St Columba
Presbyterian Church, Fairlie

St Columba Presbyterian Church. The first church at the site was a "Union Church" with the idea coming from Rev. George Barclay. The organising committee chairman was Donald McLean of 'Stathconan' with Stephen Gillingham, Allan McLean, H. Welsh and W. Close as members and the church was opened March 1879 by Rev's Barlcay and Preston. In 1891 Fairlie became part of the Parish of Tengawai. Rev. Stanley Hinson served for 31 years from Dec. 1892. In 1894 it was decided the Presbyterians buy out the Anglicans share. 

From Papers Past online. Timaru Herald 18 Feb. 1878.

Star 1 July 1878, Page 3
The township of Fairlie Creek is getting quite populous. We have already an hotel, blacksmith's shop, and general store. Tenders are invited for another store on a large scale. There is also a church being built by the united efforts of the Presbyterians and Episcopalians. Although the population is not very numerous as yet, the most of the funds is already subscribed. The contract price is 395. The walls are of concrete with ornamental buttresses, the interior being lighted by three Gothic windows on each side.

An example of early concrete domestic construction in concrete is the Donald McLean's homestead Strathconan near Fairlie (Record No. 1970, Category II historic place), commenced in 1871 was not completed until 1877. In 1874 some of the best land north towards Fairlie was freeholded off the Albury estate by Donald McLean to become the start of Strathconan and by Stephen Gillingham to become Lambrook.

Timaru Herald, 16 June 1916, Page 3 FAIRLIE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The twenty fifth anniversary of the Fairlie Presbyterian Church, was celebrated on Wednesday, the commemoration taking the form of a soiree held in the Choral Mall. A very enjoyable concert was given and was attended by a large number of people. The Rev. J. Craig, pastor of the-congregation, presided, and with him was Rev. J. C. Patterson, of Albury. Tea was served in the hall from 6.30 to 8 p.m. The following ladies were in charge of the tables Mesdames T. Riddle, J. Loomes J. McKay, W. H. Halstead. , J. McLean, A. F. Campbell, Missus Bain and Wills. At 8 p.m. the Rev. Craig addressed the audience. He apologised for the absence of the Rev. Evan R. Harries, of Timaru and Mr J. Wilson, who were unavoidably absent, the former having missed the train on account of the altered timetable. Mr Craig gave a brief resume of the progress of the parish since its establishment. In the course of his address he said: On January 2nd. 1891 the Rev. James Clarke was ordained and inducted into the pastoral charge of St. Columba's Presbyterian Church, Fairlie. Previous to that Fairlie was a branch of Geraldine parish. Mr Clarke was transferred to Palmerston South in March, 1894, after having been minister of Fairlie for three years and a month. After a vacancy of about six months the Rev. W. J. Comrie was inducted into the charge on September 11, 1894. He was transferred to Hastings in July, 1899, having been minister of the parish for four years and ten months. After a vacancy of live months the Rev. H. Lawrie was inducted on December 14, 1899 and was translated on January 7. 1902, having been minister for three years and one month. After a vacancy of about three months the Rev. Dr. W. G. Black was called, on April 20, 1902, and resigned February, 1912. At a congregational meeting held on June 16, it was decided to extend a call to the Rev. John Craig, and he having accepted the same, was inducted to the charge on August 15. 1912.

On June 14, 1891, Mr James Wilson and Mr Robert Scott were ordained to the Eldership, and with the Rev. J. Clarke were the first Session. At the first meeting of the Session, on July 2, 1891, it was decided to hold the first Sacrament on the last Sunday in July, and Mr J. Wilson was appointed to represent the parish in the Timaru Presbytery. It is recorded that no celebration of the Lord's Supper was held in Burke's Pass and Albury during the winter of 1891 owing to the very severe weather. It was recorded that at the end of 1891 Mr J. Riddle was admitted by confession of faith, the first to be thus received into the membership of the congregation. On January 7th. 1895, Mrs Hamilton, who is the oldest member on the Roll at the present time, was received by certificate from First Church, Dunedin. On the motion of Mr Wilson, the first Sabbath School was commenced in Fairlie in December, 1891, and in 1898 Mr James Wilson resigned the superintendentship of the school, and with the assistance of Miss Mary Wilson began a Sunday school at Ashwick Flat.

