1878. The Rev. James Preston diaries - a South Canterbury circuit preacher.

His diaries are like a census of the Geraldine District.

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102.
6th January 1878
31st December 1878

Sunday, 6th of Jany.. I held service at Geraldine 11 am;  Administered the Holy Communion to about 14 communicants. I held service at Winchester 3—30. Administered the Holy Communion to 10 communicants. Baptized Mill's baby. At 6—30 pm I held service at Temuka Returned home the same night. Very busy preparing for the Confirmation on the 20th. I have a confirmation class at Geraldine on Thursdays, at Temuka on Fridays, at Winchester on Tuesdays, & at Waihi Bush on Wednesdays. I have kept this up for the last six weeks & I find it rather a tax upon me. I am glad the Bishop will be here on the 20th of Janry.

[At this point in the Diary there is a list: 'Candidates for Confirmation, 1878']
Geraldine:

William Smith
George Thomas Bodley Kelland
Edwyn Whittaker
Robert Evans Fish
Edward Berry
John William Leckner
James Pye
Robert Hogdshon Postlethwaite
Ranald McIntosh McDonald
Evan McPherson McDonald
William Kenneth McDonald
George Newman
Emily McIntosh
Mary Beatrice Fish
Alice Catherine Fish
Elizabeth Addy
Violet Gwendoline Rogers
Alice Ann Whittaker
Ellen Dean
Nellie Dunoven
Ida Ethel Rogers
Jane Hardcastle
Rosanna Dean
Eva Scott
Sarah Ann Marshall
Sarah Ann Fifield
Elizabeth Dunoven
Caroline Hunton
Eleanor Butcher
Emma Brown

Temuka: 

William Derenzy
Charles Saunders
Graham Craig
Edward Lee
Evans Vallender
Henry Edward Langridge
William Binley
Edward Whitehead
John Blisset
William Henry Robinson
Robert Mahan
Francis Albert Franks
Charles Henry Franks
William Rowe
Elizabeth Turner
Cecilia Craig
Jane Mahan
Catherine Klee
Mary Ann Budd

Sunday 13th I held service at Temuka at 11 am, at the Kakahu at 3-30 pm, at Geraldine 6-30 pm.
Tuesday 9th... Attended confirmation class at Winchester & baptized 4 children.

1878
103.
16 Wednesday... I called upon Mr Slack & went afterwards to see Jane Hardcastle about her confirmation.
Friday 18th. I drove Mrs Preston & my family up to Peel Forest.
Sunday, 20th Jany... The Bishop came for the Confirmation. It was a fine day & the Church was crowded. Thirty Candidates were confirmed (i.e. 12 males & 18 females). It was a beautiful service & the Bishop's address was very good. The service commenced with the hymn "Soldiers of Christ Arise" & ended with the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers". I drove the Bishop to Temuka in the afternoon. The service there commenced at 4-30 pm. We had precisely the same hymns as at Geraldine. The chancels of both churches were tastefully decorated with flowers & evergreens. In St Mary's, Geraldine, the texts were, on one side of the Communion table 'Choose Ye this day whom ye will serve! ' & on the other, 'The Lord our God will we serve'. In the centre over the Communion table was the text 'Our help is in the house of the Lord' These texts were surmounted by a cross & crown of flowers. In St Saviour's, Temuka, the texts were the same on the wall on each side of the Holy table. In the midle (sic) resting on the table was a beautiful white cross with this inscription on it I Watch & Pray.' On the top of the Communion rails was this inscription 'Be thou faithful unto death & I will give thee a crown of life.' The whole service was most impressive & beautiful. 19 candidates were presented to the Bishop by myself (i e) 14 males & 5 females, making in both Churches confirmed on the same day, 49 in all. I drove the Bishop to my house afterwards, a distance of 12 miles.
Monday 21st... The Bishop returned to Mr Tripp' s.
Sunday 27th of Jany... I held service in the Church Temuka. Administered the Holy Communion to about 35 communicants.
At 3—30 I held service at the Point.
Sunday 3d of Febye.. I held service at Geraldine11 am. Administered the Holy Communion to 50 communicants & baptized a child. At 3—30 I held service at Winchester. Baptized a child. At 6—30 I held service at Temuka & rode out afterwards to Milford to baptize Ensor's baby as it was very ill. Staid all night with Mr E. Pilbrow.
Sunday 10th of Feb 1878... I held service at Temuka 11 am, at the Kakahu 3—30 pm, at Geraldine 6—30 pm .
Sunday 17th of Feby 1878... I held service in the Church Geraldine 11 am, in the Church Pleasant Valley 3—30 pm, in the Church Geraldine 6—30) pm.
Sunday 24th Feb I held service  in the Church Temuka Metcalf's child. Administered the Holy Communion to 14 communicates. A 3-30 I held service in the PB Church at the Point. Baptized Acton's child.

