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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Tenuous link to one of Canterbury's 'unsung Heroines'

The powers of "Paperspast" via the National Library New Zealand's website showed through again earlier this year when in continuing my usual trawlings of Christchurch's newspaper 'Star' online, I came across an entry for one of Canterbury's colourful colonial females - Annie Quayle TOWNEND nee MOORE c1845 - 1914. She bought 'Karewa' in Fendalton and renamed it 'Mona Vale' which still bears this name today; bequeathed the large conservatory now at the Christchurch Botanical Gardens to the city after her death; donated thousands of pounds to build a church and vicarage in Glenmark, Canterbury amongst many other notable charitable acts.

Several photos of Karewa/Mona Vale are on National Library's website here






Townend conservatory December 2005 with Santa :-)
Photo: (C) Sarndra Lees


On her death, she left many people including her servants something in her Will. Amongst these servants was my Great Great Uncle Percy Carr ROBINSON, he was a chauffeur who lived in MacMillan Avenue, Cashmere. Her gift to him was "100 pound annuity until his death and after his death, to his widow until she remarries". Ethel, Percy's wife predeceased him on 9 May 1952 and Percy died 2 September 1956.

The details of her Will are documented online Many well known Canterbury identities are listed as well as those not so well known.

I have no photo of Percy but his wife Ethel, my Great Great Aunt [1887-1952] is pictured below.






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