Maungaturoto will be celebrating 150 Years in 2013

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Unfortunate death of Reverend T. Booker

Going through the 1963 publication "This Valley in the Hills" which is the centennial history of Maungaturoto and the surrounding areas I came across a reference to the death of Reverend T. Booker who had been an integral part of the original non-conformist settlers that had taken up land in the area. Reverend Booker died on 8 March 1872 after a tree had fallen upon him. He had been in the process of felling a large rimu tree with his own when the accident happened


We regret to ha»e to record a most lamentable occurrence, which took place on the 8th March, at Maungaturoto, Kaipara, by which the Rev. Mr Booker, well known as an earnest and zealous minister in the district, lost his life. It appears that Mr Booker was engaged with his youthful soil in felling a rather large rimu tree.

In its fall, the tree took an unexpected direction, and came down upon Mr Booker with such force as to produce concussion of the brain; at the same time breaking one of his arms and a leg.

Death must have been instantaneous, as the unfortunate gentleman never gave the least sign of consciousness after the accident. Preparations were being made on the same day for holding an inquest. Mr Booker was a most popular minister in his district, and on all sides his loss is regarded humanly speaking irreparable:
 Mr Booker has left a widow and an only son. The Rev. gentleman came out from England some ten years ago with the Nonconformist emigrants, and with, the intention of ministering to them in their new home.

In consequence, however, of the untoward circumstances attendant on the settlement, or rather no settlement of the party, he, in common with many others, remained in this city. The Congregational Church at Newton, blown down during the famous gale of last year, was erected through his efforts, and there the rev. gentleman labored for some years.

In the year 1868 he was appointed by the Congregational Mission to labor in the North. Since that period he has continued to minister in that district up to the time of his death. Mr Booker was held in high esteem, and much beloved, not only by the denomination to which he was attached, but also by a wide circle of friends, of other churches.

His sterling piety, his many useful acquirements, his gentle manners his prudence, his readiness to serve others in any way in his power, and at the cost of any self-denial to himself, endeared him to all with whom he came into contact. His loss will be keenly felt by the Congregational body, and the gap made by his death will not easily be filled. The bad tidings hare been received with great regret and universal sorrow. — N. Z. Herald."
North Otago Times 2 April 1872

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