Wellington Province


BIRCH, William John

Page 1301

Birch, William John: Sheepfarmer, Erewhon, Moawhango. Born in 1842 in Oxfordshire, and educated in England and in Germany, Mr Birch arrived in the Colony at the age of eighteen. After three years as a cadet in Hawkes Bay, with his brother Captain Birch, he took a small run at Waimaramara, Hawkes Bay, but soon afterwards the brothers crossed the Ruahines, becoming the first white settlers in the district, which they named `Erehwon' which if spelt backwards, fittingly describes the state of the countrty at that time. Vast improvements have been made in the property, 5000 acres being under the plough, 100 miles of fencing completed, and a very pretty homestead erected. As a member of the Hawkes Bay County Council, Mr Birch takes a keen interest in all local matters. All field sports are supported by him, his name appearing as patron of racing and other clubs. During the Te Kooti trouble he served in the Volunteers under Colonel McDonnell; Captain Birch was actign as Brigade Major. In 1874, while on a visit to England, Mr Birch was married to a daughter of the Rev. W Larden , Arkel Rectory, Shropshire.

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