A significant group of Irish settlers came to Katikati in the Bay of Plenty as part of George Vesey Stewart's organised settlement. They sailed direct from Belfast on the Carisbrooke Castle in 1875 and the Lady Jocelyn in 1878. This song was written as part of a competition by passengers on board the Lady Jocelyn.
The song begins:
’Twas in the month of May brave boys. The merry month of May
That the good ship lady Jocelyn sailed away from Belfast Bay
A jolly ship was she brave boys. And her Captain was the same
And many a trip he’d sailed this ship. George Jenkins was his name
Blow ye winds heigho – To Auckland we will go
We’ll stay no more on England’s shore. But bless the happy day
When bound for our distant home. Across the raging foam
In the good ship Lady Jocelyn boys. We gaily sailed away.
Now listen unto me brave boys. And I will tell to you
Of all the merry men and maids. That formed our jolly crew.
Bold Carden was chief officer. No danger did he fear
Boorman the great was second mate. To all the ladies dear
Next comes that ancient mariner. Who doles out the supplies.
With blessings ever on his tongue. Affection in his eyes.
So mild is he that when his store. Was robbed by naughty sparks
He shook his head and only made. Some Curs-ory remarks
Blow ye winds etc
As stewards we’d an army boys. Old England at their head
No patriots were they for they cared. No jot what England said
England expected them to do. Their duty and they knew it
But poor old soul he’d no control. And so they didn’t do it
We’ll not forget the good old Cook. Who does his best to please
And makes himself a famous name. For macaroni cheese
And right good bread the baker makes. He spares no pains not he
His morning rolls for hungry souls. Are quite a sight to see.
We’ve twice two hundred passengers. & even more than that
of whom the better half are bound. To fertile Kati Kat
With Vesey Stewart for their guide. The’re fortune at the flood
Their bosoms yearn to cut the fern. And grow the giant spud.
The golden youth of Auckland town. Will ne’er forget the day
That brings the Lady Jocelyn boys. To anchor in her bay
For she has maidens grave and gay. And maidens young and fair
To make them wives to plague their lives. So let them all beware.
There’s Georgie Luck and Mary Luck. Each lovely as a Saint
The best of [?] to apply. In any heart complaint
Fair Florence model of all grace. Miss Surtees the sedate
The Stewart prize with Turquoise eyes. And the divine Miss Kate
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.