Samuel Nichol

Born 8 December 1840, Hobart, Australia.
Arrived New Zealand 1859.
Married Annie Elizabeth Kingswell 24 January 1871, Invercargill, New Zealand.
Died 9 February 1924.

Children of Samuel & Eliza Nichol

  • Ernest Arnott Nichol, b. Bluff 1879 d.1956
  • Louise Viva Nichol, b. abt 1890
  • Elsie Eliza Nichol,

Obituary, 12 February 1924.
From the Bluff Press, NZ 

Mr. Samuel Nichol
A Romantic Career

The death occurred on Saturday of Mr Samuel Nichol, an old and respected citizen of Bluff, at the age of 84 years. The remains of the deceased were laid to rest this afternoon in Bluff cemetery in the presence of a large number of mourners. The Rev. W. H. Roberts officiated at the grave side and also at the service that was held in St. Mathew’s Church prior to the burial.
The deceased gentleman was widely esteemed and highly respected in shipping and commercial circles for his business integrity and ability. In Bluff his wisdom and counsel was keenly sought after on many occasions and was always gratuitously given in his natural kindly manner.
Bluff has lost a good citizen through the death of Mr Samuel Nichol. He was one of nature’s gentleman.
He was born in Hobart, Tasmania, on December 8, 1840, and at the age of 16 started with his brother in the timber business on the Huon River. After three years he decided to try his fortune in New Zealand, and came to Riverton in the brig Reliance (noted on the 1859 shipping list). The passage over was a remarkably fine one, as it was never at any time found necessary to touch the sails. Mr Nichol then went as a cadet to the Avondale sheep station, then owned by the late Captain J. W. Raymond. He remained there for three years, and was the first to drive a wool wagon with horses into Riverton, bullocks having always been used previously.
In 1862 Mr Nichol came to Bluff and started out in business as a general merchant, being later appointed whalfinger and agent for the McMeekin and Blackwood Steamship Company. Before the construction of the railway Mr Nichol was the agent for Cobb & Co.’s coaches which used to run between Invercargill and Bluff with passengers and mails. Later the Southland Provincial Government constructed a railway, but was quite unable to make it a paying proposition. Tenders were therefore called for the lease of the railway, and Mr Nichol, in partnership with a man called Shearer, from Victoria, applied for and obtained the lease. They immediately cut down all freights and fares by 50 percent, and set about repairing the permanent way, the state of which rendered it impossible to put fast traffic on the line. They also gave concessions to timber boats loading and discharging at Bluff in order to encourage them to come there instead of to the New River. Mr Shearer, who was by profession a contracting engineer, attended to all matters of track maintenance, while Mr Nichol looked after the office work. As a result they ran the railway so successfully for 18 months that at the end of this period the Government refused to renew the lease. As a comparison with the present state of affairs it is interesting to note that on one occasion Governor Grey was taken on this line from Invercargill to Bluff in the record time of 20 minutes. While in control of this railway Mr Nichol elevated Mr. Thomas Arthur, who was then a guard, to the position of Stationmaster at Invercargill. Mr Arthur afterwards rose to a high position in the railways.
After the termination of this lease Mr Nichol was joined by the late Mr G. E. Tucker, and the firm of “Nichol & Tucker” was formed. About this time the great possibilities of the whaling industry in southern waters began to be realised, and the Government offered a bonus of £500 for the first ship locally owned that should bring a cargo of whale oil to New Zealand. On hearing of this Mr Nichol immediately set out for Sydney and there purchased the barque Celestia and fitted her out as a whaler. On her arrival at Bluff it was found that a vessel had been wrecked near the pilot station and was offered for sale. Mr Nichol’s offer was accepted and he set about salvage work with great ingenuity. He took a large number of the empty casks from the Celestia and lashed them to the sides of the derelict. These were fastened down at low water and as the tide rose the vessel floated off the rocks. She was brought up the harbour and placed on the beach inside the present wharf. On examination it was found that she was an old slave-trader and bullet marks could be seen on the planks of the hold where the wretched negroes had been shot at. Mr Nichol was told that such a vessel would be unlucky, but continued the work of salvaging. It was decided to heave her down, and at high tide barges filled with large cargoes of stone were attached by cables to her masts, the idea being to roll the vessel over so that the holes could be repaired. However, when the tide fell the strain proved too great and the vessel’s broadside was crushed in. She was then abandoned and the Celestia hurried off on her whaling cruise. In due course she put in at Post Chalmers with a good cargo, and Mr Nichol applied for the £500 bonus. This was only granted after a considerable amount of trouble, there being a Dunedin firm also in the running. At this time whale oil was bringing £112 per ton, and whaling proved a very lucrative business. Mr Nichol bought and fitted out another vessel, the Chance, which Mr Frank Bullen has made famous in his book “The Cruise of the Cachalot.” Among her crew were such well-known figures as Paddy Gilroy, Captain Anglem, John Parker, T. Shepherd senior, and T. Gilroy junior. Afterwards, however, whale oil fell to less than £40 a ton, and this being far below the cost of procuring it, the industry was abandoned and the ships sold. The old Chance was used as a coal hulk for many years before she was ultimately destroyed.
In his time Mr Nichols owned many ships. One was the ill-fated Mary Smith, which he bought in Melbourne at the time when the gold rush was at its height, and he filled her with a cargo of miner’s requisites. The ship never reached Bluff, and on inquiry it was found that when she left Melbourne the pilot staff had had to set the sails, as the whole of the crew with the exception of the Captain and his mate was in a stage of helpless intoxication. That night a strong gale came up and it was surmised that she had capsized through lack of control.
Mr Nichol’s brother, the late Mr G. W. Nichol, then joined the firm of Nichol & Tucker, and Mr Tucker left shortly after. The firm then carried on as Nichol Bros. till 1917, when they dissolved partnership, but the two firms, although, separate, carried on under the same name, one in Invercargill and the other in Bluff. Mr Nichol always took a keen interest in the public affairs of his town, and was one of the original members of the Bluff Harbour Board, and the Bluff Borough Council. On many occasions he has been Mayor of Bluff. He married Miss Annie Elizabeth Kingswell, daughter of the late Mr W. B. Kingswell, of Invercargill, who pre-deceased him by some ten years.
The late Mr Nichol is survived by one son, Mr E. A. Nichol of Bluff, and by two daughters, Mrs C. E. Shallcrass, and Mrs J. W. H. Bannerman, both of Timaru. There are nine grandchildren and two great- grandchildren.

