Pleasant Point, New Zealand

South Canterbury NZ GenWeb Project

Pleasant Point  

The church is closed. September 2020 and demolished 22nd July 2021- future plans to build a new church in an adjacent lot and and retain as much of the old church as possible including the stained glass windows.
The Roman Catholic Church of St Mary, Afghan St. One stained glass window (?1910) Christ with St Mary and Joseph attributed to Harold Bradley, Bradley Bros. Christchurch. Donated by Mary Sullivan to her parents (James Sullivan) and sister. It is a replica of the window at the St. Joseph's Church in Temuka.   1913 clock.

Timaru Herald, 31 December 1888, Page 3 ST. MARY'S, PLEASANT POINT.
Laying of the foundation stone. Yesterday afternoon the Right Rev. Dr Grimes, Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, assisted by local clergy, laid the foundation stone of a Catholic Church at Pleasant Point. Advantage was taken of the season and the railway to make the gathering on the occasion as large as possible by running a special train from Timaru, and the afternoon being beautifully fine, somewhere about 300 adults, accompanied by a good number of children not counted, availed themselves of the means and opportunity to attend the ceremony. Early in the afternoon traps of all kinds began to arrive at the scene and by three o'clock there was a long string of farmers' carts from the surrounding districts resting their wheels on a vacant lot hard by, and a good many smaller groups all over the township. The train-left town a little after the advertised time, 2.30, and ran out in forty minutes, picking up a few more passengers at Washdyke and Levels. Everything was in readiness for the ceremony. The site of the church is immediately behind the railway passenger station, separated from it by the roadway only, and arrivals had no difficulty in finding it, for a gay string of bunting  stretched on tall scaffold poles placed all round the foundations, and other preparations in the shape of a platform and canopy sufficiently advertised the place. The foundations, of concrete, had all been put down, a vacancy being left at one corner to be filled with the formal corner "stone," a small block of dolerite bearing the year date ,"1888," and this was slung ready followering into its place. Soon after the arrival of the train a small procession was formed at Mr T. Geaney's Cottage, a hundred yards away, to escort the right rev. gentleman and his assistants thence to the stile. His Lordship, in full pontificals proceeded by lads carrying the insignia of his office was accompanied by his chaplain Father Brinnd, and Fathers Fauvel (Temuka), Bowers (Geraldine), and Foley and Brown (Timaru). After the clergy walked a bevy of children two and two and then adult members of the church. The procession broke up on reaching the site, and the crowd pressed closely on the barriers all-around the foundations, or mounted piles of contractors' stuff lying near. There must have been a good way over 1000 people or on the ground, old and young, and the light summer dresses of the ladies, with the bunting flying overhead, made the scene a bright one. The sun shone hotly, a source of discomfort for men who bared their heads from time to time, and a brisk breeze from the sea scarcely tempered the heat, while more or less drowning the voices by fluttering the flags. His Lordship conducted a short preliminary service in the midst of the foundations and then ensued the principal ceremony of blessing the foundation stone, for the laying of which a handsome silver trowel was provided, and the consecration of the future building to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The usual sprinkling of the stone and the exterior foundations with holy water followed, and the Bishop and his assistants then ascended a canopied platform erected for the purpose, whence His Lordship delivered an address appropriate to the occasion, from the text Isaiah xxviii., 16. In the first place, however, he explained the ceremonies that had been performed, showing that each stop had its solemn meaning, and that each form, and the language used, were worthy of respect and reverence from their antiquity. The same ceremony which his hearers had just seen had been witnessed at the foundation of churches which had been the wonder of Europe for centuries past, and would continue to be so for centuries to come, and the language, which was used in those earlier days when bishops went forth carrying Christianity and civilisation to Germany, to Ireland (since a true homo of the faith) and to England, had been as unchanged as the dogmas expressed in it. ...  Mr Duval is the architect of the building, Mr Delancy the contractor, and the building committee are Messrs T. Geaney, James Sullivan, T. Kinahan; M. O'Driscoll, J. Kane, and P. Coll.