The Parish commenced with 42 members, four by certificate and 38 transferred  from Geraldine. In 1898 Sabbath Schools were being conducted at Burkes Pass, Fairlie and Ashwick Flat. At a meeting of the Session held on October 29, 1894, it was resolved to use unfermented wine at the Sacrament. On June 30, 1897, Messrs A. H. McLean and A. Cowan were ordained elders. The following year Mr A. H McLean .represented the parish in the Timaru Presbytery, and during Mr Comrie's ministry Mr McLean began to conduct services in Fairlie while the minister was in other parts of the parish. In 1898 the Rev. A.B. Todd conducted the first Evangelistic Mission in the parish. At that time the membership was 70. It is recorded that a service used to be held at Mr Cowan's Station at Tekapo. In June, 1900. the Session approved of the proposed Church at Albury and Messrs J. Austin and J. L. Milne were appointed elders. On September 16, 1900, a Gaelic service was conducted by the Rev. G. Fraser, of Temuka, and on December 9 of the same year, a big parade service of the Mackenzie Mounted Rifles was held in the Town Hall.

On June 25, 1901, it was decided to engage a student for the summer months, and Mr C. W. Isitt was placed on the list of lay preachers. On June 25, 1901 the following motion was passed by the Session: That as a Session we express our protest against the growing tendency to secularise the Lord's Day both by business and pleasure, and hereby resolve to take any active steps possible to discourage this evil in the district On September 19, 1908 Messrs Dabinett, Isitt, Milne and Wright were appointed elders and in 1912, Messrs A. Robertson, W. H. Halstead, C, H. Whatman and T Archibald were appointed elders. It is recorded that Dr Black visited the Mackenzie Country during 1909, and that at the end of the year, Albury was separated from Fairlie and constituted a new church.

Fairlie, which began 25 years ago with two elders and 42 members is now one of the most important semi rural parishes in the Dominion. Nearly all the pioneers in the Mackenzie Country, who were for the most part of Scotch descent, were associated with the Fairlie Presbyterian Church. Rev. James Clarke, the first minister, has two sons serving with the Expeditionary Forces. In concluding Mr Craig said that he hoped that the incoming 25 years would be as prosperous for the parish, both materially and spiritually, as the past 25 years. (Applause.) The Rev. J. C. Patterson, in addressing the audience, said he had much pleasure in being present at such a happy gathering. It was very pleasing to hear the record of progress in the Fairlie parish during the past 25 years, and he hoped that the incoming 25 years would be as prosperous if not more so. He tendered congratulations from the Albury people. There were many outward signs of material progress and of spiritual progress. In former days the minister of the parish had to drive in horse and trap to visit its flock, but now a speedier means of locomotion had come into vogue and m future years, instead of casting his eye along the road to see the Fairlie minister passing in his car from Fairlie, he would raise his eyes heavenward and watch him fly nast in his aeroplane. (Laughter.) He was pleased to learn that the ladies were taking up good work in the parish. He expressed the opinion that when men attempted the spiritual work in connection with the parish they could do very little with out the assistance of the energetic ladies, who were able to do much in making the Gospel known. Looking back over the 25 years which had elapsed since the establishment of the parish, one realised the great and excellent work done by the pioneer ministers and early settlers. Some, of the audience had been among the Land of pioneers who had assisted to make the church in Fairlie a strong one. They were now getting old. Some writers considered the life the best of life is the best, while others say that the world is for the young. It is said it is dangerous to look back. He advised them if that is was so, to look forward, and keep in touch with real life and spiritual growth. A certain nation had neglected spiritual welfare, had deviated from the principles of right and goodness, and were now endearvouning to conquer Europe by brute force, and to make other nations bow before them. But their efforts, would be in vain, for the Allies were the children of God, and might would not prevail against right. Britain had shown Germany that though she was a nation of shopkeepers the unconquerable spirit of their forefathers still lived, and the call of duty had been universally answered. Then if the people were ready in time of war to fight the common enemy, the German, they should also be ready in time of peace to fight a greater and more powerful enemy, the enemy of humanity the devil. In conclusion Mr Patterson said that he hoped to be present at the fiftieth anniversary, and that at that he would able to listen to a record of progress and perhaps even more than favourably, with the one that had been read, and that the spiritual progress would he commensurate with the material progress of the parish. The concert proved to be a most enjoyable one. The choir rendered "Wait upon the Lord" in a very pleasing manner, and also the anthem "Lovely are Thy Dwellings" Songs were given. by Mrs J. Craig, Miss Binnie, Messrs J. Reith and A. Wotherspoon. Misses Piner and Riddle played the accompaniments.

