The New Zealand Goldrush Journal



ARROWTOWN AND THE FIRST GOLD WARDEN, LOWTHER BROAD.

Edited by Kae Lewis

Lowther Broad was appointed as the Gold Warden and Resident Magistrate at Arrowtown by the end of 1863.

Otago Witness, 3 September 1864:

Under date of the 20th August, Mr Lowther Broad, Warden of the Arrow Gold Field, estimates the population of his district at 1100, of whom 900 are miners. He says:- Since my last report I have visited the southernmost portion of this district, following the Kawarau River to its junction with the Roaring Meg. At the Gentle Annie Burn, there are two or three parties of miners at work, and judging from the facts of their having applied for extended claims, and that head races are being made at no inconsiderable expense, I am led to the conclusion that they are quite satisfied with the ground, and probably have been quietly making a very good thing out of the ground which is almost untried. The high terraces of the Kawarau are attracting more miners weekly, and whenever a head of water can be brought on to the spot, the returns are good, indeed there can be little doubt that the whole area is auriferous.

WARDEN'S REPORT, ARROWTOWN. 31st December, 1864.

by Mr Warden Lowther Broad

TO: V. PYKE, Esq., R.M.

Secretary for Gold Fields,

Dunedin

Gold Fields Department

Warden's Office

Arrowtown, 31st December, 1864.

Sir- I have the honor, at the close of the year, to forward the following statistical and general report of the progress of this district during the past twelve months, and at the same time I venture to express a hope that this report may prove of some interest to the Government and yourself, as showing the advance of this one portion of the Otago Gold Fields in wealth and importance, and the unmistakeable signs which it presents of permanent prosperity.

Lowther Broad
Lowther Broad, Gold Warden of Arrowtown
Source: The Jubilee History of Nelson from 1842 to 1892, by His Honor Lowther Broad, Esq, District Judge, Nelson. 1892.
Click to enlarge the photo.

QUANTITY OF GOLD FORWARDED PER ESCORT

The quantity of gold forwarded to Dunedin by the escort during the past year amounts to 28,085 oz which, averaging the mining population at 800, would give 35 oz per man - equal to an income of 183 15s per annum, or 3 8s 9d per week per man; but it must be borne in mind that the number of ounces sent per escort by no means represents the total yield of the district, for whilst many hundred ounces have been taken to towm by private hands and a considerable amount is still retained by the miners, the whole of the yields from the Cardrona portion of this district (which may be fairly estimated at 100 ozs per week) have gone to swell the Dunstan escorts. The Custom's duty on the gold forwarded by escort from the Arrow River during 1864 amounts to 3510 12s 6d.

Editor's note:
  • 35 oz yielded an income of 183 15s, meaning that an ounce of gold was worth 5 5s in 1864. However a note in the Otago Witness, 23 December 1865 states that: 'For some weeks past, gold has been selling at Queenstown at 3 17s per ounce.'
  • But using the value of 5 5s the ounce as stated here for 1864, 28085 oz of gold was worth a total of 147446 5s.
  • Customs duty paid on this quantity of gold in 1864 was 3510 12s 6d which represents a duty of 2.4% paid by the miners to the Government.
  • As mentioned by the Warden, only those who handed in their gold paid the duty; many miners retained their gold or used it to barter for goods.

MINING STATISTICS

On the 1st July the mining population was estimated at 783. At that time there were 29 water races in the district (exclusive of tail races) carrying 92 heads of water, and measuring 4860 chains in length. The cost of construction was, perhaps, far in excess of the market value of the races, which I think might be very moderately estimated at 6000. There were also 27 water wheels, 55 pumps, 1 quartz machine, 160 sluice boxes and 10 hydraulic machines, valued together ar 4635 which would make the market value of machinery and appliances in the Arrow District on 1st July 1864 amount to 10,635.

The number of miners now in the Arrow District may be reckoned at 750. The head races have increased in number during the last six months, and there are now 62, carrying 147 sluice heads of water, and measuring 7347 chains in length. The value may be moderately estimated at 9300. There has also been an increase in the number of wheels, hydraulic machines, pumps, sluice boxes, &c., which I now value at 5635, which will bring the total market value of machinery and appliances up to 14,935, showing an increase during the last six months of 4300.

