CAMPBELL-RAOUL ISLANDS' ASSOCIATION INC.
Air Vice-Marshall A. H. Marsh, C.B.E.
|I. R. Bailey||J. Caskey|
|G. MacLean||Mr M. Butterton|
|P. Ingram||Mr C.R. Taylor|
|J. Clinch||Mr I.S. Kerr|
|V. Susmilch||Mr A. Bacon|
|E. De St Croix|
|Address||Newsletter No. 3|
|G.P.O. Box 3557,||November 1968|
Copies of earlier newsletters available on request
MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT
Greetings, and welcome to our third Newsletter! Since last writing we have made tremendous strides, having held our first Reunion and our first Annual General Meeting. Both were an unqualified success. We also have a new Committee, with a nice blend of experience and fresh blood. And once again the good ship Holmburn has carried out the annual servicing of Raoul and Campbell (Norm Barclay, second engineer, was doing his ninth servicing!).
Business first however, Gentlemen. Our AGM was held in the new Meteorological Office, Kelburn. It was well attended and saw some spirited discussion on issues such as the subscription rate and honorary membership. The names of the elected officers appear on the cover of this Newsletter. We are most delighted to have our old friend "DMS" as Patron again. We received an enthusiastic letter from him (he is currently Director-General of Medical Services in the RAAF), complete with a generous donation to the Association's funds.
The subscription rate for the current financial year has been almost halved. It is now $2.00. In these days of rising costs we are rather delighted to be lowering our sub. BUT, there is a snag! In the past we have been sending these Newsletters to well over 200 chaps whose addresses we knew. This, of course, is very expensive; the cost has been borne by the blokes who paid the $3.50 sub. We have now decided that after the next Newsletter we will only distribute to financial members. So, please become financial -it only costs $2.00!
The constitution was amended at the AGM to allow for a new category of membership of the Association. I have not yet received the exact wording, but the change will allow non-voting membership to people who have visited or worked on the Islands without necessarily doing a full year in an Expedition. There was unanimous support for this proposal.
Almost 100 attended our first Reunion, held in the White Heron Lodge, Wellington, on 14 September. Ex-islanders came from all over New Zealand, from Haast, Auckland, Paeroa, Nelson, Christchurch, Hastings, Taumarunui, Picton, Ohakea, and many other places. The function was highly successful and was very much enjoyed by all who attended. However, we also learnt a few things from this first try, and it is likely that the venue and programme would be slightly different next time.
Our guests of honour were Dr and Mrs R. A. Falla. The main toast was proposed by Max Butterton, and replied to by Rob Stanley and Pete Ingram. Messages were received from "DMS" in Canberra, from the OIC's of both Islands, from Bryan Leeves in Melbourne, from Ian Johnson and Warwick Fergusson at Scott Base, from Ian Clark of Christchurch, and most wonderful of all, from that incredible veteran, Alf Bacon. Alf first went to Raoul as a lad of 18 in December 1889. He still considers Raoul as the "gem of the Pacific”.
It would be ungracious to leave the subject of the Reunion without passing a vote of thanks to the men who did all the work in preparation for it. Robin Foubister, Graeme MacLean, Ian Bailey ¬all did sterling work to ensure the smooth, running of the function. But perhaps most credit is due to Richard Lovegrove, who as Secretary and Treasurer, was the cohesive and vital force throughout.
Your new Committee has already held its first meeting. John Caskey, Treasurer, advised us that the Association is in a fairly healthy state. We made a total profit of $20.00 from the Reunion. We are not seeking to make any profit of course, but it was essential that we not make a 1oss on such an expensive project. We have decided to hold another Reunion next year, and also to have another Film Evening, probably about July.
We have received the tragic news that Leo Rush (Campbell 1962 and 1964) has died. No details are known, unfortunately.
Finally, on behalf of your Committee, I would once again urge any of you to send us contributions for the Newsletter. We would very much welcome articles on any aspect of Island life, historical, biological, humorous, technical, etc. Although we have laid down rules, it looks as though the Newsletter will be appearing about three times a year.
To the new Expeditions now installed on Campbell and Raoul, who have gone before extend our heartiest best wishes for a successful and happy sojourn. It can be the most wonderful' experience of your life; so long as you "do unto your fellows as you would have them do unto you".
