Northern Outlook : July 5th 2014
6 NORTHERN OUTLOOK, JULY 5, 2014 NEWS/OPINION By CATE BROUGHTON TREASURED SONS, brothers, fathers and husbands from Waimakariri who paid the ultimate price for their country in World War I will be honoured anew by a dedicated North Canterbury research team. Members of the Waimakariri branch of the Society of Genealogists, the Rangiora Museum and the Kowai Archives Society have started to research the 246 men from the district who died on European battlefields during the war. The research is being supported by the Rangiora and Kaiapoi Returned Services Associations and the Waimakariri Passchendaele Trust to mark the centenary of the Great War. Waimakariri convenor of the NZSG Philip Worthington said by gathering the available information about the men, they would be seen as individuals. ‘‘Each of these people are more than just a name on a memorial. They were sons, fathers, brothers, they went to school in the district, worked here, so we’re putting the flesh on the bones of these soldiers, so to speak.’’ Basic information about each soldier was available on the Cenotaph Website, which had a link to the Auckland War Memorial’s database. Once a soldier’s service num- ber was located, further information could be gathered from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. diaries or photos are available. Worthington said researching the soldiers was incredibly moving, and gratifying. ‘‘What we are trying to do is bring members of their family to life, and even if current generations are not interested, future ones might be,’’ he said. For Rangiora Museum archi- LOST TO WAR: Rangiora Museum archivist Pam Mackintosh with a photo of her husband’s relative who died during World War I. ‘‘Once we have that, we can find out their next of kin, occupation, the company or unit they were in, when they left New Zealand, where they were when they died, and where they are buried,’’ Worthington said. Most of the World War servicemen from North Canterbury died on the Somme, France. The National Archives hold the soldiers’ full military records with the results of their medical examinations before being enlisted, including their age, height, weight and religion. After the publicly available information is gathered, researchers will attempt to contact families of the soldiers to see if further material, such as vist Pam Mackintosh, the project is another opportunity to research her late husband’s family history. Alistair Mackintosh’s uncles, Charles and William Mackintosh, were among a group of soldiers commemorated at a North Loburn School memorial. A box of material including letters home and a war diary, which belonged to ‘‘Charlie’’ Mackintosh had given her a greater insight into the brother’s war experience. Charlie left New Zealand in February 1918 and was killed in battle on August 24 of the same year, aged just 21. His older brother ‘‘Willy’’ Mackintosh had gone to war two years earlier and had written to Charlie, warning him not to come. ❚ John Bruerton from the Waimakariri branch of the NZSG is researching Leslie Gordon Smith of Oxford East, who died on July 11, 1917 at Ypres, Belgium aged 21. He is trying to get in touch with any relatives who could provide further information or photographs taken of him before he left New Zealand. John Bruerton can be contacted on 03 313 6730. THE RANGIORA man who died when his van careered off the road and plunged down a steep bank between Culverden and Hanmer Springs is remembered by his family as a ‘‘devoted and loving’’ father who was ‘‘a character to say the least’’. Police were contacted after Shane Lovell Burbery, 38, went missing during a delivery run early Monday morning. A truck driver came across skid marks leading off State Highway 7 and found the van about 30 metres down a bluff about 6.50am. Senior Constable Darrin Low said it appeared the part-time delivery driver had lost control on a right-hand bend, about 2 kilometres south of Marble Point. The crash may have happened three or four hours before it was discovered, Low said. Burbery was engaged to his partner, Carissa. The couple lived together in Rangiora. Burbery grew up in Kaiapoi and loved fishing and tinkering with motorbikes and cars. He occasionally helped a friend out by delivering milk, newspapers and other items on a route between Christchurch and Hanmer. On the day of the crash, READERS’ LETTERS Burbery left home about midnight, family said. He was due home about 3.30am. Daniel Burbery, 39, learned late on Monday morning that his younger brother was dead. ‘‘It’s obviously not the phone call you ever want to get,’’ he said. ‘‘He [Shane] always had a smile on his face and always had something to say. He’s going to be hugely missed by his family . . . and friends.’’ Serious crash investigators are working to establish what caused the crash, and Burbery’s death has been referred to the coroner. FAIRFAX I amjust reading that ratepayers have had to spend $1400 for Maori Language lessons so that Environment Canterbury’s deputy chairman can represent this organisation on marae. Setting aside the notion that we should all be capable of speaking this first language of our country, I amalso puzzled as to why ratepayers had to fork out thismoney. I have been learning te reo for three years now through Te Wananga o Aotearoa, which provides language courses free of charge, and also provides all resources needed. These courses are available in Rangiora and in Christchurch. I think Environment Canterbury should be offering ratepayers a refund. This is an expense they have incurred needlessly. Liz Odell Oxford YOUR SAY HAVE We welcome your letters. They should be no longer than 200 words. The editor reserves the right to abridge letters and also decide whether letters are suitable for publication. Letters must include a full name, address and phone number. pseudonyms will not be accepted with letters. Email to: Geoff.email@example.com, or post to: Editor, Northern Outlook, Private Bag 4722, Christchurch 8140.
July 2nd 2014
July 9th 2014