Historical information

From the collection of the Rev James Watkin. The Rev James Watkin, 1805-1886, was a Pioneer Wesleyan missionary. He was born in Manchester, UK, in 1805. In 1830 was accepted as a candidate for the Wesleyan Ministry and married Hannah Entwistle. They sailed with a missionary party to Tonga. The work of the mission was jeopardised by prolonged and involved struggles between Christian and non-Christian Tongan chiefs. He left with his family for Sydney in September 1837. He was offered a free passage for a missionary appointed to Waikouaiti, New Zealand and arrived there in May 1840. He established the first mission station in the South Island of New Zealand.

Watkin established schools at Waikouaiti and Matanaka, and stationed partly trained Maori teachers at Stewart Island and at Moeraki. He had a natural flair for languages, preached in Maori four months after his arrival, and compiled an elementary reading book to be printed in Ngai Tahu. Watkin was relieved by Charles Creed and inWatkin finished his posiion in Waikouaiti in June 1844 when he sailed for Wellington, leaving 227 church members in Otago.

In 1855 Watkin settled in New South Wales, Australia, and was president of the National Methodist Conference at Adelaide in 1862. He retired in 1869 and died on 14 May 1886, at Ashfield, New South Wales.
Source: https://teara.govt.nz/en/1966/watkin-james

Physical description

ETH071.1 and ETH071.2: Mid nineteenth century woven palm fans with red coloured bamboo handles.