NEWS FROM THE ISLANDS
The servicing - immediately one conjures thoughts of a very rusty ‘Holmburn' and then an overcrowded and chaotic station. Perhaps no other single occurrence on the island is subject to so much speculation and discussion as the annual servicing. Months before the event wild rumours concerning the date seem to filter through but in spite of this apparent warning the servicing is suddenly upon us. Invariably there is a 'mad rush' to complete projects and disappointment at the lack of time to tackle others but finally everything possible is done to make the task of the incoming party 'settling in' easier. Somehow the dreaded operation of sorting and packing one's own 12 month accumulation of 'junk' is also completed.
On the other hand the incoming expedition, often frustrated by the frequent changes of sailing dates plus an unenviable voyage unique to the 'Holmburn', are very keen to arrive on the island in the shortest possible time. Feelings are probably mixed as the cloud shrouded islands loom up from amongst the great southern ocean swells. As the 'Holmburn' enters Perserverance Harbour all are eager to see through the rain and mist the station buildings which will be their home for 12 months. At last ashore warm greetings are exchanged and the incoming expedition gaze with some awe at the ragged clothed, pale and densely bearded men they will replace. It is not long either before one of these hairy creatures says "Got a beer mate? The supply ran out months ago."
The 1968 annual servicing on Campbell IsIand was probably no different to any other except that it took place one month earlier to accommodate changes in the American Deep Freeze policy of ¬discontinuing the service of the Weather Picket ships.
On the 1st October a typical gusty Easterly greeted the ship on its evening arrival and so close did the skipper bring the 'Holmburn' to Beeman Quay that it appeared he was hoping to tie up alongside, however, after stirring up much mud he changed his mind and-finally dropped the pick in a position with respect to the recently installed navigation beacons. With waves slopping over the wharf from the effects of the Easterly, the new expedition was landed at Tucker Cove with some personal kit before dusk.
Two and a half days of excellent weather saw the resupply operation complete and the station well cluttered with an increased number of diesel drums for the contemplated continual running of two generators and a truly massive amount of timber for the construction of a helicopter pad and a new DSIR equipment building. Of particular note was the very hard and great amount of work the inspecting officers did, this was greatly appreciated by all expedition members.
As usual the relief expedition was keen to see the old party leave so that they could 'get things sorted out', but the old team, probably a little nostalgic at leaving, was in no hurry and even the 'Holmburn' seemed loathe to leave if the time taken to lift the anchor which was well jammed on the bottom of Perserverance Harbour was any indication. To the accompaniment of frequent hail and snow showers the 'Holmburn! was through the heads to the heaving southern ocean and the soaring albatrosses again leaving the out¬going team to consider the very vital question 'What improvements have we made to the island during the last 12 months?'. What of future servicings ? We hear of slog and toil when the station was located beyond Tucker Cove and in comparison we should consider ourselves lucky with present day operations. Then we hear rumours of helicopters straight from the ship to the station and great diesel storage tanks with the oil being pumped directly ashore. Perhaps in not too many years time we will also be able to look back and say 'I remember in the old days, when things weren't so easy…..’
EXPEDITION MEMBERS CAMPBELL ISLAND 1968-69
BRIAN SMITH, Officer in Charge, Married with three children. A varied and colourful past including lighthouse keeping, launch-master at Manapouri and Bluff Pilot launch.
BARNEY MAGUIRE, (ex Raoul 1966-67), 'Senior Met.; A tiger for punishment as he is engaged to be married as soon as the ship hits port on return. (There are good times ahead too!!)
BOB TAYLOR (Tiny), Met.; Joined Met. service (Kelburn) in 1965 and then transferred to Hokitika for 15 months. He was then on the permanent relieving staff up until his departure for Campbell Island.
JOHN WALDEN, Met.; Commenced with Met. Service at Kelburn in 1966. In January of this year was appointed to permanent relieving staff until departure for Campbell. Back in the good old country his hobbies were wine, women and song!
BRUCE DOWIE, (ex Raoul Is. 1965-66) Met.; " A fast car and an exciting future is planneded for his return after 17 month on Campbell Island. Tally Ho !.
