Update 1919

 

 

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The Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Mackesy 1919

Months OCTOBER - NOVEMBER - DECEMBER

Transcriptions in some cases may be impossible to get exactly right - and the Transcriber has listed these disputed words with underlines, asterisks or [straight brackets] to show them as problem areas. Any member is invited to make suggestions as to what the word or sentence should say. We would welcome comments

1st OCT
1919

Wednesday
Same weather. Wrote letter which I hope to get posted at Colon. Sea perfectly smooth - many sleeping on deck.
Two of the crew down with pneumonia one very bad. Captain Cameron bet me - the "Sloppy of the Neptune of the Bounty" - also "Carpenters 100 proof" - that the Earth is not a globe.
In the evening he gave us the Panama lecture. The slides were poor. Had been worth while the Canal was still under construction. But what he said was good though very very tedious.

2nd Oct
1919

At anchour
S.S.Remuera
near Colon
Thursday.
Writing and taking my share in the torment in the dental chair a good bit of the time. All has to be gone over again - they have now made two failures.
Heavy rainstorm which cooled the atmosphere, we hope to reach Colon about midnight, and get through the Canal bright and early.
After that Captain Cameron says it will take us Sunday three weeks to make Auckland. That will be the 26th just in time for me I hope to announce my candidature.

3rd Oct
1919

Through Panama Canal
Friday.
We prepared ourselves just opposite the entrance of the Panama Canal - we began the move at 7am and had a most interesting day of it. The land looked very much like New Zealand country, all that was required was the climatic.
The bananas growing every where ****. Beautiful working little hauling machine soon brought us 84 feet higher into Gatun Lake. This is country flooded by the Cheres river- just the tops of the hills looked out of the water. About 1pm we entered the locks on the Pacific side - more mules (electric engines) work the ships on both sides to raise it over the locks - took only five minutes by the watch.
3pm entered the Pacific side of Panama.
Also three ruins of ancient are within glass [telescope range].
I lectured to an interested audience at night.


Panama Lock Mule. These original electric towing machines have today been replaced by massive more powerful machines.
The Panama Canal Towing Locomotive was one of a fleet of 40 built by General Electric in Schenectady, New York in 1914. It's operators referred to it as a "lock mule" or "mule". At one time, more than 100 of these mules operated at Gatun, Pedro Miguel, and Miraflores lock stations. These original mules had dual electrical and mechanical controls, permitting operation from either end. It was powered by a three-phase, 220-volt, 25-cycle motor geared to traction equipment. The gearing provided a speed of 5 miles per hour, with a manual gear shift for two miles per hour, for rack and pinion operation while towing ships.

4th Oct
1919

Saturday
Cool and rainy all day. Quite a change in the weather yesterday being ever so hot.
In the evening I lectured to the men on the poop deck. Not a good place but down below where there would be more room it would probably to uncomfortably hot.
No news of any relief.
I hear our wireless is not the best. No ships met with.
A fancy dress ball arranged for next saturday coming.

5th Oct
1919

Sunday
16 after Trinity.
All day quite nice and cool. Towards evening ladies put on their coats - expected to cross the line tomorrow morning about 5am.
It is strange that most times when I have crossed the line the weather has been so delightfully cool.
Lectured to first class passengers in the sitting room - on British Imperial Destiny.
Miss Gregg agrees to everything - *****[but argues what] Israel was to do [with it], but will not have it that we are Israel. We are just
Gentiles - [this appears to be] the only argument she has :- "God could raise up Israelites from stones" - And, John the Baptist was called Elias.

6th Oct
1919

Monday
Wonderfully cool all day. People put on warmer clothes, sea calm.
Biggest part of the day was when we passed the Galapagos Islands. Two of which Cristobal and [space left blank by Mackesy] appeared quite large. No bushes or trees to any extent were noticed there. It is said people are living on them. They are still supposed to have much treasure on these which was buried by the Pirates in the old days.
Some four hundred people live there and are governed by a man sent out from Ecuador to whom the Island group is said to belong.
Political prisoners are deported there.
Lieutenant Colonel Meyer broke his thumb while at play last night.