Evening Post, 12 February 1891, Page 3
Presbyterian General Assembly.
Reference was made to a gift of 20 acres for a manse in the Mackenzie Country, by Mr. David M'Lean [sic], of Strath Conan.

Down the Main Street of Fairlie on the left if heading north towards Kimbell stands the large modern St Columba Church dedicated in 1972 with a large oak tree in the grounds.  Today 2001 the St Columba and St. Stephens churches are still used on alternate Sundays and services at Tekapo monthly but sometimes fortnightly. The parish is now known as the Cooperating Parish of Fairlie and the Mackenzie. 

St. Columba, Fairlie, April 2011. Photo by B. Comfort.
To the Glory of God - This Church was dedicated by the moderator of Presbytery Robert S. France
17th December 1972 to replace the original church erected 1879


13 Nov. 2011


Dedicated to the Memory of Rev. George Barclay, Presbyterian Minister who founded this congregation.


Erected by the Mackenzie Mounted Rifles in memory of their comrades Trooper Alexander H. McKay (6th N.Z.M.R.)
and Sergt. Francis A. baron (Brabant' Horse) who died serving their Country in South Africa 1902.

In 2009 church services are jointly Anglican & Presbyterian. 
1st Sunday 8 am St Stephens
2nd & 4th Sunday St Stephens
1st, 3rd & 5th 9: 30 am St Columba
The Rev. Michael Kerr retired end Dec. 2012 after 46 years in ministry.

2011 Lay preachers

Many children on the area will remember the annual Fairlie Spring Flower Show thoroughly supported by the local schools and was a successful fund raiser. Here children exhibited their art work, hobbies, flower arrangement, bakery and of course the vegetable animals - a potato with tooth picks for the legs and neck with a carrot for the nose etc., in the Presbyterian Sunday School and Aorangi Hall  next door. Cups were awarded for narcissi and cooking. The Aorangi Hall was used for many events including indoor bowls, tug a war completions, drama productions and dances. Demolished in 1985 and replaced in 1986 by the Mackenzie Community Centre as the County Centennial Project and used for similar activities including the annual ANZAC day service, concerts, meeting etc.

Timaru Herald, 10 August 1915, Page 2
UNVEILING CEREMONY AT FAIRLIE. Special intercessory services in connection with the war were held in the Fairlie Presbyterian Church on Sunday, August 8. The attendances were very large, after all the available seating accommodation had been filled some had to be accommodated in the vestibule. At the morning service the Roll of Honour which contained thirty-one names was unveiled. Just previous to the sermon, the minister, the Rev. John Craig, read the names on the roll and asked Mrs Caskey to unveil it. The congregation stood while the roll was being unveiled, and while those whose names were on it were commended to the care of God. The sermon which followed was in keeping with the occasion. The service, throughout was most impressive. The following names, thirty-one, in all are on the roll:- Sergeant J.H. Dines, Corporal W. Brass, Troopers J. Butters, T.J. Caskey, J. Cartwright, P. Dorman, A. Hall, T. Harvey, W. Nixon, J.N. McLeod, J. Trotter, G. Wright, H.E. Snushall and B.A. Young, Sergeant G.W. Dines. Corporal E. Drake. Privates R. Caskey, T.H. Burnett, A. Farquhar, A. Gardiner, C. Howes. J.H. Pollock. W. McLeod. J.A. McDonald, J. McConnell, W. McConnell, C. Smart and W. Loomes, Farrier McMillan, Trooper C.N.A. Gambrill, Private G. Rankin.

