burnett, being the member of Parliament for the Temuka district.
Burnett newsletter March 2013
Andrew Burnett was born in Farr parish, Sutherland, Scotland on 5 Feb 1838 and died at Aorangi, South Canterbury, on 21 Sept 1927. His wife Catherine Mackay was born around 1837 in Sutherland and died at Aorangi on 8 July 1914. They were married at Achrimsdale in Clyne parish, Sutherland on 26 May 1861 when Andrew was a shepherd aged 23 and Catherine was a Dairy Maid aged 24. By 8 Oct 1861 they had arrived at Lyttelton, NZ to start a successful new farming life there together and to raise 8 children. Andrew�s father, also named Andrew Burnett, was born around 1800 in Inverness-shire and married Mary McDonnell. He was a shepherd in Glengarry where they lived and had several children before moving to Sutherland. There Andrew was a shepherd for Eriboll Estate Farm from about 1830. Further children were born at remote Strathbeag, Durness parish. Andrew & Mary lived in Sutherland for the remainder of their lives and were buried in Arnaboll Burial Ground on the shores of Loch Hope. From details on several death certificates, the parents of Andrew Snr. and siblings were a Thomas Burnett, Shepherd/Farmer and Betsy/Betty Moffat. They appear to have had lived around Culachy nr Fort Augustus and in Glengarry, both of which are close to Loch Ness.
St David's Memorial Church has seventeen stained glass windows, all attributed to Brooks, Robinson & Co. of Melbourne. On each wall is six pairs of lancet stained-glass windows, one for each Apostle with his name and symbol:
St Phillip, St John
St Matthew and St Andrew
St Thomas, St James the Greater
St Matthias, St Jude
St James the Less, St Peter
St Simon, St Bartholomew.
In the east gable there are three stained-glass memorial windows donated by Thomas and Agnes Burnett in memory of Thomas's parents, Andrew and Catherine. The left one depicts Ruth the gleaner, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, in the centre, and to the right David, the shepherd, guardian of the sheep flocks, 'He shall feed his flock like a shepherd.'
Inside, bluestone tablets set at intervals in the nave wall list the first and second wave of run holders. One of the stained-glass windows depicts Jesus, Rachel the shepherdess drawing water from the well. This window serves as a memorial to the pioneer women of the Mackenzie. The brass plagues reads: 'To the Glory of God and in honour and in memory of the pioneer women of the Mackenzie Country, who through the Arctic winters, and in the wilderness, maintained their homes and kept the faith, these windows are reverently dedicated.' Ordered by Hall in 1929 from Brooks, Robinson and Co. Melbourne. The other light is 'Christ in the House of St Martha and Mary of Bethany.'
St. David's Pioneer Memorial Church : Cave, South Canterbury / D.F. ; [The Trustees]
Edition : 2nd ed. [The Timaru Herald], 1967. Originally published in 1930. Contains dates and names of early runholders. Timaru Library.
New Zealand Herald, 29 June 1935, Page 17
LINK WITH EARLY DAYS WOOD FROM BURIED FOREST St. David's Church at Cave, South Canterbury, which is rich in historical associations with the pioneers of the Mackenzie Country, will shortly possess another link with the early days in the form of a memorial chair hewn from a piece of black pine. While other furnishings of the church recall times when the settlers had to struggle to make their homes in primitive surroundings, the chair goes back to older days, as it is believed that the timber from which it was constructed was at one time growing in a forest in the Mackenzie Country. The log from which the chair was made was found, after a flood in the Kakahu River, by Mr. Charles Groves, builder of the Cave church, having been revealed by the effect of rushing water. It comprised the greater portion of a tree trunk in a perfect state of petrification. When, the log was submitted to the Forestry Department in Wellington the opinion" was expressed that it was a remnant of prehistoric South Canterbury forest, which had been buried for thousands of years.
Post 17th November 1930 page 6
NEW CHURCH AT CAVE UNIQUE TRIBUTE TO PIONEERS
There is at Cave, in South
Canterbury, a little church which is unique both, in its richness in historical
associations, and its perfection of detail. It was built by Mr. T. D. Burnett,
M.P., to be a memorial to his parents and other pioneers of the district, and
its official opening will be held next Saturday. Perched on a sunny slope,
against a background of protecting trees, it has such a comfortable air of being
a natural part of the landscape that its newness goes unnoticed. Yet its unusual
beauty of design is such that it attracts immediate attention. With no single
straight line about it with old-world battlements above the, bell-tower, and
steeply sloping roof of grey, slate brought from Wales, it has an English air
that is particularly pleasing in a memorial to men and women who nearly all came
from Great Britain. The outer walls are built of local material, with a few
delicately tinted pink stones from Mount Cook worked in here and there. The
stove on the inside was brought from the Mackenzie Country. The -porch, in
memory of the cattle-drovers, roadmen, and other, workers of the early days, is
roomy, with a cobbled floor and a hanging lantern used in one of the early
Inside, the sunlight falls on the parquet floor in warm, bright patches, coming through richly-coloured stained glass windows which are a special memorial to "the women who kept the some fires burning through Arctic winters in the Mackenzie."