RIVER WORKINGS

Many of the claims on the river have been worked out during the year, but there is still a considerable number of miners engaged in stream workings. The yields from this class of claims have, in the majority of instances, been exceedingly good, although of course there are some isolated instances where disappointment has been experienced. I am of the opinion that the river workings will eventually fall into the hands of large co-operative companies, either under the Leasing Regulations or as extended claims; parcelled out thus into large areas the river will be both profitable and thoroughly worked, while a settled and steady population will be secured for the Province.

TERRACE CLAIMS

There can be no doubt that the permanent prosperity of the Arrow depends in a very great measure upon the terrace claims, and it is therefore gratifying to know that there is a very extensive area of terrace ground which has been proved payable. At the Twelve-Mile there is a kind of tier of terraces all of which are believed to be payably auferous; but as the lower terraces are being worked at present, it necessarily follows that the higher range must be left until the creek and lower terrace claims are worked out, as the water and tailings from the higher terraces would effectually stop all work below. I have been confidently informed by several miners in this locality that they have at least ten years' work before them. At the Eight-Mile, men are working on the summits of rugged hills which can hardly be called terraces; good wages are being made, and there is almost an unlimited extent of ground, the only serious drawback in this place being the difficulty of getting water on to the ground. A large race, however, is in course of construction from the head of Eight Mile Creek, which will meet the difficulty to some extent. Prospects more than ordinarily good have been obtained from the terraces on the south side of the Arrow River, about two miles from the township; and here, as elsewhere, the area of available ground appears to be very extensive. The terraces at Bracken's and New Chum Gullies have contributed their quota to our escorts during the past year, and there is every indication of their increasing their contributions very materially during the ensuing twelve months.

AGRICULTURAL AREAS

Twenty-four applications have been received during the year for agricultural areas, and 280 acres are actually under cultivation. The crops consist principally of oats, barley, and potatoes, but the growth of garden produce has not been neglected, and vegetables of all kinds are procurable at reasonable rates. Messrs Robertson and Co are about to erect a flour mill on Hayes Creek, about a mile from Arrowtown; and I have no doubt that next season several hundred acres will be put down in wheat.

ARROW TOWN

Arrowtown contains at the present time nineteen wholesale and retail stores and shops, ten hotels and several private dwellings. The population is about 200. The improvement which has taken place in the appearance of the town is very noticeable. The main street has been levelled and macadamised, and pathways formed on either side. Calico is rapidly succumbing to wood and iron, and some really good buildings of the latter class have been erected, which would be no disgrace to the metropolis.

COURTS - WARDEN'S AND RESIDENT MAGISTRATES'

Two hundred and thirty-two cases have been heard during the year in Arrow Court House (exclusive of criminal offenses) and one hundred and twenty one Wardens' cases have been heard on the field.

ARROWTOWN SCHOOL

The average weekly attendence at the Arrowtown school is seventeen. The school was established by voluntary contributions, assisted by a Government grant in aid, and is in every way a perfect success. The progress made by the pupils must be highly satisfactory to the parents, while it reflects the highest credit on their teacher.

In conclusion I may remark that the progress which this district has made and will still make, is attributable in no small degree to the enterprising spirit of the inhabitants of the town, and the unflagging energy with which the miners have carried on their arduous operations.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

LOWTHER BROAD,

Warden

(Published in the Otago Witness 3 February 1865)

NEW CHUM GULLY intercepts the ARROW RIVER New Chum Gully
The earliest miners on the Arrow took up claims in this area in 1863. They had come to the Arrow looking for Fox who was reputed to be getting good gold on the Arrow.
Click to enlarge the photo.
BRACKENS GULLY intercepts the ARROW RIVER Brackens Gully
One of the areas being mined extensively from 1862 - 1864. The earliest miners arrived in this area from Cardrona via the Crown Range.
Click to enlarge the photo.
OLD WATER RACES ON THE ARROW Arrow River
Traces of old water races on the terraces above the Arrow. The water from these races were used for operating sluicing guns.
Click to enlarge the photo.
TERRACES WORKED FOR GOLD ON THE ARROW Terraces on the Arrow
The terraces above the Arrow River, as described by Lowther Broad above.
Click to enlarge the photo.
SLUICING ON THE ARROW Sluicing on the Arrow
Evidence of the work of the sluice gun in the centre of the photo. On the Arrow River just below Macetown.
Click to enlarge the photo.
THE ARROW RIVER The Arrow River
The Arrow River below Macetown.
Click to enlarge the photo.
MAP OF THE ARROW
The Arrow
Map showing Arrowtown, the Arrow River to
Macetown and the Cardrona River to the east.
North of Macetown is the Motatapu River.
Source: TopoMaps Map of Queesntown.
Click to enlarge the photo.

