Passing time with Eris Parker

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P12504900Waikato Advocate, New Zealand, 24 August 1895

‘The families of two well-known and respected residents of the Cambridge district have during the week been plunged in grief under circumstances peculiarly affecting. Late on Saturday evening Miss Kate Fitzgerald succumbed to a lingering illness – from consumption.

‘She had been engaged to Mr R B Bridgman and her rapidly failing health was not without its effect upon her lover. The shock produced upon him by her death was more than his enfeebled health could bear and he quickly followed, dying in convulsions on Monday.’

[Romeo and Juliet – surely!?  But there was no Coroners’ Report.]

‘The last offices of religion were performed by the Rev. L Hudson and the remains of the young people were buried in the one grave.’

They share the same headstone –

In Loving Memory of Katie third daughter of H & A Fitzgerald died 17 August 1895 aged 28

‘I will fear no evil for thou art with me

Thy rod and thy staff comfort me.’

Also Richard B Bridgman second son of J Bridgman died 19 August 1895 aged 29

‘’Tis but a voice that Jesus sends to call them to his arms.’

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The Duke spent 10 days holiday with me while Daughter sunned herself on a tropical island.

It rained in New Zealand and daily walkies had to be before work. And I wasn’t leaving a smelly dog inside my house all day. As I drove off The Duke started barking. Then howling like a baby. I rang my neighbour when I got to work but all was well. He just told The Duke to SHUT UP.

Fantail

Fantail

On the weekends we went trekking. At the bottom of the hill at the Agility Park, there is the fenced in Settling Pond from the old rubbish dump and a storm water drain. The Duke loves the idea of this drain, and a lot of yelling on my part has so far, kept him out of the mire. Other smells catch his attention and the bird life catches mine.

Not so the Cemetery Walk. The Duke flies down the steep steps and is away in the bushes by the time I get down. I call him back and he bounds into a wet mucky hole. OMG! He’s sunk to his underbelly. He looks up at me. NO WAY, I’M NOT GETTING IN THERE.  Flounder, flounder, flounder.  Shake, shake, shake.
Into the fast running stream and he’s soon washed clean. I hear a noise in the trees and let The Duke snuffle ahead. I sneak up on a Kereru.

Kereru

Up at the Maungakawa Reserve there is a myriad of new smells. The Duke loses me pretty quickly as I’m captured by the host of tuis drinking from the spring blossoms. I reluctantly follow The Duke’s disappearing tail and I come across him chewing on something. OMG a dead possum. GET THE H… OUT OF THAT!  It’s got to be poisoned! How do I tell Daughter I killed her dog!  But no. We find a new path that the Department of Conservation has put through the bush.

All of a sudden The Duke is prancing up and down in the undergrowth. There’s a smile on his face.  Scurry scurry. It’s a rat. The Duke lands on it a couple of times but springs off as he doesn’t really know what to do with it.

Rat

Then, surprising both of us, the rat climbs a tree. The rain starts coming down heavier and two bedraggled bodies head for the car.


There is no sign in the Cambridge, New Zealand Cemetery at Hautapu where Elizabeth Carroll was buried in 1899.

Cambridge Cemetery

On 15 May 1899 William Carroll, the publican of the Masonic Hotel, while in a drunken state beat and kicked his wife to such an extent as to cause injuries resulting in her death on 2 June 1899. Constable Timothy Cahill had been called to the hotel on the 15th and helped Mrs Carroll – her face swollen, bruised and bleeding, up the stairs to her room.  He said he had not arrested Carroll as he thought it was only an ordinary row between man and his wife.

A witness said later – ‘After the constable left the hotel there was a disturbance in the bedroom as if they were having a row, and there was a noise as if some heavy person had fallen on the floor.’ From 15 May to the date of her death Mrs Carroll never came downstairs.

The nurse girl Minnie Johansen – went into Mrs Carroll’s room to get the baby who was crying, and while she was there Mr Carroll struck his wife who was lying on the bed. Mrs Carroll’s face was smothered with blood and the left side of it was swollen. The next morning Mrs Carroll could not see out of her left eye.

The constable returned to the hotel but was told ‘matters were all right’. He visited Mrs Carroll a few days later and she appeared annoyed that the matter was being talked about so much. It was only after a doctor had been called that Constable Cahill on 29 May, laid an information against Carroll for grievous bodily harm.

He was convicted in the Supreme Court in Auckland of manslaughter and served ten years in prison.



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