“There was no more assiduous keeper of newspaper clippings then Sam Nichol’s wife Eliza. Deaths, births and marriages were faithfully recorded by her in her family scrap book. Any published item about friends or relations was also kept and it is obvious that she had a special pride in her brother, George Kingswell, who travelled the world before he became one of South Africa’s best known journalists, rising to become a director of the Rand Daily Mail and Sunday Times.

“Eliza matured from the girl who could stop the Bluff train simply by hanging a towel from her window to a woman who was mistress of one finest homes in the province. Her only public activity was the presidency of the Ladies Guild of St. Mathews Anglican Church in Bluff, as the provinces of public and business affairs were dominated by her husband. Such was the regard in which she was held, however, that when she died at the age of 59 in August 1913, the flags of the ships in port, including those of two home liners, were flown at half-mast.”

source, “A Saga of the South”, J N McClenaghan, 1966, page 42.

“Bluff in Retrospect”, 2001, Alan Mitchell and the Bluff History Group, pages 70 & 71.

Built in 1877 for prominent merchant and later mayor of Bluff Samuel Nichol, “Morningside” was one of the town’s show homes for more than eighty years. With sweeping open verandahs on three sides and a handsome turret “Morningside” epitomised an era of gracious living for the well to do. It comprised five bedrooms, a kitchen, breakfast room, double lounge, large billiard room and storerooms. Later purchases of adjoining land saw “Morningside” eventually sit on 2 1/2 acres (one hectare) of lawn, garden, orchard, tennis court and croquet green.