The pulpit, at the eastern end of the church, with a background of windows depicting Biblical scenes in beautiful, deep colours, is bright and highly polished as mahogany. Inset, in a lighter wood, is a delicate design of Mount Cook lilies and ribbonwood. The font, which stands on the left of the pulpit, is an ancient mortar, once used in the grinding of - wheat, and brought out from Home by ancestors of Mr. Burnett. Their names appear under the pastern windows. The pedestal of the font is the hub of an old bullock waggon.
To light the vestry there is another historic lamp, from a lifeboat that carried to safety the survivors of South Canterbury's shipwrecks. The bell above is the first that ever reminded Timaru church-goers of their duty.
The rough-hewn, beams; the doors fastened together with little wooden pegs, for no ordinary nails are used; the seats of birch; the well-known names, prominent, together with the carrying capacities of their runs, on grey slabs of stone around the walls; the perfect harmony of everything in the building, must give Mr. Burnett the satisfaction of knowing that he has indeed built a memorial that is in every way most suitable to commemorate the lives and work of the pioneers.
Golden Jubilee Service at Cave Church, Timaru Herald 24 Nov.
The service was conducted by the Rev. Ernest G. Brown, minister of Columba Presbyterian Church in Oamaru. The local parish minister the Rev. Winstone Marshall also assisted in the service. Mr. Brown, as a youth lived in the area. Mr. A.B. Smith was chairman of the organising committee. Mr Jim Little (brother-in-law to T.D. Burnett), who at age 96 was the oldest parishioner present.
Shona Scott d/o Mr and Mrs James Scott of Cannington, married James Erskine Watson in 1935. Best man was Lindsay Burns. Bridesmaid was Miss Joan Turnbull. Flower girls Misses Geraldine and Rosemary Murray. James died in 1983 at age 73. Born 9 April 1909.
Evening Post 27 September 1929 Page 13
A wedding which interested a large circle of friends was that of Joyce, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Scott, Cannington, Cave, Canterbury, and Gerald, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. George Murray, Braemar, Mackenzie Country. St. David's Church, where the ceremony took place, is being built by Mr. T. D. Burnett, M.P., in memory of his father and mother, pioneer settlers in the Mackenzie Country, and is made of stones from the district. The Rev. A. Alexander performed the ceremony, and Miss Foster provided the music. Kowhai and fine daffodils were used in the decoration of the church. The bride a effective frock was of parchment tinted satin romaine. There was a yoke and insertions of Honiton lace used both on bodice and skirt, a flared train of romaine fell from the waist, and a draped sash was caught with a Bhinestone and pearl buckle in front. A beautiful old Honiton lace veil was worn Juliet cap fashion, with clusters of orange blossom and white heather at either side. A sheaf of lilies completed a tasteful costume. Misses Mai Scott (sister of the bride) and Betty Murray (sister of the bridegroom) were bridesmaids, and were dressed alike in attractive frocks of delphinium blue georgette over beige crepe ac chine. The long pointed yokes of blue French lace were caught at the shoulders with jewelled clasps, and the skirts were trimmed with lace caught at the waistline by jewelled buckles. The picture hats of blue were swathed in georgette with flat flowers, in a soft shade of crushed rose placed under the brims. They carried bouquets of pink and blue anemones. Mr. Gould Hunter-Weston was best man, and Mr. Wilfred Rollason was groomsman. Denise Grant and Jessica Howell made charming little flower-girls. Their frocks were of delphinium blue georgette, made with little tight bodices and full, frilly skirts. Their hair was clasped at one side by a tiny spray of blue flowers to match their blue shoes, and they carried mid-Victorian bouquets of pink and blue anemones. The reception was held at Cannington where the huge marquee was decorated with kowhai and masses of daffodils, the bridal table, being arranged with arum lilies and freesias. Mrs. Scott was in Lido blue embossed georgette, her hat being of the same shade with a transparent brim and beige osprey, her bouquet being of shaded primroses. Mrs George Murray was in maize georgette trimmed with, lace, and a black picture hat, the bouquet carried being of shaded pink anemones. Later the bride and bridegroom left en route for the North Island, the former wearing pearl grey crepe" de chine, the belt clasped with a mosaic buckle. A smart grey coat of English worsted was worn over the frock, having a squirrel rolled collar and cuffs. Her hat was of pervanche blue baku straw, with a bow of blue felt. Miss Shona Scott (sister of the bride) wore a frock of floral georgette, patterned in corn colour and rose. The bodice was plain and the skirt flared, and her corn-coloured hat was swathed with rose coloured georgette. Miss Molly Murray (sister of the bridegroom) wore a smart blue, and white faille frock with a white waistcoat effect, hand-painted with pink roses, and her hat was blue and white straw.