The Gillingham Memorial 

St. Columba, grounds, Fairlie. Photo taken by Bruce Comfort, April 2011.    St. Columba, grounds, Fairlie. Photo taken by Bruce Comfort, April 2011.

Pedestal type headstones were very popular because information could be recorded on the four sides of a pedestal. During the Christchurch earthquakes many pedestal type headstones toppled. Photo courtesy of Bruce Comfort taken in April 2011 with the Main St. of Fairlie and in the background an a beautiful memorial oak on the Peace Avenue. This is a memorial not a headstone. Remember not all the names listed in a headstone inscription may be buried in the plot. Servicemen may have a memorial stone or a drowning victim. Three other Gillingham names (infants) are on the other three sides. St. Columba Church Grounds, Fairlie, memorial. Erected in Memory of Stephen England Gillingham. Born Nov. 22nd 1843 and lost in the S.S. Tararua, April 28th 1881. His body was not recovered. "My God, she's ashore!" said the Captain and he at once gave orders to call all on board and clear away the boats. Gillingham, one of the passengers by the Tararua who was drowned, is S. E. Gillingham, brother-in-law of Mr S. D. Glyde, J.P., of Adelaide. He was on his way to England to look after property recently inherited by his father, Stephen Gillingham, and he leaves a widow and three children. NOTE that the memorial also has three other Gillingham names (infants) on the other three sides. The family was still in the North Island when the children died :
Francis Robert Gillingham 7/7/1849 - 28/2/1852
Arthur Gillingham 1/9/1860 - 7/5/1864
Alfred Gillingham 27/11/1862 -1/8/1865

Birth: GILLINGHAM - On June 12th, 1881 at Gordon St, Christchurch East, the wife of the late Stephen England Gillingham, of a son.

An Adelaide telegram in the Age says :
"Gillingham, one of the passengers by the Tararua who was drowned, is S. E. Gillingham, brother-in-law of Mr S. D. Glyde, J.P., of this city. He was on his way to England to look after property recently inherited by his father, Stephen Gillingham, and he leaves a widow and three children."

Timaru Herald, 4 October 1892, Page 2
In the Timaru Supreme Court yesterday probate of the will of the late Mr Stephen Gillingham, late of Fairlie, was on the motion of Mr Howard Tripp granted to Mr David H. Gillingham and Mr Sandham Gillingham, by Mr Justice Denniston.

Star 18 September 1886, Page 2
Gillingham - Browne  Sept. 15, at the Church of the Holy Innocents, Amberley, by the Rev J. Sheldon, Robert, son of Stephen Gillingham, Esq., of Lambrook, Fairlie Creek, to Katherine Beatrice, daughter of Captain W.P. Kennaway Browne, late 49th (Berkshire) Regiment.

