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Illustrated Biographies of William Sutherland (1838, Caithness, Scotland - 1895, Onehunga, New Zealand) and his famous youngest son, Frank Emanuel Sutherland MBE

William SUTHERLAND [1838-1895]

Birth: 13 Dec 1838 Pultneytown, Wick, Caithness, Scotland
Christening: 04 Jan 1839 Wick, Caithness
Marriage: 22 Jul 1868 Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand
Spouse: Mary Elizabeth Beavan
Death: 27 Sep 1895 Onehunga, Auckland 56y
Burial: St. Peters Church, Onehunga

William Sutherland was born at Pultneytown, Wick in the county of Caithness, Scotland on 13 December 1838. He was the second son of Alexander & Margaret Sutherland (nee Gunn).
Siblings were:-

John B. 11 Dec.1827 Never Married D. 09 Aug.1868
Alexandrina B. 04 Aug. 1829 Married Gilbert Mitchell 1849 D. 28 Jan. 1905
Barbara B. 02 May 1832 Married Adam McPherson 1853 D. 25 Feb. 1900

1841 Census Wick, Caithness, Scotland
Address Wick, Caithness
Alexr Head 41y B. Abt 1800 Halkirk Caithness
Margret Wife 42y B. Abt 1799 Dunbeath Caithness
John Son 14y B. Abt 1827 Wick Caithness
Alexandria Dau 12y B. Abt 1829 Wick Caithness
Barbra Dau 09y B. Abt 1832 Wick Caithness
William Son 03y B. Abt 1838 Wick Caithness

Census 1851 Navidale, Helmsdale (TA ref 202)
1851 Census Kildonan, Sutherland, Caithness, Scotland
Address: Navidale
Alex Head 51y B. Abt 1800 Halkirk Maltman
Alexandrine (Mitch.)Dau 22y B. Abt 1829 Enltruy? Assistant Malkmna?
Gilbert Mitchell Son-in-lw 24y B. Abt 1826 Helmsdale Assistant Maltman
Ann Polson Serv 40y
William Sutherland Serv 42y
No William who would have been 13y.

In reference to himself William often quipped that he was the "son of a Gunn".

He was educated in his native town and apprenticed to the carpenters trade.

It is not known whether the historical Highland Clearances had any bearing on he & his brother's decision to leave Caithness Scotland, but they occurred at the turn of the century & may have influenced their decision. At the age of 19 he left for New Zealand with his elder brother John. Before leaving home the two brothers each planted a tree beside the distillery. William's tree survived for many years but John's tree died.

Their barque, the "William Watson" sailed from Gravesend on 21 October 1858, passed through the Downs on the 22nd and took her departure from the Start on 23 Oct. She arrived in Auckland after a passage of 110 days (3 1/2 months) from port to port, on 8th February 1859. (For a detailed account of their voyage see John's diary). The barque was of 480 tons, a small vessel in which to sail the Southern Ocean.

William landed with the proverbial shilling. Both brothers went straight from Auckland to Otahuhu where there was considerable military activity, as the military authorities feared an immediate outbreak of war with Waikato Maori. William secured work as a carpenter and by 1863 had established himself as a contracting builder. John returned to Scotland after one year as the climate didn't suit him.

Among buildings William erected in and about Otahuhu was the Public Hall in 1865. He was elected a director of the Otahuhu Public Hall Company in that same year.

Grandpa William used to sleep on the shores of Puketutu Island because the air was cleaner. (He suffered from lung trouble) Source: Pat Bennett (Sutherland).

While working as a builder in Otahuhu, a beautiful young lady passed by and William made the remark, "She's the one for me." He obviously followed this up because he married Mary Elizabeth Beavan at the home of her uncle and aunt, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Gane on 22nd July 1868. Mary was just 17 years old when she married William.

Hills Index Vol 3 NZ Herald 1863 - 1880
1868 25 July
On 22 July at Otahuhu, Wm. Sutherland married Mary Elizabeth Beavan
Family believe that her mother, Elizabeth Gane, came out to New Zealand for their wedding but I can find no evidence of this & she wasn't a witness at their wedding.

Meanwhile William had erected a house for himself on the Great South Road, Otahuhu in 1867 to which he took his new bride. He built a joinery factory to the east of his home and in 1868 he started business as a fellmonger and woolstapler.

