2 weeks ago

Fitzgerald's Town

farmers who as members

farmers who as members of the Lincoln Farmers’ Club supported the notion that a college teaching all aspects of farming was essential for the development of a strong agricultural industry. Land for a farm and essential buildings was purchased and the position of Director who was to develop the institution was widely advertised. In the end two applicants in Victoria, Australia, were short listed and S.D. Glyde, former clerk and surveyor of the Lincoln and Springs Road Boards, was asked to interview them. One of the applicants was W.E. Ivey and on Mr. Glyde’s recommendation he was appointed to the position. Mr Ivey was born in Tasmania, educated in England where he received training in agriculture, and afterwards moved to New Zealand where he took up farming in the North Island. This venture, cut short by the land wars, forced his return to Australia where he took a senior position with the Victorian Department of Agriculture. His task at Lincoln must have been a daunting one. There was a curriculum to develop, an experimental farm to organize and buildings for the accommodation and teaching of students to be planned. The school finally became a reality in 1880 when the first students, twenty in all, enrolled to study for the Diploma in Agriculture. It was a small beginning, but one which would have had an immediate impact upon Lincoln. 20. Portrait of W. E. Ivey. First Director of the School of Agriculture at Lincoln. Courtesy of Lincoln University. The land for the farm and school buildings was bought from owners such as Henry Pannett, Richard Wright and the Revd. A.P. O’Callaghan who in one way or another were well known in the village and beyond; the University dairy farm on Ellesmere Junction Road was originally owned by Thomas A. Pannett who contributed much to church life in the village. Students too, would have been seen on the farm and in the village, at church or at the railway station, and some villagers 58

may have worked on the farm or around the school itself. It is suggested that George Jennings, a brick layer living in Maurice Street, may have been employed when the school buildings were erected, and C. McPherson, the school’s blacksmith for twenty years from 1885, was probably the Lincoln blacksmith whose smithy was located in William Street during that time. The academic staff also contributed to village life. Mr. Ivey 36 , the Director, regularly attended St. Stephen’s church 37 , was active in the St. John’s Ambulance organisation when it was established in Christchurch in 1885, and was secretary of the Lincoln branch when it was formed the following year. He participated in the activities 20. Thomas A. Pannett of the rural community and on occasion allowed the Lincoln Ploughing Association to use a farm paddock for their matches. He collapsed and died in April 1892 whilst running to catch the coach. His unexpected death shocked people throughout New Zealand, and a measure of the regard felt for him locally is found in a newspaper report 38 of a meeting held in the Lincoln library to discuss an appropriate way to remember him. The meeting was chaired by George Gray who lectured in chemistry at the College. Subscribers to a memorial included locals such as Dr. Cooke and the vicar, the Revd. J.F. Teakle, as well as others from further afield, including W. Rolleston, the last Superintendent of the Province of Canterbury. His life and work are commemorated by a painting 39 , commissioned posthumously, and by Ivey Hall on the University campus. 59

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