In 1856 Robert and Stephen Gillingham were settlers in Mechanics' Bay, Auckland, by 1860 he was a dealer in Parnell. Prior to September 1862 Stephen Gillingham sold freehold property in Auckland. Lambrook just south of Fairlie. Stephen Gillingham farmed Lambrook for 81 years, selling in 1955.  Stephen and his wife, Hannah, age 22, arrived at New Plymouth on the Timandra in Feb. 1842. Mr. Stephen Gillingham, a cabin passenger, age 25, in a letter to his father says: "As there is a brig leaving this day (2nd March) I take the opportunity of writing to inform you of our safe arrival, after one of the most pleasant voyages ever made. We came to an anchor on February 23rd, about three miles from the shore, at 4 o'clock p.m. hoisted the English colours, and fired a salute of two six-pounders, which was answered in a few minutes from the shore.....The next morning the boats came off, and during the day all the passengers and their luggage were landed. Every one of the emigrants got employment immediately on their landing at 5/- per day, carpenters 7/6. They have taken houses at 5/- to 15/- per week. I would advise all persons coming hither to marry first, as the bachelors seem to be in want of housekeepers. The town is situated between two small rivers, both of which abound with mountain trout and eels, and their waters are as good as any I have ever tasted. It is a beautiful country, abundantly supplied with water and wood, etc. The Gillingham's had immigrated from Dorest, England, moved to Auckland, then to South Canterbury because of the Maori friction.
Francis Robert (Frank) Gillingham b. New Plymouth in 1854, married Coredila Gillingham 1881, and settled at Lambrook, south of Cricklewood.  Alfred Ernest Gillingham b. 1888 was the 3rd son of F.R. Gillingham.
 
Marriage: GILLINGHAM - GILLINGHAM - On February 15th, 1881 at St. Mary's Church, Timaru, by the Rev. Archdeacon Harper, Francis Robert, fourth son of Stephen Gillingham, of Lambrook, to Cordelia, eldest daughter of the late Robert Gillingham, of Auckland.  
 
Stephen Gillingham, farmer, was buried in Fairlie 12 April 1892, age 80 years.
Cordelia Gillingham was buried in Fairlie, 1st April 1900, age 45. Husband F.R. Gillingham. 

Births
1877 Gillingham Lucy Cordelia to Emily Louisa Stephen England
1879 Gillingham Hannah Mabel to Emily Louisa Stephen England
1881 Gillingham Stephen England to Emily Louisa Stephen England

Photo: Radcliffe Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ. Reference No G 5944 1/2.
In the book 'Fairlie 1866-2000' by The Fairlie Work Trust Inc.  page 61 there are photos of the three churches in Fairlie including a similar photo of  St Columba taken from the same angle circa 1900 with a white picket fence in the foreground and before the addition on the back was added.
Frederick George Radcliffe 1863-1923. Farmer, photographer. Arrived in New Zealand in the early 1890s.

Journeying together : a brief history of St Columba Presbyterian and St Stephen's Anglican Churches, Fairlie. 
Publisher : St Columba-St Stephens Centenary Committee, 1979 16 p. : ill., edited by Marjory Munro. "Published on the occasion of the centenary celebrations."

Nine-tenths of a Century (1969) Elaine M. Grundy. This poem was written in commemoration of the 19th anniversary of the St. Columba Presbyterian Church Bliss Pamphlets - Hocken Lib YOB/G. Mrs Grundy was very active in the community, Dr. George Grundy's wife, a long time conductor of the Fairlie Choral Society and a writer.
"Who'd marry a doctor?"
: a Chatham Islands casebook / Elaine Grundy. Publisher : Christchurch : Whitcombe and Tombs, 1968.  144p

Nine-tenths of a Century

They called a public meeting to be held at Fairlie creek,
'Twas time they had a building where parishioners could meet.
The trouble was on top of all the Presbyterian crew,
Mackenzie had its Anglicans who wanted a building too.
The reverend Mr. Barclay sat firmly in his chair
And refereed the meeting to see that things were fair.
And when they'd totted up their dough and talked for half the night,
They finished up the meeting quite decided to unite.

Astounding though it may seem now, the county in those days
could boast it had an engineer who gained the highest praise
When plans he drew for a Union church and didn't charge a cent;
The people said, �Thanks very much, and to the builders went.
These fellows soon got down to work and laid a good foundation
to seat a hundred derrieres in church's congregation.
Three hundred pounds and ninety-five was needed for the bill
So people robbed their piggy-banks this target to fulfil.

