One of the best things that I received from my father, Ralph Dickieson, was the contents of his filing cabinet and his many files on the history of New Glasgow. Amongst other things, he documented and researched all of the ships that were built in New Glasgow in the 1800’s.
As you may be aware, ship building was carried on along the River Clyde. The Orrs carried on shipbuilding at New London, Rustico and New Glasgow from the 1830’s to the 1870’s. One of the most interesting and well documented ships built in New Glasgow was called the “Pakeha.” The “Pakeha” was built in New Glasgow in 1863 to carry emigrants from New Glasgow, PEI, to Auckland, New Zealand. It was built by Robert Orr and John Darrah. The Pakeha departed New Glasgow on December 23rd, 1863 with 35 people on board including several members of the Bagnall family and the Darrah family. The ship was a copper bottomed, copper fastened Brig of 173 tons and the Charlottetown “Vindicator” newspaper announced that great care had been taken to make her as “airy, roomy and comfortable” as possible.
(From an article entitled “Those Gallant Ships” by John Cousins) The Pakeha arrived in Auckland in May, 1864 after a passage of six months. One of the passengers, John Darrah, continued to build ships in New Zealand. The Pakeha was used in the New Zealand coastal trade until it was wrecked in a gale in 1881. An extract from the “New Zealand Herald” on May 24 , 1864 states: th “The Brig, ‘Pakeha’ of 173 tons, Captain Alexander Campbell, arrived in the harbour during the night from Prince Edward Island via the Cape of Good Hope. She left the coast of Prince Edward Island on December 23 , 1863, crossed the line on January 24 , and rd th went into the Cape of Good Hope on 6 March. She left there 24 and passed through th th Bass Straits on 12 May. The Three Kings were made on the 18 and she had light winds th th from there. She brings a small cargo and the following passengers: George, Martha, Lemuel, Sarah, William, Albert, George, Wellington, Elizabeth, Nelson, Margaret-Ann, and Charles Bagnall. John, Elizabeth, Malcolm, James, William, Duncan, Elizabeth and Jenny Ann Darrah. Thomas, Mary and Mary Sleaton. David, Hanna, Annie F., William C., John D. and Charles B. Ross. Charles Bell, John Mountain, John Hayward, Thomas Marshon, and Philip Blatch. The Pakeha is owned by our enterprising citizen, Mr. Thos. Williams and is a fine looking vessel.” George Bagnall was a resident of New Glasgow and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of PEI. In the various articles written about the voyage of the Pakeha, he is referred to as the “Hon. George Bagnall.” He and his wife and ten children were among the passengers on the Pakeha. The following is a reply by John Darrach to a farewell address presented to his and the Bagnall family by their neighbours and friends of New Glasgow on the occasion of their departure from New Glasgow for New Zealand in December, 1863. “We thank you for your address and kind wishes and sympathy it contained for our welfare. In leaving you, we feel we are going out of a community with whom we have spent the flower of life and passed the happiest days of our earthly existence. Friends the recollections of whom time cannot efface from our memories. It is no doubt gratifying to know that our conduct as neighbours and otherwise, among you has been satisfactory. Praise such as you bestow on us tends to gratify the craving selfishness of men and cannot be duly appreciated by us. We think we are fully ware of the responsibility resting on us as heads of our families. In leaving our present home but believing as we do, that the Colony we have chosen for our future residence is much superior to this Colony, in climate, mineral and otherwise, we trust that in emigrating there will be of benefit, if not to us, then to our families. In selecting New Zealand for our future home, we know that it is an appendage of our mother country and that where ever the British sovereignty, protection and liberty afforded to those who conduct themselves in an upright manner and we trust that your kind wishes respecting our long journey may fully be realized. It should be sufficient for us to know that although our house will be on the mighty ocean and our little Barque riding on the crest of the mighty waves, that we are only in the centre of creation and under the care and protection of him who rides on the wings of the wind and holds the sea in the hollow of his hand and when we arrive safely at our destination, we may still worship God of our fathers, raising and praising to the lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. On behalf of ourselves, wives and families, we again thank you for your kind address. Accept dear friends our best wishes for you all. Farewell.” The following is a list of clothing needed for the voyage to New Zealand (as written by John Darrach on September 15 , 1863) th “Myself- 1 pair black pants, 1 black coat, 1 pair gray pants. Malcolm-1 black coat, 1 pair black pants, 1 pair grey pants, 2 vests. James- as above’ William-1 black coat, 2 pairs grey pants, 1 vest. Duncan-1 black coat, 2 vests, 2 pairs pants. Dru shirts-4 for each boy-takes 40 yards. Cotton shirts-4 for each boy-takes 40 yards. Fine shirts-2 for each boy-takes 20 yards.” The following is an address from the Sons of Temperance- Charlotte Town Dec. 1863: “To P.W.P. John Darrach, Brothers Lemuel J. Bagnall and Malcolm S. Darrach. Worthy brothers, as you are about to leave these shores and it may be forever, we, the Members of Prince Edward Division No. 1 ‘Rising Son’, Division No.2 and ‘Victoria’ Division No. 4 of the Order of the Sons of Temperance, do herewith beg leave to present our tenderest sympathies to you as members of our time honoured, heaven born, Order, before you bid farewell to our Island home. Permit us to say that we feel deeply for you under the present circumstances but knowing as we do, that there is a God who doeth according to his Will in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of Earth, knowing also that he plants his footsteps in the sea and stills the stormy waves, we commend you to his care. Brothers, sailing as you do under Britain’s flag, let it recall to your memory the motto characteristic of the Order as portrayed in the colours of the Badge-RED, WHITE and the BLUE. True emblems of love, purity, and while urging you to this we would also call upon you to remember Britain’s God. Believing that you will carry with you the principles of our beloved Order to distant shores, our desire is that your course, may be full of joy to others and when your own shall set at life’s close, may it not as sets the morning star shall set which goeth not down behind the darkened west, but melts away into brightness of heaven and should we never be permitted to meet again in this vale of tears, may we all be found at the last great day in those regions of bliss where love and harmony shall reign forever.” John Darrach continued to build ships in New Zealand, building eighteen brigantines and schooners as well as smaller vessels. Later he was also a farmer. (from notes complied by Ralph Dickieson) Sarah Bagnall who was nineteen years old and the bride of Lemuel Bagnall, wrote to sister, Mrs. Donald Crawford in New Glasgow describing the voyage. She wrote from “Cape Good Hope” “Cape Town” March 18 , 1864: th “We had a very pleasant passage so far as the weather is concerned. We never had a storm after the first. It seemed so strange when we were in the trade winds to have weeks of such lovely weather without a cloud. It is a region of perpetual sunshine where a storm was never known. Our little brig did wonders in sailing as far as she had winds. She often sailed nine, ten and eleven knots an hour, and you aught to have seen how gracefully she parted the blue waves so delicately fringed with old ocean’s foam as purely white as the first day that ever it was roused by wind or ship.” She describes Cape Town as it was in 1864: “Cape Town is very pretty. It is spread along the shore for miles. The houses have nearly all flat roofs. They are all built of stone or brick and are low, none more than three stories and many only one. Many of them are built of rough stones and then plastered with plaster of some kind looking just like the inside of your northern houses. Some of their floors are made of stone smooth and glossy and they are cool and nice.” (From notes complied by Ralph Dickieson)
A book entitled “New Zealand Shipwrecks, 1795-1970″ by C. Ingram describes the eventual wreck of the Pakeha: “Pakeha, brig: When on a passage from Kaipara to Dunedin with a cargo of timber for her owners the brig ran ashore on Ninety Mile Beach, near Lake Ellesmere, on the morning of June 11, 1881, and became a total wreck. A number of fisherman went to the wreck in boats to render assistance and found that, with one exception, all of the crew had been drowned.” It appears that this move was a successful one for the Bagnall family. An article in the New Zealand Herald dated May1st, 1917, describes the death of Lemuel Bagnall. He is described as a successful businessman and former Mayor of Auckland, New Zealand. “One of the best known and most widely respected of Auckland’s citizens died at his residence in Wynyard Street shortly before eight o’clock yesterday morning in the person of Mr. Lemuel John Bagnall. During nearly half a century, Mr. Bagnall has been connected with the public affairs of the Auckland District and there have been few citizens whose work has been more highly appreciated, and who, personally, have been held in greater esteem.” In an article in the “Cyclopedia of New Zealand” Bagnall Bros. and Company, Limited, Timber Merchants and Box Manufacturers, is described as a very successful enterprise: “The firm was formed into a limited company in 1896 and a year later, the factory for the manufacture of butter boxes and cases was opened in Auckland. The business is one of the largest of its kind in the colony, and the company employs over 200 men, and 500 (pounds) per week is paid in wages. The late Hon. George Bagnall, the founder of the firm, came to New Zealand with his family in 1864 from Canada and eventually settled in Turua.” It is interesting to note that the PEI branch of the Bagnall family continued to be prominent timber merchants in PEI, operating Bagnalls Mills Ltd. for much of the twentieth century. A search of the internet also reveals that at least two Bagnall boys fought and died for New Zealand in World War One. It is incredible to think that in 1863, a family could emigrate from a small pioneer community such as New Glasgow, PEI, in a vessel built by residents of the community, and sail to a new life more than half a world