New Zealand Tablet, 7 June 1889, Page 25
Temuka, June 11. The Right Rev. Dr. Grimes, Bishop of the Diocese of Christchurch, accompanied by the Rev. Father Aubrey (his chaplain), arrived in Temuka by the express train from the north on Saturday, for the purpose of consecrating and formally opening the newly-erected Roman Catholic church at Pleasant Point, and was greeted with a hearty welcome by the pealing of the bells of St. Joseph's Church. In 1879, when the Rev. Father Hennebery was preaching a mission in Temuka, the Rev. Father Fauvel deemed the opportunity had arrived, and subscription lists were opened. Shortly afterwards a start was made, and the present handsome and commodious church was erected. It is needless to say more of the church, save that its value is estimated at over £6000. The next step was the erection of the presbytery, its value being £1500. The rev. gentleman considered the parish still incomplete without religious education for the young, and his next endeavours were to establish a community of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Temuka, which object, after considerable difficulty, he accomplished, and shortly afterwards built a convent and school in Kerrytown.  The Catholic church at Geraldine was also built by him and now he has completed the erection of the church at Pleasant Point. Thus it will be seen that Father Fauvel has done what probably no one else could have done. The property of the Church in the parish is now worth considerably over £10,000. When the rev. gentleman took charge it was not worth as many hundreds, we believe the rev. gentleman has spent between £2000 and £3000 out of his private means on the parish. The church at Pleasant Point stands on a block of land 1½ acres in extent (the gift of Mr. Jas. Sullivan), and is a faithful imitation of St Joseph's Church, Temuka, save the tower and spire, which will be added at some future time. It is built in brick, on concrete foundations, in the style known as Perpendicular Gothic, the dimensions being-length, 60ft ; width, 30ft. The walls are supported by seven buttresses on each side, the height from floor line to spring of roof being loft. There are six lancet windows (8ft x 2ft) on each side and a triple one at the south end. The front gable is ornamented with two lancet windows, and a large rose window 6ft in diameter. The windows are of Cathedral glass, with lead framings, the marginal being of green, blue, amber, and ruby. The front door is of the Gothic-headed type, surmounted by moulded archivolts, which rest on carved roses. As on St. Joseph's Church, there are four pinnacles (ornamental) with finials. The roof, which is an open one is of specially chosen rimu, varnished. The wall posts of the roof rest on Gothic moulded trusses, and over all the internal openings are moulded a chivolts and carved Gothic foliated basses. The interior is plastered, while externally the walls are finished with cement composition. There are two vestries, similar to those at Temuka, and the Communion rails are of cast iron the sanctuary being beautifully carperted and cocoanut matting laid along the passages. The main altar, which is of wood, and from a model supplied by the Rev. Father Fauvel, presents a very neat appearance, and is a faithful imitation of marble, with borders of golden leaves, the work of the Sisters of St. Joseph. It is ornamented with gold-worked lace, and beautiful artificial flowers (lilies, roses, etc.,) also most artistically made by the Sisters. On the left side is a small altar, which is surmounted by costly lace work, and on which stands a statue of the Madonna, to whom the Church has been dedicated. The Church is estimated to seat 400 comfortably, and on the whole it presents a very neat appearance. The Building Committee may be congratulated upon the success which they achieved, and Messrs. Geaney and O'Driscoll deserve special praise for the indefatigable efforts they put forth in bringing about the great success. The architect for the church was Mr M. de H. Duval (the designs being supplied by Father Fauvel) ; the contractor, Mr. James Delaney, and the and contractors : for brick and plaster work, Mr. E. Hall; and plumbing and painter s work Mr Healey ; all of whom are deserving of great praise. It may be mentioned that Father Fauvel spent much of his time at the works. The cost of the building, exclusive of cartage of materials (which was done by the parishioners), was about £750. The amount raised on Sunday was £80, and the debt on the church now amounts to barely £300 About twenty yards to the south-west of the church the Rev. Father Fauvel has had erected at his own expense a two-roomed cottage (l4ft, x 12ft. and 12ft. x 10ft.), wherein he will stay while visiting Pleasant Point for the purpose of holding services, etc. The Temuka choir (under the charge of the Sisters of St. Joseph) contributed greatly to the success of the day and Mr M. de H. Duval rendered several of the solos in the Mass, Miss Gaffaney presided at the organ, which was kindly placed at the disposal of the choir by Messrs. Begg and Co., of Timaru.

 15 Afghan Street, Pleasant Point. This lovely old building was formerly the original Post Office built in 1912.

The Anglican Church of St Alban (the Martyr), Harris St.

Anglicans planted a church building in every small village.         

One stained glass window (1962-63), Christ seated in Majesty with St Alban the Martyr and St Paul the Apostle of James Powell & Sons, Wealdstone, Middlesex, with a white friar etched in blue flashed glass, right base. The Anglican Church of St. Alban, Harris St., Pleasant Point is constructed mostly of concrete, and was erected about the end of the 70's. It has accommodation for about 80 worshippers, and services are held regularly, morning and evening, every Sunday. The Sunday school of 20 scholars is in the charge of three teachers. Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. 1903     The AKL Cities Library has a photo online taken by James D Richardson showing an exterior view of another church but it is labeled St Albans Church, Pleasant Point.

The Presbyterian Church of St John (the Evangelist), Manse Road. The site was purchased in July 1909 for £150. Foundation stone was laid on 19 Oct. 1911, the work of S. McBride.

