You are on page 1of 4

c| V{xt|x

Newsletter for the Point Chevalier Historical Society

No. 54 June 2017

Spotting Pt Chevalier views on TradeMe.

This comes from a postcard auctioned on TradeMe unfortunately I couldnt get the card itself, because
the bidding went up beyond $80! Much as I think this is a lovely view of old Pt Chevalier beach, I wasnt
prepared to spend probably well above $100 for a piece of card because of a mad bidder. So this is a
copy of the image.

All meetings 10.30 at 990 Great North Road, Western Springs (Horticultural Centre)

15 JuneBruce Harvey, History of Southern Waitakeres

Next issue due out August 2017

Contact Lisa Truttman (editor) : 19 Methuen Road, Avondale, Auckland 0600, phone (09) 828-8494
or email
Silly Strangers Ive met at sea at The Indonesian Brothers
Point Chevalier Fishing is like the glorious uncertainty of sport and
cricket. When you try too hard, you fail. But when
by Dick Pope you relax you often get pleasant surprises.
The Dunedin Doctor This experience was one of those bad days, when I
broke my hard-won rules about bad weather, to let the
This was a sunny calm day. I was anchored off the fish grow bigger. This day, perhaps an early start and
reef near its end. I had no fish, so I set the rods and lay a quick trip could gain a few fish before a certain sure
down on a crude bed of oars and the side flotation blow at 8 oclock developed.
seat. Ive always loved poetry and was reflecting upon
Samuel Taylor Coleridges Rhyme of the A ncient I started west of the reef, but changed to the lee of the
Mariner and his becalmed painful ship upon a pain- east as a cold wet west wind roughed up the waves.
ful ocean. The fishing wasnt any better but it was safer and
My reveries were interrupted with a distant cry for
help on a flat calm day! About 200 metres away in the I had noticed a small tinnie 10 foot dinghy over the
deeper channel and drifting with the tide, to the west, reef to the west with a stupid crew of 2 standing up
was a collapsed wind surfer rig with the sailor in the when water waves started breaking. The inevitable
water. capsize occurred which drove them both standing on
the reef and waving, in 2 feet of water in the troughs
I had earlier observed this sailor crossing back and and 5 feet of water at the wave crests.
forth alongside the Harbour Bridge. He was an obvi-
ous learner, more in the water than on his board. He
had become becalmed by the time he was close to me,
floating down from the bridge and yelled for help.
I upped the anchor and offered to tow his rig into
Kendalls Bay (aka Shark Bay) by Kauri Point. He
was a big young man, about 30 so I shifted to the bow
seat while he slithered over the stern alongside the
outboard motor and we then swapped places.
He amazed me by saying he had only been in Auck-
land a week for the first time and decided to try wind
surfing without guidance or local knowledge. He was-
nt keen on my Shark Bay drop and persuaded me to
drop him at Northcote Point. As I had a full tank and
calm water we took his rig aboard diagonally between
us and jutting out fore and aft.
With a slower speed, I enlightened him about his new
playground. Finally warning him about fouling the
reef with his bare feet and certain cuts on the razor-
sharp oyster shells, i.e. get protection footwear! Then
the deep fast channel close to the North Shore. And
above all the local knowledge of the many combina-
tions and changes of wind and tides and waves get
local advice first! Also to keep a lookout for certain
marine traffic of launches, fizzboats, outboards, jet
skis and other wind or bike surfers! (This was before
increasing numbers of paddle boards started.) Their
conflicts could capsize him.
I landed him and he offered me a beer which I de-
clined, to get back to the fish run which I missed, with
just 1 fish.
Image above: Unknown fisherman, unknown location,
So, even educated people can get caught out at sea! possibly 1900s. 37-125, Sir George Grey Special
Collections, Auckland Libraries
I cautiously motored over to them, trying to avoid my Michael Tighe initially served with the 58th
outboard hitting the uneven reef rocks in the troughs. (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot, and later (after 1858)
One man stayed on the reef and I hauled him aboard, the 70th (Surrey) Regiment of Foot. He rose in rank
while the other tried to right their boat. An immediate from Colour-sergeant to Ensign in 1845; to Lieutenant
language problem occurred! by 1853; to Captain by 1860; and from 28 October 1863
he held the rank of Major. His regiment had come to
When I looked back for the other one, he had disap- New Zealand in 1845, taking part in the fighting at
peared! And then I spotted him about 100 yards away Okaihau, Ohaeawai, Ruapekapeka, Boulcotts Farm,
and swimming to the east towards the Harbour Horokiri, and St. Johns Wood. The 58th left in 1858
Bridge! but Tighe remained. He was in charge of the Auckland
Rifle Volunteers in early 1862, and it looks like they
made their own arrangements for a rifle range.
When I caught up with him, he was filling a plastic
bag with floating fish, until I hauled him aboard. His In March 1865 Tighe was the only member of staff of
broken language was better and they turned out to be Militia and Volunteers to be retained (as Major Adjutant
Indonesian brothers out for the first time there. of Militia and Volunteers) when new regulations came
I had foolishly planned a quick trip with low fuel in into effect. Around this time, the Meola rifle range was
the tank. We tried towing the upturned boat, with a being shut down and the land sold and leased as the
huge airlock, but had to cut it loose. So I ran them Waikato War wound down. He remained in the colony
ashore to West End Road to their car and nearly ran at wars end, taking command of the Militia and Volun-
aground alone on my way back over unfamiliar teers from early 1866. By 1867, he was in command of
depths. Thankfully they both confessed that theyd the Auckland Rifle Volunteers. He died suddenly at his
never go fishing again. home in Wellington Street in 25 June 1868. His funeral
cortege was viewed by crowds lining the streets on the
I returned to the reef and went ashore and surprise! I way to the Roman Catholic cemetery at Symonds Street.
spotted their heavy outboard and recovered it. And
about 30 dead undersize snapper and mackerel Back to 1865 Tighe, according to the old file, was us-
strewn amongst the rocks. I found two fish of legal ing Mr Kellys ground, but the lease was ordered to be
size to add to the 3 they had given me and gingerly terminated from 15 August on orders of the office of the
motored home, hoping that my extra motoring hadnt minister for Colonial Defence in Wellington. My guess
drained my tank. I didnt want to try rowing into 2- is that this may have been Thomas Kelly, who owned
6 white-caps head on Allotment 59, part of todays Mt Albert Shopping Cen-
At home, I drained their outboard and got it going tre, including the railway station, between Woodward
and later gave it to my brother, Ave and New North Road. The lease agreement termi-
nated 24 October, and Tighe asked permission on 6 Oc-
And the lesson yet again: never break your own rules tober to set up another rifle range on Mr Dilworths
and keep plenty of fuel in the tank. You never know land at Remuera. Instead, enquiries were made as to
what can occur and the fools you meet. whether the rifle volunteers could use the range at Pt
Chevalier instead, beside Meola Creek. This, though,
Tighe reported, had been given up by the Military Au-
Target Street how the second Pt thorities in January last, that the butts have been lev-
elled, the ditches etc. repaired, and therefore is not
Chevalier rifle range came to be available at present. The authorities felt that this was
not satisfactory, and asked Tighe to look into hiring the
firing ground at Point Chevalier anyway. So, Tighe
by Lisa J Truttman headed out again, and reported back on 18 December
that no, by the time he inspected the old site, the prin-
Recently, I had an opportunity to do some research at cipal part of which is fenced in and under cultivation.
the Wellington office of Archives New Zealand. I Instead, he looked further, and found a range of 560
was looking for various topics, some on request from
others, but managed to get a bit of a look at old files yards at most, can be obtained from Mr Anderton and
related to Pt Chevalier before I headed back home on Mr Wright for 40 per annum, and I have communi-
the third day. cated with the Superintendent for the ground.