Otago Daily Times 2 February 1937 Page 15 Smyth—Smaill
The wedding was solemnised in St. David’s Memorial Church, Cave, on Thursday, January 28, of Richard Barnsley, only son of Mr and Mrs R. B. Smyth, of Albury and late of Donaghadee, Ireland, and Janet Charlotte, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs A, Smaill, of Albury and granddaughter of the late Rev. and Mrs A. R. D. Tosswill. The Rev. W. Marshall officiated and Miss Muriel Smith presided at the organ. Messrs Ken Harrow and Arthur Smaill were best man and groomsman respectively. While the register was being signed Miss Adelaide Allchurch sang “O Perfect Love.” The bride wore a dainty frock of white crepe de chine, with a corsage of white lace. A plaited band finished the frock at the neck, and the soft folds of the skirt fell into a train. A plaited girdle encircled the waist and the veil was held in place by a coronet of orange blossom. She carried a spray of white and cream stock and ferns. The bridesmaids, Misses Heather and Barbara Smaill were dressed in frocks of blue floral georgette. A frilled cape hung from the yoke, and the ankle length skirts were flared with a V-shaped line of double frills from knee to hem. They wore large blue straw hats and carried bouquets of carnations and cornflowers. The flower girl, . Muriel Smaill, whose dress was a miniature of the bridesmaids, wore a bandeau of pink rosebuds and carried a posy of buds. After the ceremony a reception was held at the home of the bride's parents, where the bride’s mother received her guests wearing a black ensemble relieved with touches of white and a fine black straw hat. She carried a bouquet of lavender-tinted flowers. When the bridal couple left by car on a tour of the Southern Lakes, the bride wore a blue ensemble with accessories to tone.
Otago Daily Times 21 January 1939 Page 27
The marriage took place recently at St. David’s Memorial Church, Cave, South Canterbury, of Donald, second son of Mrs Simpson and the late Mr Dondd Simpson, of “ The Homestead.” Cave (late of Otekaike, North Otago), and Evelyn Edna, elder daughter of Mr and Mrs Peter Kidd, of Mossvale. Mount Nessing. The Rev. Mr Andrews, of Albury, performed the ceremony and Miss Muriel Smith was organist. The bride entered the church with her father, wearing a long-sleeved frock of ivory embroidered anglaise made on slim fitting lines falling gracefully into a train. The heart-shaped neckline was finished with a spray of orange blossom. Her embroidered veil hung from a coronet of orange blossom and miniature arum lilies, and she carried a bouquet of regal lilies and asparagus fern. Misses Shirley Kidd (sister of the bride), Melba Campbell (niece of the bridegroom) and Marian Lamb were the bridesmaids, all being dressed alike in frocks of Swiss embroidered organdie in shades of pink, green and lemon, respectively, made with a plain-fitting bodice with heart shaped neckline, puffed sleeves and fully flared skirts finished with a wide band of ruching. Narrow velvet sashes, in tones to match, their frocks were worn, as well as silver sequined juliet caps, finished with coloured flowers. They carried bouquets of roses, abutilons, delphiniums and asparagus fern. Janet Simpson, niece of the bridegroom, was flower girl in a full-length frock of cream tulle over satin made with short puff sleeves. She carried a posy of apricot rosebuds and asparagus fern. Mr Mervyn Kirke was best man, Messrs Jack Stevens and Keith Kelland, groomsmen, and Messrs Bruce Kidd and Robert Irving, the ushers. While the register was being signed Miss Muriel Smith sang “ O Perfect Love.”
A reception followed in the Mount Nessing Hall, the guests being received by the bride’s mother, who wore a navy ensemble relieved with red, a hat to tone, and carried a bouquet of roses and maidenhair fern. Mrs Simpson, mother of the bridegroom, was attired in a frock of black lace trimmed with gold lame, with hat to tone, and her bouquet was of gold roses. When Mr and Mrs Donald Simpson left on their wedding tour the bride was attired in a becoming navy bolero suit, with gaily striped bodice, and a navy Breton sailor hat. She carried a musquash coat, the gift of the bridegroom. In the evening Mr and Mrs Peter Kidd entertained many friends at a dance in the Mount Nessing Hall.
Press 15 September 1945 Page 1
HUDSON—ERSKINE — On August 4. at St. David’s Memorial Church, Cave, Jean, daughter of Mr and Mrs S. Erskine, New-castle-on-Tyne, to Richard James, son of Mr and Mrs Charles D. Hudson, Dunedin.