Domestic staff of at least two maids and a cook ensured that the house ran smoothly while a permanent gardener lived in a four-room cottage on site. His duties included mowing lawns, maintaining orchard, vegetable and flower gardens and the conservatory where large numbers of pot plants were raised. A huge glasshouse contained at least 180 tomato plants and a large number of grapevines from which the house made its own wine. The orchard and glass house was a magnet to small children to whom “raiding Nichol’s orchard” was a popular if sometimes hazardous pastime.

The gardener’s wife’s duties included milking the two house cows and looking after the poultry and occasional pig or lamb.

Following Samuel Nichol’s death in 1924 the property passed to his son Ernest who had lived there all his life. When he died in 1959 “Morningside” and its grounds were sold to the Catholic Church.

Below: Samuel Nichol (from the Cyclopedia of New Zealand).

According to the Invercargill City Council Cemetery records:

Robert Nichol (father of Samuel Nichol) is buried at Blufff Cemetery: Block 1, Plot 71, and the inscription reads:

To the memory of
Robert Nichol
Who died 19 Feby 1872
Aged 75 years
Because I live ye shall live also
Also sacred to the memory of
Anne Willis
Relict of Robert Nichol
Who died on the 12th August 1896
In her 94 year
And God shall wipe away all
Tears from their eyes

Then appears Elizabeth Kingswell (mother of Eliza Annie):

To the memory of
Elizabeth Kingswell
Died 4th April 1894
Aged 62 years
She was not for God took her

And Samuel is adjacent:

To the memory of
Eliza Annie
Beloved wife of
Samuel Nichol
Died 1st August 1913
Aged 59 years
Samuel Nichol
Beloved husband of above
Died 9th February 1924
Aged 84 years
There remaineth a rest to the people of God

Samuel Nichol

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol 4, Page 884

Mr. Samuel Nichol (of the firm Messrs. Nichol Bros., Merchants, Bluff and Invercargill), was Mayor of Campbelltown or Bluff from 1888 to 1897. Mr. Nichol devoted considerable time in furthering the raising of a loan of £5,000, which the rate payers approved, for the purpose of improving the streets, and drainage of the borough. Born at Hobart, Tasmania, in 1840, Mr. Nichol is the second son of the late Mr. Robert Nichol, an ex-bank manager, and was educated at Hobart where he received a thorough commercial training, in the firm of Messers. Chapman and Thomas, merchants. Mr. Nichol left his native land in 1859 for New Zealand and arrived at Riverton, in the brig ‘Reliance,’ and served as station cadet with Captain Raymond, the well-known squatter. He afterwards became chief clerk in the Wharfinger’s department at Invercargill, and subsequently he was Wharfinger at Bluff. When the Provincial Government opened the Bluff line, they offered Mr. Nichol the special position of Station Agent, which he accepted, they being so satisfied with his past services. In consequence of the falling of the revenue, the Provincial Government leased the Bluff railway for eighteen months to Messrs. Nichol and Sherar, whose management was so successful and profitable, that the Government would not renew the lease. From that time, Mr. Nichol had associated with him in business his brother, Mr. Geo. W. Nichol, and the late Mr. Geo. E. Tucker. Mr Samuel Nichol was one of the first elected members of the Bluff Harbour Board. He has been a justice of the peace since 1885. He became initiated into Freemasonry in Lodge Southern Cross, Invercargill, about 1863, and was elected W.M. of Lodge Fortitude, No. 2301, E.C. (now No. 64, N.Z.C.) at Bluff on the 14th of January 1894. He also holds the rank of G.S. in the Grand Lodge of New Zealand.

Source: 1923 newspaper clipping, NZ National Library, NZ Biographies. Newspaper not identified but prob. the New Zealand Herald.