REMOVAL OF THE WARDEN

Published in the Otago Witness 6 January 1865.

A report having reached Arrowtown on Monday afternoon, 26th December, that the Government contemplated removing Mr Lowther Broad, the Resident Magistrate, the following address to his Honor the Superintendent was drawn up, and in two hours received 272 signatures, and was dispatched by the night's post:-

'We, the undersigned residents in the Arrow district, knowing your Honor's desire for the welfare of the commercial and mining interests of the Province, address ourselves to you, in consequence of a report having reached the district that it is the intention of the Government to remove Mr Broad, our Warden and Resident Magistrate.

Mr Broad, after a residence of nearly eighteen months amongst us, has, by his public and private character, deservedly won the esteem of all classes of the community; and we beg most respectfully to assure your Honor that his removal would not only cause great general discontent, but entail serious losses upon the miners, as, from his knowledge of the district and the various operations now being carried on, he is of necessity better qualified to administer our affairs than any other Warden possibly could be. We can further state with certainty that the miners have the greatest confidence in Mr Broad's decisions, and consider with truth that he has done much for the development of the district, by assisting in every way the carrying out of mining operations without delay or litigation.

As business men residing on the Gold Fields, and as practical miners, qualified by everyday experience to judge the efficiency of any public officer amongst us, we have no hesitation in stating that the change of Magistrates and Wardens must always be productive of serious evil; and we trust that your Honor will not inflict so serious an injury upon this district, as would result from the removal of Mr Broad.'

Otago Daily Times, 19 January 1865:

Mr Warden Lowther Broad, in his report from the Arrow of 7th January, remarks:-
Water is getting very scarce at the Twelve Mile, many of the races not having more than half the usual quantity in them. Some extensive works are, however, projected in this locality for the purpose of supplying the deficiency. One party is thinking of bringing in a dozen sluice heads of water from the forks of the Shotover, while another is endeavouring to make arrangements to take the same quantity of water from the sources of the Arrow. The Twelve Mile is very much improving, and will be one of the most permanent portions of the district; quite a little township has sprung up which has been christened Macetown, after the enterprising brothers of that name.

Otago Daily Times, 11 February 1865:

Mr Warden Lowther Broad, writing from the Arrow on the 4th (February 1865), remarks:
Since the date of my last report, I have visited the Motatapu Valley, proceeding by way of the Cardrona and Wanaka Lake, and returning via the Twelve Mile, Arrow. I crossed the Motatapu River about 4 miles above its junction with the Matukituki, and followed the course of the stream for about 3 miles, when I came upon the few miners who are at present working there. Two of the men have been mining at the Matatapu for upwards of a year, and have, I believe, every reason to be satisfied. The other men have recently set in to work a terrace, from which they have obtained payable prospects. The valley of the Matatapu consists chiefly of low alluvial terraces, which bear every appearance of being auriferous. The numerous gullies are thickly timbered, so that sluice boxes could be made on the spot. The river does not appear to have been prospected at all, but some of the terraces have been worked in a desultory manner, and I was informed that some very good patches had been struck, and that in one instance a nice little pocket of ninety ounces had been taken out by one party. There is a splendid alluvial Flat at the head of the Matatapu, which bears no indications of having been prospected, although a more likely looking place could hardly be imagined. From the general appearances of the country, I feel certain that the Mototapu Valley only requires population to develop it into a gold field. The river is very similar in size and appearance to the Arrow, and I can see no reason why it should not prove equally as payable. The road over the dividing range to the Twelve Mile (Macetown) is exceedingly bad, even dangerous, and as all the provisions are taken out by this track, the expense of living is of course in advance of the Arrow. The distance from Arrowtown to where the miners are at present working on the Motatapu is about 30 miles. Whilst on my journey, I was informed that gold in payable quantities had been obtained from Makarora River, but that the difficulty of getting provisions would preclude this locality from being worked for some time at least. As this river is in the Province of Canterbury, I did not think it my duty (without instructions) to proceed to that locality for the purpose of obtaining more minute information.