Evening Star 13 January 1932 Page 13
On the last day of the year, at St. David’s Memorial Church, Cave, Mary, only daughter of Mr and Mrs Thompson Vickers, of Dunedin, was married to Allan Ramsay, fifth son of Mrs Howie, of Maori Hill, the Rev. H. Maurice Cocks, of Geraldine, a friend of the bridegroom, officiating. In harmony with the quiet and dignified interior of the beautiful little church the bride was most becomingly attired in a gown of floral georgette, in which blue and pink predominated, with hat and shoes of blue. In such a setting the beautiful service of the Anglican Church needed neither music—save the singing of the birds—nor flowers nor attendant maids to add to the reverential atmosphere. After the ceremony the bride and bridegroom were photographed beside a kowhai tree which they had planted in the church grounds the previous evening. An informal reception was held at the Pleasant Point Hotel, at which the parents of the bride entertained a few intimate friends and relatives of both parties. Later, when Mr and Mrs Howie left by car, the latter was charmingly attired for motoring in an old gold and white ensemble and smart white hat.
Thieves Hit Church
18 February 2006 Timaru Herald
Thieves struck the Cannington district over the holiday season, breaking into the preschool and stealing property from the historic St David's Church. Senior constable Geoff Smith, from the Pleasant Point police, said the thefts were devastating for the normally quiet community over the hill from Cave. Across the road from the preschool the historic St David's Church had also been hit by thieves. An organ stool and a memorial prayer box were taken and a stained glass window was broken.
Back way to Timaru
Turn right onto Limestone Road and then along and then cut across Timaunga to Craigmore Valley Road where Maori rock art is signposted. Follow Craigmore Valley Road east back to State Highway 32 and come out at Pareora about ten minutes from Timaru.
Mackenzie County Council Briefs: Meeting of 8th November 2005
Local history retained in road naming. Some local history is to be retained in the Cave area, thanks to a submission by local resident Morrell McFetrich. Council had proposed to rename the Cave-Pareora Road as Cannington Road from SH8 to a point near Wisely Road and as Pareora Gorge Road from that point onwards.
However, Mr McFetrich pointed out that the short section of road from the State Highway to the foot of Cave Hill had always been known to the locals as Prohibition Road and produced historic evidence in support of his claim. The road got its name because T D Burnett originally gave the land for the road to be formed to remove temptation from wagon drivers having to pass the local hotel when leaving Cannington and heading up country towards the Mackenzie. The Council accepted his submission and the historic name will remain for that part of the road, with a sign at the State Highway saying to Cannington Road.
Mount Cook Pastoral Lease was first taken up for grazing in May 1864 when Andrew Burnett and George McRae applied for the 5000 acre Run 498. By 1865 McRae had left the partnership and Burnett, his wife Catherine (nee MacKay) and their two children settled onto the property. In 1871 they took up two more runs (603 and 614) and by 1873 started to freehold parts of the property. By 1889 Mount Cook, re-named as Run 83, covered approx. 10,000 hectares. Part of this area was eventually surrendered to form part of Mt Cook NP. In 1895, the eldest son, Donald was managing the station for his father and there was no debt recorded upon it. Following Andrew's death in 1902 Donald took over Sawdon Station and the Burnett's third son Thomas David (TD) succeeded to Mount Cook. He remained the leaseholder until his death in 1941. He is buried atop the bluff at Black Point (Rock Etam.) within a special reserve taken from the lease. In TD Burnett's time over 60,000 trees were planted on the lease, in part to provide an alternative source of timber to the beech forest at Glentanner. The station went to TD Burnett's son and daughter following his death and is the only station in South Canterbury that has been held in unbroken tenure by the same family (Pinney, 1971) Many of the peaks, steams and other landmarks were named after family members, neighbours, shepherds and farm dogs. Gorilla Stream Hutt lies outside the pastoral lease boundary. map
Press, 9 July 1914, Page 8
Timaru, July 8. The death is announced of Mrs Andrew Burnett, wife of the original lessee of Mount Cook Station, was taken up just over 50 years ago and has been in the hands of the family since.
Ashburton Guardian, 9 July 1914, Page 4
The death is announced of Mrs Andrew Burnett, of Aorangi, Cave, South Canterbury. As mistress of the homestead of Mount Cook station Mrs Burnett's name- was synonymous with hospitality. In the older days, when the route to Mount Cook inchfded the ford of the Upper Tasman and later at the Aorangi farm, the same kind welcome awaited every caller. Mrs Burnett died on Wednesday morning after only a few days' illness.