Mr Samuel Nichol, a Scotchman, who has been 64 years in the Dominion, and who is one of the best known residents of the Bluff, is at present on a visit to Auckland. Despite his 85 years, our visitor is in wonderfully good health, and is very much interested in development in the North. Mr. Nichol was in the early days connected with the whaling, and, with his brother, owned some of the best whaling ships south of the line, and, as one interested in shipping, is deeply interested in the progress of our port. Mr. Nichol has been a justice of the peace for nearly half a century, and it has been his privilege to have presided largely at police court sittings in the town where he is so well known.

Update, July 2005, generously provided by a direct descendant.

SAMUEL NICHOL (Sam) was born on the 9th September 1840 at Newtown and baptised at the Wesleyan church, Hobart. He was the best Greek scholar at his college. Sam came to New Zealand in 1859 on the “Reliance,” which arrived at Riverton.

He was in partnership with his brother, George, in the business of “Nichol Brothers” in Bluff and Invercargill, and at one time with his brother-in-law, George Tucker.

Sir Joseph Ward, later prime minister, worked as a clerk at Samuel Nichol’s general store on the Bluff waterfront until 1876

He married Annie Elizabeth (or Eliza Anne) Kingswell in Invercargill in 24 January 1871 and their children were Eliza (Elsie Shallcrass), Louie (Mrs. Bannerman) and Ernest. His home was “Mornington” at the Bluff, and which had a tower overlooking the harbour and also a billiard room, and to where sea captains would often visit. The property consisted of 2 ½ acres, with a tennis court and croquet green and staffed by a cook, 2 maids and a full-time gardener.

Sam died on the 9th February 1924 and is buried at Bluff alongside his parents.

Sam was Mayor of Bluff 1888-92 and from 1895-97. He appears as a passenger on the “Ringarooma” on its voyage from Melbourne to Bluff in September 1876.

Above: George Willis Nichol

Below:Ocean Beach Area

Samuel’s brother George W. Nichol, (pictured left) was born 1835 in Hobart Tasmania and arrived New Zealand 1861. He worked in Dunedin and later in Greymouth. In 1874 he joined his brother in the company of Nichol Bros and opened a branch in Invercargill (which George managed). He built a home “Glenfoyle’ at Ocean Beach (below) and travelled daily by train to Invercargill. He died 11 May 1907.

He married Mary Campion (1843-1929) and their children are:

Annie, 1872-1924
Mary, born 1874
Isabella, born 1873
George, 1876-1952, married Ethel Anne Howell – they had two sons.
Harry, 1878-1971, married in the 1930s to Agnes Hansen (of Stewart Island, she died before 1940). Two daughters Mary (Mrs Ken Wright) and Agnes (wife of Dr G. A. Tait of Invercargill). A photograph of Harry Nichol appears in his 21 July 1970 Obit in the Southland Times (NZ Bios 1971 Vol. 4, page 11).

Update, July 2005, generously provided by a direct descendant.

GEORGE WILLIS NICHOL was born on the 8th February 1835 and was baptised in the Anglican church, Newtown, Hobart, when his father’s profession is stated as gentleman. He was named after his mother’s deceased brother, Dr. George Willis, of whom she had been very fond, and who had died when quite young in Jamaica.

George came to New Zealand in 1861, perhaps with his parents, landing at Dunedin.

He married Mary Emma Campion in 1870, possibly Greymouth, and their children were Isabella, Anne, Mary, George and Henry. In 1869, there is a registered wine and spirit merchant, Hamilton & Nichol on Mawhera Quay, Greymouth.

George later moved to Bluff where he was a merchant and the first mayor in 1879. His house was “Glenfoyle” with 6 bedrooms and a servants’ bedroom. The gates are still standing, although the homestead has been demolished.

George died at “Glenfoyle,” Ocean Beach, Bluff, on the 11th May 1907 and was buried at Bluff.

There is still a trading Nichol Bros & Co Ltd, trading in Invercargill. They are stock food manufacturers.

