|Burial register ID:||2854|
|Cause of death:||Unknown|
|Date of death:||08-Oct-1880|
|Date of burial:||11-Oct-1880|
The Black family, John, a carpenter by trade, his wife Margaret, née Milne, and previously Mrs Robertson, (originally from Aberdeenshire) and children William (aged 2), Ann ( 2 months) and step son Andrew Robertson (10) arrived in Port Chalmers on 21st September 1848 aboard the Blundell.
At first the family stayed in the immigrants barracks before obtaining a house on the corner of Rattray and Maclaggan Streets.
After two years they bought a 10-acre section in North East Valley where Sacred Heart School now stands. They built a tree-fern house, lined with tongue-and-groove and roofed with shingles. They stayed there for five years where John plied his trade as wheelwright, carpenter and cabinet-maker.
In 1855 they acquired their new property on the hill (Section 49) and called it May Bank after John Black’s family home in Scotland. The family moved there and built a small thatched tree-fern cottage in a sheltered gully beside a creek. One single large living room sufficed as living–room and bedroom for the family. Two small rooms attached to the main room provided a bedroom for Andrew and a dairy. After a short time John built a second house further up Maybank and the family set to work on developing the new farm. The bush was cleared from around the house to provide a garden and orchard. A barn housed the grain crop and also a workshop where John made furniture for the house. The property was divided into paddocks by stonewalls and post-and-rail fences and wheat, oats and barley were grown. Cattle, some imported from Sydney, were also stocked.
In the 1860s Margaret Black suffered a serious illness and a new stone house was built on the lower part of the property. John built a stone house on what is now 97 Blacks Road Opoho, with much of the stone being gathered from the property itself and Caversham sandstone used for the quoins or cornerstones. The outer walls were 60cms thick. The house took five months to build and cost £500. In later years fire destroyed the interior and the house was demolished and replaced with a wooden bungalow.
John Black died in 1880 aged 66 years and Margaret died three years later aged 77. Their son William, his wife Mary and a still born baby not mentioned on the headstone are also buried in this plot. William Black continued to live in Opoho until his death aged 79 in 1925.
|Surname||First names||Age||Date of death||Date of burial|