Monthly Archives: June 2020

Little Jems – 136 years old!

Every now and then when searching for information on a family member you come across a “little jem”. The one this week is a letter written by Henare Stanaway in 1884 (136 years ago)!

It is a small moment in time where we get a taste of what was happening at that time the life of Henare.

He is 34 years old and is writing a letter to the Customs Department in Auckland. It appears as though he is toying with the idea of moving from his current employment as a River Captain on the Kaipara Harbour to become a Master on a steamer operation out of Auckland to the ports of Mahurangi, Coromandel or Thames.

In beautiful writing it reads;


May 27th 1884

To Hill Esqr

Collector Customs


Dear Sir,

Will you be kind enough to let me know if a man holding a River Certificate would be allowed to take charge of a steamer trading from Auckland to Mahurangi, Thames or Coromandel much obliged. Yours Respectfully

H Stanaway


Letter to the Customs Dept. – Archway Records

The reply was in typical Maritime speak, but the answer was no. see below;


Henry Patrick Stanaway – Update

I Have been on the hunt for more Stanaway information and have come across the following information on Henry Patrick Stanaway. (His web page also has been updated).

From the NZ Graphic Magazine dated 05 May 1909 on page 31 – we have a picture showing the Executive Council of the New Zealand Railway Officers Institute, in conference at Wellington.

Henry is in the back row 3rd from the right as we look at the picture. It suggests he was more than just a clerk for the Railway.


Taken from NZ Graphic Magazine, 05 May 1905 page 31