There is a Nichol Street in Invercargill

On Nichol Road, Ocean Road, Omaui (on the Invercargill-Bluff highway). The iron gates of the original Nichol homestead are still visible. (see below)

Ocean Beach Area

Ocean Beach lies at the top of Bluff Harbour, a place of wind blown sandhills and rocky outcrops. The south side faces Foveaux Strait, a hostile place at times, while the north is more sheltered.

A rail link between Bluff and Invercargill was opened in 1867, with a stop at Ocean Beach to take on and set down passengers and goods. Prominent merchant George Nichol {brother of Samuel} became the first rail commuter between Bluff and Invercargill in 1874, a trip he made for the next 28 years. He built a grand home “Glenfoyle” on what is now known as Nichol Road and his five children rowed to Bluff on a 20′ four oared boat to collect stores.

Right:  ‘Glenfoyle’, the homestead of George Willis Nichol.

Biographical Details:

Ernest Arnott Nichol
Born, 1879, Bluff (then known as Campbelltown), New Zealand
Married, Hilda Metzger, 1907 (probably in Bluff)
Died, 18 April 1956, Bluff, New Zealand 

Children of Ernest & Hilda Nichol

  • Ernest Samuel Nichol
  • Leslie Albert Nichol
  • Hilda Nichol (known as “Tuppy” did not marry – apparently lost her ‘man’ in the war)
  • Zona Nichol (married Mr Saunders

He appears as follows in the Southland Boys’ High School Register: “256- Nichol, Ernest Arnott. General Merchant, Bluff. Enthusiastic Volunteer Officer. Died at Bluff, April 18, 1956. At School 1893-1895, from Bluff. Mayor of Bluff (25 years on Bluff Council); Member Harbour Board (10 years). Father of 2065, 2348.”

“Those Sheltering Hills; a history of Bluff”
by J.E. Bremer; page 61. 

“Mr Ernest Arnott Nichol who was Mayor of the borough 1909-1911 was born at Bluff in 1879. He was the only son of Samuel and Eliza Nichol of Morningside, Bluff and lived there for all his life. He received his primary education at Bluff and then Southland Boys’ High School, traveling each day by train between Bluff and Invercargill. In 1897 he joined the firm of Nichol Brothers at Bluff and ten years later in 1907 he married Miss Hilda Metzger and they had a family of two sons and two daughters. The sons were named Ernest Samuel and Leslie Albert and the girls Hilda and Zona. After the death of his father in 1924, the company continued as a partnership, consisting of E. A. Nichol and his two sisters Mrs C. E. Shallcrass and Mrs L. V. Bannerman. Beside being Mayor of Bluff, Mr E. A. Nichol served on the Borough Council for twenty years. He was also associated with Southland Motor Association, the Bluff Harbour Board and the Awarua Licensing Committee and as a churchman he conducted the St Matthew’s Church Choir for twenty-five years. He died in 1956 aged 77 years.”

Obit: Southland Times 20 April 1956.

Mr E. A Nichol, a well known resident of Bluff, has died aged 77. A tower of strength in the community, Mr Nichol was a man of many interests, some of his exploits particularly in his younger days when Bluff was only a shadow of its present size being well remembered among the older generation.
Born in Bluff, Mr Nichol was educated there and at the Southland Boys’ High School. On leaving school he joined his father, the late Samuel Nichol, in the family business. A keen sportsman, he represented the Awarua Boating Club and right to the time of his death was a keen rifle shot, competing in Trenthan matches with success. A more dangerous pursuit was for whales in a boat from his father’s whaling vessel Chance. The excursions ceased after the boat was towed to Center Island by a whale which nearly accounted for one of the crew.
Mr Nichol served as Mayor of Bluff for two terms and was a member of the borough council for more than 20 years. He was also associated with several other organisations , notably the Southland Motor Association, the Bluff Harbour Board, and the Awarua Licensing Committee before business interests forced him to give up much of his work. The locally-famous working bees on the Bluff road were organised by him. A devout churchman he conducted the St Matthew’s Church choir for 25 years.
Mr Nichol was married in 1908 to Miss Hilda Metzger and is survived by his four children.