On the thirtieth day of march in 1879
George Barclay and James Preston gave their shoes an extra shine.
That day they had a job to do as everyone could tell
of opening up the Union Church �and my! They did it well.

Now things progressed quite cosily for the following six years,
Till Church of England bishop sends a message which declares,
�T �Tis time you broke the party up and moved along the street;
You'd best begin to build a church where C of E's can meet.�
The poor old Presbyterian shook their piggy-banks again
And bought the Church of England out � They owned the whole works then.
They held another meeting to decide upon a name
And blotted out the �Union,� � St. Columba they became.

They'd just re-lined their pockets, when were asked to start again,
And build a brand new Sunday school to keep their off-spring in.
When this job was accomplished they hollered "please-no -more!"
And settled back in wooden pews till 1924.
Then a serious situation had arisen it transpired,
And seats for fifty extra were urgently required.
They cut a hole in the right wall and added on a chunk,
Then shoved the choir round corner where acoustics were just punk.

For forty years and over the building stayed the same,
Till people got that hectic urge to raise some dough again.
"We need a bigger church," they said. "We're busting at the seams!
we'll build a whopping job this time and realise our dreams."

The aisle will be full six feet wide.
Pews will hold three hundred at a squeeze.
Just the setting for a pretty bride to float up at her ease.
And think how simple it will be to carry coffins in
And hold them at a full arm's length, instead of under chin.
The choir can come out of their hole and sit in line of vision,
And stand to sing the anthem without their usual collision
With over-flow from Sunday School and people late arriving
Conductor will get out in front without through masses diving.

Yes! Seems we have good reasons to carry this scheme through,
And build the biggest Church in town! A lesser one won't do.
So make the most of this week-end,
To the old church say good-bye,
She won't be here for her hundredth year;
Her doom is looming high.

She started as a Union church; and if one could foresee,
Before ere long in building new, a repeat of history
May bring them back together, forever then to stand,
The Presbys and the C of E's in on united band.
So Anglicans, prepare yourselves to buy back your half share
ring your piggy-banks! The treasurer will await you gladly here.

By Elaine Grundy
Written in commemoration of the 19th anniversary of the St. Columba Presbyterian Church, 1969
Proceeds to the new church building fund.

 

Dr Grundy  always sang and Mrs Grundy played the piano in the musicals that were held in the Fairlie High School auditorium. I remember attending Gilbert and Sullivan light operas H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, Mikado and Trail by Jury. The shows were wonderful and the auditorium packed every night. Dr Grundy was highly regarded by many including me as he saved my life when I was about 14. We were lucky he was in Fairlie otherwise it would have meant a fast trip to Timaru. His surgery waiting room was part of the house, 11 Sloane St, near the kitchen and had wallpaper of an English hunting scene.
    Here is a story mum told me. On the farm on Sherwood we had turkeys and they would roost on the verandah instead of in the pine trees so and they were making a mess. Mum wanted to get rid of them. So Dad made inquires in Fairlie and  found takers for the 20 odd turkeys including Mrs Grundy, she wanted two. So one Friday afternoon with the car trailer loaded with the turkeys Mum and Dad went around Fairlie delivering them. Dad walks into Mrs. Grundy's kitchen and hands her over the two live turkeys. She was absolutely shocked they were still alive. Dad was not planning to pluck any of them.


Fairlie 

The pioneers often transcended denominational barriers in those early times. The first church in Fairlie was an interdenominational church, a Union Church, built in 1879 by the Anglicans and Presbyterians on land giving by D. McLean and passed over to the Presbyterian Communion in 1895.  The Rev. Japer Smyth, a 'sporting parson', the first vicar appointed to the newly constituted parish of Te Ngawai in 1883. He travelled between Pleasant Point, Raincliff, Albury and Fairlie with his greyhounds and would let them chase the hares along the roadside tussock. Today Fairlie has three churches. St Stephen's.