JOHN PHELPS, Met.; Due to cronic exposure to elements, requires regular administration of medicine. Back to the BIG SMOKE late February 1969. John & Bruce are both due for freedom at end of Summer Deep Freeze activities.
NEIL ROBERTSON, Mechanic; Seconded from Oceanographic Institute. Previous employment with men of wisdom has perhaps led to Neil's great affiliation, with Enid-Blyton (Nickname Noddy).
COLIN JACOBSEN, D.S.l.R.; Married from Whangarei. Employed by NZBC and Post Office before spending 6 months "punching" cows. He realized the error of his ways so joined Campbell Island home for happy people.
MIKE BELL, Radio Technician; Ex Post Office. Employed by SAFE AIR as Gas attendant. Was at a loss to know what else to do so went to Campbell to make up his mind. Affiliations ashore but is very quiet about this. (THE MAKARA KING)
HUNTLEY CREED, Cook; Married with 2 children from Nelson. His predominant occupation in the past has been hotel and ship cooking.
TONY ELLIS, D.S.I.R. Technician; Tony has stayed over from previous party to help with installation of new DSIR building, "Aurora House".
ROSS STAPPLES, Ionosphere Observer; Ross is counting the days to freedom as he is carrying on from last year. With any luck, change over with incoming observer, IAN LYNN of Dunedin, should take place around 25 November.
Mountainous seas, forty knot headwinds and a very seasick 'Holmburn' sounds definitely like Campbell Island servicing, but no, not this time. It was the servicing for Raoul that departed Wellington at 9.15 pm Monday 7 October encountered some shocking weather until it reached Raoul Island, on Friday evening, some 96 hours later. The return journey proved even worse as the weather reached its climax while the 'Holmburn' hove to for about 10 hours.
It was no ordinary ship load either. Apart from personnel there were twenty sheep, four cows, one bull, four fowls and even a massive concrete septic tank. Some of this had to be off loaded directly on to low flat beach by way of raft. This proved quite exciting and even the old D7 had to come to the rescue when things became difficult in the surf. Approximately 69 tons of stores were landed also were 38 tons of diesel fuel. All concerned just dream of the day when the diesel can be pumped ashore.
There are signs of an exceptional time on Raoul this year. Several of the expedition members are 'old hands' and already life is settling down with the possibility of a few treats in store. It has been indicated that visitors may be expected in early December and that a mail drop before Xmas will take place.
As usual at this time of the year, whales are being sighted but with less regularity than in previous years. It is suspected that one reason for this is the demolition of the old 'whale observatory'. A new building and the new septic tank is taking its place.
The bird life seems quiet and good fishing is intermittent as low flat beach is rocky one day and sandy soon after. But none of these things can change the peace, the climate, the fruit, in fact the island. Raoul is just the same.
EXPEDITION MEMBERS -RAOUL ISLAND, 1968 - 69
RICHARD LOVEGROVE, (1962-63-64 expeditions) Officer-in-Charge, Postmaster, Doctor, Customs Officer etc. Finally fulfilling dreams of many year. He is engaged .to be married soon after his return.
RON MARKS, Cook; Australian, wife and 1 year old son in Australia. Is keen on Raoul Island fishing.
CHARLES GRBIC, Farmer; Second consecutive year on Raoul. Was formerly farming in Canterbury and Wairarapa.
FRED BUITENKAMP, (1964-65 expedition) Mechanic; Has since travelled home to Holland and has been working in London.
FRED KNEWSTABB, Telecom. Technician; Best trip ever away from Electricity Department, Dunedin. Is a very keen hunter.
MORRIE HANLON, Maintenance Officer (1965-66 expedition); Prefers Raoul Island climate and food to that of Kaitaia. Handyman one trip, maintenance officer the next.
JOHN WALLER, Senior Met.; Is busy surveying pipeline for Met. Office toilet. Finds many uses for the theodolite.
LARRY JARNET, Met. Observer; Also from Kaitaia. Has been working at Invercargill Airport. Is establishing a pawpaw plot.
KEITH HERRICK, Met. Observer; Invercargill Airport. Is shortly to become Champion Denham Bay bird watcher.
‘Correlated by V. Sussmilch and I. Bailey and current expedition members’
ON THINGS HISTORICAL
Here is the first installment of an eleven part history on Campbell Island researched and compiled by Ian Kerr who is now an assistant director of the N.Z. Meteorological Service. Unfortunately it must be abridged by approximately a third of its full content to fit the allotted pages in the newsletter. Nevertheless, alternating with articles on Kermadec history and the frequency of newsletters, it stands to run for the next four years and should prove a valuable record for members to keep. Because of the natural interest in the legend of the Lady of Heather, this section will appear in full and early in the series, although Mr Kerr wrote it as an appendix to his history.
Part One: DISCOVERY
On Captain James Cook's first voyage the main efforts of the expedition, after the re-discovery of New Zealand, were directed towards charting the coastline and, eventually, to proving that the islands were not part of the great southern continent. Cook, therefore, kept close to land and saw nothing of the outlying islands, not even the nearest, the Snares. During the course of the great second voyage which so successfully disposed of the southern continent theory, the Resolution and the Adventure sailed eastward, south of the Indian Ocean and Australia, near the sixtieth parallel for a great part of the time. On reaching the longitude of Tasmania the ships changed course to the northeast making for the southern fiords of New Zealand to obtain water and refresh the crews. Cook thus passed two or three hundred miles or more to the west of Macquarie, Campbell and Auckland Islands. The three subsequent probes into the South Pacific were all directed southeastward from Cook Strait and, of course, took the ships far to the east of this group of islands. Late in June 1773, however, the explorers were not very far South of the Chatham Islands and in December 1773, near the beginning of the voyage on which Cook achieved the 'farthest south', the Bounty and Antipodes Islands must have been missed by less than a hundred miles. The only one of the islands and island groups lying roughly on a semicircle northeast and south of New Zealand seen by Cook on all his voyages to the South Pacific was Norfolk Island.
It is not surprising that Cook did not discover more of these islands as they are all mere specks in the vast ocean. Nevertheless they were all found in the next four decades; the Bounty Islands, by Bligh in 1788; the Snares, seen on the same day by both Broughton and Vancouver in 1791; Chatham Islands by the former a few days later; the Kermadec Islands by D'Entrecasteaux in 1793; the Antipodes by Captain Whitehouse in 1800; the Auckland Islands by the whaling captain, Bristow in 1806; and Campbell and Macquarie Islands in 1810.
The unrestricted slaughter of seals on known grounds showed a decline in their numbers as early as 1802 in the Bass Strait area, and firms that owned the whaling and sealing ships, now able to anticipate the rapid falling off of cargoes; encouraged their captains to range further afield in search of new islands. One of the most energetic of the Sydney Houses was that of Robert Campbell and Company, and one of, the company's ships was the brig Perserverance of about 130 tons, built in: 1806. The brig, whose complement numbered 21 left Port Jackson under Captain Frederick Hasselburgh's command on 23 October 1809. A little over a month later she was at Auckland Island and sometime in December sailed to the southward. Campbell Island was discovered early in January 1810 and a gang of 7 men was landed on the 4th. Unfortunately we have no further details; to what extent the coastline and harbours were explored or what were the discoverer's first impressions. The next we hear of the Perserverance is at the Bay of Islands where she arrived before 26 March. Her crew took part in the punitive expedition against Te Pahi following the massacre of the Boyd's company. She left for Sydney on or soon after 15 April having taken on board 33 spars and the Boyd's longboat. The brig arrived back in Sydney on 28 April and did not set out again with supplies for the Campbell Island party until about 25 June.
On 11 July 1810, Hasselburgh discovered Macquarie Island. He was well off the direct course to Campbell Island but, no doubt aware of the strength of the westerlies in these latitudes, he aimed to make as much southing as possible before sailing eastward. Captain Hasselburgh "then landed the major portion of the people he had on board… and did not proceed to Campbell Island, but returned immediately to Sydney for fresh supplies of provisions and salt as there were great hopes of success at Macquarie Island. Macquarie Island was judged, and rightly, a much more exciting prospect than Campbell Island.
