Clan Donald Canterbury: Visit to Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch

On Sunday 3 April, Clan Donald Canterbury members visited the Ferrymead Heritage Park, located in the Heathcote Valley, at the site of New Zealand’s first public railway.

Ferrymead features an early 1900s township and has a variety of restored houses, cottages, businesses, a school, post office, stables, church, and railway station.

Early Christchurch restored houses and cottages are open to viewing.


Businesses on the main street


One of the volunteers in the print shop explains the operating of the press, watched by Raewyn Hinton, Margaret Donald, and Ann Smith.


The Park is also home to a range of groups and societies with historical themes, mainly transport related.
There is a large array of heritage exhibitions and displays that are open for viewing. These displays are owned and operated by individual societies and staffed by volunteers. Displays include fire engines, aeroplanes, cars, printing, photography, farm machinery and much more.


One of several restored trams which operate at the park.


Pictured on the tram (left to right) Raewyn Hinton, Margaret Donald, Ann Smith, Alan MacDonald, and Andrew Muskee.


One of the park’s three Vulcan Railcars about to depart Moorhouse Station.


We enjoyed our visit, including the ride on the tram and the Vulcan railcar and could have easily spent longer viewing the exhibits. However, having already requested our secretary, Margaret Donald to delay our lunch booking once, we ran out of time. To finish the day, we enjoyed a wonderful pub Sunday lunch at the nearby Valley Inn.


The Valley Inn, Heathcote Valley

Clan Donald Canterbury’s Ohinetahi House and Garden Visit – 6th November 2021

On Saturday morning 6th November, 12 members of Clan Donald Canterbury visited the Ohinetahi House and Gardens at Governors Bay which is just a 20- minute drive over the Port Hills from central Christchurch.


Clan Donald Canterbury members pictured (left to right).
Front row. Alan MacDonald, Carolyn Alsop, Gloria Davis
Second Row. Gordon McIvor, Jill Tomlinson, Ann Smith
Back Row. Sheila Cuthbertson, Brent Tomlinson, Jan Thomas, Maggie Donald, Pauline McIvor


Encompassing 1.25 hectares of garden, Ohinetahi is also home to two art galleries, sculpture and woodland trails, and a significant 19th century homestead. Ohinetahi was gifted to the nation in 2012 and is now run by the Ohinetahi Charitable Trust.


View of an enclosed garden in front of the homestead.


In 1976 Sir Miles Warren, his sister Pauline and her husband John Trengrove bought the property. They restored the Grade 1-listed house, constructed in 1851, and over the years there have been a number of extensions, additions, and earthquake repairs.


Sheila Cuthbertson views the formal garden while the gardener’s dog keeps a close eye on the goldfish.


After restoring the house, the three set about establishing the gardens taking inspiration from some of the finest gardens in Britain. The formal garden consists of several separate garden rooms of differing style and character arranged about two axes running east-west and north-south.


Spring flowers make a bright show.


Brent and Jill Tomlinson relaxing in the gardens.


Rhododendrons in flower beside the woodland walk.


Pictured left to right. Jill Tomlinson, Maggie Donald, Brent Tomlinson, Ann Smith, and Sheila Cuthbertson.


After two hours visiting the gardens, we enjoyed a nice lunch at the historic Governors Bay hotel, Otoromiro, which overlooks Lyttleton Harbour.


Otoromiro Hotel, established in 1870.

Clan Donald Canterbury’s Weekend Away 1st – 3rd October 2021

In line with our recent annual weekends away, we again chose to visit one of our local areas. This year we based ourselves in the country town of Amberley which is fifty kms north of Christchurch. While Amberley’s previous focus was on rural services, it has now become a tourism and lifestyle destination. It is the gateway to the Hurunui District and only twelve kms from the well regarded Waipara wine region.

On Friday 1st October, we commenced our weekend by meeting at the Torlesse Winery at Waipara. We enjoyed the fabulous food platters which accompanied the wine tasting before travelling back to Amberley where we stayed at the Amberley Motel for two nights. Friday night we had our traditional takeaway meals followed by quizzes and some very amusing jokes provided by Ian Bright.


