This stained glass window in St Luke’s Church, Waikanae, is a tribute to Octavius Hadfield, the first missionary in the southern part of the North Island. He arrived at Port Nicholson (Wellington) on 12 November 1839 and lay in bed all day suffering from bowel pain. Two days later, despite continuing ill health, he set off for Waikanae. He wrote: ‘We started at 9 in the morning, and walked all day with slight intervals of rest through a thick and hilly forest. I suffered much pain in my chest but did not feel tired, and we arrived at a convenient resting place after having crossed 14 rivers at about 4 o’clock, when my tent being pitched and having eaten some potatoes, I retire to rest.’ Such experiences became common as Hadfield explored the area as far north as Cape Egmont in the quest for Māori converts.
Octavius Hadfield, unpublished journal. Transcribed by Eric Ramsden: held in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington
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Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Jock Phillips
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