Mary & William had 7 sons and 5 daughters.
William & Mary's first-born, Alexandrina Enid (known as Lexie) was born on 10 July 1869.
Hills Index Vol 3 NZ Herald 1863 - 1880
1869 15 July
On 10 July at Otahuhu to Mrs. Sutherland, a daughter

1870-71 Electoral Roll Pensioner Settlements-Otahuhu, Auckland
Sutherland, William freehold, dwelling house and workshop in his occupation (also listed in Franklin)

Kenneth William followed on 6 April 1871.
William was elected a member of the first School Committee of Otahuhu on 5 July 1872.
Leopold John was born the next year on 7 September1873.
Hills Index Vol 3 NZ Herald 1863 - 1880
1873 20th September
On 9th September at Otahuhu to William Sutherland, a son
Ernest was born on 3 November 1874.
Hills Index Vol. 4 Daily Southern Cross 1843 - 1876
1874 25th November
On 3 November at Otahuhu to Mr. Sutherland, a son

William then built the Presbyterian Church in 1874 at Mangere, where it is still standing today, 125 years later. He was also an active member of the Wesleyan Church at this time.

William went to Waitara in 1873, where he erected a tannery for a Taranaki company. He took John Jones of Otahuhu with him as a jobbing carpenter and his apprentice James Hart, also of Otahuhu with him to the contract in Waitara. (Otahuhu Historic Society)

He entered into partnership with William Dawson about 1873 or 1874, but did not actively engage in this business until 1875 when he ceased his building operations and gave his whole time to the fellmongery. (Refer to the History of the Otahuhu Fellmongery).

1875-76 Electoral Roll Franklin
Sutherland, William freehold, dwelling house and workshop in his occupation
By June 15 1877, he had 7 acres, 2 roods and 29 perches of land on the northern side of Fairburn Road at its eastern boundary with a Tamaki River stream.
On 30 March 1876 Ira Joseph arrived, followed a year later by Bessie Barbara on 26 July 1877.

1880-81 Electoral Roll Franklin & Franklin North
Sutherland, William Builder, dwelling house and workshop in his occupation

Edwin Vivian was born on 26 November 1880. He was the last child to be born in Otahuhu because the family moved to Onehunga as a result of William setting up the Sutherland Tannery there. This would have been between Edwin's birth, 26 Sep 1880, and the arrival of Mary on 28 May 1882.

Richard followed on 22 June 1883 and Laura Margaret on 11 May 1885. Sadly Laura died the following year on 24 April 1886, not quite reaching her 1st birthday.

Ella Georgina was born on 28 April 1887 and last but not least of their 12 children, Emanuel Frank on 10 July 1892. William had wanted each male born to be christened Emanuel, (God with us) but Mary held out until the last son. However he was always known as Frank (Emanuel).

Meanwhile Lexie had married on 21 April 1891 so Frank had a brother-in-law the day he was born.

All the sons worked in the Tannery except Frank who was too young. William sported a long beard and wore a long smock over his overalls when at work in the Tannery. He also wore a high hat like a Turk.

For information on the Sutherland tannery see hard copy.

William died on 27 September 1895 aged 56, and was buried at St. Peters Church, Onehunga. His headstone was moved to make way for a pathway & is now to the left of the church as you face it.

There is a memorial to him on his wife's grave in the Waikaraka Park Cemetery, Onehunga, near the Rae Mausoleum. It has an angel on top which in 1991 was moving in the wind. Beavan Sutherland & his son Ted reset it in a concrete base so it should be preserved for some time to come.

Cemetery Record: Waikaraka Cemetery
Sutherland, William
M I: died 27-09-1895: aged 56
Area 1 Block G Lot No. 29
Inscription reads "In loving memory of William Sutherland died at Onehunga 27 Sep 1895 aged 56 yrs (verse) In loving memory of Mary Elizabeth wife of William Sutherland died at Onehunga on the eleventh anniversary of her husband's death 27 Sept 1906 aged 54 yrs." (McNab & Mason)

N.Z. Probates
Name Sutherland, William
Place Onehunga
Death Date 27 Sep 1895
Court Auckland
Probate No. BBAE 1569 2144/95
Filed Date 29 Oct 1895
Type Will
Held Auck. Archives

Brief Biography and Genealogy of the Sutherland Family

John Henderson on behalf of Frank's daughter Heather (Sutherland) Burney writes ....