7th Oct
1919

Tuesday
Still the same cool breeze, people walking the decks with overcoats on. I think it is delightful and we are greatly favoured.
Many of the ladies are constantly busy making drawings of badges on canvas for the men to work.
Mrs O'Rouke - Misses Wood, Cain, Russell and some others are very clever at drawing and are kept busy. The others are getting their clothes for the fancy dress ball next Saturday night.
There were parlour games last night which seemed to give much pleasure - Dancing this evening.


Promenade Deck S.S. Remuera.

8th Oct
1919

Wednesday
We are having a remarkably fine voyage - cool as you like, splendid breezes blowing all day.
No wireless at all, means no news.
This ocean seems an awful empty one - we see no boats.
Toward evening we got into communication with the Ionic which left Newport Mews two days before us. We are overhauling her and will in all probability beat her to New Zealand.

9th Oct
1919

Thursday.
Still the same lovely weather continues, deep blue sea and sky and cool nice breeze.
I have got everything ready for my costume for the fancy dress ball on Saturday evening. All the women are busy at work making all sorts of costumes. I go as an Eastern Nobleman.
Long talk with Mr Dean who used to be manager of the Napier Government Life and Insurance Office. He was superannuated and pensioned in 1914 and went home [England]. He has been working under the High Commissioner - His nephew is Doctor Ward of Whangarei.
A most glorious full moon night, not a cloud in the sky.

10th Oct
1919

Friday
We struck a pretty big wave, but the weather remains cool. A very lonely part of the ocean this.
We passed one vessel a "Port" something, this morning, early, I did not see it nor any of the passengers. But the Met Officer told me it passed fairly close - this is the only one seen for days. The "Athenian" was communicating when she passed through from Panama, but she is about seventy miles south of us.
The Captain lent me "Carpenters 100 reasons why the Earth is not a Globe". He seems to have been upset by it himself.

11th Oct
1919

Saturday.
Some fine weather.
Great preparations have been made for the Fancy dress ball. And it was really remarkable what pretty costumes were turned out. I was an Eastern Nobleman. With the help of Miss Gregg who was "Old Mother Hubbard". Mrs Rhodes was "Joan D'arc". Her sister Miss Plunket a very good "Boy scout". Captain Rhodes and Mrs Clark "Apaches", Miss Jones, who got the prize - a most excellent "Maori Woman".
We had Spanish Dancers, Bullfighters, Dutch Fishermen, male and female Arabs - Egyptians - German Officer et cetera.
A late supper at 10pm finished up one of the most pleasant evenings - the ship's Officers had excelled themselves - decorating the boat deck with flags and electric bulbs.
A shower of rain came at 9.30pm.

12th Oct
1919

Sunday
17 after Trinity.
Quiet Sunday, every lady sleeping and drowsy from last night excitement. No news of any kind - usual Sunday services - a very poor place for him on board this boat and only one [padre] for all. Whereas there there ought to be one for first class passengers in the Saloon which would not hold the [total passengers] by half. And one for the soldiers and their wives. But whether the Padre is too lazy or there are other reasons I don't know, but it never comes off.
The Padre is a fresh minister by the name of McLean from Otago. His wife and baby are with him. The latter a little girl arrived she told me after nine years of married life - evidently a mistake, selfish people.
I gave an address in the evening.

13th Oct
1919

Monday.
The day was spent in teaming off [games]. I was partnered with the Clark boy, eight or nine years old, at deck tennis - never have played it in my life, but we won our games - also paired for quoits with the same lad, we lost this, he not being able to score anything.
Same calm nice weather.
We expect to reach Pitcairn Island Wednesday noon.
A [subscription] was asked for to wireless the "Athena" coming from New Zealand and passing us seventy miles south - to give us New Zealand news.
We got a reply that coal strike has been settled, and Railroads running normally again.

