A LITTLE ABOUT TIMARU

 A map from Wise's directory of New Zealand for the years 1875-6, of Timaru. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZ Map 6537a     1887. A map from Wise's Post Office directory of New Zealand for the years 1887-8, of Timaru 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZ Map 6621'  

Timaru Herald,  26 January 1877, Page 3  from
[read first column then second]

(Dedicated to its earliest settlers.)
On the eastern shore of our fertile land,
To many people new,
There stands the young colonial port
And town of Timaru.

Its buildings chiefly are of wood,
The oldest ones, of sod;
But plenty are of stone, and brick,
And some are built of cob.

Its population has become
An enterprising band.
And numbers near five thousand souls,
From almost every land.

It has an open roadstead,
where Whene'er the weather fair,
A vessel may with safety ride,
With very little care.

But woe betide them, if a gale
Sets dead in on the shore;
For ere the sun has rose and set,
There's one ashore or more.

It's just according how they're rigged,
For some, it seems, won't sail;
While others, they put out to sea,
And there ride out the gale.

We only want a breakwater,
A lighthouse, and a pier,
Then Timaru will be as fine
A place you'll find out here.

And now, ere long, we'll have it all,
If only we use care;
But, if we don't, then mark my words,
You'll never see it there.

Altho' we have a Harbor Board,
And money in the Bank,
Those M.H.R.s and M.L.C.'s.
Were stringent with their grant.

The next thing is the railway,
Which many people say
Won't pay per centage on its loans
For all its great outlay.

But how 'twill pay has to be proved,
So let's bid it adieu A
nd from the station come with me,
Our other things to view.

We're only just to cross the line,
Which is close to the beach,
And here we see the huge surf boat
Drawn up out of tide's reach.

And 'tis a jolly sight, to see
Them, when it's a bit rough,
Rising and falling with the swells
Before they are heaved up.

Now, let us leave the Beach behind,
Always so nice and cool;
Then in ten minutes you can stand
In front of our great school,

Which has six hundred children
Upon its books this year,
And of its own prosperity
There's very little fear.

From there, along the west Town Belt,
We'll go towards The Park,
Which is a very pretty place,
And has some first-rate walks.
And there, on Sunday afternoons,
When'er the weather bright,
You'll see our youths and maidens fair,
A very pleasing sight.

But if we keep on talking thus,
We'll not get on at all;
So out we go through yonder gate,
And see the Hospital.

See, there it stands upon the hill,
And 'tis a lovely spot
For just see what a splendid view
The patients all have got.

The town in front the park behind;
The sea upon the right;
With downs and mountains to the left,
All telling of God's might.

And many an one has come from there,
Not only well in health;
But, with the love of God, where once
Sin's various stages dwelt.

And well may Timaru be proud
Of such a place as this,
May Heaven's best blessing rest on those
Who caused it to exist.

But I'm afraid 'twill take too long
To go from place to place,
So we'll take the rest together, and
It will take up far less space.

We've Churches, Chapels, Sunday schools,
Hotels, and Templar Lodges,
A Court House, and a gaol where rogues
Get paid out for their dodges.

We're engineers and architects,
And several good M.D.s
We've hydropathic baths as well,
For curing all disease.

We're Oddfellows and Foresters,
Freemasons, Banks and Clubs,
A Lifeboat, and a lot of nobs
Who keep their racing studs.

We've general stores and booksellers,
Contractors, Jews, and lawyers,
Steam joinery works, and moulding mills,
Land brokers, and surveyors.

We've auction rooms, and jewellers' shops,
A reading-room and library,
Two daily papers, and one that
Is printed every Friday.

We're photographic studios,
A windmill and a pound,
A fire brigade and engine
That tries our fires to drown.

We've volunteers, artillerymen;
Of course they have a gun,
But they've never had to use it yet
For anything but fun.

But if the Russians chance to come
With cannon balls and shell -
It's dreadful what they mean to do
In fact, I dare not tell.

So Timaru, you see, is not,
As in the early days,
When only a few boatmen's huts
Existed in the place.

R.H.R.

[We publish the above "Poem" at the request of a correspondent. We do not think Milton's or Byron's reputation is in danger from comparison with the local bard's effusions. But then it may said, on the other hand, that neither Milton nor Byron could possibly have known as much about Timaru as the local bard does, Ed. T.H.]

The TOMAHAWK, published on Saturday Morning, a single copy 6d.
The Timaru Herald published daily, single copy 3d, one year £2 10s.
Printed by H.J. TURNER, and Published by G.W. GARDNER, for the Proprietor Herbert BELFIELD, of South-road, Timaru, at his office, Great South-road, Timaru, in the Province of Canterbury, New Zealand. Friday, January 26th, 1877.

South Canterbury poetry