The New Zealand Roll of Honour
Sutherland, Major Frank Emanuel MBE 1946
Coronation Medal 1953
N.Z. Maori Pioneer Battalion, W.W.1
Mentioned in Despatches
Former General Manager, Auckland Savings Bank
Formerly of Takapuna

Frank was born to William Sutherland and Mary Elizabeth (Beavan) Sutherland on 10 July 1892 in the house originally erected by John Bycroft of the Flour Mill & Biscuit Factory, in 1854, in Onehunga, Auckland.

Frank was the youngest of twelve children & the seventh son. The family used to call him 'beautiful' but the closest Frank could get to that was 'Buddu' which later became 'Budda', a nickname used in certain circles for most of his life. Frank's name was registered by his father as Emanuel Frank. Evidently William had wanted each of his sons to be named Emanuel (God with us) but his wife Mary had not agreed. So it came to be that when the last son Frank was born she relented, but he was still known as Frank Emanuel all his life.

Apart from his prowess in Mathematics and Science Frank was an all-round athlete, excelling in athletics and rugby. He represented Auckland Grammar at rugby as a forward, centre-threequarter and rover in the first fifteen in 1908, 1909 & 1910. In this last year he was Vice-Captain. While at the Grammar he also distinguished himself as a cricketer of no mean order, making the first eleven in 1908 and one year won the cup as the best all-round athlete at the school sports. While he was still in his teens he was appointed Choirmaster of the Onehunga Methodist Church and shortly after conducted the Onehunga Glee Club of 30 voices.

After leaving school he worked as a clerk in the Auckland Savings Bank, in 1911. He also joined up with the College Rifles Rugby Club in 1912 and a year later played his way into the Auckland B representative side.

Frank was in the WWI 3rd Maori Contingent which departed on 5 Feb. 1916 for Suez. His rank was then Lieutenant of A Company which was made up of Maoris from Northland (Ngapuhi) and the Waikato. This was known as the Maori Pioneer Battalion. While overseas he encouraged Maori rugby and played in their native team, which attained quite a reputation in the forces.

Frank found the Maoris under his command very resourceful in finding food and other commodities, but never questioned where they obtained them! His service was mostly in the trenches of France but there are photographs of him astride a camel in the Egyptian desert prior to this. Frank spoke little of his war years.

1914-18 War
Given Name: Frank Emanuel
Category: Nominal Roll Vol. 2
Regimental Number: 16/1327
Rank: Lieutenant [.... later, Major]
Next of Kin Title: Mrs. C.J.
Next of Kin Surname: SCHNAUER
Next of Kin Relationship: Sister
Next of Kin Address: Arthur St, Onehunga
Roll: Roll 25
Page: Page 1
Occupation: Clerk

When Frank went missing on the 17 Sep 1916, and was posted as "believed killed in action". In actual fact he had been hit by flying shrapnel and his dog-tags had been taken. Later when he recovered, the news was sent home that he was injured. Meanwhile Dannevirke Primary School had placed his name on their memorial and years later he was invited back to the school to a ceremony at which his name was removed from this memorial. This must have been a difficult task as it was engraved in granite stone. He was introduced as the soldier who had 'risen from the dead'.

Mentioned in Despatches 16/1327 Major Frank Emanuel Sutherland .......
This appeared in the London Gazette of 11/07/19, p 8837, Record No. 3421. He was mentioned in despatches "for consistent good work and devotion to duty during the period from 18th September 1918 up to the cessation of hostilities on 11th November 1918."

He returned to New Zealand on April 6 1919 by S.S. Westmoreland and received privilege leave from 7 April to 4 May 1919. His home address was 'Beavan House' Arthur St, Onehunga. When he returned from the war he began courting Doris Jones of Cheltenham, Devonport. He had been writing to her during the War years. He married Doris Jones on November 20 1920 in the Methodist Church in Devonport. Ernest Sutherland, Frank's brother and Ivy Hazel Jones Doris's sister were the witnesses. W.J. Elliot was the officiating minister. Gladys Blayney (Ivy's friend) & Claud Schnauer were the other attendants & Edna Schnauer & Jean Howe were the flowergirls. Frank and Doris lived in Egremont St, Belmont to begin with, but soon after moved to the corner of Lake Rd. & Napier Ave, Takapuna. A steam tram used to run from Milford to a stop outside their house and on to the Bayswater wharf. It used to whistle as it passed the house and when Frank was asleep he used to leap out of bed to grab his rifle. This was a left-over reaction to the sirens in W.W.1. At first Doris used to grab him by the pyjama coat & later she took a length of silk and tied it round his ankle & to the bed-end to remind him that he was at home and no longer at the war. It eventually did the trick!