14th Oct
1919
Tuesday.
Same pleasant weather, one or two showers of rain - the usual games are being played.
Dance in the evening. Doctor Meyers lectured with lantern slides to the boys on Oxford.
There seems to be very little to Mrs Meyers - as ***** sent of simple pleasure living life seems to be, her girls to dancing. Lorelei the second girl is rather nice and Dauphine the little one promises well. Marjorie is not so nice.
Spoke to Mrs (Archibald) Clark for some time. She likes to represent herself as young and pretty, with penciled eyebrows, shaded eyes - et cetera. But [I don't care] much for either.
Then Mrs Featherstone is prominent in the ***** *****.
We have really some very thoroughbred people on board.
15th Oct
1919

Anniversary of our leaving New Zealand for war.
Wednesday.
Slowed down at Pitcairn Island about 7am, three boat loads of natives - they are boarded us bearing fruit and curios - they are not a very fascinating lot of people to look at - being such a mixed bred, and starting originally with a lot of mutinous sailors, nothing else could be expected. They are however moral and christian speaking English.
We stayed about an hour and a half.
Pitcairn is like most of the Pacific Islands - steep - rocky, with coconut palms and banana groves.
(180 men)[?] Being the anniversary of the Main Body leaving New Zealand. We took a photo of all the Main Body men on board.
In the evening the Rhodes family gave a small theatrical act. Good acting especially Mrs Rhodes, her sister Eileen Plunket not nice - thumbs down.

16th Oct
1919

Thursday.
I think we are all finished with the hot weather for today - it has been decidedly cooler, the same calm sea - the voyage truly could not be better - never the less I am very very anxious to see the end of it. One week more after this and we hope to be in.
A great deal of working is done by the women. Nearly all the young ones do. Celine Plunkett works practically all day, while her sister Mrs Rhodes runs her a good second.

17th Oct
1919

Friday.
Very heavy rain through the night but calm seas, weather colder.
The Sergeants had a concert at night - fairly good - Another Calcutta Sweep. A lot of gambling going on - These always seems to be some men in every party that are given to work up some sort of gaming.
Major Wieks and Mr Featherstone are the two in this crowd who do all the work in that connection. But everybody seems to have the gambling spirit - they want to get money easily.

18th Oct
1919

Saturday.
Hard getting sleep in the night, we found a heavy sea in the morning - waves running fairly high.
Lieutenant Colonel Meyers asked me for a private interview - Taking him to my cabin he volunteered himself of his family trouble. A giddy wife and three young daughters on board for weeks with a lot of young fellows - and he asked for advice.
He followed what I considered right and told me afterwards the [guidelines?] had been accepted. I hope there will be peace.
Last night our wireless got in touch with Chatham Island and New Zealand - will know today where we are, the usual Saturday evening dance had to be *** up. Play instead.
Sent two wireless messages to New Zealand.

19th Oct
1919

Sunday
18 after Trinity.
Usual Sunday Service, don't think much of Reverend McLean as a preacher.
Day fairly blew but sea moderating. I think it about time for all the young people to reach New Zealand. I hear talk of them being rather to free with one another. Kettle and Miss Ridderforth are called the lovers by some. Possible match.
Miss Eilene Plunkett is more to be careful in her expressions - Something of a Tom-boy. Heard her call Mr Featherstone "You dirty lousy old man".
You would hardly expect such language from a Plunkett daughter - S.

20th Oct
1919

Monday.
Sea gone down again but much colder.
Had to put on an undervest and now sleep with a blanket.
A dance on the poop deck was attended by our young women.
In the music room quite an argument broke out concerning the shape of the Earth - Captain Cameron astonished the passengers much by stating he had never heard any proof given as to the shape of the Earth. Some very stupid things were said by Padre McLean - we could not prove that the people assembled in the room were present. We could prove there was a Lord, we could not prove that I existed et cetera.

