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Mary & John Quaife

John Price Quaife aged 38Y (b: 1812 in the parish of Hernhill, Boughton under Bleam in the district of Faversham; occ: labourer and Methodist missionary; he d: 1891) his wife Mary Ann aged 33Y (b: 1816; d: 23 Oct 1896 bur; Linwood Cemetery) and their 7Y old  daugher  Mary Ann Calloway Quaife (b: 1843 in Faversham, Swale Borough, Kent England; d: 11 Feb 1852 in 8Y when drowned in the Avon  river) immigrated from England, leaving Plymouth Sound on the "Cressy on 7 Sept 1850 and arrived at Lytteltom 27 Dec 1850. Steerage passengers paid £15 each. Cressy Shipboard diary

Src: "Yesteryears 1840-1950" by W A Chambers: History of Methodism in Canterbury;

At the time of the promotion of the Canterbury Association in England, the cleavage between the Church of England and Methodism was not complete. Many "Church Methodists" received Holy Communion in the parish churches and presented their children for Holy Baptism there also. Hence, although the Association required of all intending emigrants a certificate of membership in the established Church, it was not impossible for Methodists also to secure a passage in the First Four Ships. Among those who did so were the Quaifes and Pattricks who came out on the "Cressy", Mr Isaac W. Philpott and his brother John and their families, the Bradleys, Howards, Cresswells, Guilfords on the Castle Eden, Mr Broughton and Mrs Ritchie. These people soon discovered their religious affinities and on settling in the new province requested the Rev. James
Watkin, then Superintendent of the Southern Mission in the Colony, to provide ministerial services. When Watkin visited the settlement in October, 1851, he found that the Wesleyans had not been inactive.
On April 1, of that year in a room of their little whare in Hagley Park, Mrs Quaife, assisted by her husband John and Joseph  Pattrick, had opened the first Sunday School on the Plains. Mrs Quaife was threatened with citation before the Church courts because of her zeal in founding a Sunday School annd she and her husband were offered situations on the condition that they renounced Methodism and attached themselves to the Church of England. One clergyman instituted a boycott, but neither threeats nor bribes availed with these determined and faithful souls. (Src: S Albans Church Centenary by Sir E H Andrews)
Later in the year Mr Philpott rented a Maori whare for a half crown per week, and thence the school was transferred. By the end of the year the Hagley Park families were scattered abroad and the activities of the little school were interrupted for a time until it was reorganized by the Quaife's at their new home in Papanui until their settlement on their holding at St Albans in 1853 where the Patricks, Philpotts, John Broughton, Guilfords, and other Methodists had already settled. Prayer meetings were also held in the St. Albans' area, in the houses of Messrs. Samuel Bradley, Quaife, Philpott or Pattrick.

Star  26 May 1908, Page 3 HISTORICAL LANDMARKS. 
VISITED BY OLD COLONISTS. A number of old colonists assembled in Hagley Park yesterday afternoon for the purpose of locating several historical spots in the park. The changes wrought by the past forty or fifty years have made it difficult to identify some of the 6pbts intimately associated with the early history of the province, and the Old Colonists' Association had decided to drive pegs at several places in order that the location of these spots might not be lost altogether. The pegs were numbered, and it is proposed to place in the museum a plan of the ground, giving further information for the use of people who may desire to search out the pegs. The old colonists present included Mesdames Ireland (nee Lough, ship Matouka, 1860), Hitchins (Strathallen, 1859), and Chick (nee Sarah Hill, Charlotte Jane, 1850), and Messrs J. Harper (Charlotte Jane), W. H. Denne (Isabella Hercus), R. M. Cresswell (George Seymour), G. R. Hart (Cressy), A. E. Taylor (Joseph Fletcher), W. Harrington (Samarang), Englebrecht (Bosworth), A. R. Kirk, J. Carter (Mystery), and J. Lough (arrived in 1858). The first spot visited was the site of the huts erected in the early days by Messrs Bowen, Williams and others. This spot lies just past the bend in the river north of the United Club's bowling pavilion and opposite the site of the island that once existed in the river. The island has become part of the south bank, owing to one of the channels of the river having filled. A peg was driven at the foot of a tree at this point by Mr J. Harper, vice-president of the Old Colonists' Association. The old colonists then proceeded down the river-bank to the site of the first bakery used in the province. This was on the river bank close to where a bend of the Avon fringes the Riccarton Road. The bakery was owned by Mr Inwood and from it bread was supplied to the pioneers who had started the work of building a province and a city. A hole had been cut in the bank and the oven built into this, the roof projecting a little way above the surface. Since then the river-bank has been filled tip to some extent so that the traces of the oven are lost, but it is related that the roof was broken in away back in the early days by a horse which essayed to walk over it and fell through. Another peg was placed at this spot. Across the Riccarton Road, on the banks of the small creek that crosses at the dip midway between the Hospital and the Plough Inn, the old colonists pointed out the site of the homes erected in 1851 by settlers who came to the province in the early ships and also the Castle Eden. The names of Philpott, Patrick, Hill and Quaife were mentioned in this connection. The creek was at that time considerably larger than it is to-day, with high banks, and the Deans Brothers, who had their home near the bush now known as Deans' Bush, used to navigate it with a small boat, in which stores were carried. Two pegs were placed at this spot, one on each side of the creek. Finally the old colonists visited the site of the Bricks "Wharf, on the riverbank just above the bridge opposite the Star and Garter Hotel. Boats used to come up the Avon bringing goods and stores to the young town in the early days, and they were discharged at this wharf. Several settlers had their temporary homes, mere "dug-outs" roofed with flax-Sticks and "cutting grass," along the river-bank close to this spot

Hagley Park (south)

  • On reserve in South Hagley Park north of Christís College fields adjacent to Riccarton Avenue.
  • Ornate cast bronze plaque on concrete plinth dedicated 1.4.51 marking the site of the first Methodist Sunday School in Canterbury which started in the whare of Mr and Mrs John Quaife in 1.4.1890

Mr John Price Quaife died at his residence St Albans after being an invalid for the past 2 years at age of 79. Mr Quaife was a native of Kent where his ancestors had been yeomen for many generations. In Canterbury he followed agricultural pursuits for many years thereby securing a cometency.  He leaves a widow - his only daughter was the victim of a drowning accident in the Avon river, Hagley Park where they had their whare (this spot is marked by a stone)


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