Timaru Herald Station loses runholder after 69 years
BY KATARINA FILIPE 19/07/2010 After almost 69 years of controlling Mt Cook Station, runholder Donald Burnett has died. He was 95. He died at Timaru Hospital on Thursday, after being admitted a fortnight ago. His sister, Catriona Baker, told The Timaru Herald yesterday that Mr Burnett had been working until an accident on July 4, when he slipped on ice and broke his hip. "He had lost a lot of weight ... It was too much to conquer all at once," she said. "My brother was a very private person and he worked very hard. He was 26 when he took over controlling Mt Cook Station from our father." Mrs Baker said their father, TD Burnett, took over the station in 1903, also when he was 26. "Donald was very interested in engineering and all that went with it. He put in a hydro electric plant in 1953. "He always promoted the merino sheep and also the environment. He believed in no burning." Mr Burnett never married or had children but the station would carry on because a trustee would manage it, Mrs Baker said. Duncan Mackenzie, who farmed next door to Mt Cook Station for 38 years, said Mr Burnett liked a peaceful, uninterrupted lifestyle. "He was a perfectionist in what he did in all the buildings and fencing and power plants. He hosted quite a lot of days, like Farm Forestry days." Mr Mackenzie said Mr Burnett had a lot of involvement with Merino New Zealand. In February 2000, Mr Burnett was named as the world's leading merino woolgrower in an award from a leading Italian industrialist. Mr Burnett was presented with the inaugural World Challenge Trophy by Dr Pier Luigi Loro Piana, whose Italian textile company paid $120,000 for a 100 kilogram bale of 13.1 micron diameter merino fleece. The wool set a world record for the fineness of wool in a full bale. In March 1998, Mr Burnett and Mrs Baker followed in their father's footsteps by setting up a charitable trust called the DMC and CMB Burnett Charitable Trust. Their father set up the Burnett Valley Trust with his sisters. The trust owns several farms at Cave and provides income for St Andrew's College, Christchurch. Mr Burnett was also involved with the 1967 proposal to build the Pioneer Rd sheepdog statue. He was one of three people in the Mackenzie branch of Federated Farmers who oversaw the project, leading to the statue being unveiled in March 1968. When the statue's protection came under review in May 1997, Mr Burnett said the statue represented "the soul and essence of the high country". A service for Mr Burnett will be held in St David's Memorial Church, Burnett Valley, Cave tomorrow at 1.30pm, followed by a private cremation.
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country character dies
Donald Burnett viewing stock at Mt Cook Station. 11-08-2010
Donald Burnett July 21, 1915 - July 15, 2010
The high-country community lost one of its characters with the death of Donald Burnett last month. He was 95. Donald was aptly christened Donald Mt Cook Burnett and Mt Cook Station was, according to friend and fellow high-country farmer Jim Morris, his home, his passion and his raison d'etre. The property has been in the Burnett family since it was first settled by Donald's grandfather in 1864. Morris, who delivered the eulogy at Donald's funeral, described how seriously Donald took his role of custodian of land and he adopted management practices such as no burning and moderate stocking rates long before they became fashionable. Throughout his life Donald was an enthusiastic breeder of Merino sheep and producer of ultra-fine, high-quality wool. In his eulogy, Morris recounted Donald's great love of animals and says he would care for his sheep, often to the detriment of his health. On one occasion Morris was travelling with Donald in the Land Rover when he spotted a packet of Malt biscuits on the dashboard. Having a penchant for Malt biscuits, Morris thought these might be for morning tea, but it transpired that they were for the pet sheep. Donald peeled an orange for himself. Similarly, a now retired South Canterbury farmer recalls how, as an 18-year-old shepherd at Guide Hill, he found a dog which belonged to Donald. This young shepherd was promised a reward for returning the dog and he eagerly anticipated what he imagined would be either cash or few beers. He was therefore surprised when Donald presented him with a bunch of grapes and a box of chocolates. From early in his farming career, Donald was sending wool to England where he regularly topped sales. The Mt Cook-branded wool soon became synonymous with style, colour and quality and in 2000 Donald was named the world's leading Merino woolgrower by Dr Pier Luigi Loro Piana, whose Italian textile company paid $120,000 for a 100kg bale of 13.1-micron fleece. This wool set a world record for the fineness of wool in a full bale. Known for his sharp mind, Donald enjoyed exploring new ideas and technologies and was a skilled photographer and engineer. His interest in photography began at school where he printed his own photographs before moving on to 16mm films upon which he recorded skiing and climbing trips to Austria and Switzerland as well as mustering on the station. In 1949 he built a power house to generate electricity for the station, primarily to make life easier for his mother, and to this day Mt Cook Station remains self-sufficient in electricity. Donald never married or had children but lived with his sister Catriona Baker, who also lived on the station all her life, initially helping her parents and for 60 years, her brother. Age was simply a number to Donald and he celebrated his 70th birthday by climbing the 2743m (9000ft) peak "Nuns Veil" with two friends. Donald's optimism was such that he recently started a new sheep breeding operation and in his nineties was still planting trees with a view to the future. Country-Wide editor Terry Brosnahan recalls phoning Donald, then in his late 80s, late one evening, only to be told he was out rabbit shooting and wouldn't be expected home for at least two hours. High-country farmers and Federated Farmers vice-president Donald Aubrey says Donald was a loyal member of Federated Farmers and was one of three members who, in 1967, instigated the building of Tekapo's famous sheepdog statue. During Aubrey's time as chair of the High Country Accord and High Country committee of Federated Farmers he always found Donald to be supportive and the pair had frequent discussions over the phone, which Aubrey says he always enjoyed. "He would always consider his words carefully and was keen to contribute. "I respected that." Aubrey says Donald was an ardent National Party supporter, particularly infuriated by the Labour Party's proposal to increase crown lease rentals based on the view. In his eulogy, Morris described Burnett as a strong-willed character. "Donald was not known to go to cabarets on a regular basis and the jazz scene in New York would be an anathema to him, but I do think that when Frank Sinatra penned the song "I Did it My Way" he may have had Donald in mind. "Donald was not a large man but you had to have a very good argument to get him to change his mind." Mt Cook Station will carry on under the Burnett name and be run by a trustee. Donald Mt Cook Burnett died on July 15. He is survived by his sister Catriona Baker. - Sandra Taylor
Dec. 2015. Mt. Cook Station for sale. 2600 hectare Mt. Cook station, bordering Lake Pukaki, at 1580 Braemar Road, Mt Cook, Mackenzie District, was sold in March 2016 by tender to Clint and Alana Miles. The property has two houses, two sleepouts and a shearers' quarters, as well as utility buildings. The farm manager's house has three bedrooms while the main homestead built in the 19th century has six bedrooms and two bathrooms, a three-bedroom shearers quarters, a barn and hayshed, indoor stock shed, woolshed, tractor shed, and two-bay garage.. The property has been owned by the Burnett family since 1864, that is 151 years, making it one of the longest family farm ownerships in the country. The blocks consist of the 1312 hectare Mount Cook Station, the 1366 hectare Cox's Down's block, or the 36 hectare House block. Donald Burnett also built one of the first privately-owned and operated hydro electricity plants in NZ in 1953, and it's still operational today.
Timaru Herald May 23 2016
A legal challenge has stopped the sale of historic Mt Cook station. The matter could now go before the High Court. The 2600-hectare station near the base of Mt Cook was bought in March by Clint and Alana Miles for an undisclosed sum. The station was established in 1864, and was continuously owned by the Burnett family for 151 years. It was run by Donald Burnett for 69 years, until his death in 2010. He co-owned the property with his sister, Catriona Baker, who died in 2014. Neither sibling had children, so the property was left to the Burnett Mt Cook Station Charitable Trust, which had been set up in December 2009 to look after Burnett's estate. When Baker died, her share of the property was left to her brother's Trust. But a complaint has now been laid with the Crown Law Office against Burnett's Trust, alleging that two of its trustees had no legal authority to sell the property. The sale has now been put on hold until the matter is resolved. The complaint was made by sisters, trustees of the Trust representing Baker's estate. They were concerned that Baker had left her share of the property to the Burnett Trust on the understanding it be left for the New Zealand public, not privately sold. Their complaint alleges that two of the Burnett Trust's trustees had no legal authority to sell the property. When the Trust was registered, it specified that trustees could only serve for five years, but both men were appointed in 2009. The Trust's beneficiaries were also listed as the general public.
April 29 2016 Timaru Herald
Hong Kong-based investors have got approval to buy and develop Guide Hill Station in Canterbury's Mackenzie country for $16.5 million. The investors, under the company name Blue Lake Investment NZ, applied to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to take on the 3526.24 hectare property (9500acre) which is between Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo township. They plan to buy the property from local owners David and Marion Gould, whose family have farmed it for nearly 50 years. The Braemar Rd property runs merino sheep and cattle and has views of Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook. Hong Kong's Blue Lake Investment, headed by Peter Lee, of Hong Kong, and Sek Yin Li of Texas, United States, said in their OIO bid they intended to run and improve the farm alongside the Goulds. They plan to spend $5.6m on development. This includes adding visitor accommodation and other tourist facilities, and establishing and running a new crop research facility with Lincoln University. They will donate $410,000 to three community organisations, Lincoln University, the Alps 2 Ocean cycleway and the Mackenzie Trust. The cycleway runs along the bottom edge of Guide Hill Station. The OIO approved the deal on the basis that it would create jobs and boost exports, and lead to added development investment. The sale met the office's criteria on native plants and animals, and public walking access. The decision follows the recent sale of the nearby 2600ha Mount Cook Station after being run by the Burnett family for 151 years. Mount Cook Station's new owners are Alana and Clint Miles, the daughter and son-in-law of David and Marion Gould. Dec, 2015.
Suda Bay War Cemetery, Crete, Greece
Andrew MacKay Sawdon Burnett
Serial No. 11589 photo
First Known Rank Private
Occupation before Enlistment Labourer
NOK Mr Donald Burnett (father), PO Box 2, Kurow, North Otago
Marital Status Single
Enlistment Address Kurow, North Otago
Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), 2nd Echelon
Embarkation Unit 20th (Canterbury-Otago) Battalion
Nominal Roll Number WW2
Last Unit Served 23 Infantry Battalion
Place of Death Crete
Date of Death 21 May 1941
Age at Death 27
Killed in action
Son of Donald Burnett and of Barbara Ann Burnett (nee MacLeod), of Cave, Canterbury. They married in 1908.
