150 years of memories

EMMA DAWE
Last updated 13:43 30/10/2013
Richard Anderson
SUPPLIED

Richard Anderson, from Kawarau Station, left, and Lindsay Crabbe, from Cromwell, catch up at the Parcell family reunion in Central Otago.

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More than 90 descendants of the Parcell family gathered in Bannockburn this month for a family reunion, which also coincided with the 150-year anniversary of the first Parcells arriving in the region.

Family genealogist Jane Smallfield, from Dunedin, said William Richard Parcell and his wife, Mary Magdalene, first lived in Clyde for two years after their marriage, before moving to the Halfway House, which was a boarding house, hotel and store, in the Happy Valley on the road to the Nevis.

The Halfway House was a focal point for all bullock and wagon transport from Clyde to the Nevis and the family lived there for 16 years until 1882 when it burnt down, she said.

Mr Parcell, along with his son William, built another house 100m  from the original house, called Rose Cottage, and a month after the fire, the family moved in and remained there until 1885 when they moved in to Bannockburn where the Parcells' 10 children could be closer to the Bannockburn School.

Mrs Smallfield said the Parcells were well-known in the community, with Mr Parcell serving three terms on the Vincent County Council from 1887 until 1896.

He also enjoyed writing poetry; some of his work was published in the Dunstan Times.

Mrs Smallfield said the most well-known members of the Parcell family were the grandchildren of William and Mary, Annie and Vincent, who lived in Bannockburn for almost all their lives.

''Everyone knew them. Vincent was considered Mayor of Bannockburn.''

The siblings never married and lived together in their family home until 1988 when they moved to Cromwell.

Annie died in 1991 and Vincent 10 years later, Mrs Smallfield said.

The celebrations for the Parcell descendants included family photos, a church service and visiting  Parcell sites around Bannockburn.

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- The Mirror

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