The Presbyterian Church at Pleasant Point is prettily placed on an eminence overlooking the township. Occasionally services were held in the district as early as 1865 and the church was built ten years later. The congregation was made a separate charge in 1879. The church is of wood, with a shingle roof, and has seating accommodation for 120 persons. A Sunday school consisting of 70 children and nine teachers meets in the building. The minister in charge holds services in Totara Valley in a pretty little church, and in the schoolhouses at Cannington and Cave, and also at Kakahu Bush and Waitohi. The manse, which was erected in 1881, and was considerable enlarged in 1892, is a short distance away from the church and stands on a glebe of 5 acres. Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. 1903     

Timaru Herald Friday 26 November 1875 page 3
Presbyterian Church, Pleasant Point. The new church at Pleasant Point, was opened for divine service last Sunday. The Rev. George Barclay, the minister of the parish, conducted the service in the morning and the Rev. William Gillies, of Timaru, in the evening. On Tuesday evening a soiree was held, chairman was Rev. Barclay, on the platform, Rev. Mr Gillies assisted by Messrs Stewart and Acton, Revs. Preston and Bonds absence. Mr Sharland posed a vote of thanks to the Ladies and Mr Bilton and the choir thanked by Mr Opie Mr Bilton presided at the harmonium. The architect has been Mr Frank Wilson, of this town. The cost of the building is about 400, one hundred of which has yet to be met by the committee. The little church is capable of accommodating 180 persons, is pleasantly situated on the brow of a hill, near to Mr Gammie's residence.

New Zealand Tablet, 1 February 1889, Page 29
January 21, 1889 Laying Foundation Stone of New Church at Peasant Point . The ceremony of laying the foundation stone of St: Mary's Church at Pleasant Point, was performed by the Right Rev. Dr. Grimes, Bishop of Christchurch, on Sunday, December 30th, with great pomp. The day was beautifully fine, and everything seemed to favour success His Lordship, accompanied by his chaplain, the Rev. Father Briand, and the Rev. Father Fauvel, left Temuka at about 2 o'clock, and reached Pleasant Point at 3. As they hove in sight the same scene resented itself as was witnessed at Temuka about ten years ago, flags flying, etc. The rev. party proceeded to a private house which had been kindly placed at their disposal by Mr. T. Geaney, where they were joined by the Rev. Fathers Foley and Brown, of Timaru, and Bowers, of Geraldine. Shortly after 3 o'clock the special train from Timaru arrived bringing with it & large number of people, which increased the number to about 3000. After the Bishop and priests had robed a procession was formed, headed by the Rev. Fathers Fauvel and Briand, Dr. Grimes in his pontifical robes, attended by the other priests, coming next, with a large number of children following, the general public bringing up the rear. High poles were planted all round the church, and ropes by which they were held together. At the top flags of all kinds floated in the breeze. At the front of the building a carpeted platform was erected, which was canopied over, and made to represent a Bishop's throne, whilst a flag bearing the Pope's tiara and the cross keys swayed to the gentle breeze over it. The concrete foundations were down, and at the south-west end the foundation stone was in a position for laying. After the ceremony of laying the stone, for which purpose His Lordship was presented with a handsome trowel by the contractor, Mr. James Delaney, of Timaru, and the consecration of the church to the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Lordship and the priests ascended the platform, and from this Dr. Grimes delivered one of the finest discourses ever beard in the colony, taking for his text, " Behold, I will lay a stone in the foundation of Zion," etc., Isaiah xxxiii, 16. I could not do justice by giving a portion of it, so I must be content with saying that all were delighted at it. His Lordship created a favourable impression of our Protestant friends, and I am sure, on this occasion, the Church was honoured through him. His talent is already well known, therefore, encomium from me is unnecessary. At the conclusion of the sermon Dr. Grimes, as Father Fauvel's Bishop, paid a high tribute to our good pastor, and thanked him for the zealous manner in which he has laboured since his arrival in the parish, remarking that what Father Fauvel had done bore testimony to his zeal. He thanked the people who had liberally contributed to the funds, and those who had given  the land on which the church is being erected. After his Lordship had given the customary blessing, a collection was made with the result that £83 14s was banded in. In a bottle under the stone was placed a Temuka Leader, and a sheet of the Tablet, and also a document in Latin, the translation of which is "On the 30th day of December, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and eighty eight - Leo XIII being Sovereign Pontiff, her Majesty Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Empress of India, Sir William D. Jervious, Governor of New Zealand, and the Rev. L. Fauvel, S.M., rector of St. Joseph's parish, Temuka, this stone was laid by the Most Reverend and Illustrious Prelate John Joseph Grimes, SW, Bishop of Christchurch, in the presence of a large assemblage of people."

(There is no mention of there being a Catholic Church in Pleasant Point in 1903 but interestingly, there was this school at Kerrytown, just three miles from the Point.) (There were at this time accommodation for 200 students at Pleasant Point Public School, average attendance 166 with three staff and two pupil teachers.) 