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Sunday 3rd  March 1878
I held service in the Church Geraldine 11 am. About  [Blank] the Holy Communion. At  3-30 I held service at Temuka. Baptized a child at Winchester.
Friday 6th Of March started for the McKenzie Country. Called in at Four Peaks Station. Saw Capn Cloggtoun  & Mrs Clogstoun. Had lunch. Went over the Pass to Sherwood Downs. Met Andrews in the Pass. Got to Raine's at about 6 o'clock. Staid all night.
9th of March...  I started for Fairlie Creek. Called in at Mr Grey's farm & on all the people on the road to Mr Gillingham's. Got to Mr Guillingham's at a bout 7 pm. Heavy rain.
Sunday 10 Mar 1878... I held service in Mr Guillingham's house. Administered the Holy Communion to about 9 communicants. I started for Burkes Pass. Found had cast a shoe. Borrowed a horse from Mr Weddrell to go to the Pass. Baptized five children belonging to William Close at Fairlie Creek. Rode on to Mr Kimbell's house. Lunched with him. Left Weddrell's horse at Three Springs & drove up to the Pass Church with Mr Kimbell. I fear it is the last time I shall have the pleasure of riding so, for the Kimbells, being about to leave the neighbourhood, are not likely to return again. Their absence will be a sad loss to the Church to all the people in the neighbourhood for they kept the services going in the Church when no clergyman was present, Dr Kimbell acted as a Doctor to the District when required. Their kindness & christian conduct to will long be remembered around Burkes Pass & in the McKenzie Country. I fear the Lay Readership will not be so ably attended to, and that Church matters will greatly want the life that Mr & Mrs Kimbell took such pains to promote.  I held service in the Church at 3 pm & felt very sorry to think that it would be the last service I should join with Mr & Mrs Kimbell in offering our united prayers & praises to God in St Patrick's Church. I administered the Holy Communion to 5 communicants. Returned in the evening to Mr Kimbell's house. Staid night.
Monday March I said good—by to Mr & Mrs Kimbell & started for Fairlie Creek. Called upon all the people as I went down the road. Saw great changes at Silverstream. Called at Weddrel's house. Returned his horse & got my own. Rode three miles up the flat to call upon Mrs Bodley who had a small child unbaptized. She promised to bring it next time I came to Fairlie Creek. Called upon Mr McLean. Got to  Alberry at night. Held service at the Station. Present Mr Richardson, Mrs Lockhart, and some of the people on the Station.
Tuesday March 12th. I went to Mr Rutherford's house. Called upon all the people at the Railway Station & on the road. Baptized Burgesses baby. Called upon A. Smith, J. Rutherford. I staid all night at Mr R. Rutherford' s. Held service. About 10 present.