21st Oct
1919

Tuesday.
A perfect day - The Captain (Cameron) asked me to accompany him on the rounds of inspection this morning - He is very proud - and justly so - of the clean condition of all we inspected - Cutlery, tables, cooking utensils fairly shone like new articles.
In the evening the second class (sergeants and wives) had their fancy dress ball - on the lower port side deck, [which] was put at their disposal and gaily decorated with flags. It looked very well got up, indeed with the many little electric light bulbs put up in festoons -
the costumes were good. Much thought and work had been bestowed on them.
Doctor Meyer gave a lecture (to us) [first class passengers] on the "Future of the working man".

22nd Oct
1919

Wednesday.
A nasty day - stiff cold head wind with a considerable roll, not enough to make people very sick, but tiresome, the breeze was very fresh.
In the evening two small one act plays were put up. One, "Gertrude the soup and The Savon" by Misses Williams, O'Rouke and Ridderford. This latter little thing very thick with young Kettle who was the **** DaDa - and "THe changing of Maryann" by the sisters Mrs Rhodes and Miss Plunkett. I should say the latter will have a very bad effect on Wellington society. Her manners can be called nothing else but vulgar.
Girls ran all (nearly all) ******* on this voyage - Glad I have no daughters.

23rd Oct
1919
Thursday.
Weather some what calmer, wind cold.

24th Oct
1919

 

S.S.Remuera
Friday.
Very fine sea but cold breeze - everybody getting their things packed.
We get no news because the N.Z.S.C. does not pay the Marconi Company for it.
Heard that the English strike had begun settling.
In the afternoon the tennis finals were played. Miss Marjorie Meyers and Paddy Murphy being the winners.
In the evening I took the chair while Captain Cameron, ships master, distributed the prizes.
After that dance I stayed up until I could see the lights on C****** Island. Then I went home to pack 9.30.

25th Oct
1919

 

DAY LOST
Saturday
Having lost this day, no entry can be made - We went to bed Friday night and woke up in Auckland Sunday morning.
26th Oct
1919

Stonehurst
Auckland
Sunday 19 after Trinity.
Arrived Auckland harbour between four and five am. But did not go alongside the wharf until 11am..
Mother arrived with the official Government Party on the launch. Not having heard she was in Town I had not expected her.
Met Will and Gerty on the wharf. Before having luggage checked we drove up to Stonehurst where mother was staying and had lunch.
It appears Will has opened an Office in Auckland as an Estate Agent and has a flat - so Gerty who had not seen the latter as yet went with him to have a look, then on to Guly's for Tea getting home late - after having got some letters waiting for me at his offices back in Stonehurst.


Corner of Queen and Customs Streets, Auckland. circa 1920.

[Transcribers note: Will is the Colonels second son Captain William Mackesy NAMR.]

27th Oct
1919

Stonehurst
Monday.
Rather a quiet day. Stayed in all forenoon. Met Will at his office in the afternoon. He is anxious to put up the sign "Mackesy & Son" but
for the present I have no intention of tying myself up - He is too independent and liberal - his ideas as to the spending of the [family]
money - or has been in the past. And all I am really wanted for is to make him secure.
But I fancy I can help him in my methods without having my name in the firm.
In the evening mother went with me to call on a Mr and Mrs Brown - friends of hers living in Victoria Avenue Remuera. Met Mr. Carr on the Train he is about eighty years old now - still goes to business [daily].

28th Oct
1919

Train to Wellington
Tuesday.
Called on Lieutenant Colonel Meyers, who had called on me last night. He is staying at ""Syntra" his brother "Arthur's" place - this is the Hon. A.Meyers. But I found him at the "Mount" his mothers place next to Stonehurst. Went downtown to Headquarters with him got my ticket to Wellington attended at the bank - called at the Herald Office and saw several old friends.
Leaving with the 7pm for Wellington.
I met Mr and Mrs Lupson on the Train going home and their daughters, Mrs Gordon Wilson also Major Cade Officer Commanding C troop Remuera, with wife and son.
Lieutenant Colonel Hunter and Officers all going south after two days in Auckland.