Otago Witness, 14 April 1892, Page 18
The induction of the Rev. Joseph White to the pastorate of the Presbyterian Church, Pleasant Point, South Canterbury, took place, under the happiest circumstances, on the 5th. The church was well filled to the induction service in the afternoon. The Rev. J. Clarke, of Fairlie Creek, preached and inducted the new minister, and the Revs. J. M'Kee and A. B. Todd addressed the minister and congregation respectively. A crowded soiree was held in the assembly rooms in the evening, at which addresses were delivered by all the ministers of the Timaru Presbytery, the Rev. Jaspar Smythe (Episcopalian, who has cordially cooperated with Presbyterians), and Mr S. Buxton, of Totara. The choir of Trinity Church, Timaru, supplied an excellent musical service.

The Cure of Te Ngawai-with Fairlie extends from Washdyke to Mount Cook, a distance of 140 miles, and was constituted in 1891. It includes the settlements of Fairlie, Pleasant Point and Burke's Pass, among others. The vicarage is situated on Tengawai Road, Pleasant Point. There is a glebe of ten acres and there is also a small endowment of thirteen acres for the church. Services are held in outlying places, inclusive of Hazelburn, Albury, and Opihi, in school buildings, and also at Fairlie, Silverstream and Burkes Pass. Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. 1903

Photo taken by Dilys in October 2007.
Nelligan's Railway Hotel on the main street of Pleasant Point at the intersection of Manse and Tengawai Roads, October 2007. This hotel was opened in August 1913.

The original Railway Hotel on that site burnt down in January 1913 and was replaced with a tin shed that served as a bar until a hotel was rebuilt in August with 40 rooms. Mrs Nelligan, wife of the proprietor of the Railway Hotel, at the Point, said that she discovered the fire about twenty minutes to eight. Looked through the hotel and found no fire there. Went outside in the yard and saw the flare of fire in the back window of Mr Chisholm's shop. There was a big vinegar barrel near the window and this prevented witness, Henry Dossett, from going in. The fire seemed to be on the floor, smouldering among some papers. The alarm of fire was given about five minutes to eight. Francis Nelligan, licensee of the Railway Hotel, Pleasant Point, said he was the owner of the block of buildings which was destroyed. The Coroner brought in an open verdict that the fire originated in the back room of Mr J.S. Chisholm's grocery shop, but there was no evidence to show how it was caused. He used the back room as a storeroom. The buildings were of stone and, brick, and included the premises of Nelligan's hotel, Mr J. S. Chisholm's grocery, Mr George Harker's bakery and Mr Murphy's butchery.

Ashburton Guardian 11 November 1933 Page 6 MR FRANCIS NELLIGAN,
CHRISTCHURCH, This Day. Mr Francis Nelligan, whose death occurred recently at his residence at Pleasant Point, was well known in the district. Born in Abbey-faele, County Limerick, Ireland, 64 years ago, he migrated to Australia when a young man. After living there for some time he came to New Zealand, and lived for two years in Southland.
He then joined the police force and remained in the service until he married, when he took over the Chertsey Hotel, and lived there for some years. He then bought the Railway Hotel at Pleasant Point, and occupied this well-known house for about 16 years. He then turned his attention to farming, which he also carried on successfully until he retired in 1920, and paid a visit to Ireland with his wife.
Mr Nelligan associated himself with all classes of sport. He raced with a good deal of success his first racehorse being De la Rey, which he purchased from Mr G. G. Stead, and others, including Step Up, Harvest, Tessera, King’s Guest, Petrovna, Dubious, and Clontarf and the trotter Bellona. He was a director and president of the Pleasant Point Caledonian Society, president of the Gun Club, and patron and member of the Football Club. At various sports gatherings his services as starter were always in demand, while in Gun Club affairs he acted as referee.

Temuka Leader 10 February 1912 Page 2
Mr Con. Bryne, the popular host of the Pleasant Point Hotel, has sold out to Mr Eugene Sullivan, of Waimate. Mr and Mrs Bryne intend to take a trip to the old country.

Otago Daily Times 30 January 1913 Page 7 FIRE AT PLEASANT POINT.
HOTEL DESTROYED. TIMARU, January 29, News has been received that Mr Nelligan's hotel at Pleasant Point was burned down to-night, and that other buildings are in danger. The Timaru Fire Brigade has gone out (12 miles) with the manual engine.

Evening Post, 30 January 1913, Page 3
HOTEL DESTROYED BY FIRE TIMARU, 29th January. News has been received that Nelligan's Hotel at Pleasant Point was burnt down to-night, and other buildings are in danger. The Timaru Fire Brigade has gone out (12 miles) with a manual engine.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

Anthon Bertholdt's home, Pleasant Point: Real photo postcard dated February the 19th, 1906.