Country of origin:
Area in New Zealand: Banks Peninsula
Details: Otago Witness, 11 September 1890
I have said it was a sawyer's wife who kept us posted up as to the Maori rising of 44. The sawyer was, I think, " Jimmy Robinson," one of the now all but extinct race of "Pakeha Maoris," Jimmy was a well-known character on the Peninsula in the olden days. Originally a sailor, he landed from a whaler about the year 1837, and sailor-like, immediately fell in love with a handsome Maori "wahine." The dusky beauty was a daughter of Iwikau, a petty chief of Akaroa, so Jimmy married and settled down as a " Rangitira nui " of the tribe. Jimmy was one of the few white residents on the Peninsula when the British ensign was hoisted in '40 ; indeed, he took a hand in that very important historic event. When H.M.S. Britomart sailed up the harbour to take possession Captain Stanley picked Jimmy up fishing, and swearing him in as the interpreter, made him repeat the proclamation to the natives, the only sentence of which he or they really understood being " God save the Queen." The roar of the cannon, however, filled the Maoris up to the brim with delight and satisfaction, and a lieutenant's uniform made a howling swell for many a day of our friend Jimmy. Like most of his class, Jimmy had an unquenchable thirst for "waipero," and with every opportunity for becoming another Millionaire Rhodes, he died miserably and in abject poverty. Twenty years after he was found by the roadside frozen to death, the inevitable empty bottle by his side.