Otago Witness, 15 April 1865:

Mr Warden Lowther Broad, under date April 1st, reports from the Arrow District:-
A German who has been working by himself in a terrace, at the junction of Arrow and Kawarau Rivers, showed me this week, a splendid sample of rough gold which he obtained from the above locality. There are some miles of terrace ground which he considers payable, if water can be brought on to it, and he is going to make the attempt, by cutting a race of eight miles in length from Hayes Creek.

Otago Witness, 23 December 1865:

Mr Warden Lowther Broad, writing from the Arrow under date 9th December says:-
'At the Cardrona a deep lead, about 150 feet in width, has been struck and traced for upwards of a mile, the sinking being from 40 to 50 feet. Following the course of the creek, the lead has been traced to a high terrace at the rear of Mr Colclough's store, and the general opinion is that running through the terrace it emerges on to Butcher's Flat, to ascertian which, it is proposed to organise a powerful prospecting party. The lead, so far as has been traced, is occupied by the miners, who for the most part are at present engaged in constructing pumps, wheels, &c. One party has deposited in the Treasury 127 oz of gold from the Cardrona, being the result of four months' work for two men; and in addition to this, over 100 oz were brought into Arrowtown from the same locality by the agent of the Bank here. I was confidently informed that very few are making less than 10 a week. To any miner who has a little capital - say from 100 to 200, the Cardrona presents considerable attractions, indeed I know of no better diggings in this Goldfield.'

CARDRONA TOWNSHIP 2012. Cardrona
Cardrona General Store and Post Office: Robert McDougall & Son, Established 1871.
Click to enlarge the photo.
THE CARDRONA CREEK Cardrona Creek
The Cardrona Creek, just south of the Cardrona Township.
Click to enlarge the photo.

Otago Witness, 3 February 1866:

The following is an extract from the report of Mr Warden Lowther Broad of the state of mining affairs in the Arrow District, on the 20th January:-

'The miners are principally engaged repairing damages done by the recent floods. Many head races and flumes have been washed away, and these must be reinstated in a substantial manner before sluicing can be recommenced. The Criterion Quartz Company is proceeding rapidly with the reconstruction of the dam and the excavation of a site for the machinery, nearly the whole of which is now lying at Kingston.'

Otago Witness, 31 March 1866:

THE LAKE DISTRICT 20 March:

A new quartz reef has been discovered in the immediate neighborhood of the Arrow, by a party of Germans, who had been prospecting for some weeks in the locality. Considerable excitement reigns in consequence, as, in the opinion of the experienced, the appearances are more than promising. The following is a copy of the noticed pblished by the Warden:-

'Camp, Arrowtown, 19th March, 1866.
In accordance with section 4 of Regulation 3, I, Lowther Broad, Warden, do hereby give notice that I have this day granted a prospecting claim on an auferous quartz reef to William Bringezu, John Boir, and Charles Bueuge. The locality is a gully which I have named German Gully, about two and a half miles from Arrowtown, ruuning from the Crown Range to the Arrow River. The best road is by following Bracken Gully track, to the top of the first terrace and then turning to the right along Hazle and party's race. The casing of the reef contains payable gold, and the reef itself is well defined, and about three feet wide. The area granted to the proprietors is 300 feet along the course of the lode, by 100 feet on each side. The ground on either side of the prospector's claim for a distance of 400 yards has been pegged out and applied for under the Mining Lease Regulation. Lowther Broad, Warden.'