Caitriana Mackay Beatock Burnett married (marriage 518781) Richard Edward
St. Barbe Baker, "Man of the Trees"
Catriona Baker - Balmoral Station her 2nd book
Timaru Herald Nov. 15, 2014
BAKER, Caitriana Mackay Beatock (Catriona) (nee Burnett): Peacefully at Fairlie on Thursday, November 13, 2014, after a long life devoted to her beloved Mount Cook Station, in her 98th year. A "Child of the Misty Gorges". Dearly loved daughter of the late Thomas David and Agnes Ellen Burnett, and loved sister of the late Donald Burnett. In accordance with Catriona's wishes, a private funeral service will be held and invitees have been advised. All messages c/o Betts Funeral Services, PO Box 772, Timaru. In lieu of floral tributes Catriona invites her friends to plant a tree in her memory. Betts Funeral Services F.D.A.N.Z.
Timaru Herald 23 Nov. 2014
Catriona Baker (nee Burnett), passed away peacefully in Fairlie on November 13. Born on August 31, 1917 at Annandale, the Little family property at Cannington. Catriona's early childhood was spent at Mount Cook Station with her brother Donald, and when it came time for the children to be educated, the family moved to Timaru to the Burnett family townhouse, Big Ben, on Perth St. The Perth St land and three homes on it were eventually gifted to the people of Timaru by T D Burnett for use as a museum and the South Canterbury Museum's Pioneer Hall stands on the site. Attended Craighead. When Catriona's father died in 1941, ownership of Mount Cook Station passed to Donald Burnett, while Catriona inherited neighbouring Cox's Downs. She also owned Balmoral Station. Catriona proudly listed her occupation as "sheep farmer" and worked alongside her brother as they strove to develop an improving saxon merino flock at Mount Cook Station. She loved history and was recognised as an authority on the history of the Mackenzie district. She also loved gardening, collie dogs (she was still patron of the Mackenzie Collie Dog Club when she died) and was deeply concerned at the effects of dairying on the Mackenzie eco-system. Catriona wrote The Story of James Mackenzie in the Mackenzie County in 2013 (159 pages) and The Man of Trees in 2014, about her husband Richard St Barbe Baker, OBE. Mrs Baker's book begins with Mackenzie's hurried departure from Scotland to Australia following an incident involving prized cattle belonging to the Lord Provost of Aberdeen and then moves through Mackenzie's arrival in New Zealand, his knowledge of the Pass at Manahuna, the uplift of the sheep from Taiko flat, his capture by John Sidebottom and the two Maori shepherds Taiko Topere and Wainui Tarawhata, Mackenzie's escape and his trek to Lyttelton, his arrest in the loft at Lyttelton by Police Sergeant Edward Seager, Mackenzie's trial, his subsequent escapes from the Lyttelton gaol, Mackenzie's Pardon, remembering Mackenzie's capture with the Jock Mackenzie Memorial Centennial Challenge Cup along with the four monuments throughout South Canterbury and the Mackenzie District, the 150th anniversary of Mackenzie's capture.
NZ RESERVES AND OTHER LANDS DISPOSAL ACT 1983
T. D. Burnett private burial ground---Whereas section 22 of the Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Act 1938 made provision for the burial of the body of Thomas David Burnett in a defined area of Mount Cook Station that was later declared to be a private burial ground, and prohibited the burial of the body of any other person in that burial ground: And whereas the body of Thomas David Burnett was buried there in 1941: And whereas it is desired to provide that the bodies of Donald Mount Cook Burnett (the son of Thomas David Burnett) and Caitriana Mackay Beatock Baker (the daughter of Thomas David Burnett) may be buried in the burial ground after their respective deaths: Be it therefore enacted as follows: Section 22 of the Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Act 1938 is hereby amended by inserting, after subsection (3), the following subsection: (3A) Notwithstanding section 36 (3) of the Burial and Cremations Act 1964 or subsection (4) of this section, the bodies of Donald Mount Cook Burnett and Caitriana Mackay Beatock Baker may be buried in the land referred to in subsection (7) of this section.''
War and Peace
Roy Miller window.
Worship in the early days of the Cave district was held in the local school, which stood west of the present Cave hall. For seventy years, services were held there. The school closed in 1937 the building was leased from the Education Board and furnished with altar rails, lectern and prayer desk and became known as the Cave Church School Room. By 1949 the local Guild had �400 in hand so it was decided to build a church on land purchased from the Education Board and donated for that purpose.
The 50th anniversary service was held in the church on All Saints Day, November 3 2002 followed by a luncheon in the Cave hall. Built of local stone, hand picked and carted by many people out of the Te Ngawai riverbed, the church is a living memory of the many people who have worshipped in it since 1952. Many residences still have special memories of this building project. On November 18, 1952, before a congregation of 150 visitors and parishioners Bishop A. K. Warren unveiled the foundation stone as he was unable to be present when the stone was laid. The church has two stained glass windows. One in the sanctuary commemorates Alfred Amyes (1851-1941), Elizabeth Amyes (1852-1928), and their son Alfred C. Amyes (killed at Passchendaele 1917) and their daughter Constance nee Baker who d. 10 Dec. 1947. Donated by Miss Amyes and Arthur Baker, husband of Constance.