Back in Sydney on 17 August, Hasselburgh quickly signed on a fresh crew under new articles dated 1 September 1810, departed 7 September and was once more at Macquarie on 2 October. After a stay there of 15 days, he finally reached Campbell Island on 22 October. On 4 November, Hasselburgh and two others were drowned in Perserverance Harbour and command of the ship devolved on Robert Murray. The gang, and the oil obtained by the men were taken on board and Perserverance left the island on 20 November to reach Sydney on 8 January 1811.
The tragic events of Sunday 4 November were told in the Sydney Gazette of 12 January 1811. The story was written in the over dramatic manner so beloved of journalists of the day, but the account is vivid and probably true in essentials. In any case it is the only account we have:
"On Sunday, the "4th of November, the Perserverance, of which he was master, then lying at Campbell's Island, Mr Hasselbourgh ordered the jolly-boat to be got ready to take him on shore ;to a part of the island at which his oil-casks were, about five miles from the vessel; which he left at two in the afternoon, with five persons, namely Elizabeth Farr, a young woman, who was a native of Norfolk Island; George Allwright, a young lad, second son of Mr Thomas Allwright, of this place; Jas Bloodworth, the ship's carpenter; Richard Jackson, a seaman; and a New Zealand boy. The weather being somewhat cold, Mr Hasselbourgh had very heavily clothed himself, and wore a thick Flushing boat cloak, together with a pair of strong high water-boots, the weight of which must have baffled every personal exertion when necessary to his preservation. After an absence of three hours, the vessel was hailed from the nearest point of land, whither the other boat was dispatched, and the persons that had hailed proved to be Bloodworth, Jackson, and the New Zealand Boy, who gave the melancholy information of the other three having perished in the following manner. Having safely reached the place intended, where the captain found the casks in safety, they put off to return to the vessel and were obliged to beat to windward. When nearly two miles distant from the shore a sudden gust came off the land, which took the boat broadside on; and before the sheet could be let go, she was gunwale under, filled instantly and disappeared. The safety of six human beings being thus committed to a Ruling Power, whose decrees are just and absolute, each ,was affected by the peril in proportion to their confidence in their personal strength and dexterity. Jackson pushed immediately towards the shore, and being a strong hearty man saved his life with ease. The little New Zealander followed his example, and had just strength enough to gain the shore. Bloodworth regardless of himself, sprang forward to the assistance of the woman, whom he considered most likely to be in need of it; and finding that she could swim, he cheered her with the assistance of his ready aid, and turned towards his Commander, who was imploring his assistance; but, who, alas, after ,struggling some minutes to sustain himself with an oar and boathook, before he reached him, ,sank as he approached him. Thus, sadly mortified by the disappointment of his hopes to which his generosity had aspired, even at the moment when his own safety was in doubt, his female charge remained along the object of his attention. The poor creature was exhausted, and had not the power of contributing to her own deliverance. With one arm supporting her, however, he swam upwards of a mile, through a rough sea, and with her gained the strand; but vain had been his labour, for respiration had for ever ceased. Agonised with horror, disap¬pointment and regret, he laid the breathless body of the ill-fated female beneath the cover of a bush, and dreadfully expent with his fatigues, explored his way towards the point off which the vessel lay, and fell in with the others in his route. A boat was the same evening sent in search of the body, which darkness prevented, from being found. The next morning, however, it was discovered, and the day following interned on shore, with every decency the circumstances of the case admitted. The bodies of the other two were not discovered when the vessel came away."
Who was Elizabeth Farr, the first woman to visit Campbell Island? She was said to be a native of Norfolk Island, (her name was spelt "Fahar" in an earlier report), but may have belonged to the convict settlement there. The whaling and sealing captains of the day were not infrequently accompanied on their voyages by women; sometimes natives of the islands or Maori women. It is not unlikely as Carrick has suggested, that convict women of Sydney or Norfolk Island sometimes escaped by offering themselves to ships' masters.
Very little is, known of the discoverer, Frederick Hasselburgh. He reached Sydney as First Officer of the Brothers in April 1807. He accompanied heron a successful cruise to the Bounty Islands and then transferred to the Perserverance which towards the end of 1808 sailed for the Foveaux Strait area and thence to Fiji. It seems likely that the Hazelburgh islets off Ruapuke Island were named on one of these voyages. After another quick trip to Fiji, Hasselburgh was given command of the Perserverance and set out on the voyages of discovery just related.
