A haggis ceremony and more helped descendants of Helensville pioneer settlers the McLeods celebrate the 150th anniversary of the family's arrival in Auckland.
Ninety-five people attended the commemoration at Soljans Wine Estate in Kumeu on August 11.
They toasted the arrival of brothers John and Isaac McLeod and their families onboard the Sea Gull, which arrived in Auckland from Nova Scotia on May 23, 1862. It was the eve of Queen Victoria's 43rd birthday. The brothers bought land at Te Awaroa from Maori within a few months and set about producing sawn timber.
With the arrival of their families, the McLeods built kauri villas. John called his "Helensvilla" after his wife, which later adapted to the town's name.
The story of their arrival and settlement is outlined in a book launched at the celebration, The Pioneering McLeods of Helensville by author John McLean of Wellington.
An anniversary cake was cut by Jean Robinson who turned 101 yesterday, a fourth generation descendant of Isaac.
Celebrations included a whisky auction and raffles.
The event was organised by the Clan McLeod Helensville Committee.
"It was a great day and Tony Soljan did an excellent job with the venue and food," its president Laurence McLeod of Matakana says.
Guests from throughout the North Island arrived about 11.30am and stayed until after 4pm. The occasion is a lead-up to Helensville's 150th anniversary commemoration during Labour weekend, when an even bigger party is planned involving all those associated with Helensville.
Visit helensville150th.org.nz or contact Laurence on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 09 422 9928.
Or for parade and stall inquiries call Tom Grace on 09 420 8969.
- © Fairfax NZ News