Otago Witness, 7 June 1905, Page 36
The Presbyterian Church authorities at Pleasant Point are buying a section at the Cave township to build a church on by and-bye. Mr James Shepherd and Mr Robertson are the church managers for this part of the parish.
Land Sales. Mr B. McGrath has sold his farm to Mr Stonyer, of Beaconsfield.
Otago Witness, 6 May 1908, Page 39
Church Matters. The Rev. J. White, who has been the Presbyterian minister at Pleasant Point for the last 16 years, preached his farewell sermon to the adherents of the Presbyterian church at Cannington on Sunday, April 26. He reviewed the work done in the charge during his term of office, and stated what had been his ideals while he had been the pastor. His reason for leaving was that he was getting up in years.
31 months - another locked unused church. Nov. 2009.
Cave - St Monica, a Catholic Church that appears unused for years. The foundation stone reads May 21st 1911.
Timaru Herald, 22 May 1911, Page 2
Yesterday afternoon his Lordship Bishop Grimes blessed and laid the foundation stone of the first Catholic Church at the Cave, with impressive dignity and solemnity, in the presence of over four hundred people. The Catholics of the Cave were present in full strength and many journeyed from the parochial centres of Albury and Fairlie, and even from places outside the parish like Pleasant Point, in order to take part in the ceremony and help in return their brethren at the Cave, in the erect on of a suitable edifice. The Rev. Father Le Petit, the zealous and popular pastor, whose flock is scattered over the vast district extending from a few miles south of the Cave to Burkes Pass and the back hills, has been parish priest of this extensive territory for the past eight years. When he took charge as the first parish parish, he had one handsome church at Fairlie. Since then he has erected a beautiful church at Albury, and some time ago owing to the rapid increase in his congregation at the Cave, he took time the forelock and secured a splendid site for a church, on the side of the township and about three hundred yards from the railway station. More recently he made a personal appeal for funds to commence building, and so liberal was the response that, with the approval of his Lordship Bishop Grimes and the assured hearty cooperation of the congregation he called for plans, and yesterday's gathering was the outcome. THE BUILDING. The plans, designed by the Christchurch architects, Messrs S. and A. Luttrell. promise a handsome building in the old English style, built of limestone, with a rock-taced rubble outside, and cross buttresses at the angles, two supporting the walls of the nave, and two behind the sanctuary. Three oval headed lead lights, will pierce the walls at each side of the nave, two behind the choir, and one on each side of the porch. A quadrifoil window will show immediately behind the altar. The nave is specified as thirty feet long by twenty feet wide, the sanctuary thirteen feet long by fifteen feet wide, and the porch ten feet by ten feet, so that from the entrance door to the sanctuary wall the total length will be fifty-three feet. A sacristy eight by ten feet abuts from the choir on the south side. The height from concrete foundation to ridging will be about thirty feet. The specifications prescribe plastered inside walls, open principle roof and wood work finished with rimu and varnished, and roof of iron, Mr W. Walker is the contractor for the stone work. He is a son of Mr J. Walker, who built the Albury Catholic Church, and also another church at the same place. The stone for the building is being obtained from Monavale, the estate of Mr Tasman Smith. It may be mentioned that Mr Walker presented His Lordship with the suitably inscribed silver trowel which was used yesterday. Mr T. Foden. Fairlie, is the contractor for the woodwork. The approximate cost of the building is estimated, at �650, and given good weather the contractors hope to have it ready for the opening in about four months time. THE CEREMONY. At three o'clock the grounds presented an animated appearance. For the previous half hour the numbers were being gradually augmented by arrival of pedestrians, riders, and drivers in every sort of vehicle. The weather was most suitable for the occasion, being bright and surprisingly warm in the winter's sun. A roofed platform had been erected close to the foundations, and to this His Lordship was conducted by the Rev. Father Le Letit. Here he was received by a deputation of the parishioners headed by Mr William Barry. His Lordship, in full canonicals and assisted by the Rev. Fathers Le Petit and Hyland, then laid the foundation stone with a silver trowel, and forming in in processional order sprinkled the walls with hallowed water as laid down in the rubrics quoted by his Lord- ship. In the stone, which is a handsome one presented and inscribed by Mr S McBride, of Timaru, were inserted hermetically sealed copies of the local papers, "N.Z. Tablet," coins of the realm, and a parchment inscribed with the names of the present King, Pope, and Bishop of the diocese. Special mention must he made of. Messrs W. Barry, Michael Coughlan, J. O'Connor, for the self sacrificing assistance they have given towards bringing matters to their present position. The Rev. Fathers Tubman P.P., Smyth (Timaru), and Rev. Father Fay P.P., (Temuka) also assisted durin the afternoon. His Lordship came on to Timaru in the evening, and is the guest of the Rector at the Priory to-day.
Photo credits Olwyn, August 1999 and 2009
South Canterbury, New ZealandGenWeb Project