The reef has been opened out for some 10 or 12 feet, lying only a few feet below the surface; its course is nearly north and south; the walls perpendicular and the inclination very sharp; the prospectors are working up expecting to hit the crown, the auferous qualities of which may be taken as a fair test of the value of the reef. The casing runs about 1 dwt to the dish. The locality is at the head of a gully, by no means steep, running directly into the Arrow River, and forming the bed of a small creek, of perhaps three sluice heads. Besides this immediate supply, two larger creeks - the Five-Mile and Seven-Mile - can easily be diverted, and brought upon the line of reef for the purpose of working machinery. It will also be a work of no great magnitude to construct a tramway down the gully to the Arrow, so that, should the reef prove as good as is expected, there are no difficulties in the way of crushing the stone upon the spot. Three new companies - the 'Ajax', ''Achilles', and 'Caledonian' have already applied for mining leases upon the presumed line of the reef. Of these, the southernmost peg of the Ajax is not ten feet from the original shaft of the prospectors. The Criterion Company are progressing with their works; but have been delayed considerably waiting for timber, owing to some mistake of the contractors. They are commencing to get out stone, which is of a very promising character, and appears not likely to be deficient in quantity. Shares are not to be had, except at a very high figure, and were quoted yesterday at 70. The Plutus and Jupiter Companies, who hold ground adjacent on either side to the Criterion, have this day completed registration under thhe Mining Companies Limited Liability Act, 1865, and will at once proceed to call meetings for the purpose of electing Directors, &c. We may expect, therefore, to see them at work with a month at the outside. The Barracouta as yet shows no sign of life, although spoken of as successfully floated. The New Orleans, Columbian, and Who'd ha' Thought It, will all complete registration in a few days, so that the whole line of the Arrow Reef will be fairly tested before the winter.

Otago Witness, 1 December 1866:

A VISIT TO THE LAKES, THE ARROW DISTRICT

(From our Own Correspondent)
Editor: Most likely this was written by Vincent Pyke.

... About a mile from the fording place is Arrowtwon. Like most other diggings townships, it is built in a hole on the margin of a water-course; and like most other diggings townships, in the most unpicturesque position that could possibly have been selected. But utility is the main object on the diggings, and doubtless Arrowtown occupies the most convenient site for business purposes. It contains a goodly number of well stocked stores, and there are four hotels, the New Orleans and Royal Oak being houses of considerable pretensions. The Government Camp is about two hundred yards from the township, and is really pleasantly situated, much more so than any other Government Camp I have seen in the Province, and I think I have seen them all. Mr Lowther Broad, the Resident Warden and Magistrate, must be possessed of considerable taste. One glance at the neat gardens which surround both the Camp and his private residence, bear strong evidences that the most has been made of available materials.

In mining matters, there is a good deal doing at the Arrow, notwithstanding the population has been greatly thinned by the rushes to the West Coast. The chief alluvial diggings are at the Twelve-Mile, on the Arrow River, at which place there are some very extensive sluicing operations. The miners resident there appear mostly all settled comfortably down with wives and families, which is an unmistakeable sign of its permanent prosperity. Next in importance is the Cardrona, distance 17 miles from Arrowtown across the Crown Ranges. The sinking is nearly all very deep, the opening up of a claim being attended with considerable expense; nevertheless, the gains are in proportion, and the workings will take a long time to exhaust. There are also a number of gullies and creeks about the district, each of which supports a few parties of miners.

The Arrow, or Fox Flat, next deserves attention. It was at one time a very busy scene of labor. It contains probably some of the richest alluvial ground in the Province. It is now, however, quite deserted; the once huge paddocks have all been levelled by floods, and all that remains of former glories are the outer ruins of partially engulphed water-wheels projecting above the slime and shingle; but which promise to be very soon entirely buried out of sight. Upon enquiring the reason why such highly auferous ground remained unwrought, the answer was, as in many cases, 'want of means.' It is sincerely to be hoped that something will be done soon to unearth the golden treasures.