St Patrick's the Roman Catholic Church on Gall St. was built in 1889 and enlarged in 1911 and in 1925. St. Joseph School adjoins. On March 17 2002 the Catholic parish of St Patrick, in Fairlie, will celebrate its centennial on the day of the patron saint for whom it is named to mark 100 years since Fairlie became a parish in its own right, with its own resident priest. While St Patrick's Church was more than 100-years-old, a full-time priest was not appointed to Fairlie until 1902. A history of the parish was being compiled and there would be a display of photographs and memorabilia.

Timaru Herald Monday 14 October 1889 pg2
On Thursday the Rev. Father Foley, accompanied by Mr M De H Duval the architect, went to Fairlie Creek to lay out the foundations of the Catholic Church to be built there, the contract for which has been let to Mr W. Young of Geraldine. On Sunday, 27th inst., the foundation stone will be laid by the Right Rev. Dr. Grimes, Bishop of Christchurch, with the full ceremonial used on such occasions; a large gathering may be expected. The site is a five acre section near the railway station.

Otago Witness, 17 July 1901, Page 37
Church. At last a decided move has been made in the determination to build a church for the combined Episcopalian and Presbyterian congregations, the latter not waiting for a final agreement ; and being by far the more substantial contributors � in ratio of about 5 to 1 have have let the contract for the erection of the Trails; to be of local limestone, which is of very fair building quality. I hear the English Church folk are hardly prepared to fall in with the wishes of the other party, in which case the church will be established, wholly by the Presbyterians. The total cost is estimated at �300. The Presbytery have granted oil parish the use tii a student to assist the Rev. Mr Lawrie in his labours for the spiritual wellbeing of the district � help that was greatly required, for undoubtedly the increased settlement in a large part of the parish, which is of very large area, has placed it beyond the power of one minister to attend to it adequately.

New Zealand Tablet, 20 November 1902, Page 20
November 17. His Lordship the Bishop arrived here on Sunday, the 9th int , and left for Fairlie, accompanied by the Rev. Father Tabman. At Fairlie a meeting of parishioners was called and was largely attended, several riding many miles to be present. His Lordship took the chair, and those present agreed unanimously to the proposal to have a separate parish established, with a resident priest. The parish will extend from the Cave to Mount Cook, and will be one of the largest parishes in New Zealand. Up to the present it formed a part of the Timaru parish, and was visited once a month by one of our local clergy. Father La Petit, who is curate at Timaru at present, has been appointed parish priest, and will have a busy time in such a large district, and will have over eight schools to attend to in giving religious instruction to the Catholic children. There is already a presbytery of five rooms erected at Fairlie, to which additions will shortly be made, and a suitable church, while at Albury the new church is under way, the foundation stone of which is to be laid by his Lordship at an early date in the New Year. Father La Petit will be much missed by the Timaru congregation, where he has worked so quietly and well, but being in the neighboring parish his many friends in the congregation will often have a chance of meeting him. He takes charge of the new parish about the 1st December. Father Tubman is enjoying a well-earned respite at Mount Cook, and returns to Timaru during the week.
    The Catholic Club's picnic of this year was, like its predecessors, a great success. Four expresses conveyed the party, accompanied by Father Taylor, to Gordon's Bush, a romantic spot about 16 miles from Timaru. The weather was most enjoyable and the country looked at its best. After refreshments at the Bush, kindly superintended by the ladies, sports were indulged in.

Hutt News, 30 August 1928, Page 4
Mrs. Stenhouse, wife of Mr. J. Stenhouse of Owaka, South Otago, and Mrs. Wilcox, wife of the Rev. C. J. Wilcox, of Fairlie, are the guests of their brother, the Rev. J. E. Lopdell, of St. Stephens Church.

Hutt News, 14 December 1932, Page 3
The Rev. W. E. Davies, curate of St. James's Parish, has accepted the appointment of Vicar of Fairlie, South Canterbury and will take up his duties in February next.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb