St Pauls Papanui Cemetery - Christchurch City Libraries

St Pauls Papanui Cemetery - Christchurch City Libraries

Turner bought 10 acres of Rural Section 105 (which ran from Papanui Road to

Winchester Street) and built his home, ‘Fassifern’ (the name is of Queensland

Aborigine origin). To accommodate a family of 13 children, Turner had the house

twice extended, it was thought to a total of 23 rooms. There were eight sons in the

Turner family and each Sunday they could be seen walking in crocodile fashion in

Christ’s College uniform to the Durham Street Methodist church.

Emily Turner, 44, died on 13 October 1881. Charles Wesley Turner, 72, died on 25

October 1906. Their daughters, Edith Emily Turner, 60, and Adeline Mary Turner, 78,

died respectively on 19 January 1921 and 19 June 1938.

Row F

No. 86


This is a large oblong block with 20 name plates inserted round the outside edging.

People buried here include the ‘grandfathers’ of the family, Henry Matson, 71, who

died on 24 October 1885, and John Thomas, 80, who died on 1 March 1897.

Henry Matson was born at Delce Farm, Wingham, eastern Kent, the son of Robert

Matson. He went to sea and, at 20, was an officer on the George III, a vessel which

was to transport 200 convicts and 40 homeless boys to Australia. Two miles from

Tasmania, in a big sea, the ship ran on a submerged and uncharted rock and ripped her

bottom. Those convicts who were unshackled made for the deck and were shot; those

who were shackled were drowned. There were few survivors, most of these being

soldiers and crew members.

Henry Matson worked at various jobs on the waterfront at Georgetown, Tasmania,

eventually receiving the coveted appointment of harbour master. At last he could

propose marriage to his intended, a Miss Manifold of Kelso, across the Tasman River.

She accepted him. When the marriage was celebrated, Henry was 30.

Henry Matson and his wife moved to Victoria with Mrs. Matson’s family who were

sheep and farming folk. Henry proved himself skilled at buying and selling sheep and,

later, dealt in gold.

Mrs. Matson died in the early 1860s; five of the couple’s nine children also died. In

the spring of 1862, the widower, 48, came across to Christchurch and met Charles

Torlesse, nephew of Edward Gibbon Wakefield and one of those who had surveyed

the settlement for the Canterbury Association. Torlesse thought Matson …

… not one of your keen money makers. I believe him to be a good man in

every way. We are both agreed to do an honest straightforward business and

depend more on faithfulness, diligence and quick dispatch rather than any

wonderful shrewdness or business ability.

Thus did Matson and Torlesse establish themselves as real estate agents and sheep

importers. Torlesse felt that he must frequently write to his parents in England

assuring them that, in the colonies, gentlemen must stoop to occupations such as this

which would be beyond the pale at home.

St. Paul’s Papanui Cemetery



More magazines by this user
Similar magazines