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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]



The Highlands Estate (Thacker Bros., proprietors), Okain's Bay. The history of this property dates back as far as 1855. In that year the late Mr. John Edward Thacker bought a section in the bay. From time to time he added to his property, and at his death, the estate consisted of 4500 acres. Subsequent purchases have increased the property to 7500 acres. The whole area consists of first-class pastoral country; in fact “The Highlands” is considered one of the most valuable estates on the Peninsula. It has effective boundary and subdivision fences, and is laid down in good grasses. The cultivation of cocksfoot for grass seed, and the grazing of cattle and sheep are the chief industries carried on upon “The Highlands.” Stock produced on the estate has invariably been noticed for its quality, when exhibited at agricultural shows throughout the Middle Island of New Zealand.

Mr. John Robert Thacker, of the firm of Messrs Thacker Brothers, Okam's Bay, is the second surviving son of the late Mr John Edward Thacker, founder of The Highlands estate. He was born in October, 1867, in Okain's Bay, and educated primarily at the local public school, afterwards at Mr. Charles Cook's private school, Christchurch, and finally, he spent four years at the Christchurch Boys' High School. He then returned page 616 to Okain's Bay, and assisted his brothers on the farm till 1888, when he was appointed manager of the estate. Mr. Thacker has several times travelled through the colony, sometimes for pleasure, and at other times on business. He was married, in October, 1900, to Miss Mason, fifth daughter of the late Mr. George Mason, of Okain's Bay, and has one daughter.

Mason, George, Farmer, “Manuka Grove,” Okain's Bay. Mr. Mason was born at Okain's Bay, where he was educated and brought up to farming. His father was one of of the earliest settlers of New Zealand, and had his Christmas dinner on Kapiti Island, in 1837. He had come out to Hobart in the ship “Vansittart,” which traded between Sydney and Melbourne. Subsequently he went whaling at Foul Bay, and was at one time taken and kept as a prisoner by the Maoris. After many adventures he settled, first, at Pigeon Bay, and then at Okain's, where he was one of the earliest settlers. Mr. G. Mason farms about 700 acres, partly freehold and partly leasehold. He is one of the largest sheep and cattle dealers in his part of the Colony, and buys and sells stock in all parts of the country from Culverden to Dunedin. Mr. Mason was elected a member of the road board, when he was only twenty-one years of age; he was chairman for fourteen years, and served till quite recently. He was a member and chairman of the school committee for a number of years, and of the Akaroa County Council, and the Peninsula and Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Associations. He takes an active part in racing, cricket, football, etc. Mr. Mason was married, in 1879, to Miss Harris, and has six sons and three daughters.

Moore, Charles Samuel Frederick, Farmer, Okain's Bay. Mr. Moore was born in Okain's Bay. in 1856, and is the youngest son of the late Mr. William Moore, who arrived in New Zealand by the “Sir George Pollock” in 1851. He was educated at the local public school, and afterwards trained to farming on his father's property. At the age of twenty-five he bought property in Okain's Bay, on his own account. Subsequently he acquired a larger holding of 350 acres in a neighbouring bay, and his since been engaged in farming. Mr. Moore carries on dairying, grass-seed growing, and sheep-farming. He was one of the chief promoters of the Okain's Bay Dairy Factory in 1894, and is at present (1903) chairman of its directors. For over twenty years he has acted as clerk to the Okain's Bay Road Board; since 1876 he has been secretary of the Oddfellows' Lodge, and is secretary of the local school committee. Mr. Moore was married, in 1881, to Miss M. A. Mason, daughter of an early settler in Okain's Bay, and has five sons and two daughters. He is a Justice of the Peace.

Standish and Preece, photo.Mr. C. S. F. Moore.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. C. S. F. Moore.

Moore, John James, Farmer, Okain's Bay. Mr. Moore was born in Guernsey, Channel Islands, in 1846, and is a son of the late Mr. William Moore, formerly of St. Peter's Port, Guernsey, but latterly of Okain's Bay, Banks' Peninsula. He accompanied his parents to New Zealand in the ship “Sir George Pollock,” and went with them to Okain's Bay in 1851. After being educated at the local public school, he was engaged in pit-sawing, but afterwards found employment on his father's farm. In 1876 he bought property on his own account, and commenced farming. His farm, now known as “Lyndhurst,” comprises 254 acres, and is situated in the upper part of Okain's Bay. Mr. Moore is the largest supplier of milk to the local factory, and he also carries on some grass-seed growing and stock grazing. He is churchwarden of the English church in Okain's Bay, and has, at different periods, been a member of various local bodies. Mr. Moore was married, in 1876, to Miss E. A. Ware, daughter of one of the oldest settlers in the district, and has three sons and three daughters.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.Mr. J. J. Moore.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Mr. J. J. Moore.

Pidgeon, William, Farmer, Okain's Bay. Mr. Pidgeon was born in Long Bay in 1857, and is a son of the late Mr. P. Pidgeon, farmer, sometime of Akaroa. He was educated at Akaroa at private and public schools. When about seventeen years of age, he sailed for Australia, where he remained till 1879, when he returned to Banks' Peninsula and leased land on the shores of the Akaroa harbour. He farmed for a number of years in German Bay and Robinson's Bay, and in 1899, leased property in Okain's Bay, where he commenced farming. His leasehold consists of 135 acres. Dairying, cattle grazing, and the cultivation of cocksfoot grass-seed are the chief industries of the farm. Mr. Pidgeon is a member of the Okain's Bay public school and public library committees. He is married, and has six sons and seven daughters.

Standish and Preece, photo.Mr. W. Pidgeon.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. W. Pidgeon.

Thacker, W. N. J., Cattle Farmer, “Essydale,” Okain's Bay.—Mr. Thacker was born in Christchurch in 1856, and is a son of the late Mr. J. E. Thacker, who came to New Zealand in 1850, in the ship “Sir George Seymour.” When he was only nine months old he was taken to Okain's by his parents, and he passed his youth on his father's Highlands estate, which he subsequently managed for many years. He afterwards bought a property of 173 acres near the head of the valley, and named it “Essydale.” In 1889 he purchased another property of 400 acres, and his land is devoted chiefly to growing cocksfoot and fattening cattle. Mr. Thacker is also one of the firm of Thacker Brothers who own the Highlands estate, which is so well known as a producer of grass seed, wool, mutton, and page 617 beef. Mr. Thacker has been on the road board for eighteen years, and was for some time its chairman, and he is also a member of the school committee. In conjunction with Mr. Mason he was mainly instrumental in getting the telephone extended to the Bay. Mr. Thacker was married, in 1889, to Miss Williams, a daughter of the late Mr. F. W. Williams, of Glenavon, Opawa, and has two sons and two daughters. In 1900, Mr. Thacker built a modern residence, with every comfort and convenience; in fact, it is considered to be the finest house on Banks' Peninsula.