One of Frank's passions was the game of Rugby. He rejoined the College Rifles rugby football team playing for their Volunteers team, as a returning serviceman in 1919. This was the club's first winning team. "Ten thousand people were attracted to the Domain for the match, for which the curtain-raiser was Grammar and King's first XVs, also deciding their championship. Grammar School won the early game, but the Old Boys were never in the hunt in the big one. Without doing anything spectacular, Rifles slowly established an advantage, Frank Sutherland scoring an early try after Laxon had goaled from a penalty. Grammar had their moments but were unable to register points before the break. Shortly afterwards Grierson opened the Grammar defence up for Pooley to score, and the nine point margin was looking good. It was looking better only a minute or so later when Rifles poured through after a kick and a fumble at the back allowed Laxon to send Sutherland away for his second try of the day which the skipper converted & soon after the championship was in the bag. The (1919) team was a mixture of young & old heads. Toughness, especially up front, was supplied by the likes of Charlie Fletcher and Frank Sutherland. Frank won his first representative cap in 1919. He toured with the Auckland team which played Taranaki and Wellington. Wellington beat them, but, against Taranaki, Frank landed four goals.

He returned to his first job after the war, as clerk at the Auckland Savings Bank. The following year he joined the Referees Association. He refereed club matches, then Auckland matches, national fixtures, and finally international atches. In those days, 1920s and 30s, N.Z. used to play N.S.W., Queensland as well as Australia and Great Britain. Frank refereed the only test between New South Wales and New Zealand in 1925, and then in 1928 he carried the whistle in the first test, New Zealand versus New South Wales, at Wellington, and also in the third test, New Zealand versus New South Wales at Christchurch.

Frank was appointed Chief Clerk of the Auckland Savings Bank in 1925 and Accountant in 1931. He became General Manager in 1935.

He rose to be Honorary Secretary of the Trustee Savings Banks Association of New Zealand. In 1954 Frank attended the International Savings Banks Conference in Germany representing the New Zealand Associated Trustee Savings Banks. Later that year he went to Sweden for the international summer school for savings bank managers. During his 21 years as manager he implemented in the interests of home owners and farmers the merciful mortguage policy of non-foreclosure which the Trustees had laid down, embarked on a period of branch expansion and introduced mechanised accounting. He retired as Manager at the end of 1956 and he and Doris embarked on a world tour in 1957. During this tour they both attended a Buckingham Palace Garden Party on July 18.

Frank was president of the Auckland Referees Association in 1927. In 1930 he officiated in the fourth test between the All Blacks and the British team at Wellington. By 1942 he was on the N.Z. Rugby Council.

In 1931 Frank retired as a referee after 12 seasons. He was a selector in 1932-33 and by 1942 he was on the N.Z. Rugby Council representing Auckland. In 1946 he was awarded the M.B.E. and from 1946 to 1949 he was on the Executive of the Auckland Rugby Union. 1947 and 1950 found Frank in London, one of two representatives attending an Imperial Rugby Conferences. From 1932-42 he had held the office of Vice President and in 1952 he was made President. He also attended International Board meetings in 1952 and 1957. He was further honoured when the Union made him a Life Member in 1953. Frank was also a Life Member of the Takapuna Rugby Club, a member of the Eden Park Board of Trustees and President of the New Zealand Rugby Union, and a Vice-Patron of the Auckland Union.

Golf, bowls, music, gardening and, of course, watching his beloved rugby, were also among Frank's recreational activities. Apart from these he was an avid stamp-collector, a keen member of the Masonic Lodge and was Master of the Takapuna Lodge. He also devoted as much time as he could to his church giving freely of his time and talents. He was Secretary of the Trust at Takapuna Methodist Church. Then, in 1958, Frank wrote the story of the Takapuna Methodist Church during three-quarters of a century 1883-1958 entitled "75 Years". After his death in December, 1962, the family discovered that he was guardian and benefactor to several deserving people in Takapuna.

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