Above: Ernest Nichol at 71 finds much to remember, much to do and much to look forward to – a zest for life. Nor does he always need thick lenses to gain perspective.

Ernest Nichol:  son of Ernest & Hilda Nichol

He appears as follows in the Southland Boys’ High School Register: “2065- Nichol, Ernest Samuel. Company Director, Nichol Bros. and Co. Ltd., Ernest Nichol Ltd., etc., PO Box 12, Invercargill. With Wright, Stephenson and Co. Ltd., 1927-46. 31 Duke Street, Invercargill. At School 1923-26. From Bluff. Son of 256. Brother of 2348.

Ernest Nichol – Man of the South
By F. W. G. Miller
Appeared in the Southland Times 9 September 1980.

What is it that makes a true blue Southlander? Whatever it is, Ernest Nichol must have it in full measure if family background is any criterion.
The most Southland part of the Southland is surely Bluff, because it was known to European whalers and sealers long before there was a town called Invercargill.
Ernest Nichol’s grandfather, Sam Nichol, came to New Zealand from Tasmania in 1859 and after working for a year or two with Captain Raymond at Merrivale he went to Bluff and started there the business that has carried the family name since. Sam was the son of a banker, Robert Nichol, who later came to Bluff where he died – so there are three generations of Nichol buried in Bluff.
Although he retired from active control as managing director of Ernest Nichol Ltd, he retains chairmanship of the two family concerns and has various other interests that enable him to live at 71 a full and active life.
Living as he did at Bluff, Ernest early grew to love the sea and has acquired a knowledge of the Southland coast as thorough as that of many fishermen who ply these uncertain waters.
Ernest went to the Bluff School and from there to Southland Boys’ High – and when he left there he found that jobs weren’t too easy to come by. He was keen to join Wright Stephensons but there was no openings so in the end he took a job with the Union Steam Ship Company and worked there for 18 months.
Then he was able to join Wright Stephensons an worked there for 18 years. In 1939 he was appointed assistant manager at the firm’s London office, so in readiness for the transfer he sold all of his possessions – and then with World War II under way everything came to a halt.
Loose End
His job with W.S. and Co. had already been filled and he found himself a free man at a loose end in the company.
Just at that time, however, word was received that there would be no more root seeds or brassica seeds from England and that New Zealand would have to produce its own.
The Government was concerned at the situation and an arrangement was made with W. S. and Co. to start production of Brassica seeds.
The manager, Sir John Hunt, who had some knowledge of seed production, choose Ernest Nichol to start the production of brassica seed for New Zealand. His task was to select individual bulbs, turnips and Swedes, and let them go to seed.
They were grown under individual bags so they would not cross-pollinate. He sowed hundreds of rows of seeds with a little hand-sowing machine. Every row was pegged at every hundred and any row that showed itself to be a poor yielder they chopped out. In this way they soon had a selection of high quality seed, much better, in fact, than any they had had from the United Kingdom.
Hard, Rewarding
Until they could multiply those seeds sufficiently to sow out a whole area they had to make do for a start with any seed and the work of roguing those was terrifically hard but highly rewarding.
Ernest stayed at this job until the end of the war and then the question of London cropped up again. By that time he didn’t want to go because his family was growing up. Then his cousin, the late Harry Nichol, who ran Nichol Bros, wanted to retire, so Ernest bought the business out in 1946. The knowledge he had acquired of seeds now stood him in good stead.
His business has grown through the years and when he retired from direct control it was with the knowledge that he had indeed been successful.
But long before he retired he spent a great deal of his spare time in pursuing his great love affair with the sea. In 1957 he launched his 36ft twin-screw cruiser, Susanne (named after his to daughters), and this has been his pride and joy.
Strait Crossings
It has taken Ernest and his family and friends all round Stewart Island and he was made 10 cruises to the West Coast fiords. He has taken her across Foveaux Strait 100 times or more, and every trip is an adventure, different from all the others, for the sea has many faces and many moods.
“I have respect for Foveaux Strait,” he says. “It is certainly one of the rough corners of the world.
“To me, the sea is a challenge, and if you have the urge to venture on it and can gratify that urge you find a tremendous elation in meeting that challenge.
“I am keyed up ever time I set out because you know that anything can happen – you can leave Bluff in perfect weather and then find yourself in the grip of a screaming gale. It is notorious area and that is what makes it so exciting – to me at any rate.”
The Susanne was designed in England by a well-known naval architect and when Ernest told him where he intended to cruise the architect said, “You have no need to tell me anything about Foveaux Strait,”
Log Book
Ernest has meticulously keep a log book which has records every trip he has made in the Susanne and this occupies two solidly bound volumes – and a glace through the pages gives a fair idea of the joy an happiness it has brought to all who have accompanied him on his trips.
Take this entry, for instance, chosen at random (and there many others like it). It is dated 1966 and reads: “Left Half Moon Bay at 10.45am for North Arm… gathered box of scallops mostly with the scoop. Boys and I took dinghy up the river and speared six flounders under pleasant conditions. Caught cod at Ulva for cray bait and set pots. Returned at 5.30 after a very pleasant day. Monday: Fine and sunny. Lift cray pots and had about 80.”
“But you don’t get them like that now,’’ says Ernest.
Crayfishing, apparently is like gold mining – the harvest runs out.
Club Stalwart
Alongside his interest in his cruiser in his devotion to the Yacht Club at Green Point which he and a few others started in 1955. They leased the land from the Railways Department and had their own dinghy shed and built themselves a slipway capable of taking a vessel of 30 tons.
This took 44 working bees with the whole 15 or so members turning up on every occasion, with hardly a one ever missing out.
This was indeed a fully self-help job, with no Government assistance of any kind, although the Harbour Board made material available from the old oyster wharf.
Ernest Nichol is commodore to the club and has held some such office ever since its establishment. The present position is that the club is in splendid heart and there is a fleet of yachts that would be a credit to any seaport town.
Hand in hand with his business interests has been his association with the Alliance Freezing Company of which he was a director for 13 years until his retirement 18 months ago.
Widely Travelled
Again, on the recreational side, he has travelled widely, making four or five trips to Britain, with others to Australia and spending a period each winter in Fiji. Then, of course there is his house at Stewart Island to which he sojourns frequently, and in the winter too there is the duck shooting season – he has never missed a season since he learned to shoot at the age of nine. And, for variation, he goes to Central Otago for the Quail shooting.
But apart from these recreational activities there is another side to Ernest Nichol’s character. From his grandfather and his father he has inherited a strong association with the Anglican Church.
He has carried on the tradition and has been a member of the All Saints vestry for 39 years and a member of the Dunedin Diocesan Trust Board for 15 years. He retired only last year and received a letter of appreciation from the Bishop in which he referred to his valuable contribution to the church as a man with a wide business knowledge.
This, then, is the picture of a dyed in the wool Southlander. When he was weighing up the proposition to buy his second business he discussed the project with his wife Barbara.
“We could go and live in a warmer climate in the north,” he said, “but if we buy this business we will be committed for the rest of our lives.”
It did not take them long to make up their minds. Southland was their destiny, and in Southland they elected to stay. They have never regretted it – and after all, they can at least get away for part of the winter.

Leslie Albert Nicholson of Ernest & Hilda Nichol

He appears as follows in the Southland Boys’ High School Register: “2348- Nichol, Leslie Albert. Company Manager (Ernest Nichol Ltd.), Gore Street, Bluff. Previously in Bank of New Zealand. 69 Bann St., Bluff. At School 1926-28. From Bluff. Sergeant, Artillery, Middle East, 2nd. World War. Son of 256. Brother of 2065.”