29th Oct
1919

Hotel Cecil
Wellington
Wednesday
Arrived in Wellington 1.10pm went to Hotel Cecil - where I found J.Parr M.P. - to the House [Parliament] with him to see Mander over **** to ****. I explained that I did not think my chance good enough [to get party nomination] with three others in the field to contest the seat with him [against the sitting M.P.] - but if I saw an opening I should like to take it and trusted we could still remain friends - I [find the process] quite agonising.
[Meeting with] the Hon.A.Meyers.
Went to G.H.Q. and saw General Sir W. Robins and had a long chat. He expects to give way to General Sir E.W. Chaytor.
I went back to the House, and had an interview with Sir Joseph Ward, who agrees with my views, but thinks he can help.
The evening after dinner I spent with the DeCastros - they seeing me back to my hotel about 10.30pm.

30th Oct
1919

Train to Auckland
Thursday
Met Mr. Rule who used to be the New Zealand YMCA Secretary in Cairo and had charge of Ezbekiah Gardens - He leaves for U.S.A. Wichita Kansas on the 10th approximately, to complete his training for the ministry. He took me to Headquarters YMCA where I had a yarn with their Secretary Military Branch Mr. Edmonds. Soldiers had criticized them abusely.
Had a conference with the Liberal Headquarters. They will send their organiser up to see if they can persuade the other three candidates to withdraw. I am to be the official Liberal Candidate if I stand.
I expect to be guided in the matter so as to make no mistake. While I should like to [try my best and] commit [to] the station it will be no great disappointment otherwise.
Back to Auckland by 1245 Train.

31st Oct
1919
Friday.
Arrived Auckland 7.30am.
Mother having gone to see Chas at [space left by Mackesy] got back at 3.30pm, the boat being rather late.
Spent the rest of the day at Stonehurst.
Catching the boat Manaia for Whangarei at 10pm.


[Transcribers note: This photograph of the S.S. Manaia taken at Onerahi Wharf on January the 1st 1920. Anniversary Day, the Manaia carries celebratory bunting from her masts. Taken two months after Mackeys travels on her north to his hometown.
The MANAIA was built in 1898 in Dumbarton (same yard as the Remuera) and originally called the "Rotoiti", renamed in 1912.
Of 1159 tons, this vessel was wrecked on the rocks of Slipper Island, off Tairua, Coromandel on the 10th June 1926. ]
1st Nov
1919

Saturday.
Breakfast with Farrell Kean[?] who met us with a car at the station. His father also present.
Whangarei has changed a good bit within the last five years.
After lunch we got away home in a car, taking all we could with us.
Found the house in great disarray. Will[iam] having been down, he took everything away he thought he would find useful in the office and his flats, where as to my rugs which I bought in Alexandria to save his face. And he stripped the rooms with all he did not want and just emptied it down on the floor.
But glad to get home.

2nd Nov
1919
Sunday
20 after Trinity.
A quiet day - The house had been let to Bret Watson who had a man and ***** (Wilkinson) living with him.
It was in a dreadful state will all have to be cleaned and repaired - terrible litter outside.
3rd Nov
1919
Monday.
Began cleaning up about the house and yard.
Will take weeks to get it all straightened out.
4th Nov
1919
Tuesday
My boxes arrived - Met the Liberal organisers and decided the chance for my election was not worth taking.
I find three candidates in the field against Mander and none of them will give way.
Mander is sure to be returned under existing circumstances.
I would only be splitting votes and helping him in.
The candidates are McLean from Whangarei, Murdoch formerly of Ruakaka - teacher now of Whangarei. And Curtis, blacksmith from Mangaturoto.
5th - 13th
Nov
1919
No entries.
14th Nov
1919

Friday.
Hillie rang up from Whangarei in the morning, he came down with Clarksmith toward evening. Had [him in] tow with him on account of his mismanagement of things.
He is anxious for me to go [into farming?] again, but I had enough of it.
[Before I went to war]I left him 100 sheep, 10 cattle, 3 work horses and other driving [gear], all implements, tools and a good business.
[Now on my return]I find nothing on the place, 30 acres less grass with fewer and [obsolete] tools and no [newer] machinery, [and with] a £348 overdraught. - while he himself has done reasonably well.