Passing from the alluvial, I will now go to the quartz reefs. The district contains several promising ones. That about which we know the most of at present, is the Criterion: it is on the Arrow Flat, a short distance below the Camp; the property is held by a Company, on the joint-stock principle. After overcoming almost insuperable difficulties through floods, the company have both mine and machinery in first-rate working order, and more stone can be brought to grass than can be crushed by the present battery of stamps. The returns have been pretty satisfactory; the first 300 tons crushed yielded 250 ounces; the second crushing of 150 tons yielded 75 oz of gold. The time occupied in crushing was six and three weeks respectively. The reef partakes considerably of the character of the rock, or as a Cornishman would better express it, 'the country'. The stone is very easily reduced, and ought to pay, even at four pennyweights to the ton, especially when it is taken into account that the machinery is driven by water-power - the least expensive motive power known. The prime mover is a breast wheel, 12 feet in breadth by 10 feet in diameter, supplied with water from a race cut from the river, which has been raised to the required height by an enormous dam or weir thrown across its entire width. This dam is of immense strength, capable of resisting the heaviest flood. There is nothing to compare with it in the Province. The waste water shoots bodily over the weir, and falls on a face of smooth timber, so that the strain on the structure is but comparatively slight. I should be inclined to give an opinion that it is utterly impossible for any flood to damage this vast structure of timber and stone, everything is so firmly matted and bolted together. The machinery is constructed to drive 20 heads of stamps, and there appears ample power to do so. A battery of five stamps is all that is at present erected. A second battery should, however, be got into play at once, as it would largely increase the Company's profits. The reef has been traced to a depth of about 90 feet. Stone is at present being obtained from a level at 64 feet; but as soon as a chamber can be constructed and an air shaft sunk, it will be got from the lower level. The course of the reef is from north to south, the underlie being to the east at an angle of about 15 degrees. The width of the stone varies from two to six feet, and increases with the depth. The Who'd Have Thought It Company have struck the same reef at a distance of 400 yards from the Criterion Campany's shaft. A trial crushing made a few days since yielded two ounces, minus one pennyweight, to the ton. A number of other leases have been taken up on this line of reef, but there is absolutely nothing doing. I am informed, upon good authority, that as soon as leases are issued, Mr Warden Broad will insist upon the lessees commencing operations at once.

A very promising reef named the Cornish, on the Crown Range, about a mile south-east from the Criterion, has lately been opened. A shaft has been sunk to a depth of 40 feet, and the main body of stone is thought to have been struck. Almost every stone shows gold in more or less quantities. The real test, however, will be in the crushing. At the Twelve-Mile, strong evidences of reefs have been discovered, but time must be allowed to develop them. When the returns from some of the companies now working shall have satisfactorily proved that quartz mining in Otago is a paying speculation, there will be no lack of the needful capital to prosecute it vigourously.

THE KAWARAU RIVER The Kawarau River
The Kawarau River near the junction with the Roaring Meg.
Click to enlarge the photo.
MACETOWN IN WINTER Macetown
Macetown under snow in the 1920s
Click to enlarge the photo.

Otago Witness, 23 March 1867:

'Mr Warden Lowther Broad reports from the Arrow for the month ending February 28th:-
The new reef in the Criterion Company's ground continues to yield a satisfactory return. The stone at present is in good quantity, and the yield is as good as from the old workings. The company want more crushing power, and there is little doubt that an extra five heads of stamps would largely increase their returns, without adding materially to the working expenses. The directors do not, however, seem inclined to go to any fresh expense for extra machinery until the old debt is paid off. There are some eighty shares in the company's hands which were never taken up; were these applied for at par, the company would be free from debt almost, and be able to erect the requisite additions to their machinery. No one, I think, doubts now that the claim will pay if worked efficiently.'

Otago Witness, 30 August 1867:

THE LAKES DISTRICT

The winter has been an unusually severe one. The snow fall has been unprecedented; never was it known before to lie so thick upon the ranges. The tracks to Skippers, Moke Creek, and the Twelve-Mile, or Macetown, are covered in places from seven to ten feet deep, and traveling is both difficult and dangerous. The miners in these Alpine regions have had a very sorry time of it. What with a dry summer and but little water for sluicing purposes, followed by a severe winter and very little water to work with, mining has proved a dealing with difficulties greater than common. I must say that many places I have visted lately look so utterly untenable for human beings, that I have been filled (with) wonder how people could live under such difficulties and discomforts. The search after the precious metal is certainly an exciting business, and the glittering prospect of gold overcomes many hardships that otherwise men would shrink from.

Evening Post. 3 October 1867:

MARRIED
On the 3rd inst, at St Mary's Cathedral, Wellington, by the Right Rev, Dr Viard, Catholic Bishop of Wellington, Lowther Broad, Esq., R.M., Arrowtown, Otago to Isabella Mary, second daughter of Henry Bunny, Esq., M.G.A. of Fernside, Wairarapa.