105. 1878
Wednesday 13th... I returned home. Called at Mr Sealey's farm. Got up the hill to the top of the Brothers & lost myself among the fences. Wandered up & down gullies & at last got out on to the road on the other side of the hills. Called upon Allan & Burgess & all the people. Got to Raincliff Station. Staid all night. Held service. Present about 10 people.
Thursday 14th of March I started from Raincliff Station up in company with Mr A. Rayner.  Went through the Kakahu. Up the Bush called upon Ralf, Horsley, Pratt, Seymore, Sutherland, Gapes, Bray, Boucher & Speechley, Rayner, Brown, etc. Got home about 5—30 pm.
Sunday 17th March. I held service at Geraldine 11 am, and then went on to the Rangitata  Island. The river was very high. Left my horse at Talbot' s farm & walked over the railway bridge. Called upon the station master & the man on the other side of the bridge. Commenced to walk down the Island to the School House. Very windy & hot. Met a conveyance at last got a lift for 5 miles. Very glad. Picked up an old fat woman & two or three daughters who were going to the service. Got to the School House. A good congregation, about 30 people. Staid all night with Mr Gorton the schoolmaster.
Monday 18th... Called upon all the people on the Island & borrowed a horse to ride to the Railway bridge as the river was still very high. Got over the bridge by about 2 o'clock & called upon the people on the other side. Could not catch my horse until late but rode down the river about miles to LankrRogers to baptize a baby. Not at home so started for Geraldine. Met Lankrogers & fixed a day for the baby.
Sunday 24th. I held service at Temuka 11 am, my last service there as the clergyman for that part of my district. At 3—30 held service at the Point - last service also. Administered the Holy Communion to about 25 in Temuka & about 16 at the Point.
Sunday 31st... I held service at Mount Peel 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion to about 16 people. At 3-30 pm, I held service at the new School House. Present a good congregation. Called upon a good many people on Saturday, & Monday returned by way of the Waihi Bush.
Monday 1st of April... No longer in charge of the Temuka district.
Tuesday 2nd of April ... I went to Temuka & called upon some of the people to say good-by.
Sunday the 7th of April. I held service at Geraldine 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion to 32 communicants.  At 3—30 I held service at Winchester. Administered the Holy Communion to 13 communicants. Called upon Smith who suffering from canser [sic] & others to say good by.
Sunday 10th. I held service in the School House at 3—30 pm. In the morning called upon Footer, Kelland,

106.  1878
Moore, Tindall, Speighte others. At 6-30 I held service in the Church Geraldine.
Friday 19th of April, Good Friday. I held service in the Church Geraldine 11 am. About people 30 present. At 6-30  I held service again in Geraldine. Present 30 people.
Sunday 21st, Easter Sunday I held service in the Church Geraldine. It was beautifully decorated there was a large congregation. Had the Harvest Thanksgiving Prayers on the same day. Administered the Holy Communion to 32 communicants. At 3 I held service  in the Church Pleasant Valley. Present about 14 people. No music. At 5 pm I held service in the school house Woodbury. Owing to a mistake made by Sir T. Tancred very few people attended. Miss Tancred played the harmonium.
On Monday the 22d April 1 attended a Committee meeting in the School house Woodbury to decide upon the tenders for the Church. Deane's tender was accepted, 400pounds for church, furniture etc.
Sunday 28th of April. I held service at Mt Peel. Administered the Holy Communion. Present about 7 people. At 3 pm I held service in the Forest. Staid all night with Mr Hawdon.
Monday 28th sic  I returned home after calling upon the Forest people & Mr Ellis of Creek Station.
Sunday 5th of May...  I held service in the Church Geraldine. Administered the Holy Communion to about 18 communicants. At pm I held service in the Valley Church. At 6-30 pm I held service in the School house Waihi Bush.
Sunday 12th. As the Revd Hare kindly took my duty at Mt Peel, I went to Winchester & gave them a service there promised to continue a service monthly until clergyman was appointed to the Temuka District. At 6-50 pm held service in the Church Geraldine. Sunday 19th May...  I held service in St Marys Geraldine 11 am, Kakahu School House 3—30 pm, Winchester 6—30 pm.
Sunday 26th May... I held service Scotsburn School House 11 am, Woodbury 3—30 pm, Geraldine 6—30 pm.
Sunday 2nd of June... I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine at 11 am, at St Ann's Pleasant Valley 3-30 pm, School house Woodbury 6pm. About 15 communicants at Geraldine.
Saturday 8th of June... I rode over to Mr Guillingham's from Geraldine the creeks and rivers were very high. Got come lunch at Raincliff Station & passed on over the hill to Mr Gillingham's house. Staid with him all night.
Sunday the 9th of June... I held service in Mr Gillingham's house 11o'clock. Rode on after to Burkes Pass Church & held service at 3 pm. The roads very soft & difficult to travell along. Called upon all the people in the Pass and returned to Mr McPherson's the same night. Staid with him,