[Transcribers note: Mackesy's partner during his absence has obviously not done well, or rather the Farm has not.]

15th Nov
1919

Saturday
Decided to go to Wellington to attend conference (Neil) I had been asked to attend - wired accordingly.
Met Willis and Hayes at Callbuts office to try and straighten out wether Hayes wishes to sue to recover £86 commission he payed Will[iam] in a deal, which fell through, and Willis is not inclined to shell out.
Will[iam] had to leave before we came to a settlement.
I offered half and expect that will be acceptable.
It will come out of my pocket.

17th Nov
1919

no entry for 16th.

S.S.Kanieri to Auckland.
Monday.
Left Whangarei by "Kanieri" for Auckland at 2.30pm a lot of sheep and cattle on board, stopped for coal at Onerahi - which place we did not leave till near 4 O'Clock.
The sea was fairly smooth. Dinner at 5pm. Turned in about 7.30, a miserable dirty little boat.
Clothes dirty [that they] brought me in in the morning.


S.S. Kanieri, Built for the Union Steamship Company 1886. Sold to Northern Steamship Company 1893. Caught fire Onehunga Wharf 1896 with £300 worth of damage. Withdrawn from service 1922. Dismantled and buried in western reclaimation 1927.


18th Nov
1919

On Train Auckland to Wellington
Tuesday.
Berthed about 4am, but stayed on the boat till 6.30 when I went to the "Waverly" [Hotel on the corner of Queen and Custom streets] to occupy a room I had wired for for the night before.
Willis had given one of my cases to Cheesman for museum (Off his crazy bat) so called to see what it had contained some things that I had wanted to keep. Shall ask for them later.
Saw Car[?] Rimmer-Smith and others.
Gerty met me at noon - had lunch at Courts [George Courts] and visited the Post Gallery.
Met a Mr Tait by appointment at Will's office who is interested in B.T. town boxes I had [missed?] at Wilson's expense. Will not having told me they were there.
Left for Wellington by 7.10pm Train.

19th Nov
1919

Hotel Cesil
Wellington
Wednesday.
Arrived Wellington 1pm, after hurried lunch [off] to Garrison Officers Club where meeting (conference) was to be held. They had met in the morning - none this afternoon. Put off till tomorrow.
Called at G.H.Q. met several officers. Made several calls. Found the Powles had gone to Trentham.
Saw Sir William Fraser about the guarantee for road grant Whangarei - Whangarei Heads. Rather like the old man (84) but could not get what I wanted - rather think he was right.
Rain all day - Since early morning and very cold.
Ladies all have head furs - and this is for summer.

20th Nov
1919

Thursday.
Sitting at conferencce all day. Major General Russell is in the chair. Met Colonel Powles and several officers I had not seen for years.
We wound up the business before evening. Photo being taken noon.- I took none - I made some calls, the last being on Mrs King, Fairview Road 29 Karori. I found her and the two children in the best of spirits, she has bought the little house she is living in and has made herself quite comfortable - Two nice kiddies, boy and girl, four and seven I believe.
At the Cecil Hotel where I am staying I found Colonel and Mrs Logan, and spent the evening chatting - they are waiting for a boat next Saturday, will go back home to England and stay.

21st Nov
1919

Friday.
Met the Prime Minister the Rgt. Hon. William Massey in his office at 10am, and after a little discussion - [Two lines in Diary left blank by Mackesy, but line drawn to the next page, see first paragraph next entry].
Met Colonel Essen of the Treasury who helped me to find out from whom Whangarei County Council had command of the £9000. It turned out to be the "Advance Office" - everybody seemed most willing to help me.
Arrangement by telegraph was made that I should see Mr Massey at 8.30pm on his arrival to Wellington at his private house.
Had Tea with DeCastros where I found Miss Muller - afterwards to Massey and arranged to met him tomorrow morning at his office where he proceeded to do what I wanted.
See Prichard[?] 11th NAMR, balance **** above.

