Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Greenwood Window

In Memory of Two Canterbury Pioneers.
Another Window for Christchurch Cathedral.
(From Our Own Correspondent.)
London, May 27.

By to-day's outgoing mail there will be forwarded to New Zealand the sketch in colours of a new stained glass window, which is to be presented to the Christchurch Cathedral by Mr G. D. Greenwood.

This window will be associated with some very remarkable and interesting reminiscences of the earliest days of the Canterbury province. I might, indeed, say Canterbury's pre-historic period, for the new window is to be the memorial of two pioneer settlers who arrived in Canterbury not in any of those four ships which conveyed those who are commonly regarded as the pioneer settlers, but several years previously.

They were uncles of Mr G. D. Greenwood, namely Messrs James D. Greenwood [James Dent Greenwood] and Joseph G. Greenwood [Joseph Hugh Greenwood], and they must have been among the earliest, Europeans to settle in what, subsequently became known as Canterbury province.

"I am not certain," said Mr Greenwood, in the course of a conversation which I had with him a few days "as to the precise date of their arrival, but I know it was quite us early as the year 1848. They settled at Purau, near Lyttelton, and succeeded in obtaining from the Maoris, on very easy terms, a lease of the whole of Banks Peninsula. I believe I am correct in stating that in 1848, they introduced the first stock over imported into that district. They also took up a run at Motunau, situated about 35 miles north of Christchurch, opposite to a small island which lies off the coast. They stocked this run, and were accustomed to travel between it and Banks Peninsula in an open whale-boat. While making one of these trips, in a rough sea, my Uncle Joseph was drowned."

"Did your other uncle remain there after his brother's death?"

"He appears to have left New Zealand for New South Wales, so far as I can make out." replied Mr Greenwood, "somewhere about the year 1849). At any rate, it was some while before the so-called Canterbury pioneers arrived in their four ships. He sailed for Sydney, taking with him a considerable sum of money to buy more stock, with which I believe he purposed returning to New Zealand. Soon after his arrival in Sydney, however, he disappeared mysteriously, and he was never seen or heard of again. He was traced definitely to a particular hotel, where he was said to have died. It was strongly suspected at the time that he had been robbed of his money and then put out of the way. But no trace of his fate was ever discovered."

"A tragic history, indeed! Were your uncles at all well-known in any other port of tho colony?"

"Yes answered Mr Greenwood. "They were very well-known indeed in Wellington in the early days of the settlement, being much associated with the late Mr W. B. Rhodes and his firm. Their family, too, were closely connected with the original Canterbury Association in London, and so may be said to have had a good deal to do with the practical founding of the colony."

The memorial window which Mr Greenwood has offered to the Christchurch Cathedral as a memento of his long-lost uncles will be of the triple lancet form, and is intended to be placed on the north side of the building near the spot whence the old organ has been removed. Mr Greenwood was good enough to show me the coloured Sketch which has been prepared by Messrs Lavers and Westlake. Like most of the productions of that well-known firm, many of which are to be seen throughout New Zealand, it is highly artistic in design and rich in colouring. On a polychromatic background is superposed each light a medallion; that in the middle light shows a representation of St. James and St. Joseph; the side light medallions bear the figures respectively of David the Psalmist and of Joseph, the son of Jacob. In the lower division of each light there will be a shield bearing such device and inscription that may be desired by the Cathedral authorities, to whom the plans have been dispatched to-day for approval. If the proposed designs meet the approbation of the ecclesiastical powers, then the new window will be put in hand without delay and shipped to New Zealand.

Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12237, 5 July 1905, Page 8

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