107 1878

and on Monday the 10th. Called upon the people down the track & at Fairlie Creek and baptized two children. Got as far as Mr Wigley's Station. Staid with him all night.
Tuesday 11th of June... I called upon a number of people in the Kakahu & reached home the same night.
Sunday 16th June... I held service in St Marys Geraldine11am, in the School House Kakahu 3—30, in the School House Winchester 6-30.
Sunday 23rd.. I held service at Scotsburn School House 11 am. Ground covered with snow. Hard frost, Very cold, At 3—30 I held service in the School House Waihi Bush. At 6—30 I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine.
Sunday 30th... I held service in St Saviours Church Temuka 11am. Administered the Holy Communion to 25 communicants & baptized a baby. At 3—30 1 held service at the Point. Administered the Holy Communion to about 16 communicants. Staid all night with Mr Howell.
Monday the 1st of July 1878. I called upon Mrs Jackson who was very ill. Called upon Pi1brow & some others. Baptized Jones' child, Mahan's child at School House, Waitohi Flat. Rode on to Temuka made a number of calls. Met Levene who told me a poor man wished to see me at the Royal Hotel. Rode up the same night. Found him very ill but not dying.
Sunday 7th July. I held service in Church Geraldine 11 am, Pleasant Valley 3—30, Woodbury School House 6—30 pm.
Sunday 14th July... I held service in the chapel Peel Forest at 3 o'clock. I staid all night on Saturday night at Mr Moorehouses's.  Heavy fall of snow during the night. The roads were very heavy on Sunday. It was generally uncomfortable and it rained to make matters worse. I got a small congregation together at Peel Forest & then went on to Geraldine. I was very tired before the service at 6—30 was over.
Sunday 21st... I held service in the Church Geraldine at 11 am, & then went to the Kakahu to attend a Sunday School examination. I gave out the prizes & addressed the children & then had my usual service at 3—30 pm.
Friday the 26th of July... I started for Mount Peel. Got there in the evening. Called on my way on some of the people.
27th, Saturday morning.... Mr Mitton & I looked over the Burial ground & estimated the cost of putting the ground in order & planting it etc. It came to 25 pounds. I forwarded a report came to the Dioceean Board of Trustees. Called upon all the Bush people & Scotsburn people and staid all night at Hawdon

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Sunday 28th July... I held service in the Road Board Office Scotsburn as the School House was surrounded by water, it having rained tremendously in the night. The Orari river very high. Obliged to ride around by the bridge. Baptized Wharton's baby. Held service in the Church Geraldine 6—30 pm.  After service baptized S. Taylor's baby & Baughen's baby. Very tired at night.
Sunday the 4th of August 1878 I held service in the Church Geraldine 11 am, In the Church Pleasant Valley 3—30 pm, in the School House Waihi Bush 6 pm.
Friday 9th Augst... I started for Burkes Pass. Called upon the people at the Kakahu Bush & neighbourhood. Staid all night at Mr Wigley's. Mr Jones only at home.
Saturday 10th... I called upon Gould & all the people at Fairlie Creek.  Staid the night at Mr Guillingham's. Mr Guillingham in the North Island having just bought a property there for 30, 000 pounds.
Sunday 11th Augst... I held service Mr G' s house at 10 am. Present only the family as the morning was very wet. It rained so hard that I did not go on to the Pass but held service again in Mr G's house at 6—30 pm . Present a very fair congregation.
Monday the 12th... I call [ed] at Albury township, upon the people there, went on to Mr Rutherford's house. I called upon Mr R. Rutherford & fixed a service for pm. A very good congregation assembled at the hower( sic) named & I staid the night at Mr J. Rutherford's.
Tuesday I returned by Albury as it looked very stormy through the McKenzie Pass. At Albury I baptized Sergeant Burtenshaw's child then went on to Albury Station. Mr Richardson & Mr Reynolds were at home. I held service but had a very poor congregation.
Wednesday 14th. I went on to Sherwood Downs Station. Mr Raine at home. Staid with them till Saturday as they pressed me to remain. I held service at 8 o' clock on Friday evening. Present about 17 people John Raine, Frank Raine, Miss A. McLean, Mr Cook were all present with the station hands.
On Saturday the 17th August I returned home through the Four Peaks Pass. Called upon Mrs Hardcastle, Beckley & Webb. On my arrival at home was astonished to hear that a telegram had been sent all over the country stating that I was  "lost", that I had left Geraldine on a certain date & had never returned or been heard off(sic). It arose from from not attending Burkes Pass Church owing to heavy rain at Fairlie Creek. Lots of people were going to start out to look for me but I am glad I stopped them. On Sunday the 18th August I held service in the Church Geraldine 11 am, in the School House Kakhu at 3—30 pm, at  Winchester 6-30pm.

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On Sunday 25th of Augst 1878, I held service at Scotsburn School House 1 1 am, Waihi Bush School House 3—30 pm, Geraldine Church 6—30 pm.
Sunday 1st of Sepr 1878... I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine 1 1 am. Administered the Holy Communion. Held service at Pleasant Valley 3-30 pm, & at the School House Waihi Bush 6—30 pm.
Sunday 8th of Sepr... I held service at Mount Peel 11  am, the Chapel Peel Forest 5 pm, Geraldine 6-30 pm.
Sunday 15th of Sepr...  I held service in the Church Geraldine 11 am, the Kakahu School House 3—30 pm. On Tuesday the 3rd of Sep I went to Temuka to attend a musical entertainment got up to welcome the Revd. Fines Clinton to the Temuka District. Archdeacon Harper of Timaru was there & gave a lecture on the life of Bishop Selwin [sic Selwyn].
4th Sunday in Sep the 22nd... I held service in the Scotsburn School House 11 am, at the School House Waihi Bush 3—30 pm, at Geraldine 6—30 pm. Mrs Preston staid with me at Mr Hawdon's house on Saturday night & drove around with me afterwards to the services.
5 Sunday in Sepr, the 29th... Owing to the floods & rains I did not attempt to go to the Rangitata Station or Peel Forest, but held two services in St Mary's Church Geraldine, 11 am & 6—30 pm.
3d of October... Entertaiment for Waihi Bush Church in Geraldine.
1st Sunday in October (the 6th) ... I held service in the Church Geraldine 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion. Held service in the Church Pleasant Valley 3-30 pm. Baptized Mrs Speechley's baby. Held service in the School House Waihi Bush 6 pm.
On Friday the 11th of October 1 started for Burkes Pass. Called upon a number of people at the Waihi Bush. Staid all night at Mr Slack's owing to the weather.
On Saturday 12th, violent N.W. winds blowing, as usual with heavy rain in the hills. Called upon the people in Gapes Valley & Kakahu Bush Valley. Got to Wigley's Station but could not cross the river owing to the floods. Obliged to stay at the Station all night. I scarcely expected the river to go down sufficiently to cross in the morning.
2nd Sunday in October, 13th.  I started from Mr Wigley's house to cross the river. Looked out a good ford & got over all right, but it was still very high. Could not get to Mr Gillingham's house in time for the service at 11 am, but had to ride as fast as I could to get to Burkes Pass Church by 3 o'clock.  Cast a shoe in the Opua [sic Opuha]  riverbed & had to ride 25 miles without it. Borrowed a horse from Mr Macpherson, Ashwick Station, to go to the Pass Church. Mr Mcpherson & Brown rode up with me. A very

110
good congregation assembled. Baptized Collier's child. Returned at night to Ashwick Station.
14th of October, Monday... I called upon all the people around Ashwick & Silverstrearn & went as far as Mr Guillingham's. Baptized MacCrackin's' baby.
15th Tuesday... I borrowed a horse & called upon Crowe, Clarkson & Bains. Returned to Ashwick Station. Got my own horse & started for Geraldine. Called upon Mr Wilson. Staid all night at Raincliff Station Held a service at 8 pm. Only a few attended, 9 people.
16th of October, Wednesday... I returned home. Called on my way upon the people in the Kakahu Valley & Township.
20th of October... I held service at Temuka 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion. Held service at Winchester 6-30 pm. Administered the Holy Communion.
27th of October, 4th Sunday... I held service at Scotsburn School House 11 am, at St Thomas Church Woodbury 3—30, at Geraldine 6—30.
3d of Novr 1878, 1st Sunday in month. I held service in Geraldine 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion & baptized children. At 6—30 I held service at Woodbury, Waihi Bush.
On the 10th of Nov - 2nd Sunday in month,  I held service at Mt Peel Church 11 am, at Chapel Peel Forest 3 pm, at Geraldine 6-30 pm.
On the 17th, 3d Sunday in month, 1878, I held service at Ternuka 11 am — Holy Communion administered; at Winchester 6—30 pm Holy Communion administered.
On the 19th the opening of Woodbury Church took place. Archdeacon Harper came to assist at the opening services. Had a day of general rejoicing - see account on next page. [This refers to a newspaper cutting, probably from the 'Geraldine Guardian' pasted in the diary. Its heading is 'Opening of St. Thomas' Church, Waihi Bush ' ]
On the 24th of Novr, 4th Sunday in month, I held service in Scotsburn School House at 11 am, in Woodbury Church 3-30 pm, in St Marys Church Geraldine 6—30 pm.
On the 1st Decr. 1878 I held service in Geraldine Church 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion. At 3-30 pm I held service in the Valley Church. At 6 pm I held service in Woodbury Church.
On the 6th I started for the McKenzie Country. Called upon Moore, Gapes, Bray & all the people on the road to Mr Wigley's station. Staid the night at Raincliff Station. Held service there.

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Mr Guillingham's & administered the Holy Communion on Sunday morning
The 8th at 11 am. Started for the Church Burkes Pass. Got there at 3 pm. Staid all night with Mr Clulee.
Monday 9th. I rode as far as Greys Hills Station. Called in at Whalesback Station & the Grampions on my way. I found both Mr Foster & Shenilds [s] at home. Had a short service at night.
Tuesday 10th... I went to Holdon Station. Staid there. Had service at night.
Wednesday 11th... I returned. Called at Greys Hills, at Mr  McDonald's station near the Pass, at the Pass, & got to Ashwick at night.
Thursday, I called upon Newberry who was very ill & on all the people around & then went on to Sherwood Downs. Found Mr Raine at home. Staid with him all night.
13th Friday... Staid at Sherwood Downs Station. Held service in the evening; a large congregation.
14th Saturday. Returned home through Four Peaks Pass. Call [ed] in at the Station. Mr Walker not at home. Called in at a few houses on my way through the Valley. Got home at night.
15th Sunday,3d in month... I held service at Temuka 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion. Called upon one or two of the Temuka people. Held service at Winchester 6—30 pm. Administered the Holy Communion.
4th Sunday, 22nd Decr 1878 I held service for the first time in the Church at Woodbury 11am, in the School House Scotsburn 3 pm, in the Church Geraldine 6-30 pm. Administered Holy Commn. at Woodbury; large congregation. Rev L.L. Brown assisted in the service.
Service, Xmas Day, Holy Communion
5th Sunday in month, 29th... I went to the Rangitata Station. Held no service owing to the bridge being damaged by the flood. Called upon all the people there. Went on to Peel Forest. Held service at 3 pm in the Chapel there; a good congregation present. Staid all night at Mr A. Hawdon's.
30th Monday... I called upon Newman, Brake, Potter; the Scotsburn people, Griffin, Sowerby, Salt, Irvin, Murdock, Evens, Goold, Metcalf.
Eve Of New Year... I held service in Geraldine Church. Large congregation.

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