22nd Nov
1919

Saturday
He [William Massey] sent a wire of guarantee to the chairman Whangarei County Council **** **** for paid for the £9000. This satisfied the settlers and the road will begin with at once.
After a cup of tea with Miss Muller, who gave me some information I wanted, I caught the 12.45 Train for Auckland.
Miss Muller had phoned to my late adjutants wife at Palmerston North - Mrs Bale - who met me at the station. We were pleased to meet and exchanged news - Her husband is still detained and cleaning up work, but hopes to be home before very long now.
I found her little pretty and full of spirit - nice people - Marsh/Hardy's are said to be very well off.

[Transcribers note: the wire sent by Massey appears to be the result of yesterdays meeting, as a line drawn in the dairy from the previous entry the day before goes to this first paragraph.]

23rd Nov
1919

Sunday 23 after Trinity
Arrived Auckland 6.30 after walking about an hour I found Mrs. Mackesy at the Waverly, who telling me breakfast would not be till 8.30. I hunted up Will in his flat and arranged to go to Whitford with him in the car. Gertrude and Phyllis were to come with us. They arrived at 9.30.
I found Chas and Lill [Major Charles Mackesy and wife Lilly] looking very well - his farm is hilly but has good crops. He is milking 20 cows at present (90 animals) and hopes to do well. The house is quite comfortable.
We stayed till about 5pm.
I went over to Deveonport with Gerty to meet her father Mr [space left here by Mackesy] who is staying with her for a few days. ****** was in bed so did not see him.
Maial, her sister is also living with her.

24th Nov
1919

Monday.
To headquarters and calling on various people.
Found some boxes of mine, Will had last [used]. Also called at the Museum to find out what had been contained in one of the boxes which Will had made them a present of without ever so much as asking me - it was mine.
I got one or two things back.
Met Gerty after dinner, looked about the Town for a chair car to take Melalle about. Found none. - Went out with her and Will in the car to a Mr [space left by Mackesy] beyond Remuera, who owned a little house at the back of Gentry's[?] and agreed to buy it. Giving £575. I paid £25 deposit balance £125 on or before 20th December - Borrowed £425 at 6%. I help out with *** then £25. Puty[?] finding the £100.
Will came up to Whangarei with some buyers.

25th Nov
1919

Tuesday
Arrived Whangarei 7.30. Breakfast at Railroad Station.
Came down after lunch with the County Councils [representative] Mr Norris to view the road to be put now the points are decided on several things.
I want them to close through sections 5-16 and 7 and fence the new road and let me have all the wood that has to be cut off the ground [as] I am giving [land?] for the new road.
Rather like Norris - he brought me down in his car as well as a big box Will had brought over from Egypt for me.
Will did not come down to the farm.

26th Nov
1919

Wednesday.
Cleaning up the place, busy on the hill to make it safe from fires that might be started by people walking along the bottom to work on the new road.

[Transcribers note: Today the road running down through Parahaki south of Whangarei is called "Mackesy Road". Also the grateful citizens of Whangarei saluted the four soldier members of the Mackesy family by creating "Mackesy Park" in memory to their combined war service and to the ultimate price paid by son, Lieutenant Harry Mackesy, who was killed at old outpost number 3 ANZAC.

Diary Epilogue

November 26th is the last entry to the Diary of 1919.
What happened to the Mackesy Family is covered in in a unpublished family account by Colonel Mackesy's grandson Richard. Although Richard is unaware of what happened to the two daughters of Lieutenant Harry Mackesy, and believes the single child born in the family of William Mackesy died in a polio or influenza epidemic in the 1920's. He himself the only son of Major Charles Mackesy, and therefore was the only one to carry on the Mackesy name from his generation. Richard served in the New Zealand Army during WWII also in Egypt, married Marnie and had two children of his own - a son and a daughter. Unfortunately the son Peter died in a accident in Lisbon Portugal while on his O.E. in the 1970's.

However the story has more mystery - this last photograph is a little tantalizing as it is of the family business in Whangarei taken in the 1920's - Obviously the family , or some of the family settled in the North of New Zealand.