One of these was a file that I thought would have This does sound like the site we know of as the one at
relation to the second rifle range, at Target Street: the end of Target Road, beside the farm owned by Jo-
From Michel Tighe, Major and Adjutant Command- seph Wright just to the south (died 1866) and that which
ing Militia and Volunteers, dated 28 December would be owned by the Melanesian Mission from June
1865, Requesting authority to expend 82 15s on 1867 (todays Selwyn Village), but back in 1865 was
Rifle Range. held in trust; one of the trustees was named Edward
Joseph Anderson (close to the Mr Anderton in Tighes
letter). Target Road, had already been laid out and dedicated to the Provincial Council (the only territorial authority at
that time) from November 1865, a month before Tighes inspections. This may have been the ground Tighe referred
to that he needed from the Provincial Councils Superintendent. Indeed, on 28 December 1865, Tighe wrote in a letter
to the Minister of Colonial Defences: an outlay of 82.15.0 for cutting bush and forming road will be necessary to
make it eligible as a Rifle Range
After all this, three years after Tighes death, the rifle range he set up at Target Street was abandoned in 1871 for the
one on the slopes of Mt Eden, save for one remaining set of targets for a 300-yard range which seems to have been
visible into the early years of the 20th century.
So, if Major Michael Tighe had had his way forming a rifle range over near the slopes of Mt Hobson, on Dilworths
property you still would have had a street leading down towards Selwyn Village, but it probably wouldnt have
been called Target.

Dont forget:
The 15th Anniversary Point Chevalier Reunion
the Point Chevalier RSA , Great North Road
Saturday 24 June 2017, from 1pm

Membership of the Point Chevalier Historical Society

Membership is open to all with an interest in our areas history, and costs only $20 per person ($30 for two or more in
the same household). This entitles you to vote at our meetings, and to receive mailed copies of the Point
Chevalier Times.
Send cheques to: Pt Chevalier Histor ical Society, C/- 119C Hutchinson Avenue
New Lynn, Auckland 0600
Your membership fees mean that we can keep publishing the Point Chevalier Times.
Your support would be appreciated.

Related Interests