Various spellings of his name are encountered but "Hasselburgh" seems the most probable. The witnesses in the various Court cases of 1812 (claims against Campbell & Co, of unfairly distributed profits amongst crew members) made frequent reference to Mr Hasselburgh but none of these gives us any idea of what sort of man he was. All we know is that he left a widow, Catherine Hasselburgh and that he died, owing money to Charles Hook, Campbell's partner (notice concerning an application to the Judge Advocate to grant Hook"… Letters of Administration of the Goods, Chattles and Effects of the late Frederick Hasselbourgh …" in the Sydney Gazette, 12 January 1811).
Place names are potted history. We intend to conclude each chapter on Campbell Island with a list of the names that derive from the period covered by the Chapter. The origin of some names is unknown to us or is uncertain and we hope our readers may be able to help us.
Originally Campbell's Island, the possessive being customary in those days, the island itself was named after Robert Campbell, Principal of the firm of Campbell and Company of Sydney, owners of' the Perserverance. The name was presumably bestowed by Hasselburgh as it appeared in the accounts of the discovery in the Sydney Gazette. Two other names, at least, are associated with the discovery but when they were actually adopted is not know. These names are Perserverance Harbour and Hook's Keys (now known as Dent Island). The former name was apparently not in use in 1912, as, during the Court proceedings in that year, Perserverance Harbour was referred to simply as "the harbour of the island". Charles Hook ' was Campbell's partner.
(Part 2 of the series deals with ‘SEALERS OF THE EARLY YEARS')
'The Whaling Journal of Captain W. B. Rhodes, 1836-1838’ Introduced by C. R. Straubel and printed and published by Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd, 1954.
Mr Straubel of Christchurch is not the first writer by any means to bring a well researched historical book on this subject to the New Zealand reader. Dr Robert McNab would be regarded as our great authority, but his book; 'The Old Whaling Days' published in 1913, is perhaps a little difficult to find and in most cases can¬not be removed for loan from the parent library. Straubel' s 'Whaling Journal' is, however, readily available and has a two-fold interest to the expedition member.
In a 27 page introduction to the book is found an excellent coverage of this flourishing industry in the 1830's which the 'whale counters' of Raoul and Campbell will find to be an easily digested reference. But the real point of interest lies in Rhodes whaling activities in the Kermadecs and his chance meeting with Read, Raoul Island's first settler, in 1836. Disappointing perhaps, is the briefness of the entries, but it must be remembered it is the work of a professional whaler compiling his diary and not the historian in his study with the 20th century Kermadec student in mind. Worthy of note are the unfamiliar names of the islands which appear in the text. He knew the Kermadecs as the Curtis Islands, refers to Raoul as Sunda or Sunday Island, Macauley as Green Island, the islands of Curtis and Cheeseman were Macauley's Isle or Rocks and L'Esperance Rock as French or Brind's Rock.
It is somewhat frustrating that the 'Journal' abruptly terminates on March 7th, 1838, as the barque 'Australian' nears the Kermadecs on its return to Sydney. But then Rhodes may well have been feeling the same way, as his fine business sense must have received quite a jolt from an eventful, but not particularly successful two season catch. However, Rhodes soon made up for lost time by returning to New Zealand and purchasing from the Maoris, large tracts of land which included Bank's Peninsula, Kapiti Island and a million acres of the coastal country around Hawkes Bay. Governor Hobson's land claims commissioners were compelled to reduce these vast holdings in the 1840's, but it did little to prevent William Barnard Rhodes from becoming one of our most remarkable and enterprising pioneers.
CAMPBELL – RAOUL ISLANDS ASSOCIATION (INC.)
The 1968-69 subscription is now due.
Your continued support and co-operation will ensure the future success of the Association, so encourage others to join as well.
This year's subscription will help return :-
(i) Regular Newsletters
(ii) A better and greater Reunion for 1969
(iii) A further film evening (possibly showings in the Main Centres)
(iv) A possible Photographic Competition and display
(v) Compilation of complete histories of both Islands
(vi) Fulfilment of obligations as laid down in the Constitution.
Please forward subscriptions with the attached slip.
J. M. Caskey