Southernmost Hansom cab
The world's southernmost gas lamp and Hansom cab are claimed in this popular postcard from 1903 showing the cab "Ribbonwood".
The claim was probably false, because the large Argentinian city of Ushuaia is further south than Invercargill.
The cab was obtained to replace the "Lord Roberts", which had been burned.
"Mr T A Stone took delivery of a fine vehicle of the same class on Saturday from Messrs Boone and Co, Christchurch. The new conveyance is very roomy and is sumptuously finished within and without, while the painting and lining are chaste and artistic. The 'Ribbonwood' with new harness and a spanking horse makes quite a stylish turn-out.".
From 1840 until 1853, Southland was part of New Munster province.
There were three provinces - New Ulster (North Island north of the Patea River mouth), New Munster (southern part of the North Island and all the South Island) and New Leinster (Stewart Island). New Munster and New Leinster merged in 1846. Six new provinces (Otago, Canterbury, Nelson, Wellington, New Plymouth and Auckland), arose in their place in 1853.
The present Southland was part of the original Otago province until 1861, then independent until 1870, and part of Otago province again until the provinces were abolished in 1876.
Southland ceased to exist as a "province" in the old sense in 1870, but the term is still widely and correctly used to denote a region of interest that one is prepared to die for, especially on the sportsfield.
The first Dominion Junior and Intermediate Swimming Championships to be held in Southland were at the Conon St Pool in January 1933.
"The New Zealand intermediate and junior swimming championship meeting was brought to a conclusion last evening before a record attendance. Auckland won the Memorial Shield with seven points to its credit. Otago receiving six points and Manawatu one. Noel Crump, Auckland, broke his record in the 220 yards in the boys freestyle, lowering it from 2.34 to 2.25.
"All the trophies and medals were presented to the winners after supper, this being the first occasion on which this has been done. In the course of congratulatory speeches made in Crump's honour, he was referred to as the greatest young swimmer produced by New Zealand, ranking with the Dominion's foremost athletes. Thrice at the meeting Crump broke his own records and put up marvellous performances."
Southland's first town was Bluff - officially called Campbelltown from 1856 to 1917 - which has been occupied continuously at least as far back as 1824, making it the oldest town in New Zealand on its original site.
Southland's worst day for lightning was November 14, 1883, when three people died in separate strikes.
Arthur Crisp, 34, was struck while waiting for a train at the Elles Rd Station, Euphemia Kilpatrick, 10, died at Forest Hill, and Alexander McGregor, 14, was killed at North Forest Hill.
"At Shark's Tooth, another dreadful outburst of electricity descended with fatal effect on a boy of 14 years, named Alexander McGregor, eldest son of Mr Duncan McGregor, farmer there. He was standing at the door with a hammer in his hand, which probably attracted the lightning."
About The South
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Otatara, RD 9,
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The Southland Times