Hilda Metzger’s father was Mr Joseph Metzger – who is mentioned in “Those Sheltering Hills; a history of Bluff” by J.E. Bremer; page 43.

“The Bay View Hotel, which is situated on the eastern corner of Palmer and Gore Streets was built by Mr Joseph Metzger, about 1890 and is a two-story building with four bedrooms for guests.
Mr Joseph Metzger was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, in 1849 and was educated in Germany and Bradford, Yorkshire, England. he worked in the pork butchering trade in Bradford for four years and left Liverpool in 1872 by the ship Milwall for Melbourne. After traveling through Australia, he was engaged by Mr J. H. Smith, a butcher of Invercargill, and later was in partnership with Mr Thomas Maltby for eleven years. Mr Metzger afterwards built the Bay View Hotel at Bluff which he conducted himself. He was elected as a councilor in 1896 and took a keen interest in all local matters, was a member of the Southland Victualler Association, vice-president of the Awarua Boating Club, president of the Football Club, a member of the Gun and Rifle Clubs and the school committee. Mr Metzger was an enthusiastic yachtsman and gained the championship at the New Year Regatta held at Bluff on New Years Day in 1898 sailing his own yacht.”

Louise Viva Nicholdaughter of Samuel & Eliza Nichol

Born, about 1890, Bluff (then known as Campbelltown), New Zealand
Married, on 12 December 1913, in Bluff, James William Hugh Bannerman (1887-1917)
Known to be alive in 1924 and living in Timaru, New Zealand.
J.W.H Bannerman was the author of:

“History of Otago representative cricket, 1863-1906 : with a chapter on the pre-rep period, 1848-1863” compiled by J.W.H. Bannerman, Dunedin [N.Z.] : Crown Print Co., 1907.
“Milestones, or, Wrecks of southern New Zealand” compiled by J.W.H. Bannerman. Bluff [N.Z.] : Bluff Press, 1913.
According to the internet based Cricket Archive he was born on the 20th May 1887, Ophir, Otago, New Zealand and played for Southland in the summer of 1914/15

He appears as follows in the Southland Boys’ High School Register: “397- Bannerman, James W. Hugh. Journalist with “Southland Daily News;” editor of the “Bluff Press.” Died of wounds, France, December 23 1917, aged 30. At School 1900. Otago B.H.S 1900-06. Served with the Infantry during World War 1 – Lieutenant.”
According to the records of the 29th Reinforcements: Otago Infantry Regiment – C Company. J W H Bannerman sailed on the “Ruahine (No. 92) leaving New Zealand on 15 August 1917. He is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

An article about J W H Bannerman was published in the Autumn 1985 issue of The Cricket Statistician (No.52), the journal of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians – which can be read here.

Children of James & Louise Bannerman

  • Lois Burns Bannerman, b.1914, d. 1917 (age 3)
  • William Hugh Bannerman, b. 1915, d. 8 December 1941 (age 25)

William Hugh Bannerman was a Bombardier in the 4th Field Regiment of the New Zealand Artillery. Killed at El Alamein, North Africa 8 December 1941.

Information about this part of the Bannerman family history (and a great deal on the Burness family) can be found at And, also at

Elsie Eliza Nichol: daughter of Samuel & Eliza Nichol

Born in Bluff (then known as Campbelltown), New Zealand
Married 4 July 1894, Charles Edward Shallcrass (1866-1944)
Known to be alive in 1924 and living in Timaru, New Zealand.

Children of Charles & Elsie Shallcrass

  • Charles “Chas” Arnott Nichol Shallcrass, b. 9 July 1896
  • Robert Errol Shallcrass, b. 24 June 1897
  • George Willis Shallcrass, died young
  • John Frank Shallcrass, b. 1904 d. 1944
  • Charles Edward Shallcrass was born on 27 Sep 1866 in New Zealand. He was Manager Pyne, Gould, Guiness Ltd. Foundation member P. G. G. Ltd. Manager of Timaru branch, and he retired in 1936. He died in 1944.