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Fitzgerald's Town

etween the two groups

etween the two groups and that “the division be carried out with the manifestation of the best of feeling”. On the 7 January 1883 the separation became fact and the two new Sunday Schools were opened. During the 14 years of its existence the Unsectarian Sunday School had many ups and downs to contend with. Pupils and teachers were devastated when young George Maber was thrown by a horse and killed, bad weather sometimes drastically affected attendance, and there was the memorable occasion when the school was not opened because the church key had been mislaid. However, there remained the constant drive to teach the young in a spirit of co-operation which ignored the barriers of sectarian differences. Hundreds of children were taught by men and women dedicated to passing on the principles and beliefs which meant so much to them. Outstanding among this group was Thomas Avis Pannett who acted as Superintendent and teacher of the Unsectarian Sunday School from its inception in 1868 until its closure in 1882, and then went on to head the Baptist Sunday School until ill health forced his retirement several years later. It is fitting that a plaque at the Vale shopping complex which opened in 2007, and the site of the Baptist chapel, records his work for the church and for the district. It also acknowledges the work of all those who passed on their values to the young in a spirit of tolerance which meant so much to the health and strength of the district and which was manifest when services were first held in the homes of people who wanted to express their beliefs and their hopes for the future of their new land. Times have changed and today church affiliations are not as strong as they were when the district was settled in the 1860s. Is it possible that migrants were more reliant upon their church and their fellow adherents for support, as much for social reasons as from religious conviction? As networks developed and interests widened the need for support changed and so for many church affiliation may have become less important. Whether this is true or not, the fact remains that the principles our forebears worked to uphold remain as important now as they were when settlement began. Sources and notes 1. Ellesmere, The Jewel in the Canterbury Crown, Ed 2 2008 2. The Press 21 May 1875. See Papers Past. 118

3. See map of original subdivision. 4. Church Magazine September 1915. 5. The Press 2 December 1876. See Papers Past. 6. Lyttelton Times. 22 August 1877. See Papers Past. 7. Church Magazine October 1915. 8. Ibid November 1915. 9. The Press 28 February 1877. See Papers Past. 10. Tipples, Rupert (2016) Lincoln Baptist Church, Canterbury, New Zealand – A History of 140 years (1876-2016), p.39. Lincoln Baptist Church: Lincoln. 11. See The first hundred years, Dunlop family and A history of Lincoln Union Church 1881 – 2002, Ruth Maunsell. 12. The Press 25 May 1869. See Papers Past. 13. Lyttelton Times. 26 December 1881. See Papers Past. 14. The Press 29 June 1882. See Papers Past. 15. Our yesteryears 1859 – 1950, W.A. Chambers. 16. The history of Methodism in New Zealand, W. Morley 1916. 17. Star 14 July 1881. See Papers Past 18. Weekly Press 7 January 1871. 19. The New Zealand Tablet. 17 September 1880. See Papers Past. 20. The Catholic parish of Lincoln, J. Goulter 1982. 21. The Church in New Zealand, memoirs of the early days. 22. The New Zealand Tablet. September 17 1880. See Papers Past. 23. Supplement to the Lyttelton Times. 10 May 1869. See Papers Past. 24. Sunday School minutes (Unsectarian) 19 November 1874. 25. Weekly Press 2 December 1876. 26. Church Magazine 5 December 1882. 27. Sunday School minutes (Unsectarian) 6 December 1882 119

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