Otago Daily Times, 10 August 1868:

'Yesterday evening, a numerously attended meeting of miners, farmers and others was held at Schole's Royal Oak Hotel, Arrowtown, for the purpose of presentling an Address and Testimonial, the latter in the shape of a piece of plate, to Lowther Broad, Esq, R.M. and Warden, upon the occasion of his leaving the district to take charge of the Mount Ida goldfield. Mr H.J. Cope was unanimously voted to the chair. The address, as prepared, was then submitted for the approval of the meeting, and its adoption was carried unanimously. The Chairman and eight persons present were selected to sign the address, on behalf of the meeting. A messenger was then despatched to request the presence of Mr Broad, who, upon taking his seat at the right hand of the Chairman, was loudly cheered.

The Chairman said that they had all assembled there that evening to acknowledge the eminent services rendered to the district by a gentleman who has fulfilled during the last five years the onerous duties of Resident Magistrate and Warden. Throughout this long period of service - for five years was a long time on a goldfield - Mr Broad has discharged his duties with considerable ability and impartiality, and earned the respect and approval of all those with whom he had come in contact. He (the Chairman) would allow that a gentleman in Mr Broad's position could not please everybody, because in judicual cases there are always two parties to a suit, and somebody must be on the losing side. Mr Broad's decisions had always been unquestioned: nor had they ever been appealed against. The subscribers to the testimonial numbered amongst them many persons who had been hotly engaged in legal warfare. Such a readiness to show respect, and to acknowledge the services of a well-known and tried public officer upon his leaving elsewhere, he (the Chairman) had rarely experienced in Otago, and when it was considered that the large sum of sixty pounds had been subscribed by a small community to testify their appreciation by the presentation of a handsomely executed address and piece of plate to the value of fifty guineas, what better evidence was there, then, that the memory of him who was now about to leave them, would be long cherished. - (Loud cheers.)

Mr Cope. addressing Mr Braod, said:
Sir - It now devolves upon me to perform a very pleasing public duty, which I have been appointed to by the subscribers to the address and testimonial, with which I proceed to present to you, and which I know you will carefully preserve in remembrance of the givers, and of the many kind friends you will leave beind you in the Arrow District. These acknowledgements of your services, I hope, you will receive as a tribute of the high opinions you have gained amongst us, and of the respect with which we shall ever hold you in remembrance. We are extremely sorry that the exigencies of the public service require your removal to another district but will console ourselves with the knowledge that what we shall lose others will gain. Your new field of labor will be a much more extended one than this, while opportunities for usefulness will be largely increased. We, however, feel fully assured that although resident in the most populous and extensive district of Mount Ida, the district of the Lakes, and more especially the Arrow, will never be erased from your memory. The address was read by the Chairman as follows:-

'To Lowther Broad, Esq., R.M.
Sir - We the undersigned, acting on behalf of the public of the Arrow District, in public meeting assembled, I beg most respectfully on this the occasion of your removal from amongst us to the District of Mount Ida, to express our sincere regret at being deprived of your presence and services.

It is now five years since you were appointed to the charge of this district, as its Resident Magistrate and Warden, during which period you have bestowed unnremitting attention upon your duties, and have earned the unanimous respect and admiration of the inhabitants thereof.

We feel assured that in your new field of labour, you will exercise the same ability and impartiality in the discharge of the functions of your office, and the same zeal and energy in promoting the public welfare as you have done here, and that you will likewise make as many true and lasting friends.

Wishing you every success in whatever walk of life or part of the world it may please Providence to place you, we have the honor to subscribe ourselves your obedient servants. Signed on behalf of the meeting by Henry John Cope (Chairman), Thos A. Scanlan, R. Pritchard, Josiah Mitchenson, Wm Scoles, John Ferguson, Samuel Cooper, Thomas M'Intyre and John Healy.'

Mr Cope, addressing Mr Broad, continued:-
It was the intention of the subscribers to have presented a piece of plate in conjunction with this address, but, being at such a great distance from Dunedin, it was found impossible to procure anything suitable without a personal visit by some member of the committee. We therefore beg that with the contents of this portfolio - fifty guineas - you will yourself procure what is suitable to your taste, and cause it to be inscribed thereon,
Presented to Lowther Broad, Esq., R.M., by the people of the Arrow District, as a tribute of their respect and esteem.
The presentation was followed by loud and continued cheering.