Enjoying the wine tasting at Torlesse Winery. Pictured left to right, Jill Tomlinson, Maggie Donald, Ian and Valerie Bright, Raewyn Hinton and Andrew Muskee.



Pictured at Torlesse Winery, Elwyn Martin, Alan MacDonald and Ann Smith.


Saturday morning was a free morning with Clan members visiting the Amberley Market, local shops, and cafes.


Lunch in the sunshine at Brew Moon, Amberley. Pictured (left to right) Valerie and Ian Bright, Raewyn Hinton, Brent and Jill Tomlinson, Sally Wihone, Andrew Muskee, Maggie Donald and Ann Smith.


After lunch at the Brew Moon, we travelled to the Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park which is set in a vast amphitheatre carved out of the limestone hills of Waipara when operating as a quarry. Sculpturer, Raymond Herber has transformed the rocky white bowl he bought 20 years ago into a beautifully landscaped park overlooking the Waipara River valley. This provides a stunning exhibition space for Raymond’s work which ranges from large sculptures of great beauty to quirky and humorous pieces.


At the Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park. Back row (left to right) Alan MacDonald, Andrew Muskee, Raewyn Hinton, Valerie and Ian Bright, Brent Tomlinson, Elwyn Martin. Front row. Sally Wihone, Helen Ring, Ann Smith, Maggie Donald, Jill Tomlinson and Jeanette Beatty (Note Raymond’s friendly cat has joined the photo!).


Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park


Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park


Raymond Herber demonstrates how to get a free haircut using his Snipper Cycle.


Saturday night dinner at the Railway Hotel, Amberley. (Left to right) Maggie Donald, Raewyn
Hinton and Valerie Bright.


Helen Ring is delighted with her meal


Pictured left to right, Ian Bright, Andrew Muskee, Ann Smith and Sally Wihone.


On Sunday morning we headed home to Christchurch, stopping for brunch at The Better Half Café.

It was another enjoyable Clan weekend away and again highlighted how much there is to see and do in our own backyard. Thank you to Margaret Donald and Ann Smith for their work in arranging a wonderful weekend away.

Clan Donald Canterbury 30th Anniversary Dinner

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Clan Donald Canterbury, we held a successful Anniversary Dinner at the Hornby Club on Saturday 22 May.

The 50 guests assembled at 5.30 pm and before dinner at 6.00 pm were entertained by local Scottish singer, Willie McArthur.


Willie McArthur entertained guests prior to the dinner.


Maggie Donald addressing the dinner guests.


At 6.00 pm Ann Smith, President welcomed guests which included North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald and his wife Lynnette, Barrie and Annette Paterson (Clan Donald Auckland) along with several representatives from other clans. An apology was received from our High Commissioner, Andrew Wilkie who was unable to attend due to ill health.


Lynnette and Tom McDonald (Clan Donald Auckland)


Barrie and Annette Paterson (Clan Donald Auckland).


Mary Clark (Clan MacLeod).


Maggie Donald, Secretary/Treasurer spoke about the formation of Clan Donald Canterbury, with reference to the work and dedication of our first two presidents, Ian Donald and Colin MacDonald. This was followed by two songs from Willie McArthur, “Donald Where’s Your Troosers” and “Glencoe”.

The Haggis party was led by piper Ann Smith followed by the bard Gordon McIvor, haggis bearer Elwyn Martin and whisky bearer Alan MacDonald.


Daniel and John Verd.


Before dinner, Willie McArthur led the guests in singing Flower of Scotland and Elwyn Martin gave the Selkirk Grace.

Between dinner courses, Maggie Donald provided an entertaining recollection of various past and present members and the many activities and social events the Clan has held over the years. A photo show of many of these events played on the 3 large screens in the room during the evening. Clear to see was the fun and friendship Clan Canterbury members enjoy.


Marlene McLennan and Dave Glover.


The evening finished with the cutting of the anniversary cake by two of our foundation members, Ann Smith and Maggie Donald. The cake had been baked and decorated by Christine Martin.


Ann Smith and Maggie Donald cut the cake.


Shirley and Rhonda Aitken.


Carolyn Alsop and Margaret Birse.