Mr Broad, in reply, said - Mr Cope and gentlemen, If on an occasion like this eloquence fails me, and words come not, you will, I am sure, understand that my feelings are of such a nature as to prevent my expressing myself as I ought and wish to do. My emotions are of a twofold nature. I am pleased and proud to receive this mark of your respect and esteem, and I regret exceedingly parting with a people from whom I have received constant respect and kindness during a considerable number of years. I cannot part from you without saying a few words about the district. Some people croak about the 'good old times', as if, forsooth, there were no 'good new times.' Indeed, when I look at the hundreds of acres of land already under cultivation here, the thousands more cleared and ready for plough; when I think of the mining operations, which yield a large annual revenue to the State, and afford fixed remunerative employment to hundreds of men - of your vast commonages stocked with thousands of sheep and cattle; the splendid Flour Mill at Frankton, and the one in course of erection at Haye's Creek; and your towns with their schools and public libraries - I am of opinion that the so-called 'good old times' are as nothing compared to the period of real prosperity on which you have now entered. I can find no words of my own in which to thank you for this expression of your confidence and esteem. I will venture, therefore, to use the language of the late Daniel O'Connell, the great patriot of Ireland, 'Think in your own generous and impartial minds of all you would wish me to say, and consider it said.

...I wish to take this opportunity of stating that, in appointing me to the charge of such a large and important district as Mount Ida, the Provincial Government have acted with the greatest consideration; and I cannot but consider have paid me a compliment. I have met, during my long residence here, with nothing but courtesy and respect. I leave you, therefore, with the most sincere regret, and the most kindly feelings for all of you; and I earnestly hope that Providence will bestow upon you an abundance of health, wealth and prosperity.'

Mr Broad's speech was followed by three hearty cheers.'

BIOGRAPHICAL

Lowther Broad was born in 1840 in Kensington, London. He died in Nelson on 16th August 1892 and is buried at the Wakapuaka Cemetery.

OBITUARY

Otago Witness, 18 August 1892
DEATH OF JUDGE BROAD
Nelson, August 16, 1892.
His Honor Judge Broad died suddenly this evening. He had just sat down to dinner when he was seized with an apoplectic fit. Dr Mackie was instantly called in, but the judge died a few minutes after the doctor's arrival, death being accelerated by weakness of the heart. Lowther Broad was a warden on the Otago Goldfields, and subsequently served in the same capacity at the Thames. About 20 years ago he was appointed resident magistrate and warden at Nelson, and later on was appointed District Court Judge. In 1873, in connection with the Nelson Exhibition, of which he was vice-president, he was awarded first prize for his tale of goldfields life. He was also the author of several law books, including two editions of 'Digest of Cases in District Courts,' and two editions of 'The Resident Magistrates' Court Guide,' 'Justices' Handy Book,' 'The Law of Innkeepers', besides 'The Jubilee History of Nelson.' He was about editing a fourth edition of 'Judge Johnston's New Zealand Justice of the Peace.' His sudden death has thrown a gloom over the town, for Mr Broad was esteemed greatly. He leaves a widow and nine children.

REFERENCES

  • Otago Witness, 3 September 1864
  • Otago Witness 3 February 1865: Warden's Report, Arrowtown.
  • Otago Witness 6 January 1865: Removal of the Warden.
  • Otago Daily Times, 19 January 1865.
  • Otago Daily Times, 11 February 1865.
  • Otago Witness, 15 April 1865
  • Otago Witness, 23 December 1865.
  • Otago Witness, 3 February 1866.
  • Otago Witness, 31 March 1866.
  • Otago Witness, 1 December 1866.
  • Otago Witness, 23 March 1867
  • Otago Witness, 30 August 1867
  • Evening Post. 3 October 1867
  • Otago Daily Times, 10 August 1868
  • Otago Witness, 18 August 1892
  • Macetown and Arrow Gorge, Otago Goldfields Park. A Dept of Conservation publication 2009.
  • New Zealand TopoMaps
  • The Jubilee History of Nelson from 1842 to 1892, by His Honor Lowther Broad, Esq, District Judge, Nelson. 1892.


Home Journal